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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, December 1, 2009

The Grandfather They Only Thought They Knew


If you don’t ask questions, you won’t get answers



The Grandfather They Only Thought They KnewA few minutes ago, I finished reading an official document in which a gentleman I knew, a lawyer, had put himself up for questioning by another lawyer.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009

From The Editor: Catching Up With The Kings




From The Editor: Catching Up With The KingsThe exchange sounded like something you might expect to hear in the cockpit of a large airliner. But I was in a Dassault Falcon 10 piloted by husband and wife John and Martha King, creators of the popular King Schools training videos and private jet owners.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sweet Dreams


Don’t take for granted the importance of a good night’s rest



Sweet DreamsIf the NTSB had its way, the FAA would be gauging whether or not you’re having sweet dreams and sleeping through the night cuddled up with your teddy bear.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Air Capital Tanker Chase


Hot-rod flight test in a TA-4 Skyhawk



Air Capital Tanker ChaseAs a flight test engineer for the Boeing Company assigned to Wichita, Kans. (“the Air Capital”), I’m among the fortunate people who truly love their work.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009

LSA Ownership—Condo Style!


Low down payment, affordable monthly installments, zero hassle: sound familiar?



LSA Ownership—Condo Style!I love this concept of sharing ownership in an aircraft, new or used. Last month, I delved into David Kruger’s Aircraft Partnership Association (www.theapa.com), a type of online matchmaking service to bring like-minded pilots together for sharing the costs of aircraft ownership.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Paranoia Of Landings


Landings aren’t the most important thing, they’re the only thing—not



The Paranoia Of LandingsI had been hired to fly a Cessna 340 from Torrance, Calif., to Glasgow, U.K., on an Atlantic tour with the owner in the right seat. The first four days of the trip had gone well. We had departed Torrance, stopped in Denver and made it to Ohio the first day, then managed to have lunch in Bangor and fly on to Goose Bay the second day.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Character Of Risk


No adventure is completely risk free



The Character Of RiskIt’s no news to most pilots that we recently lost Vicki Cruse, president of the International Aerobatic Club. What was almost certainly a control failure caught her in the worst possible position, and I can’t get her out of my mind.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Air Shows As GA Rallying Point


Working together to benefit general aviation



Air Shows As GA Rallying PointAs much of the aviation industry suffered through the effects of the historic economic downturn during the last year, the air show industry experienced double-digit growth and, in some markets, record attendance.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009

From The Editor: Spreading The Word




From The Editor: Spreading The WordWhile working on this month’s Guest Speaker column, Managing Editor Pam Lee suggested that the reference to Patty Wagstaff mention that the air show star performs annually in front of thousands of spectators. Hundreds of thousands, I countered.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Little Runway That Started It All


Return to Hidden Lake



The Little Runway That Started It AllPeople often associate memorable flights with a particular aircraft or airport. Others subscribe to the notion that the journey is more important than the destination.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Light-Sport Chronicles: Matchmaking...For Pilots


The truth shall set you free: How to afford an LSA



Light-Sport Chronicles: Matchmaking...For PilotsWebster should put a picture of a human under its definition of “adaptability.”
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.