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Article: Flying Is Exercise

Until recently, I was convinced that the only exercise I get is pushing a computer mouse around between trips to the refrigerator (it’s a rule that periods of procrastination can only be...

Also labeled: Features, People and Places

Article: Known And Unknown Deficiencies

While the FAA makes the pilot responsible for determining whether or not an aircraft that he or she is about to fly is airworthy, the pilot must rely to a great extent on what others have...

Article: The Fascinating North Atlantic

Each summer for the last half-dozen or so, I’ve had the privilege of flying the North Atlantic with one or two clients. Last summer, I made two such round trips, the first in a Turbo Arrow to...

Article: A Chance Meeting

There I was, climbing through 5,500 feet in southeastern Texas, when I had a close encounter with a Boeing 747 named Air Force One. It was closer than I would have liked, anyway. ...

Also labeled: Features, People and Places

Article: Gréyjà Vu

Wow! I just returned from the airport where I had to cancel a hop because the clouds were down around 700 feet and ...

Article: Devastating Details

One consequence of the nation’s economic downturn and the accompanying slump in general aviation was that some...

Article: Sporting Performances

Speed! It’s the reason that many of us fly. For most pilots, faster is better. I raced stock cars as a kid, ...

Also labeled: Features, People and Places

Article: “Plane Talk” From Machado

I’ve been privileged to call Rod Machado a friend for the last 20 years. We first worked together during the launch of ...

Also labeled: Features, People and Places

Article: Useless Aviation

Useless aviation. Now, there’s a term you seldom hear. It popped up in an e-mail that was addressed to me last week. The writer, a longtime pilot himself, was explaining that because I’ve chr...

Also labeled: Features, People and Places

Article: Serendipitous Encounters

We were in the pattern and just in the process of turning downwind from crosswind when the tower said, “Eight-papa-bravo, you’re number two to a Liberator that will be crossing over the airport to...

Also labeled: Features, People and Places

Article: The Silent Killer

Against the background of an aging fleet of general-aviation, piston-powered airplanes, the NTSB suggested that it’s time for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to take a closer look at e...

Article: Recovering From The EAA AirVenture

We had just returned from Oshkosh, Wis., late last night, which is another way of saying that today, I’m going to be nearly useless. There are lots of things to be done, but I d...

Article: Learning From A Heavy-Iron Accident

A Boeing 727 is different from the airplanes that most of us fly. Nevertheless, there are some things that we can learn from the NTSB’s recently completed report on an accident involving a FedEx c...

Article: No Offense

Exactly what part of the brain controls our egos, anyway? Since I’m not a shrink and simply apply what I’ve seen over a lifetime, I’d have to say that the part that controls our aviation ego is also...

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Article: Fear Of Flying

Am I the only person in the aviation world who has ever gone through, and still goes through, periods of apprehension when it comes to flying? I can even go so far as to say that I’m maybe even a...

Also labeled: Features, People and Places

Article: So Many Types, So Little Time

One of the perks of this job is the chance to fly a wide variety of airplanes. My hours and ratings aren’t anything special, but I’m happy that I’ve been allowed to fly a little of everything at one...

Also labeled: Features, People and Places

Article: Smarter Than A Tow Bar?

What’s the tennis ball for?” asked one of my students. Almost every one of them ask the same old question. I answered, “That’s one of the IQ tests that came with my hangar. You can’t be issued a...

Also labeled: Features, People and Places

Article: Young Geniuses

The other night, at the urging of a friend, Marlene and I did something we rarely do: We went to see a band play at a local watering hole (I would have said “dive,” but didn’t feel it...

Also labeled: Features, People and Places

Article: A Needle In A Haystack

Sometime in 2009, the COSPAS-SARSAT satellite system will no longer be receiving distress signals on today’s common distress frequencies, 121.5 MHz and 243.0 MHz. Instead, the satellites will...

Article: First Flight

As one who is sometimes asked to speak before pilot groups, I was struck by a column written by fellow editor, retired airline captain and general-aviation bon vivant Dave Gwinn in the...

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Article: Time Flies

As I’m typing this, my little red airplane is in the hos-pital for a 100-hour inspec-tion that is going to cost nearly 1⁄5 of what the air-plane is valued new. Every time the phone rings, it’s anoth...

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Article: Fill ’Er Up

Running out of fuel and crashing is something you might expect from an inexperienced private pilot, but not from a crew of professional pilots or even experienced pilots. Yet that was exactly...

Article: For The Birds

As far back as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by birds. I remember sitting on the beach during family vacations to Venice, Fla., as a kid of seven through 13, entranced by pelicans in o...

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Article: Fences

Yesterday evening, a friend and I were flying across the desert a few miles south of Phoenix, when my fellow pilot asked, “Hey, wanna look at the horses?” A wing dropped, and I found mys...

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Article: Safety In Numbers

This past March, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released preliminary accident statistics for 2004. The numbers show a welcome overall safety trend for general aviation (GA),...

Article: Wing Dings

It’s a problem most of us with metal airplanes face at one time or another—dings, those small dents that seem to go hand in hand with owning an aluminum flying machine. Unless you own a...

Also labeled: Maintenance, People and Places

Article: The Derelicts

I’ve mentioned them before—those long-dead, thoroughly baked carcasses I taxi past each day that at some time in the past, were airplanes. Now they’re aeronautically shaped mounds of...

Article: Turbulent Times

A few weeks ago, New York was experiencing an extended period of rainy weather, accompanied by what seemed like constant low overcasts, reduced visibility and winds that were...

Article: Remembering Curtis Pitts

I had just parked in front of my insurance agent’s office and was cursing myself for forgetting to bring the premium check when it hit me. It was as if someone way down at the end o...

Also labeled: Features, People and Places

Article: Weather-Avoidance Assistance

While the primary duty of controllers is to separate and direct traffic, they also have a duty to help pilots avoid weather hazards. The FAA’s handbook for controllers requires them to issue pertinent information on observed and reported weather, p...