Going Direct: My New Plane

New Plane

For the past few months, I’ve been looking for a good used plane, and I finally found the one I wanted, a 1964 Cessna 182G in good condition, with low total time, an engine and prop with lots of life, and a nice paint job. It needs avionics in the worst way, so my next more »

Going Direct: Battery Breakthrough Could Cheaply Power Electric Planes

Battery inventor John Goodenough

If it’s for real, the advance would revolutionize electric flight. For the past many years, I’ve been the pro side in arguments with colleagues about the future of light aviation. Unlike many of my friends, I believe, to paraphrase William Faulkner, that light GA will not only survive but endure. I do accept that something more »

Going Direct: Harrison Ford Is Getting Off Scott Free: Good.

Harrison Ford lands on taxiway

As has been widely reported today, Star Wars actor Harrison Ford is not being punished by the FAA for mistakenly landing on a taxiway at John Wayne International Airport in Santa Ana, California, in February. So apparently, this rich, good-looking, famous movie star gets to screw up and get away with it? Actually, that’s how more »

Going Direct: A5 Crash And Icon’s Future

Icon A5 Crash

How have such tragic crashes affected other airplane programs? Not long after the news broke that an Icon A5 had suffered a fatal accident, observers began asking the question, “what does the crash mean to the company’s future?” The sensitivity of asking such a thing so soon after a tragic crash notwithstanding, the question is more »

Going Direct: BasicMed Has Real Advantages

BasicMed is here, and there’s real interest from pilots in using it. While it’s not everything we asked for, here’s how a lot of pilots can benefit. I’ve been critical of the FAA’s new alternative medical certification process known as BasicMed, and for good reason. As far pilots’ rights are concerned, it’s not as good a more »

Going Direct: How Uber Might Prove Vern Raburn Right After All

The Eclipse jet pioneer predicted a nationwide network of short-haul air transport. Maybe we’re finally seeing its birth. In Dallas this week, ride sharing giant Uber held a gathering for people who see a future world in which people are whisked to and fro in small autonomously operated vehicles. Yes, just like the Jetsons of more »

Going Direct: BasicMed: Privacy Questions Linger

How private is your application information, and can the FAA use it against you? We live in a polarized world, so I wasn’t too surprised that responses were bunched on both sides of the spectrum regarding my disappointment at the “driver’s license” medical we got in the form of BasicMed. While some readers applauded my more »

Going Direct: Here’s The Future Of Your Airplane’s Cockpit

Are you ready for the next big thing, a new way to see the aviation data we all rely on to fly safely and surely? You probably should be, because it’s coming. At Sun ‘n Fun Seattle Avionics’ Steve Podradchik showed me the coolest gadget I’ve seen in years. An iPhone. Okay, the iPhone wasn’t more »

Going Direct: BasicMed: A Huge Disappointment

As the details of the new third class FAA medical came to light, I made the mistake of letting my enthusiasm for the overall concept color my reaction to the actual rule. The new regs, BasicMed, were supposed to represent the FAA’s regulatory translation of what we really wanted: to get rid of the Third more »

Going Direct: How I’m Gearing Up For Flying Season

A new plane, a new season and lots of reasons to go gaga over planes. There’s been so much noise politically in aviation these past few months that we’ve been so busy protecting our freedom to fly against some very real threats that it’s been too easy to forget the flying part, which is, after more »

Going Direct: Disaster Looming For GA?

President Trump’s budget proposal threatens the lifeblood of General Aviation. Over the past couple of days, the general aviation community has responded to a common threat to our way of flight. Earlier this week President Trump issued his budget, and while there is no shortage of controversy associated with it, for those of us who more »

Going Direct: Two Kinds Of Avgas

Like most of you, I think of avgas in a very one-dimensional way, regarding our old true blue 100LL as the only aviation gasoline, at least until a 100LL alternative hits the pumps in a few years. But it turns out that’s not really true. There’s another approved aviation fuel for sale today, Swift Fuels’ more »

Going Direct: Vexing Questions At The Aircraft Electronics Show

The CES of aircraft featured few new products but lots of interesting questions about aviation’s digital future. The 60th edition of the Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) trade show in New Orleans got underway on Monday, and the first day of the show was an eye opener, but not for the usual reasons. Usually at this more »

Going Direct: NY Senator Schumer Reads Paper, Decides To Slam GA

What he “discovered” and suggested might shock you…but then again… United States Senator Chuck Schumer (D, NY) is worried about airplane accidents, specifically accidents involving small airplanes in New York. In a press release and open letter to the NTSB and FAA, Schumer made the “demand” that the agencies investigate a spate of aircraft accidents more »

Going Direct: FAA As The Enemy

The agency’s blindsiding GA on its Santa Monica capitulation was more than the alphabets could take.  A couple of weeks ago when the FAA made the surprise announcement—“surprise” as in Pearl Harbor and not Happy Birthday, by the way—we weighed in that the move was something we’d never seen the agency do before. Our suggestion, more »

Going Direct: Important Update On John King’s Battle With FAA

3/8/17 UPDATE: We’re delighted to share the news that King Schools’ co-founder John King has received his FAA medical certificate from the FAA. In an email to Plane & Pilot, King wrote that getting his ticket after a years-long battle was a surprise—of the most pleasant variety, we’re certain. The legendary aviation educator got his more »

Going Direct: With Drone Members, Will AOPA Pilots/Owners Be Left In The Cold?

The strategic decision by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association to accept drone pilots (and owners?) into the largest and most effective GA advocacy organization is troubling. It’s no secret that the numbers of GA pilots is declining, so AOPA’s numbers have as well. Of course, the fewer members, the less clout and the less more »

Going Direct: WSJ Tackles Execs Who Are Pilots

Did the financial news icon get this one right or make the usual mistakes? The venerable Wall Street Journal is a publication that sometimes gets it right with aviation and sometimes gets it really, really wrong. This time the subject was a dicey one: how to think about CEOs who fly light planes. As it more »