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Article: Lessons Learned Part 2

After earning my private pilot’s license in Alaska in 1980, I wasn’t sure what was next. I loved to fly.

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...

Also labeled: Features, Journeys, LSAs, Pilot Talk

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.

Also labeled: Columns, Features, Pilot Talk

Article: Redline!

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.

Article: Really Low On Fuel

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. ...

Article: Lessons Learned Part 1

My first flight lessons might have been different than yours, but as with all pilots, those early experiences are still tattooed in my mind. ...

Article: Airpark Living: Waking Up To Your Dream

If you’re serious about flying, at some point your dreams have wandered to airparks.

Article: From Russia With Love

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...

Article: The Light-Sport Safety Record

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...

Article: Splash In

For two days each September, the shores and skies of the quaint Central California town of Lakeport are taken over by the Clear Lake Splash-In. ...

Article: Light-Sport Chronicles: Profiles In Vision: Boris Popov

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...

Article: From The Editor: Music To Fly By

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.

Also labeled: Columns, Features, Pilot Talk

Article: Zen & The Art Of Airplane Flying

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.

Article: Sharing The Passion

Aviation and flying have been an important part of my life for as long as I can remember. Aviation and flying have been an...

Article: Mustang Mystique

As I lower myself into the rear cockpit, I pinch myself. No, I’m not dreaming. I really am in a WWII P-51D Mustang, about to ride with the Horsemen, the world’s only P-51 aerobatic team, known for their hyperprecise formation aerobatics.

Article: An Aviator’s Best Friend

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...

Article: A Pure Form Of Flying

It was a beautiful spring day, and I was a newly minted CFI full of confidence and enthusiasm.

Article: Monitoring What’s Going On

Individuals who have passed their FAA written exams and practical tests don’t necessarily have the knowledge and skills to become trustworthy pilots. ...

Article: Water, Wind & Floats

Be prepared to have fun,” Frances Brown told me. That was one of those phrases I had heard before with little payoff.

Article: From The Editor: Contrails & Cubs, Gear & Gators

The last time we visited with John and Martha King, they were flying the new Cessna Skycatcher for a series of light-sport instructional DVDs. Recently, we caught up with them in something on the other end of the speed spectrum—their Dassault Falcon 1...

Article: Of Baby Girls & Aeroplanes­

Does your mind ever wander, unable to think about any one thing in particular? Instead, your thoughts are unfocused, and your mind is mentally channel-surfing, leafing through memories, lingering for a few seconds and then flipping to a new memory, a...

Also labeled: Columns, Features, Journeys, Pilot Talk

Article: Memories Of Alaska

Once or twice each summer, I slip into the right seat of an airplane and help a pilot fly to an exotic destination, most often across the Atlantic from North America to Europe.

Article: Light-Sport Chronicles: Gold Stars & Black Stars

About a year ago, I asked Mike Adams, Avemco Insurance Company’s VP of underwriting, to use his crystal ball (FAA and Avemco accident and claim statistics) to divine trends in LSA flying.

Article: Analyzing Pilot Performance

NTSB investigators were able to assemble plenty of data to reconstruct what happened on board the Colgan Air Bombardier DHC-8-400 that crashed at Clarence Center, N.Y., on February 12, 2009.

Article: From The Editor: Choose Your Own Adventure

I loved Choose Your Own Adventure “gamebooks” when I was young.

Also labeled: Features, Pilot Talk

Article: Light-Sport Chronicles: Reading The Tea Leaves

Partway through the year, as the economy continues to show signs of recovery, I wanted to look down the road and ask someone who keeps a keen eye on the LSA industry if there were significant trends to track for the rest of 2010.

Article: Plastic Pilot License

My new plastic pilot license showed up in the mail the other day, and this is what I think: I don’t like it.

Also labeled: Columns, Features, Journeys, Pilot Talk

Article: Cowboys & Angels

As we approach from the north, over the deep lapis Caribbean Sea that surrounds a crescent shore, Haiti suddenly appears. At 4:53 p.m.