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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, October 25, 2011

Flying Fifi


Around the patch in a Superfortress



Flying FifiMy most memorable flying experience was on September 20th, 2011, when I got my copilot checkout in Fifi, the only flying Boeing B-29.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

From The Editor: It’s Better In The Bahamas




From The Editor: It’s Better In The BahamasWith 700 islands, turquoise waters, postcard-perfect beaches, and 55 general aviation airports, The Bahamas is undoubtedly a pilot's paradise. Recently, Plane & Pilot joined the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation on a flying trip to three beautiful islands, for a taste of The Bahamas.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Coast-To-Coast Javelin


You don’t need to travel overseas to see some of the world’s best flying venues



Coast-To-Coast JavelinPressurization is something like power windows. Once you've lived with it for a while, you wonder how you ever got along without it.
Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Personal Journey


This thank-you was a long time coming



A Personal JourneyThe green fields, most looking as if you could land a 747 on them, stretched off into the distance, where they became low, gently rolling hills.
Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Light-Sport Chronicles: Where Everybody Knows Your Name, Part II


Even after tragedy and Global Econ 101, fun flying wins out



Light-Sport Chronicles: Where Everybody Knows Your Name, Part IILast month, you met Chris Dillis, who took the "friendly clubhouse" atmosphere common to European VLA (very light aircraft) flying and brought it to his own LSA startup in Denver.
Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fuel Imbalance


Wing heaviness may be a minor annoyance or a genuine threat to safety



Fuel ImbalanceMost pilots know what it feels like when an airplane is wing heavy because there's more fuel on one side than the other.
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.