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A Flight I'll Never Forget

Share stories about your most memorable flights! Email us at editor@planeandpilotmag.com or editor@pilotjournal.com.



Take in unique flying experiences as told by our authors. Unforgettable Flights will take you inside the cockpits of fighter jets, on board legendary aircraft, and to spectacular locations around the globe.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

In The Belly Of A Legend


A ride in an Aluminum Overcast with ghosts of airmen past



In The Belly Of A LegendIt was almost surreal standing on the ramp and realizing that the flight I had just finished began two years before it finally happened.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Wings To Fly


A paraplegic’s tenacious journey to the skies



Wings To Fly My name is Peter Pretorius. My life began in November of 1959 when I entered the world as a healthy seven-pound boy.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Airborne Proposal


A momentous final approach to a new beginning



Airborne ProposalIn my first year at University, I met the most beautiful girl I could dream of, both in personality and character.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Hudson River Adventure


Expanding your comfort zone



Hudson River AdventureWe all know pilots who limit their flights to a hop to a nearby airport for lunch or an occasional pancake breakfast.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Training Is Everything


Mental preparation will help you manage an emergency procedure



Training Is EverythingAt exactly 5:45 a.m. on March 5, 2010, I took off in my 1972 Grumman Traveler from Canada's St-Hyacinthe Airport (CSU3), on the south shore off Montreal.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012

East Coast By LSA


Twenty-five hours in a Remos GX



East Coast By LSABeing obsessed with flying ever since I could walk, I had my eyes set on becoming an airline pilot.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Pilot’s View




A Pilot’s ViewWe're 45 minutes out of Daytona Beach bound for Key West on a summer evening. Viewed from our altitude, the sun has just begun its dip below the horizon, leaving us in muted daylight as darkness settles across the land below.
Tuesday, April 24, 2012

From Soccer To Cessna


A four-country flying adventure in Africa



From Soccer To CessnaHow do you top an unforgettable trip to the FIFA World Cup in South Africa? Throw in a Cessna 182 and a dozen exotic locations in four countries, and voilà!
Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Pressure’s On...Or Is It?


Diving into the aerobatic box for the first time



Pressure’s On...Or Is It?It's 95 degrees, and sweat is dripping down my face. The box suddenly seems impossibly small.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sharing General Aviation


The $418 hamburger that was well worth it



Sharing General AviationWorking for Uncle Sam in Naples, Italy, prevents me from often seeing my family in the U.S.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Destination Unclear


A solo adventure in the Alaska bush



Destination UnclearThe little Piper PA-22 lifts off in a fraction of the runway at Council (K29), 60 miles east-northeast of Nome in western Alaska.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Always A Student


Reflections of a first solo flight, thousands of hours later



Always A StudentWould today be the day? I had been taking lessons for several weeks, and I knew that one day soon, my instructor Andy would get out of the airplane, and let me fly solo. I had even worn a special T-shirt for the last three lessons, with the hope that each time, I would get to solo.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Canada By Cub


A teenager’s 3,000 nm solo journey from the Yukon to Quebec



Canada By CubI’m the kind of guy who’s not scared to try new things. When I would fly my RC plane, I always thought how nice it would be to sit behind the controls and have freedom.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011

There And Back


Around Australia, solo in a Jabiru



There And BackI had long aspired to circumnavigate Australia, but time and opportunity had proved evasive until recently.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Puerto Rico To Provo


More than three decades later, a dream comes true



Puerto Rico To ProvoAt age 34, I added a flying trip to my dream list. It was a fly-in of 20 planes to Providenciales (nicknamed “Provo”) in the Turks and Caicos, an archipelago of nearly 49 islands and desert cays just 35 miles southeast of the Bahamas.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Where General Aviation Shines


The rewards of sharing flight with loved ones



Where General Aviation ShinesShortly after getting my pilot’s license in 1992, I took all of my family members up, one at a time, for an aerial tour of Jacksonville, Fla.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Open-Cockpit Chills


Bitter temperatures and a race against time



Open-Cockpit ChillsIt was discovered last September that my open-cockpit biplane, a Starduster Too, needed an engine overhaul.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Taking Command Of Your First Plane


The Bellanca that could not be resisted



Taking Command Of Your First PlaneIt started at Disneyland, holding my daughter Elena’s hand, when my cell phone rang.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Canyonlands By Cherokee


Learning the Utah backcountry



Canyonlands By CherokeeIn 2007 I had been going to Moab, Utah, for four years—hiking, running and sightseeing—and I was 20 years a pilot with my own Cherokee 140.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010

From Russia With Love


Soloing a Yak 50



From Russia With LoveThe Yak 50 is a single-engine, single-seat, low-wing, semi-retractable, conventional-gear aerobatic aircraft designed in 1973 by the Yakovlev Design Bureau in Russia. It’s an honest, friendly airplane—if somewhat extraordinary because of its country of origin.
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 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.