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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, 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.
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 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 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, December 15, 2009

Danny’s Dream


A special day for a special kid



Danny’s DreamWhy would any kid want to do that?” That was the social worker’s response to my offer to take any child flying for free—that is, any child who was a patient at the local cancer center for children.
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, 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.
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.
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, 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, 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.