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Pilot Stories

Enjoy pilot stories? Our Pilot Talk section is full of informative and entertaining flying tales from accomplished pilot authors.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Reno Accident


Meticulous probing of wreckage led investigators to some tiny screws



The Reno AccidentThe chances are minimal that most pilots will ever find themselves in the same circumstances as did James "Jimmy" Leeward on September 16, 2011.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Clouds


Pilots have a special relationship with the weather



CloudsRecently, I came across The Cloud Appreciation Society.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Fine Art Of Crashing


The how and why of crashing a 727 for science



The Fine Art Of CrashingLike any aircraft owner, I take every opportunity to fly my Mooney rather than the airlines on any semi-short trip.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012

From The Editor: Navigating New York




From The Editor: Navigating New YorkIt's some of the busiest airspace in the country. New York Harbor sits right between Class B airports LaGuardia, Kennedy and Newark, but for VFR pilots it's accessible via the Hudson River Corridor.
Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Dead Reckoning Or Pilotage?


Life isn’t a destination. It’s a series of checkpoints.



Dead Reckoning Or Pilotage?Before GPS revolutionized just about everything, most of us old-timey pilot types used either dead reckoning or pilotage (and some of us still do).
Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Adequate Airspeed


Fundamental failures by pilots still figure in some accidents



Adequate AirspeedWe've just about come to the end of another year in which the NTSB continued to fill its files with accident reports that read suspiciously like many of the thousands it already has on file.
Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Light-Sport Chronicles: The Wizards of Alpha


Insider glimpses of Pipistrel’s sky-breaking new trainer



Light-Sport Chronicles: The Wizards of AlphaLSA Pilot Reports are snapshots.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Chasing Fires


Flying For CAL FIRE Aviation



Chasing FiresRush, Serpentine, Robbers and Mill are names of some of the fires I've flown. Fires are usually named after a geographical landmark at the origin of the fire—a road, town, river or a creek.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fly Cheap (Or At Least Cheaper)


It’s getting tougher to fly cheap, but there are still a few tricks you can use to reduce the cost



Fly Cheap (Or At Least Cheaper)I have a friend who owns a 36 Bonanza, and though his airplane has always been a dozen or so knots faster than my LoPresti Mooney, he's consistently envied my airplane's lower fuel burn.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012

From The Editor: Fly Low, Go Fast, Turn Left




From The Editor: Fly Low, Go Fast, Turn LeftThe crowds at Stead Airport this year proved that the tradition of the Reno Air Races lives on strong, moving forward after last year's accident.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Trusting Souls


The heaviest load in aviation is flying someone else’s airplane



Trusting SoulsWe're about to do some hangar flying under the guise of talking about some of the most trusting people I've ever met in my life.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Light-Sport Chronicles: Back To The Future


Not all pioneers go gently unto that good night



Light-Sport Chronicles: Back To The FutureYou could say his bold steps were the sparks seen 'round the world: Electric flight projects popped up everywhere.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Amateur-Built Safety


The NTSB wants more done to improve amateur-built aircraft safety



Amateur-Built SafetyAccording to the NTSB, although the approximately 33,000 experimental amateur-built (E-AB) aircraft make up about 10% of the U.S.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Being Resourceful


Pilots have the ability to find a way, no matter how great the challenge



Being ResourcefulIf one thing serves us well in life and in aviation, it's the art of being resourceful—intelligent and creative problem solving and making the best use of time and available resources.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Flying Above Mars


You think we have it tough flying here on Earth? Consider the problems of aviating above Mars.



Flying Above MarsLike most pilots, I've been a major fan of the space program since long before there was one.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012

From The Editor: Hangar Home




From The Editor: Hangar HomeIt was Plane & Pilot's home for a week: a luxury three-bedroom house with an attached hangar, right next to a runway.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Light-Sport Chronicles: Ears Wide Open


When Lou Mancuso talks about LSA...people listen



Light-Sport Chronicles: Ears Wide OpenSomething I've at least attempted all my life is to remember to open ears and close mouth when in the presence of someone who knows a heck of a lot more than I do (a frequent event.)
Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Of Porta-Potties And Fields of Yellow


Oshkosh—the event never fails to amuse, confound and surprise



Of Porta-Potties And Fields of YellowNo, let me amend that: It was my 41st to Oshkosh, plus three to Rockford, the last home of the EAA's yearly orgy of all things aerial and wondrous.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012

When Using NEXRAD Can Be Dangerous


The NTSB says don’t rely on NEXRAD without having this information



When Using NEXRAD Can Be DangerousToday, more information than ever before is being made available to pilots, both in printed and electronic formats.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Hudson River Adventure


Expanding your comfort zone



Hudson River AdventureWe all know pilots who limit their flights to a hop to a nearby airport for lunch or an occasional pancake breakfast.