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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, 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.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Excellence In Execution


Learn from your mentors, and be a mentor yourself



Excellence In ExecutionI've dedicated my entire adult life to the art form of air-show flying.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011

From The Editor: Moving On Up




From The Editor: Moving On UpAs pilots, we're constantly looking to challenge ourselves and learn more about flying.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Getting A Few Winks


There was an outcry after a controller fell asleep, but concerns about tired controllers aren’t new



Getting A Few WinksSecretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt led the outcry of indignation when news broke that the lone controller on the overnight shift at Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Washington had fallen asleep
Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Aerodromes And Longevity


A trip to the airport is good for what ails you



Aerodromes And LongevityHave you ever stood around the airport or at a fly-in, looked at some of your higher-mileage friends, and realized that even the gray dogs in the crowd act and look 15 years younger than you know them to be?
Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Light-Sport Chronicles: The “Stork” Flies Again


Come fly this head-turning replica of a unique, notorious German warbird



Light-Sport Chronicles: The “Stork” Flies AgainWeird, cool, authentic, bizarre, eccentric, spectacular: so begins my Adjective Hit Parade to describe the Criquet Storch.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011

How Well Do You Know Your Airliners?


Aviation enthusiasts worth their salt should be able to tell an Airbus from a Boeing. Here are some telltale signs to help you distinguish.



How Well Do You Know Your Airliners?Determining aircraft types isn't as easy as it used to be, when seeing a hump on the front meant it was a 747, and three tail-mounted engines indicated you were in for a noisy 727 departure.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Emergency Maneuver Training Changed My Life


Why spins and unusual attitudes are good for all of us



Emergency Maneuver Training Changed My LifeWhile working as a waitress at the local airport restaurant, I met and married the owner of CP Aviation, Clay Phelps.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Low Level By Columbia


When is it necessary to ad lib, and when is it just plain dumb?



Low Level By ColumbiaWhat had begun as a simple, 4,500 nm, late-winter ferry flight in a capable airplane had deteriorated to an ignominious retreat.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011

From The Editor: When Weather Gets In The Way




From The Editor: When Weather Gets In The WayEach cross-country flight is an adventure, but when things don't go as planned, it doesn't have to become a misadventure.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Jack


Once in a lifetime, such a man comes to us



JackWe were somewhere in the middle of the desert heading for my daughter's when my cell phone rang.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Destination Unclear


A solo adventure in the Alaska bush



Destination UnclearThe little Piper PA-22 lifts off in a fraction of the runway at Council (K29), 60 miles east-northeast of Nome in western Alaska.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011

How Tight Is Tight?


Even if you’re really thorough, you can’t always tell during preflight whether something is coming apart



How Tight Is Tight?Prominent on its list of Most Wanted Safety Improvements for 2011 is an assessment by the NTSB that the FAA needs to speed up improvements to procedures and equipment in order to help eliminate runway incursions.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Light-Sport Chronicles: Scoping The Numbers


Figures lie, and liars figure, even with LSA accident stats



Light-Sport Chronicles: Scoping The NumbersEvery year about this time, I like to catch up with Mike Adams, the ever-helpful Vice President of Underwriting at Avemco Insurance Company, to take a gander at LSA accident trends.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011

From The Editor: Cross-Country




From The Editor: Cross-CountryNo matter how much you love to fly, 14 hours of flight in one day is a long time. That's how long it took Cirrus pilot Matt Bergwall and me to return to California from Sun 'n Fun.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011

When Not To Go


Contrary to popular belief, ferry pilots aren’t brave. Bravery is being the only one who knows you’re afraid.



When Not To GoThere's a sign-in guestbook in the pilot's lounge at Avitat in Bangor, Maine, that contains the names and missions of most of the international ferry pilots who have come through here in the last 30 years.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Inspiration To Africa


Building general aviation in Ghana with Medicine on the Move



Inspiration To AfricaDuring World War II, I was a ferry pilot, flying military aircraft for the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA).
Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Always A Student


Reflections of a first solo flight, thousands of hours later



Always A StudentWould today be the day? I had been taking lessons for several weeks, and I knew that one day soon, my instructor Andy would get out of the airplane, and let me fly solo. I had even worn a special T-shirt for the last three lessons, with the hope that each time, I would get to solo.