Sometimes the things in life that give us joy take work. Bring it on.
Subscribe today to Plane & Pilot magazine for industry news, reviews and much more! Like most pilots, my first few lessons in pursuit of a Private Pilot Certificate were memorable. I wish I could report that this was because of the exhilaration of sailing into the wild blue yonder or cavorting among the clouds. With apologies more »
The challenge to pilots of airplanes that fly the mid-teens and low-twenties is to know when climbing high is avoiding risk and when it’s just making it worse.
Subscribe today to Plane & Pilot magazine for industry news, reviews and much more! “I’ll just climb over the weather,” a friend of mine tells me when planning a departure in his Piper Navajo. “But what if the weather is higher than you can climb?” I answer. It seems to be a valid question to me. more »
In a time of record-high prices for factory-fresh airplanes, the new vs. used discussion is more pertinent than ever
Subscribe today to Plane & Pilot magazine for industry news, reviews and much more! As a semi-long-term senior editor of this magazine, I’m often asked about the benefits of buying a new aircraft over purchasing a used machine and versa vici. I’m well aware that a majority of readers might automatically vote for the less-costly option. After more »
Sign up for our newsletter, featuring the latest news for aviation enthusiasts and pilots! A recurring theme from the NTSB and others over the years has been that pilots should never hesitate to declare an emergency, seek all available help and take positive corrective action. The Safety Board, in a departure from its habit of more »
Cessna 172 Skyhawk 2 Uninjured Ravenna, Ohio The flight instructor reported that, during an instructional flight, while on short final, he told the student pilot to “pitch down” to maintain airspeed. He added that the student did not respond and that he again instructed the student to “pitch down now” while simultaneously pressing forward on more »
Is there such a thing as “The Step?” And if so, what the heck is it?
The Question Is “The Step” just a myth? Or is there really something to it? The Backstory The subject of aerodynamics is a slippery one, with any one effect having many plausible-sounding explanations. One of the most vexing aerodynamic theories is the one that claims that certain airplanes can achieve faster cruise speeds when they more »
Check out these cool facts about the smallest things in aviation!
FAA minimum pilot height requirement: None Air Force pilot minimum height: 64 inches standing (5’4”) Shortest fixed-wing takeoff/landing: Bobby Breeden, 44 ft total Smallest multi-engine plane: Colomban Cri-Cri, 13 ft long, 16-ft wingspan Smallest single: Stits DS-1 Baby Bird, 6-ft wingspan, length 11 ft Smallest successful single (biplane): Stits SA-2A Baby Bird, 10 ft long, more »
Since getting hooked on flying in 1948 during my first airplane ride (in an Aeronca Champ), I have heard over and over again that you’re not a “real pilot” until you have flown a tailwheel airplane. Hearing this and similar statements, mostly coming from old-timer taildragger pilots, and understanding the truth that getting your tailwheel more »
Every two years, Certified Flight and Instrument Instructors have to renew their rating in one of three ways—by taking an online refresher course, attending a weekend ground school or taking a check ride with their favorite Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE). I’ve always kept my CFI up to date, but when I started making aerobatics my more »
Getting a commercial flight turned around isn’t an easy task
As a young Civil Air Patrol cadet, I struggled with the timing of calling drill commands while marching. Calling, “To the rear, march,” on the wrong foot, as I often did, resulted in a bunch of heavy sighs and some sharp criticism from cadets with more stripes on their lapels than the two on mine. more »
We pilots pride ourselves in sticking to our guns. Perhaps to a fault.
Birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas and wily pilots do it. We do it in the daytime and at nighttime, but the problem is, most of us resent doing it. We start out intending to go one place, and find ourselves faced with the decision to divert. The DC-8 was on approach more »
Maybe none of your outside issues or life complications are your fault. You know what? That doesn’t stop them from being your problem. Here’s why you’ve got to just deal with it.
Flying is challenging. When I was younger and just starting out as a pilot, I wasn’t a very confident person and was an even less confident pilot. Today, even after I’ve gotten a few new ratings and logged a lot more time, I still face many uncertainties as a pilot. (Don’t we all? If you more »
The crash of a 206 shows the importance of knowing your engine...and your emergency checklists
If you fly behind one or two turbocharged engines, you’ll be especially interested in what happened to a Cessna T206H that was taking off from Essex County Airport (KCDW) in Caldwell, New Jersey, on August 15, 2015. And, yes, there’s value here for those who count on having normal performance from normally aspirated engines, too. more »
Instrument pilots have a thing for regulatory minutia. An information morsel you’ll often hear repeated is “being able to descend to 100 feet AGL when you can see only the approach lights.” That’s too bad, because it belittles a beautiful piece of information design by turning it into a gouge for aviation trivia night. It’s more »
Some things you probably knew, and perhaps some you didn’t, about the development and implementation of GPS
I was just over 1,000 miles south of Honolulu on the second leg of a four-leg ferry flight from Santa Barbara to Subic Bay, Philippines, when all three GPSs failed. The Cessna 421’s panel mount system and both of my portables stopped working at the same time. My lat/long position froze in place, and nothing was more »
Can we ever hope to solve the mystery of what happened to Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan?
The Mystery What was the real fate of pioneering pilot Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, who disappeared on July 2, 1937, before reaching their Pacific Island destination on an attempted circumnavigation of the earth? The Backstory The mystery of what happened to Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan when their flight disappeared over the more »
Check out these cool facts about the biggest things in aviation!
Tallest height allowable for USAF pilots: 6’7” Heaviest powered paraglider pilot: 440 pounds Highest max takeoff weight: Antonov AN-225, 1.3 million pounds Greatest payload: AN-225, approximately 560,000 pounds Max takeoff weight, Boeing 787: about 502,000 pounds (no, it won’t fit inside the AN-225) Largest piston engine: Lycoming XR-7755, 36 cylinders, 7,750 cubic inches, dry weight, more »
Sometimes the bucket list items get checked off early on
Lockheed Burbank had the Skunk Works, a shop known for the rather secretive production of spectacular flying machines. West Georgia Regional Airport was home to The Possum Works, a hangar held by a couple of old-timers who were always playing with the fun stuff. Between the three of them, they owned a Stinson Gullwing, a more »