The other day, I got yet another nastygram. This one from an individual who had read somewhere that my airplane has no mufflers.
When the space shuttle reenters the earth’s atmosphere, it becomes nothing more than a huge glider—with a pretty awful glide ratio—and the shuttle commander gets just one chance to land.
It’s probably the most common question I hear at air shows and conventions such as Sun ’n Fun, AirVenture, AOPA, NBAA and Reno.
I’m one fortunate aviator. My professional career has coincided with the 30-year flight history of the Space Shuttle program.
It started at Disneyland, holding my daughter Elena’s hand, when my cell phone rang.
You might think that FAA airworthiness, inspection and record-keeping requirements virtually guarantee that any airplane you buy is going to be in superb condition. ...
Behold the home of the $100 hamburger, the remnants of a life gone by, when linen-covered, nitrate-doped biplanes landed in potato fields and took small-town kids for rides on balmy summer days.
I was recently posed with a seemingly simple question: What was your first airplane?
I’ve always admired—and envied—bush pilots.
Okay, right up front, in an attempt to stop short any angry letters from Swift owners, I loved my little Swift.
What’s the next big leap in aviation? I think about this stuff all the time.
In 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.
One of the truly wondrous things about general aviation is the ease with which you can reach vacation sites that would be a hassle via road, ferry or airline transportation.
At first glance there’s not much to the new Anywhere Map Quadra, but therein lies its considerable charm.
When you’re flying over rough terrain or desolate areas, you tend to have certain thoughts.
“Athlete” isn’t a word that’s often equated with pilots, but Red Bull Air Race pilots are athletes in every way.
Do you remember when life was slow enough that we used to sit around in front of the hangar, the sun making us feel like reptiles soaking up the warmth, before bundling ourselves into our respective flying machines to go test fate?
I was flying home to California from Florida in my Mooney Executive a few years ago following what amounted to a medium makeover of the airplane’s aerodynamic drag signature.
Early in September of 1977, a fellow Alaska registered guide asked me to fly some avgas to a hunting camp he operated on the west side of the Alaska Range. ...
June gloom is here—a time for low ceilings and low visibility due to fog and mist. June...
The 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...
While the NTSB’s preliminary statistics show that the number of general aviation accidents dropped again last year, as did the number of people killed, the estimated number of hours flown also dropped, resulting in a slight increase in both the o...
A few weeks ago, I came within a second or two of a head-on mid-air collision. A few weeks ago, I came within a second or two of a head-on...
First Titanic, then Avatar. Now the Horsemen. Renowned composer James Horner has taken his musical talents from Hollywood’s big screen to the world of aviation.
I don’t normally rant. But this might be an exception. Or at least I’ll clamber onto my ever-present soapbox to make a point.
I’m one of those apparently strange folks who believe that flying is an easy skill to learn. No, that’s not because I do it so well.
Aviation and flying have been an important part of my life for as long as I can remember. Aviation and flying have been an...
Fifty years ago, I stood at the edge of space and jumped. This year, Felix Baumgartner of Austria plans to make a jump from the edge of space, but from a height that’s 20,000 feet higher—an altitude from which no human has ever successfully completed a...
It was a beautiful spring day, and I was a newly minted CFI full of confidence and enthusiasm.
Individuals who have passed their FAA written exams and practical tests don’t necessarily have the knowledge and skills to become trustworthy pilots. ...