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Cross-Country Flying Stories

Cross-country flying stories from Bill Cox offer fantastic insight into what pilots face on long distance flights. Dig into our X-Country Log today.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

There’s Something About Mountains


Far from menacing monsters, mountains can be your best friends



There’s Something About MountainsThe Pan-American Highway threads its way steeply uphill out of Santiago, Chile, climbing into the rarified air of South America's high Andes.
Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Flying Alone


For some, flying alone is the only way, and for others...



Flying AloneLike most new pilots, I began my career renting airplanes and flying with as many friends as I could to mitigate the cost.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Fine Art Of Crashing


The how and why of crashing a 727 for science



The Fine Art Of CrashingLike any aircraft owner, I take every opportunity to fly my Mooney rather than the airlines on any semi-short trip.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fly Cheap (Or At Least Cheaper)


It’s getting tougher to fly cheap, but there are still a few tricks you can use to reduce the cost



Fly Cheap (Or At Least Cheaper)I have a friend who owns a 36 Bonanza, and though his airplane has always been a dozen or so knots faster than my LoPresti Mooney, he's consistently envied my airplane's lower fuel burn.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Flying Above Mars


You think we have it tough flying here on Earth? Consider the problems of aviating above Mars.



Flying Above MarsLike most pilots, I've been a major fan of the space program since long before there was one.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Engine Reliability


General-aviation piston engines are simpler and more reliable than other power plants...most of the time



Engine ReliabilityMany of us have had this happen at one time or another.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Turbines vs. Pistons


A turbine may be more logical than you imagine



Turbines vs. PistonsA friend stopped by my hangar a while back on a rainy Saturday with an interesting question.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Improving On A Good Thing


The venerable Cessna P210N enjoys a welcome improvement



Improving On A Good ThingJust as airplanes such as the straight-tail Beech Bonanza and Piper Super Cub have become pre-eminent in their respective classes, the Cessna 210 has enjoyed a similar reputation as an aviation icon.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Race For Ratings


It’s important to remember that flying should be fun. New ratings help make it so.



The Race For RatingsOne of the most common questions I get has to do with the most unusual aircraft I've flown.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Flying The World’s Biggest Single-Engine Biplane


An open letter to all who have asked, “What’s the weirdest airplane you’ve flown?”



Flying The World’s Biggest Single-Engine BiplaneOne of the most common questions I get has to do with the most unusual aircraft I've flown.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Murphy’s Laws Of Aviation


Why what you learned in flight school may be open to question



Murphy’s Laws Of AviationI'm constantly amazed that the constants of aviation usually aren't.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Autopilots Equal Safety


It may seem counterintuitive for macho pilots, but an autopilot will nearly always do a better job than you will



Autopilots Equal SafetyOne of the most common questions I get about flying the oceans is, "How do you stay awake on a 10- to 15-hour leg?" My standard answer is, "Consider the alternative."
Monday, December 5, 2011

The Nature Of Clouds


They can be challenging, fun, entertaining and, occasionally, deadly



The Nature Of CloudsIn my part of the sky—at least, the part I watch most often—we don't see many clouds.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Coast-To-Coast Javelin


You don’t need to travel overseas to see some of the world’s best flying venues



Coast-To-Coast JavelinPressurization is something like power windows. Once you've lived with it for a while, you wonder how you ever got along without it.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Thrill Of Solo


Do you remember your first solo flight?



The Thrill Of SoloI'd like to say I remember my first solo experience as if it happened only yesterday, but in truth, yesterday was a long time ago, and the memory isn't that vivid.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Value Of Corporate Time


It has to do with misinformation, not politics



The Value Of Corporate TimeBack in November 2008, when the CEOs of Chrysler, Ford and General Motors flew to Washington to ask for a government bailout, congressmen made much of the fact that the executives had all used corporate jets for the trip.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Should We Rely On GPS?


Is GPS too good to be true?



Should We Rely On GPS?Ido some post-maintenance test flying for a Cessna 300/400 shop in Long Beach, and a month or so back, I got a call to fly a 421 just coming out of an annual inspection.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Low Level By Columbia


When is it necessary to ad lib, and when is it just plain dumb?



Low Level By ColumbiaWhat had begun as a simple, 4,500 nm, late-winter ferry flight in a capable airplane had deteriorated to an ignominious retreat.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011

When Not To Go


Contrary to popular belief, ferry pilots aren’t brave. Bravery is being the only one who knows you’re afraid.



When Not To GoThere's a sign-in guestbook in the pilot's lounge at Avitat in Bangor, Maine, that contains the names and missions of most of the international ferry pilots who have come through here in the last 30 years.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011

There’s No Such Thing As Tailwinds


Why is it that we always only remember headwinds?



There’s No Such Thing As TailwindsI know what some of you may be thinking. Bill Cox has finally gone off his rocker.