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More Pilot Talk

Want more pilot stories? Our More Pilot Talk section is full of informative and entertaining flying tales from accomplished pilot authors.

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

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, 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

From The Editor: When You Least Expect It




editorYou never know when your skills might be put to the test. For Doug White, who recently had to land a King Air when his pilot suffered a sudden and fatal medical problem, it was a matter of life and death.
Thursday, June 11, 2009

2009 National CFI of the Year


Improving the learning process



2009 National CFI of the YearRecently, a VFR pilot flying a Cessna 172 departed after dark in VMC and flew into IMC. Shortly after takeoff, the pilot reported an electrical failure to ATC, but continued into a thickening blanket of fog.
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.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009

From The Editor: “Student Pilot, First Solo”




editorEveryone remembers their first solo flight. And so when I heard, “Student pilot, first solo,” transmitted on the radio a few days ago at Van Nuys Airport, it brought me back to that chilly March morning when my instructor Liz DeStaffany hopped out of N2447B and I taxied the Cessna 172 to Santa Monica Airport’s runway 21.
Friday, May 1, 2009

Smoke On!


Pushing my Edge to the edge over the Danube



Smoke On!It’s hot in this race plane…even at 1,000 feet…or is it just me? My mouth is dry and my heart is racing as I watch the competitor before me twisting his way through the track.
Friday, May 1, 2009

Plane & Pilot In A Pilot's Story




Filmed in hangars and homes, at restaurants and on ramps, A Pilot's Story is an upcoming documentary from Wilco Films that tells the story of flight in the words of pilots themselves.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009

CSI Insurance: Excogitations On LSA Crashes, Part Deux


A discussion about LSA insurance rates



csi insuranceLast month, Mike Adams, vice president of underwriting for Avemco Insurance (www.avemco.com), shared fascinating insights drawn from Avemco’s LSA claims data. Avemco’s conclusion: Incomplete dealer transition training for new S-LSA owners was the biggest contributor to accident claims. Avemco responded by requiring new owners to complete five hours dual and a flight review sign-off from a dealer rep to qualify for solo coverage.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009

They’re Here, Now What?




now whatEclipse. Cessna. Embraer. Three different companies with three different certified very light jets (VLJs). The latter, with its newly certified Phenom 100, currently holds the crown as the biggest, fastest and most expensive of the certified VLJs to date. Cessna’s Mustang holds the distinguished position of the tried and tested “sure thing” built by a company that understands owner-pilots better than anyone.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009

From The Editor: Low & Slow




from the editorYou’d normally find her looping and rolling at 250 mph in front of thousands of spectators at the industry’s biggest air shows, but this month, aerobatic champ Patty Wagstaff takes us on a different kind of adventure, low and slow above elephants, rhinos and cheetahs in the remote wilderness of Kenya.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Protecting Kenya’s National Parks


Training the Kenya Wildlife Service Airwing



Protecting Kenya’s National ParksI often wear a little leather choker with two bronze elephant tusks. I picked it up a few years ago in a Nairobi gallery called Matt Bronze, and it reminds me of the wild things that still live in Kenya.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Light-Sport Chronicles: CSI Insurance: Excogitations On LSA Crashes, Part 1


What do three years of a top LSA insurer’s data tell us about sport flight accidents?



lscTooling around the Sebring U.S. Sport Aviation Expo (check out my blog, Light-Sport Hangar Flyin’), I ran into Mike Adams, vice president of underwriting for Avemco Insurance Company (www.avemco.com). Adams was on scene to present what Avemco has learned, based on three years of data, from S-LSA accidents.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009

From the Editor: A Diamond For A Pilot’s Pilot




editorThere were more than a few cheers at this year’s U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Fla., which drew a record crowd of up to 11,500 attendees and held its own in spite of the current economic woes. With more than 165 exhibitors and sales of at least 20 airplanes, it’s evident that the LSA industry has come a long way since the sport pilot rule was created four years ago.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Personal Aviation At A Crossroads


Looking back and moving forward



Personal Aviation At A CrossroadsFive years ago, the first special light-sport aircraft (S-LSA) received its airworthiness certificate, opening up a new chapter in the regulation of simple personal flight. More than 1,000 of these factory-built aircraft and more than 8,000 former ultralights (experimental light-sport aircraft, E-LSA) are now flying under the sport pilot and LSA category.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Profiles In Vision: Tom Peghiny


The #1 LSA distributor in America climbs for the blue on how to survive “The Econogeddon”



I like employing people and making things,” Tom Peghiny, president and founder of Flight Design USA, told me on a snowy winter day last January.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009

From The Editor: From Dream To Reality


We all started at the same place: the beginning.



from the editorThere was a time when aviation seemed to be a distant world, out of my reach. I didn’t know any pilots, and as far as I knew, you had to be in the military or have millions of dollars to become one. While my classmates forged ahead on paths to become doctors and lawyers, I stumbled around, sneaking peeks at airplanes passing overhead and memorizing the aviation alphabet. But, one day, everything changed.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Gaining Your Pilot’s License


An opportunity to see the world from a different perspective



Gaining Your Pilot’s LicenseLeonardo da Vinci once said, “For once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.” There are more than 600,000 registered pilots in the United States, and each of them can relate to this quote.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Light-Sport Chronicles: Questions! So Many Questions!


The sport pilot rule is clear and easy to understand...except when it isn’t. Let’s dig a little deeper.



light sport chroniclesThe sport pilot rule under which LSA pilots fly was intended to cover a broad array of recreational vehicles and conditions, gently wrapped within a beneficent, safety-minded envelope of permissions and restrictions.
 
Tuesday, December 16, 2008

From The Editor: Milestones & New Beginnings




from the editorYou may have noticed something physically and visually different about this issue! Starting this year, Plane & Pilot will feature higher-quality paper, with a larger overall size than ever before.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008

2008 Reno Air Races


Evolution of the Jet Class



2008 Reno Air RacesIn 2001, “the year that never was,” I was part of the initial attempt to race jet airplanes in the Reno Air Races.