People and Places
Ensuring that there’s a safety margin in everything we do is fundamental to aviation accident avoidance.
Writing for a major aviation publication like Plane & Pilot feels sometimes like being a time traveller.
It has been a long day on a long cross-country flight. The weather forecasts have not been very accurate—you’re reminded of a quote from an anonymous wag: "Weather forecasts are horoscopes with numbers."
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.
I always seem to be in the wrong time warp. I was born too late to fly fighters in WWII and too late for the space 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.
It seems we all have a story, some event in our lives that brought us into the aviation trade.
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.
After earning my private pilot’s license in Alaska in 1980, I wasn’t sure what was next. I loved to fly.
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.
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...
“Athlete” isn’t a word that’s often equated with pilots, but Red Bull Air Race pilots are athletes in every way.
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. ...
My first flight lessons might have been different than yours, but as with all pilots, those early experiences are still tattooed in my mind. ...
If you’re serious about flying, at some point your dreams have wandered to airparks.
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...
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. ...
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’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...