Going Direct: Shut Up World, I’m Going Flying

Going Flying

Sometimes the answer to all of life’s problems can be found in that one place your worries can’t get to. It’s been a rough week for me. It happens. I’m lucky in that there’s nothing unsolvable or that can’t be out-waited, but still, these things can cause stress. There’s a lot of talk about how more »

Going Direct: Our Fearless Collier Predictions: The Winner Is (Or Will Be…)

2017 Collier nominees

You won’t believe the lineup of aviation achievement represented by this year’s nominees. Here’s who’s going to win and who’s going to lose and why. And the winner is . . .? When the Collier Trophy committee meets to pick a 2017 winner of its annual award, which recognizes the top real-life aviation (or space) more »

Going Direct: When Wind And LSA Meet

Wind at the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring

The annual recreational aviation show in central Florida had one major problem that no one could escape, but customers and vendors turned into well stirred lemonade. The Sebring Sport Aviation Expo wrapped up last week in Central Florida, and it was in some ways the weirdest show I’ve attended, and as you might imagine, I’ve more »

Going Direct: The Future Of Light GA And The Four-Seat Family Plane

Sport Aviation Expo

In a panel discussion at Sebring, I spoke with some sport aviation experts about the state of certification, and by the end of the forum we’d come to some interesting conclusions. At the Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring on Thursday, I sat down for a conversation about certification with sport aviation veterans Sebastien Heintz, president more »

Going Direct: What To Make Of The Drugs In Roy Halladay’s System

Roy Halladay taking delivery of is Icon A5

Hard questions about letting it all hang out, our responsibility to aviation and informed consent. As you’ve doubtless heard by now, the former baseball ace Roy Halladay, who died in the crash of his Icon A5 in the shallow Gulf of Mexico waters last year, had drugs in his system when he hit the water. more »

Going Direct: Ray Maule’s Life Well Lived

Ray Maule

If you’re a pilot you almost certainly know the name “Maule,” but you might not know about Ray Maule, who passed away at the age of 83 last week after a remarkable life and career in aircraft manufacturing and much more. Ray didn’t found Maule Air. That was Ray’s father, Belford, B.D. Maule, and his more »

Going Direct: Amtrak Crash Fallout: Pilots Beware

Small airplane

Following the crash of an Amtrak train in Olympia, Washington, we’re already hearing cries for more automation to prevent such disasters. Will that happen in aviation, too? The tragic crash on Monday of an Amtrak train that left at least three people dead and dozens injured, was associated with excess speed, a lot of excess more »

Going Direct: Blast Off: Amazon First In Books…And In Space?

How the success of Blue Origins might mean that a new space race is actually open. I forget who said that “all politics are local,” a sentiment I don’t entirely agree with, but I do think that space flight is inherently global and inescapably political. Maybe it shouldn’t be so much of the later. NASA, more »

Going Direct: Could Russia Help Write FAA Regulations?

The argument over net neutrality is tainted, and here’s why we in aviation should be worried. The battle over net neutrality is heating up…again…only this time the dialog features a lot of robots weighing in on the subject. Net neutrality is the current longtime policy under which Internet providers are not allowed to give bandwidth more »

Going Direct: Annual Airplane Anxiety (And The Daily Kind, Too)

Annual airplane inspection due

My airplane is in for annual. It’s my first annual with it. A new plane (new to me), a new shop, and a history that I’m only getting to know bit by bit. I was texting with a friend the other day whose airplane is also in for annual. He said his thoughts and prayers more »

Going Direct: Mitchell Bombers And Demographics

North American B-25 bomber "Yellow Rose"

Last Friday, I got a call from Jerry Gregoire, founder of Redbird Flight and currently as retired from hard work as is possible for a person with seemingly boundless energy, which is to say, he’s not very retired at all. His current passion is the work of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Wing at San more »

Going Direct: What? Who? Surprising Leaders In Electric Flight 

E-Fan X

When it comes to innovations, most are evolutionary. One new program announced on Tuesday is going to change everything. The news from the continent is encouraging. The development of useful electric-powered aircraft is happening before our very eyes. On Tuesday, Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Siemens announced an ambitious partnership to make electric propulsion a reality in more »

Going Direct: Thanksgiving By Air

Thanksgiving By Air

It seems improbable, but the Pilgrims helped shape my love of flying. The Thanksgiving holiday is strongly associated with air travel, for good and for bad. It’s good that so many of us are able to jet from where we live to be with our extended families, and at the same time, airline terminals are more »

Going Direct: Are We Glimpsing GA’s Future With Drone Debate?

Drone debate

Should the FAA have regulatory authority over model airplanes? It’s a more complicated debate than many people realize. The drone debate has been back and forth and back again, with the FAA stressing that it wants to have the authority to regulate even recreational drones. The agency, you might remember, established rules last year requiring more »

Going Direct: Why NTSB Guidance On Intersection Takeoffs Is Tone Deaf

The NTSB came out last week with an interesting press release reminding pilots that they should always take off using all available runway. We found the opinion odd for several reasons. Intersection takeoffs are often used by ATC to smooth the flow of traffic. If I, in my Skylane, have 7,000 feet of runway for more »

Going Direct: Roy Halladay, Risk And The Calculus Behind It

Roy Halladay taking delivery of is Icon A5

Those of us who’ve been immersed in aviation for any length of time know what it is to lose someone you know to an airplane crash. It sucks, and there’s no getting around it. The thought that they died doing what they loved to do is little consolation, especially since it’s not true. Flying is more »

Going Direct: The Agony And Ecstasy Of Flying

GA planes dropping off supplies after Hurricane Harvey

We pilots know that our airplanes are an integral part of our lives in ways large and small. The events of a few months ago highlighted the role that our airplanes play in our lives, when many pilots used them for two very different purposes. The first was to fly in late August to the more »

Going Direct: Icon To Position Holders: Be Careful Down Low

ICON Aircraft A5 low-level maneuvering

After a fatal crash of a company airplane earlier this year, the manufacturer does an apparent 180 on low-level maneuvering. After the crash of one its A5 light sport amphibious planes, Icon Aircraft has established a set of criteria for customers to consider before they begin to flirt with the terrain. The letter from company more »