A Flight I'll Never Forget
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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, April 6, 2010
Thar She Blows!
Spotting whales in the Saint Lawrence
Nonpilots often ask me why I spend a good portion of my hard-earned income on flying.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Flying relief supplies to those in need
It 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
Growing up in Puerto Rico in the 1950s, I lived at the top of the Hotel Columbus.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
A special day for a special kid
Why 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
As 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
People 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
A visit to the annual Lock Haven fly-in
Some 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...
I 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.
The 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
In 2007, my team, Aerophile Air Racing, returned from a very difficult trip to the Reno Air Races.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Stick Time In An F-4 Sim
Taming the Phantom
As a twenty something, I figured that the only chance I would ever have of getting into an F-4 Phantom cockpit would involve a successful run for Congress, followed by finagling a seat on the Armed Services Committee.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
An extra-special vacation
As a dating couple, Brian and I often had to be very creative about finding time to spend together since I’m an airline first officer and Brian is the operations coordinator for Team Oracle. In July 2007, we were happily anticipating a week off that we were going to spend with our dear friends (and fellow Cub enthusiasts) J.R. and Paige Bisset.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
We Fly the F-22 Raptor
Here’s what it’s like to fly the world’s most sophisticated fighter – sort of.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Logging Time In The World’s Largest Airliner
Left seat in an Airbus 380
I’m sitting in the pilot’s seat of an Airbus A380 surrounded by 10 flat-panel displays and more switches than I can describe. It’s the world’s largest airliner, and its size is staggering.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
53 Years Later
Pitfalls over the Rockies
I’m 77 and hold a commercial pilot license and an instrument rating. I’ve filled four logbooks. As a child, I made balsa-wood and tissue-paper airplanes. As a teen, I made gas U-Control model airplanes, and I used to ride my bike to the airport regularly. During the Korean War, I served in the Air Force. All in all, I guess that I’m an aviation enthusiast.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Pleasure, Pain & Southern Hospitality
An unforgettable weekend
Skylane 250CW, cleared to land, runway two seven.” Those words marked the start of my anniversary weekend in historic Savannah, Ga. The VFR flight to Savannah from Lawrenceville, Ga., on the morning of August 1, 2008, was smooth and uneventful, as was my first-time arrival into Savannah International Airport. Plane parked and rental car obtained, my wife and I headed off to the resort.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Entering A New Era
My first use of advanced avionics in the backcountry
finfIt was one of those cool fall mornings with low, scudding clouds. The kind where you keep blowing on cold, damp hands while loading the airplane and glancing occasionally at the leaden skies, the north country’s harbinger of imminent seasonal change.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Citizen Near Miss
An encounter with the past and the future
Pilots have a lot in common. They’re detail-oriented. They like direct routing and a good deal. But, most of all, they love adventure and the chance to go somewhere that few have gone before, especially in an airplane. I’ve often stared at the circled “R” on my charts and wondered what it takes to land at those special places. Such was the excitement I felt when I was invited to land at the Hearst Piedra Blanca Rancho airstrip in San Simeon, Calif.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
The Stearman That Changed Me
A 70-year-old airplane teaches that flying is a gift to be savored
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Speed Is Life
The Mooney Acclaim asserts a new record!
Flying is a compromise. You can have cheap, and you can have fun, but you won’t necessarily travel fast. You can have fast, for sure, but it will not be cheap, and fun depends on your definition of the word. Several new single-engine airplanes are as fast as turboprops, but the question remains: Can an everyday Joe use that speed, say, on a typical business trip, and have fun in the process.
Saturday, September 1, 2007
Bitten By The Viper
This One Goes To 11
This is my “Maverick” moment, so I better not make good on that call sign I was given a few years ago. I’m cinched tightly into the rear seat of an F-16 behind Major Stephen “Chak” Pinchak of the 421st Fighter Squadron, and my heart is racing. I’ve just armed my ejection seat, so I’m sitting on a live rocket, in a jet plane, and we’re about to blast off—literally.
Sunday, July 1, 2007
Refueling The Tacos
The Stratotanker Visits Davis-Monthan
From the cockpit jump seat of a 1954 Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker, our clunky, creaky roll on takeoff seems a stark contrast to the day’s activities at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tuscon, Ariz. After what feels like an eternity on an endless runway, we slowly lift off, leaving behind an incredible assortment of U.S. Air Force fighter jets, including F-15 Eagles, F-16 Falcons, F-4 Phantoms, A-10 Warthogs and two F-22 Raptors, on the ramp below.