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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, August 24, 2010

The Power Of Electric Flight


Bridging the continents, bridging the generations



The Power Of Electric FlightWhat’s the next big leap in aviation? I think about this stuff all the time.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Memories Of The Swift


My first airplane was a Swift—and I survived



Memories Of The SwiftOkay, right up front, in an attempt to stop short any angry letters from Swift owners, I loved my little Swift.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010

From The Editor: Make Your Own Runway




From The Editor: Make Your Own RunwayI’ve always admired—and envied—bush pilots.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Good Old Boys Club...NOT!


Sometimes becoming one of the guys is easier than it looks



The Good Old Boys Club...NOT!Do you remember when life was slow enough that we used to sit around in front of the hangar, the sun making us feel like reptiles soaking up the warmth, before bundling ourselves into our respective flying machines to go test fate?
Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Light-Sport Chronicles: Staying The Course


Too many songbirds, not enough bird seed–what to do?



Light-Sport Chronicles: Staying The CourseRecently, a gentleman e-mailed me who had invested a ways back in an LSA company, not because he expected to become the next Piper, Flight Design, Rans or Legend Cub, but because, in his own words, "I just love airplanes." A lifelong financial professional, he wasn’t after a fortune—except maybe the proverbial small one from a big one. He just loved airplanes.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Great Places Not To Have An Accident


Don’t spend so much time looking at scenery that you neglect to look at flight necessities



Great Places Not To Have An AccidentOne of the truly wondrous things about general aviation is the ease with which you can reach vacation sites that would be a hassle via road, ferry or airline transportation.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Canyonlands By Cherokee


Learning the Utah backcountry



Canyonlands By CherokeeIn 2007 I had been going to Moab, Utah, for four years—hiking, running and sightseeing—and I was 20 years a pilot with my own Cherokee 140.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Really Low On Fuel


A dark and stormy night in Alaska



Really Low On FuelEarly in September of 1977, a fellow Alaska registered guide asked me to fly some avgas to a hunting camp he operated on the west side of the Alaska Range.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Redline!


Vne doesn’t necessarily mean what you think it means



Redline!I was flying home to California from Florida in my Mooney Executive a few years ago following what amounted to a medium makeover of the airplane’s aerodynamic drag signature.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010

From The Editor: The Athlete Pilot




From The Editor: The Athlete Pilot“Athlete” isn’t a word that’s often equated with pilots, but Red Bull Air Race pilots are athletes in every way.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Takeoff Alternates


Garmin tips for flying IFR



Takeoff AlternatesJune gloom is here—a time for low ceilings and low visibility due to fog and mist.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Light-Sport Safety Record


Tracking 2009 incidents



The Light-Sport Safety RecordWhile the NTSB’s preliminary statistics show that the number of general aviation accidents dropped again last year, as did the number of people killed, the estimated number of hours flown also dropped, resulting in a slight increase in both the overall and fatal accident rates.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010

From Russia With Love


Soloing a Yak 50



From Russia With LoveThe Yak 50 is a single-engine, single-seat, low-wing, semi-retractable, conventional-gear aerobatic aircraft designed in 1973 by the Yakovlev Design Bureau in Russia. It’s an honest, friendly airplane—if somewhat extraordinary because of its country of origin.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Zen & The Art Of Airplane Flying


Airplanes and motorcycles may be more alike than you think



Zen & The Art Of Airplane FlyingI’m one of those apparently strange folks who believe that flying is an easy skill to learn. No, that’s not because I do it so well.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Courtesy Attitude


No one owns the sky, although some people think they do



The Courtesy AttitudeI don’t normally rant. But this might be an exception. Or at least I’ll clamber onto my ever-present soapbox to make a point.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010

From The Editor: Music To Fly By




From The Editor: Music To Fly ByFirst Titanic, then Avatar. Now the Horsemen. Renowned composer James Horner has taken his musical talents from Hollywood’s big screen to the world of aviation.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Light-Sport Chronicles: Profiles In Vision: Boris Popov


One disaster avoided, one vow made–many lives saved thereafter



Light-Sport Chronicles: Profiles In Vision: Boris PopovA few weeks ago, I came within a second or two of a head-on mid-air collision.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sharing The Passion


The mission to grow aviation



Sharing The PassionAviation and flying have been an important part of my life for as long as I can remember.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Monitoring What’s Going On


Managing pilot workload



Monitoring What’s Going OnIndividuals who have passed their FAA written exams and practical tests don’t necessarily have the knowledge and skills to become trustworthy pilots.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Pure Form Of Flying


Stick and rudder in a glider



A Pure Form Of FlyingIt was a beautiful spring day, and I was a newly minted CFI full of confidence and enthusiasm.