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Article: For The Birds

I’ve been an accidental student of ornithology for as long as I’ve been alive—and that’s a long time.

Article: Pilot In Command

Being a professional aerobatic and race pilot for the past several years has given me the opportunity to meet many civilian, military, helicopter, fixed-wing, professional and recreational pilots.

Article: The Last Time

Number One’s three-blade prop begins to turn-cough-turn. The engine whines, whines, then belches out clots of smoke as the big Wright Cyclone thunders to life. Joe Colmer, 93, feels the rumble through the metal seat.

Article: Advanced-Degree Autopilot

We familiarly call them “George” or “Otto.” But Avidyne’s DFC90 autopilot makes a strong case for being called “Doctor” George or “Professor” Otto.

Article: Open-Cockpit Chills

It was discovered last September that my open-cockpit biplane, a Starduster Too, needed an engine overhaul.

Article: Hazards Of Extreme Flying

Ensuring that there’s a safety margin in everything we do is fundamental to aviation accident avoidance.

Article: Light-Sport Chronicles: The Time Traveller

Writing for a major aviation publication like Plane & Pilot feels sometimes like being a time traveller.

Article: Aviation Without A Soundtrack?

The other day, I got yet another nastygram. This one from an individual who had read somewhere that my airplane has no mufflers.

Also labeled: Columns, Pilot Talk

Article: A New Lease On Flying

He hasn’t been out of GA for very long, but as far as the developments he’s missed, nothing comes close to the strides made in avionics over the last few years.

Article: From The Editor: No Go-Around

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.

Article: Artificial Speed

It’s probably the most common question I hear at air shows and conventions such as Sun ’n Fun, AirVenture, AOPA, NBAA and Reno.

Article: The Heavy Glider

I’m one fortunate aviator. My professional career has coincided with the 30-year flight history of the Space Shuttle program.

Article: November 2010 Readback

The Pacific Prowler, a Texas-based nonprofit organization, is looking for GA pilots who can fly the group’s North American B-25 Mitchell bomber and a C-47 Gooney. Top Stories

Article: ElectriFly 2010

In 2007, a quintessential “garage inventor” named Randall Fishman showed up out of nowhere at Oshkosh AirVenture with an electric-powered ultralight—and quietly turned the aviation world on its ear.

Article: Taking Command Of Your First Plane

It started at Disneyland, holding my daughter Elena’s hand, when my cell phone rang.

Article: Buyer Beware

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. ...

Article: Light-Sport Chronicles: Little Airports

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.

Article: Our First Airplane

I was recently posed with a seemingly simple question: What was your first airplane?

Also labeled: Columns, Pilot Talk

Article: October 2010 Readback

The Bahamas has changed its rules to allow U.S.-based sport pilots to operate in its airspace. Top Stories ...

Article: From The Editor: Make Your Own Runway

I’ve always admired—and envied—bush pilots.

Article: Memories Of The Swift

Okay, right up front, in an attempt to stop short any angry letters from Swift owners, I loved my little Swift.

Article: The Power Of Electric Flight

What’s the next big leap in aviation? I think about this stuff all the time.

Article: 11 Best New Products

The heart and soul of civilization, if you buy the exhaustively researched conclusions in Matt Ridley’s top-selling book The Rational Optimist, has been trade between the world’s people, from the very beginnings of humankind’s first yearning to...

Article: Buying Your First Airplane

Buying your first airplane is exciting and confusing, all at once.

Article: Canyonlands By Cherokee

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.

Article: Great Places Not To Have An Accident

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.

Article: Light-Sport Chronicles: Staying The Course

Recently, a gentleman e-mailed me who had invested a ways back in an LSA company, not because he expected to become the next Piper, Flight Design, Rans or Legend Cub, but because, in his own words, "I just love airplanes." A lifelong...

Article: From The Editor: The Athlete Pilot

“Athlete” isn’t a word that’s often equated with pilots, but Red Bull Air Race pilots are athletes in every way.

Article: 20 New iPad Apps!

The iPad is slick, dazzling and infinitely upgradeable, with over 100,000 applications in Apple’s App Store.

Article: The Good Old Boys Club...NOT!

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?

Also labeled: Columns, Pilot Talk