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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, September 20, 2011

Safe Turnarounds


Is the impossible turn, in fact, possible?



Safe TurnaroundsOver the years, I've made frequent mention of a controversial number: "safe turnaround altitude."
Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Thrill Of Solo


Do you remember your first solo flight?



The Thrill Of SoloI'd like to say I remember my first solo experience as if it happened only yesterday, but in truth, yesterday was a long time ago, and the memory isn't that vivid.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011

From The Editor: Maverick Has the Ball




From The Editor: Maverick Has the BallTo commemorate the centennial of naval aviation, Plane & Pilot Publisher Mike McMann and I journeyed to Naval Air Station Lemoore. We spent our day with strike-fighter squadron VFA-122, at the controls of an F/A-18 simulator, on a hangar tour and shadowing an LSO during landing practice for carrier qualification.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Oshkosh By Any Other Name


Of damp dogs, wet aviators and rained-on cowboy hats



Oshkosh By Any Other NameYeah, I know: It’s officially AirVenture. But to a lot of folks, the name just hasn’t clicked.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Light-Sport Chronicles: Where Everybody Knows Your Name


Here’s a flight school/club where fun flying is #1



Light-Sport Chronicles: Where Everybody Knows Your NameThe success of the long-running Cheers TV show, I’m convinced, came in no small part from the seductive lines in that great theme song that so well captured the spirit of the show.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Ted Stevens Accident


It looks as if we’ll never know exactly what happened



The Ted Stevens AccidentThe NTSB says cockpit recorders might have helped shed better light on exactly what happened in the accident in which former U.S.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Whole New Flying World


Even though ski flying doesn’t require an endorsement, it’s critical to get instruction first



A Whole New Flying WorldA fellow pilot once asked, "How long does it take to check out on skis?"
Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Value Of Corporate Time


It has to do with misinformation, not politics



The Value Of Corporate TimeBack in November 2008, when the CEOs of Chrysler, Ford and General Motors flew to Washington to ask for a government bailout, congressmen made much of the fact that the executives had all used corporate jets for the trip.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011

From The Editor: A Pilot’s Pilot




From The Editor: A Pilot’s PilotMore than 500,000 people and 10,000 airplanes took part in the annual aviation mecca that is EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Critter Delays


No matter what man thinks, Ma Nature still calls the shots



Critter DelaysGulfstream Eight Charlie Charlie, go around. The airport is temporarily closed.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Light-Sport Chronicles: Gag Reel


Real-world kudos from the folks who fly LSA day in, day out



Light-Sport Chronicles: Gag ReelTo help with my recent write-up on what's great about owning and flying LSA, I had the pleasure to jaw with several owners, from teachers to pleasure flyers.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Pressure’s On...Or Is It?


Diving into the aerobatic box for the first time



Pressure’s On...Or Is It?It's 95 degrees, and sweat is dripping down my face. The box suddenly seems impossibly small.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Broken Brakes


There are times when the risk of not stopping should stop you from going



Broken BrakesNot too long ago, I was looking forward to an hour or so of poking holes in the sky in a Piper Cherokee 180.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Should We Rely On GPS?


Is GPS too good to be true?



Should We Rely On GPS?Ido some post-maintenance test flying for a Cessna 300/400 shop in Long Beach, and a month or so back, I got a call to fly a 421 just coming out of an annual inspection.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011

From The Editor: Over Water




From The Editor: Over WaterIt never seems to matter what headset I'm wearing—when I'm flying over a large stretch of water, I can hear every single sound that the engine makes.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Battle Over Frigid Seas


In the Sea Shepherd’s mission to find and stop whaling ships, the helicopter is key



Battle Over Frigid SeasAviation has always been a part of my life, but only recently has it become my profession.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Aerial Recycling


An airliner in the backyard makes sense (almost)



Aerial RecyclingFor the last six months or so, every time we'd taxi out, my eyes would drift to one end of the jet ramp, and linger on a Falcon 10 that has been there for quite a while.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Light-Sport Chronicles: Profiles In Vision, Randall Fishman


This “garage” builder of electric aircraft wants to quietly change the world



Light-Sport Chronicles: Profiles In Vision, Randall FishmanIn 2007, a man no one in aviation had ever heard of walked onto the field at Oshkosh, strapped himself into a motorized hang-glider trike and took off.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Accepting A Bad Situation


It’s better to accept a poor outcome than to create a disastrous one



Accepting A Bad SituationWhile a pilot needs to evaluate the consequences of making any decision, he or she needs to know that revising a decision is likely to make a bad situation even worse.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sharing General Aviation


The $418 hamburger that was well worth it



Sharing General AviationWorking for Uncle Sam in Naples, Italy, prevents me from often seeing my family in the U.S.