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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, 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.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Helping Haiti


Flying relief supplies to those in need



Helping HaitiIt started with an e-mail sent to my partner, Brian Reiff. Bahamas Habitat was looking for pilots with high-performance singles or twins to fly earthquake relief supplies to rural Haiti.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010

To Korea, With Luck


Four legs, 52 flight hours in one of the world’s most comfortable—and slowest—turboprops



To Korea, With LuckMy buddy Jeff Kopps of the National Weather Service in Monterey, Calif., had predicted headwinds out of Santa Barbara, and as usual, he was right.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fear & Preparedness


Being concerned is only logical, but we can’t let that rule our lives



Fear & PreparednessAs he sat in my office and we prepared to leave for the airport after three hours of ground school, he hesitated for a moment, locked eyes with me and said, “Look, I have to tell you something.”
Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Light-Sport Chronicles: Befriending The Enemy


We have met the enemy...and he is us



Light-Sport Chronicles: Befriending The Enemy“Minute Man traffic, light-sport one three four X-ray entering downwind for runway three, Minute Man.”
Tuesday, February 23, 2010

From The Editor: Where GA Shines




From The Editor: Where GA ShinesSince the devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti in January, general aviation pilots have been making an increasingly positive impact in the troubled country; in some regions, GA relief flights are the only way aid is getting through.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Getting Ready For NextGen


The controllers are as crucial as the automation



Getting Ready For NextGenRecently, NTSB Chairman Deborah A. P. Hersman issued a warning that those in the government and aviation industry who are enamored of the planned Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) should get their heads out of the clouds and realize that the people who will have to use the system—i.e., the air traffic controllers—are as important to safety as the automation itself.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Flying Into Isla Grande


A doctor accomplishes a childhood dream



Flying Into Isla GrandeGrowing up in Puerto Rico in the 1950s, I lived at the top of the Hotel Columbus.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Profiles In Vision: Larry Burke


Engineering whiz, airplane lover, LSA rule maker...founding father



Profiles In Vision: Larry BurkeEver had a neighbor who watered your roses if you forgot to? Or loaned you his tools, though you didn’t know him very well?
Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Common Thread


How mountain flying meshes with primary training



The Common ThreadYou may not think that “learning to fly” and “mountain flying” fit well in the same sentence, but I urge you to reconsider.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010

When Slower Is Better


The whole point of most airplanes is speed—except during landings



When Slower Is BetterContrary to sometimes misinformed opinion, a Mooney is one of the easier airplanes to land.