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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, May 8, 2012

Aviation In The Key Of Gee Whiz


Getting a buzz out of life is easy



Aviation In The Key Of Gee WhizThe other day, we were discussing magazines, writing, flying and other major food groups of life, and I referred to the kind of wordsmithing I've always done as "Gee-Whiz Journalism."
Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Light-Sport Chronicles: Profiles In Vision: Dan Johnson


An LSA leader divines the past, present and future of LSA



Light-Sport Chronicles: Profiles In Vision: Dan JohnsonDan characterizes the Big Picture this way: The market has spoken. LSA are here to stay.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Race For Ratings


It’s important to remember that flying should be fun. New ratings help make it so.



The Race For RatingsOne of the most common questions I get has to do with the most unusual aircraft I've flown.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Helpful Suggestions


When someone makes a suggestion, it might be wise to listen



Helpful SuggestionsAviation seems to promote camaraderie among many of those who relish being part of this unique affinity group.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Perception


It's your perception, not always reality, that causes fear



PerceptionI'm constantly asked about my unique line of work as an air show pilot, "Do you get dizzy?" or, "Do you wear those earrings when you fly?" But probably the question I'm most asked is about fear—"Aren't you afraid when you're diving toward the ground?"
Tuesday, April 24, 2012

From Soccer To Cessna


A four-country flying adventure in Africa



From Soccer To CessnaHow do you top an unforgettable trip to the FIFA World Cup in South Africa? Throw in a Cessna 182 and a dozen exotic locations in four countries, and voilà!
Tuesday, April 24, 2012

From The Editor: Cross-Country Sophistication




From The Editor: Cross-Country SophisticationWhether you fly the coastal route or choose California's Central Valley, the flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco is a spectacular one—and it's even more spectacular if you happen to be in a new 2012 Cirrus SR22.
Friday, April 20, 2012

Ultra-Efficient Panthera Makes its Grand Entrance




Ultra-Efficient Panthera Makes its Grand EntranceSlovenian eco-friendly manufacturer, Pipistrel, revealed their super-sleek "Panthera" at Aero Expo in Friedrichshafen, Germany this week.
Friday, April 20, 2012

Full Speed Ahead For The Cirrus Vision Jet




Full Speed Ahead For The Cirrus Vision JetIt's official: Cirrus Aircraft is moving ahead with the development of its SF50 Vision Jet
Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Birds Of A Feather


Flying with your bird



Birds Of A FeatherWe're all part bird, aren't we? We have wings, but unfortunately they're only a steely imitation of the real thing.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mechanical Addiction


Don’t even try to explain it



Mechanical AddictionI'm not sure if it's a good or a bad thing, but a couple of months ago, I hit 5,000 hours of Pitts dual-given (most of it in the pattern).
Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Light-Sport Chronicles: To Dream, To Live


For Jan Hercek, future vision and reality are separated only by time



Light-Sport Chronicles: To Dream, To LiveJan Hercek got his flying start the way a lot of us did back then: in an old Rogallo-style hang glider.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Setting The Selector


In some aircraft, you have to be a contortionist to see where the fuel-tank selector is pointing



Setting The SelectorIf you've flown a variety of aircraft, you know that some designers decided to make it awfully difficult to see for sure which fuel tank or tanks you've selected.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Flying The World’s Biggest Single-Engine Biplane


An open letter to all who have asked, “What’s the weirdest airplane you’ve flown?”



Flying The World’s Biggest Single-Engine BiplaneOne of the most common questions I get has to do with the most unusual aircraft I've flown.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012

From The Editor: The Best Of Both Worlds




From The Editor: The Best Of Both WorldsMonument Valley, on the northern border of Arizona with southern Utah, is pretty much in the middle of no-where.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012

On Getting Short


Gravity is the universal enemy in more ways than one



On Getting ShortGetting short" is a familiar old military term: You're coming to the end of your deployment or enlistment, and you don't have much time left before your life will be drastically altered.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Light-Sport Chronicles: Sebring Impressions


Lights, cameras, action: what a great way to start the LSA year!



Light-Sport Chronicles: Sebring ImpressionsI thought those of you who have never been to an air show, specifically the Sebring U.S. Sport Aviation Expo, might enjoy a world's-eye view of what it's like to make the pilgrimage every January.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Drinking, Driving And Flying


Just the prospect of facing FAA paperwork should make one think twice about misusing alcohol



Drinking, Driving And FlyingWhen FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt resigned after being arrested by police in Fairfax City, Va., on a drunk-driving charge, some of my pilot acquaintances were quick to express astonishment at the irony of Babbitt himself likely having to face the bureaucratic hurdles set up by the FAA for pilots caught drinking and driving who want to continue flying.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012

When Procedures Fail


Learning the lesson the hard way



When Procedures FailPilots are a conscientious group. We do preflights, use checklists, and respect our physical and technical limitations.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Murphy’s Laws Of Aviation


Why what you learned in flight school may be open to question



Murphy’s Laws Of AviationI'm constantly amazed that the constants of aviation usually aren't.