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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, 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.
Thursday, June 11, 2009

Stick Time In An F-4 Sim


Taming the Phantom



Stick Time In An F-4 SimAs 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

The Proposal


An extra-special vacation



The ProposalAs 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.



we flyI’m cruising at 40,000 feet above Nevada in America’s front-line fighter. Perched out on the pointy end, I can’t see what’s following behind, but I know it’s roughly 63 feet long and weighs as much as 64,000 pounds.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Logging Time In The World’s Largest Airliner


Left seat in an Airbus 380



Logging Time In The World’s Largest AirlinerI’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



53 Years Later 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



Pleasure, Pain & Southern Hospitality 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



Entering A New ErafinfIt 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



Citizen Near MissPilots 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



My palms were sweating as I approached the hangar. Behind locked doors sat one of the most storied airplanes in aviation: the Stearman PT-17, and I was going to fly it. I felt like I had been invited backstage to meet Elvis. I had been dreaming about this iconic airplane since I was a kid who spent Saturday afternoons staring up at the type from the weeds of my local airport.
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



viperThis 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



refueling the tacosFrom 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.
Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Cowboy Christmas


Rodeo in the American West



Champion calf roper K.C. Jones is backing his horse, a brown-and-white paint named Mornin’ Spot, into the right rear corner of what they call the box, next to the chute. He’s focused like a red-tailed hawk dive-bombing a field mouse.