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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 6, 2009

The Steve Fossett Accident


The NTSB’s findings on the famed aviator’s fatal crash



The Steve Fossett AccidentThe NTSB says the probable cause of the 2007 crash of adventurer Steve Fossett was an inadvertent encounter with downdrafts above mountainous terrain that exceeded the climb capability of the Bellanca Super Decathlon he was flying. Downdrafts, high-density altitude and mountainous terrain were all contributing factors.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My Secret


How teamwork makes for the best job in the sky



My SecretI have a secret that I’m going to let fly with the aviation community.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Listen Up!


Bull sessions can sometimes impart valuable lessons



Listen Up!All of us will reach a stage in life when we’ve lost or are losing friends (as they slip away physically, mentally or both).
Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pilots N Paws


Here’s a way for pilots to help save the lives of some of our best friends



Pilots N PawsLike many of you, I’ve owned dogs for as long as I can remember, probably longer.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009

From The Editor: The Wild West




From The Editor: The Wild WestWe’re following the map, but as we pull into Lake Isabella’s South Fork boat ramp, Marc Lee and I aren’t sure we’re in the right place.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Light-Sport Chronicles: Three From The Heart


Of inspiring flights, parachute saves and electric flight from China



Light-Sport Chronicles: Three From The HeartWeeks into the New England summer season, which, as of July 4, is more like an extended March, I’m feeling a serious need for some LSA speed.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Blocked Pitot Tubes


When accessible, pitot tubes and static ports should be checked in every preflight



Blocked Pitot TubesThe crash of Air France Flight 447, an Airbus A330, in the Atlantic Ocean on June 1, 2009, during a flight from Brazil to Paris focused attention on pitot tubes, although many people had never heard of them before.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Cross-Country Cubbing


A visit to the annual Lock Haven fly-in



Cross-Country CubbingSome things in life make sense. Others do not. For instance, flying a 65 hp, 75 mph cruise J-3 Cub 650 miles from Wisconsin to Pennsylvania does not, by most definitions, make sense.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009

From The Editor: From Bush To Big City, And Way Beyond




From The Editor: From Bush To Big City, And Way BeyondAny taildragger pilot will tell you that you can take a Husky out of the backcountry, but you can’t take the backcountry out of a Husky.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Reflections On Inner & Outer Flight


Reaching beyond self-imposed limitations



Reflections On Inner & Outer FlightWhy are we so fascinated by flight? What draws us to it? What makes flight so special?
Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ferry Flying As A Career?


It’s not the glamorous life everyone thinks it is



Ferry Flying As A Career?I receive more e-mail and snail mail from readers about ferry flying than on all other subjects combined.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What Recession?


Oshkosh shows that passion trumps depression every time



What Recession?Is Oshkosh ever really over? It’ll be weeks, maybe months, before my mind catches up with my body.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009

From The Editor: Three Classics




From The Editor: Three ClassicsIt was a dark 3 a.m. when the alarm clock went off last Sunday morning. A glance outside revealed a starlit sky; finally, the June gloom had given way to our photo flight plans.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Sentimental Journey


Same place, different time...



A Sentimental JourneyI took a short flight recently, one not normally worth mentioning around the hangar. But ’twas important to me—an attempt to relive the good old days of flying, that is, the ’60s and ’70s.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Knowing When To Cancel


Don’t fly with a known equipment deficiency



Knowing When To CancelThe other evening, I got a call from a friend who operates a Piper Navajo for his business. He filled me in on what had happened with a flight from his home airport in the Northeast to Miami, Fla.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Profiles In Vision: Dan Johnson


Deconstructing the heart and mind of a prime LSA trailblazer



Profiles In Vision: Dan JohnsonHe’s the kind of guy you feel chummy with the first time you meet him.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Life Begins At 40


A lot of words have flowed across this page in the past four decades



Life Begins At 40As of June of this year, I’ve been cranking out this column for 40 years! These are words I never thought I’d hear coming out of my mouth.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009

From Hero To Bum—Almost


You can learn from your mistakes…if you can just survive them



From Hero To Bum—AlmostIt was January 1989, and I had just delivered a new Grand Caravan to Comair in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Tale Of Three Air Shows—Not


Or how to have your column derailed by big news from Over There



A Tale Of Three Air Shows—NotIt was the best of times; it was the most confusing of times. Half an hour or so into our virtual gum flap, courtesy of matching Gucci headsets and Skype’s Internet-based telephony, my head began to hurt.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dodging The Tornados


“Oh, by the way, could you drive a new T182 back from Lakeland, Fla., to Long Beach, Calif.?”



Dodging The TornadosThere are worse jobs in aviation. It was during the last two days of Sun ’n Fun 2009 that I got the call from Tom Jacobson of Tom’s Aircraft in Long Beach.