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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.

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.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fixing Flutter Is Nothing New


Investigating violent oscillations that led to structural failure



Fixing Flutter Is Nothing NewIn April, the NTSB advised the FAA to ground all Zodiac CH 601XL S-LSA and E-LSA until the FAA determines they have adequate protection from aerodynamic flutter, which occurs when airplane structures vibrate back and forth in increasingly violent oscillations, eventually reaching a point where the structure breaks apart.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Golden Hour


Honoring a fallen friend



The Golden HourIn 2007, my team, Aerophile Air Racing, returned from a very difficult trip to the Reno Air Races.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009

From The Editor: Solo But Not Alone: “2’s In!”




From The Editor: Solo But Not Alone: “2’s In!”As is the case for many pilots, my student solo had been my most memorable flight, ever. What could be more exciting than the first opportunity as pilot-in-command to return an aircraft safely to earth?
Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Flying The Goodyear Blimp


Join Plane & Pilot on a night sign tour over the Los Angeles Basin.



Flying The Goodyear BlimpThe airship—named, “Spirit of America,” and based in Carson, Calif.—continues a Goodyear tradition that began in 1925 with the company’s first helium blimp.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Remembering Aviation


We often have to see through the eyes of an outsider to appreciate what we have



Remembering Aviation It’s interesting how we can become so close to aviation that, even though it’s fueled by passion, it takes a “civilian” to point out what a great privilege and joy it is to fly. A lot of us instructor types spend four or more hours a day in a cockpit, but we really don’t do much flying—mostly we’re riding and talking.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bringing The “Sport” Back To Flying (Kirk Hawkins)


Appealing to the emotional rather than the practical may be the key to revitalizing GA



Bringing The “Sport” Back To Flying (Kirk Hawkins)In 2004, the FAA passed what has been called the “biggest change in aviation in 50 years”—it created the LSA category and sport pilot license. “So what?” you ask. You’ve already got your private, commercial, instrument, CFI and MEI ratings, and your Eagle Scout Badge.
Thursday, June 11, 2009

Light-Sport Chronicles: Ghost Wings


Remembrance of flights past and lessons learned



lscEvery flight has ghosts, if you’ll see them. Mine come in those times when I need a little help to get me through a tough spot, or raise my perspective above ground level to reconsider the depth and breadth of the singular, incomparable joy we call flight.