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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, 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.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Light-Sport Chronicles: Gold Stars & Black Stars


Reviewing last year’s LSA accidents shows improvements...and shortcomings



Light-Sport Chronicles: Gold Stars & Black StarsAbout a year ago, I asked Mike Adams, Avemco Insurance Company’s VP of underwriting, to use his crystal ball (FAA and Avemco accident and claim statistics) to divine trends in LSA flying.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Memories Of Alaska


The Far North is one of the most popular vacation destinations for pilots



Memories Of AlaskaOnce or twice each summer, I slip into the right seat of an airplane and help a pilot fly to an exotic destination, most often across the Atlantic from North America to Europe.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Of Baby Girls & Aeroplanes­


Eventually, they all grow up, but you can still share the memories­



Of Baby Girls & Aeroplanes­Does your mind ever wander, unable to think about any one thing in particular? Instead, your thoughts are unfocused, and your mind is mentally channel-surfing, leafing through memories, lingering for a few seconds and then flipping to a new memory, a new thought.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010

From The Editor: Contrails & Cubs, Gear & Gators




From The Editor: Contrails & Cubs, Gear & GatorsThe last time we visited with John and Martha King, they were flying the new Cessna Skycatcher for a series of light-sport instructional DVDs. Recently, we caught up with them in something on the other end of the speed spectrum—their Dassault Falcon 10 jet.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Analyzing Pilot Performance


The NTSB’s findings on the Colgan Air crash



Analyzing Pilot PerformanceNTSB investigators were able to assemble plenty of data to reconstruct what happened on board the Colgan Air Bombardier DHC-8-400 that crashed at Clarence Center, N.Y., on February 12, 2009.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Chicago Air & Water Show


Inbound to the staging airport while the air show is active



The Chicago Air & Water ShowAs a lifelong Chicago-area resident, I’ve had the pleasure of attending the Chicago Air & Water Show several times.
Saturday, May 1, 2010

An Aviator’s Best Friend


Fifty years later, the next journey to the edge of space



An Aviator’s Best FriendFifty years ago, I stood at the edge of space and jumped. This year, Felix Baumgartner of Austria plans to make a jump from the edge of space, but from a height that’s 20,000 feet higher—an altitude from which no human has ever successfully completed a free fall. The mission is known as Red Bull Stratos.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Stamp Out CFIT


Truth is, not everybody learns from their mistakes



Stamp Out CFITIt was mid-1977, and I had been assigned a story on the first production model of a new twin.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Plastic Pilot License


They may be more practical, but some of us miss the paper ones



Plastic Pilot LicenseMy new plastic pilot license showed up in the mail the other day, and this is what I think: I don’t like it.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Light-Sport Chronicles: Reading The Tea Leaves


Some things to watch for...and watch out for



Light-Sport Chronicles: Reading The Tea LeavesPartway through the year, as the economy continues to show signs of recovery, I wanted to look down the road and ask someone who keeps a keen eye on the LSA industry if there were significant trends to track for the rest of 2010.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010

From The Editor: Choose Your Own Adventure




From The Editor: Choose Your Own AdventureI loved Choose Your Own Adventure “gamebooks” when I was young.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Recognizing You’re In Trouble


Fatigue can cause pilots to fall behind



Recognizing You’re In TroubleOne of the most important skills for pilots to possess is the ability to recognize when they’re falling behind in an unfolding scenario. Frequently, pilots who fall too far behind experience accidents and are immortalized in NTSB accident reports.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Thar She Blows!


Spotting whales in the Saint Lawrence



Thar She Blows!Nonpilots often ask me why I spend a good portion of my hard-earned income on flying.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What’s Up With WAAS?


WAAS is the third generation of GPS, and it makes all the difference



What’s Up With WAAS?I was fortunate to discover GPS early on. I was on my way to the 1991 Paris Air Show in the one and only prototype Swearingen SJ30 business jet, and had stopped for fuel in Greenland.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010

From The Editor: Just Because




From The Editor: Just Because"Why would anyone want to go there?” is what a few pilots on the ramp asked when we told them where we were off to.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Favorite Aviation Moments


The air up there



Favorite Aviation MomentsThe other day, I made one of those “out in the morning/back in the afternoon drives” to Los Angeles for lunch with my daughter.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Light-Sport Chronicles: The Long View


Taking a broad look at LSA with one of its major players



Light-Sport Chronicles: The Long View"This is a very dynamic time for the industry, and for Remos,” Ken Weaver, VP of marketing for Remos Aircraft, told me the other day.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Safety’s Ideal World


Unfortunately, we don’t always learn from example



Safety’s Ideal WorldIn an ideal world, once the probable cause of an accident is identified, there never will be an accident like it again.