These tutorials and guides are dedicated to the memory of
Wing Commander A.M. (Mick) Parer RAAF
'An operator who had a passion for flight and a passion to teach'
1935 — 2005
The intent of the tutorials and guides is to improve the underpinning knowledge and thus the situational awareness, airmanship and ultimately, the safety of sport and recreational pilots (whether novice or experienced) and their passengers. The documents are generally written on the premise that no pilot of a sport and recreational aviation aircraft can know too much about aerodynamics and safe flight; so the more information provided, the better the result. Most tutorials provide much more detail than is necessary for novice pilots to understand to achieve certification. The tutorials are meant for all persons who wish to expand their knowledge without getting into the mathematics.
Formal flight training is chiefly about establishing skills (learning how) and acquiring knowledge of the rules contained in the aviation regulations and the RAAO manuals — the latter also contain job descriptions, training syllabi and procedures. Flight education is chiefly a self-help activity where information (in the fields of aerodynamics or atmospheric dynamics, for example) is gathered so that you can learn why. These documents currently contain more than 500 000 words of text, plus illustrations. If the tutorials were published in standard textbook format the total page count would be around 950 pages. Unfortunately there are no print or PDF format versions available.
Self-education is most important. Martin Dolan, the Chief Commissioner and CEO of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau wrote (May 17, 2013 in answer to a query concerning boating accidents): 'In many cases they reflect what we see with smaller aircraft: the same accidents happening over and over. The best way to tackle these problems would seem to involve clear, targeted safety education [JB's emphasis] about how accidents can be avoided – as many of them are easily avoidable.'
Aeronautics and aerodynamics are very complex subjects. Since the initial 2000–2001 publication of the various modules on the AUF/RA-Aus website there has been (and continues to be) considerable feedback from readers requesting increased coverage or seeking additional explanation of various aspects. In addition — as with other aviation categories — the causes of accidents in world-wide sport and recreational aviation remain distressingly familiar, which has contributed to a probable excessive laboring over some matters.
On May 16, 2013 Chief Commissioner Dolan also wrote: 'As we've been saying for some time, there are many accidents in general aviation that have known and avoidable causes and where the most effective safety action is education [JB's emphasis] rather than investigation.'
A word of caution. I have found that some fallacies or misconceptions are often repeated from work to work. Be wary of the person who is adamant that there is only one correct concept and that all others should be ignored. The atmosphere you fly in, and the aircraft you fly, are not bound by the opinions of mere humans.
Please read the notice regarding copyright protection of the tutorials.