The weather is not good tonight. Here at the Dakota border, the real temperature is 22 degrees below zero, wind from the west at 18 knots. Yes, the ceiling is unlimited and visibility is a lot farther than 10 miles, but it’s a hard night for flying. On television, the weatherman calls the evening brisk. more »
A cross-country flight runs into mysterious trouble…over Roswell.
The Navy had issued orders for my transfer to Japan, an exotic land that I had wanted to explore since first studying the martial arts as a child. My household goods were packed, and I was beaming with excitement, until I learned that not all my belongings could go with me. The Yokota flight training more »
Bellanca 7ECA Citabria 1 Uninjured The private pilot reported that, during the attempted takeoff from the turf airstrip, the airplane was not at the expected airspeed three-quarters of the way down the runway, and he decided to abort the takeoff. The airplane became airborne momentarily as the pilot applied brakes and aft control input. Once more »
Low level offers its own rewards, no matter what you fly.
I know. Before you spool up your Mac or activate your Acer, yes, I’m the guy who has recommended repeatedly that everyone fly higher in the interest of better fuel economy. As the writer of a dozen or so stories on how to save fuel and continue to fly in an era of $5/$6 avgas, more »
Whether you’re looking to build hours or enjoy teaching others the joy of flying, working as a CFI can be a fulfilling and profitable career path.
Many see working as a flight instructor as just a low-paying job that a pilot does until they can get enough flight time to take a real job flying an airliner or a business jet. While it may be true that some CFIs see the work as a stepping stone to an airline or a more »
NTSB names flight crew, charter company and FAA inspector as falling short of their safety obligations.
When NTSB Chairman Christopher A. Hart addressed other board members and staff at a meeting last October, he offered scathing indictments of those who contributed to the crash of a Hawker jet at Akron, Ohio. The accident took place on November 10, 2015, while the British Aerospace HS 125-700A was on a localizer approach to more »
We stand, shoulder to shoulder, gazing up at the sky. With a hand shielding our eyes from the sun, we watch the smoke trail of an airplane flying up, up and over into a perfect loop. A vertical circle in the sky, a loop is a loop, whether flown by a biplane or a Bearcat. more »
"A moment changes everything." Lyrics by David Gray
Life-changing moments form memories in vivid Technicolor. That’s how I remember the moment that changed my life. The moment that changed my life trajectory happened over 40 years ago at Maryland Airport (2W5) just south of Washington, D.C. I was 25 years old. It was a lazy weekend summer day. My partner and I were more »
Sometimes the biggest risk of all is the challenge we don't take.
Whether we deny, shrug or flat out cringe at the thought, most of us are saddled with a nagging shortcoming or two, a bugaboo we’d gladly overcome if only the prospect didn’t challenge the resistance of our own inertia. As pilots, self-introspection isn’t our strong suit. And often wrapped around our weakness is a nearly more »
Not surprisingly, Alaska is one of those places where cold weather is a way of life. General aviation is often the only way to get around in much of the 49th state, and sometimes, the tribulations of operating in temperatures well below zero can be a challenge for any pilot, whether he’s a seasoned backwoods more »
CESSNA 182C Skylane 1 Fatal The private pilot was conducting a short flight to his home airport after picking up his airplane following an annual inspection. There were no recorded communications between the pilot and air traffic control services. Radar data first showed the accident airplane about 20 miles east of the departure airport. The more »
How you approach crew resource management can be the difference between a good flight and a debacle, whether you’re a new pilot or a junior first officer.
It was April 2003, and I was reeling in the wake of the worst disaster of my young adult life. Chris Smisson, my friend and the leader of our little airshow team, perished in an accident flying his Technoavia SP-95 at the Tyndall Air Force Base show in Panama City. Instead of being in Florida more »
The NTSB found serious deficiencies in the training of controllers
When the NTSB finished its investigation of the September 7, 2015, Beech A36 Bonanza crash near Kernersville, North Carolina, in which the pilot and both passengers were killed, it was just six days after the agency had released an alarming Safety Recommendation Report. The subject of the report was “Emergency Training for Air Traffic Controllers.” more »
A pilot returns to a place of special meaning for him, only this time he’s in the cockpit
Kenya occupies a special place in the heart of many of us who love aviation. It features some of the world’s most legendary landscapes and wildlife—much of which even today is best appreciated and accessed by airplane. No surprise, then, that it’s also been home to several of history’s most legendary early aviators. Perhaps the more »
Connecting with the past forges a more meaningful relationship with flying—and makes us better pilots, too
Airshow pilots have always been a motley and colorful crew of interesting characters. As a rule, they’re resourceful, multitalented and inventive. The people I’ve performed with are from all walks of life. Extroverts and introverts, they range from being airline pilots (lots of them), to dentists, actors and singers, to wealthy land owners and a more »
Flying has always been about looking out the window, finding the frontier, then finding home.
Imagine a wonderful day for flying. Clear sky and just enough wind to keep things stable and fun. Harvest time on the Northern Plains. Combines collect corn. The sugar beet harvest is starting. Long plumes of dust rise from tractor-trailers on gravel roads. This is one of the best reasons to go flying, one of more »