Blog

Going Direct: 25 Oshkosh Airshows

Oshkosh

This is my 25th Oshkosh airshow event. By EAA standards, 25 isn’t a big number. I’m a relative newbie, in that regard. There are people wandering the show with jackets stitched with patches dating back to before I was born. Oh, to have been able to see all that they’ve seen. Oshkosh is aviation history more »

Going Direct: Is Changing Everything Enough?

Like everyone who has been around general aviation for a while, I’m a little skeptical when I hear news of positive regulatory change in the offing. Perhaps I should be a little optimistic from time to time, though. Even if we do face challenges in GA, and we do, I need to remind myself that more »

Going Direct: 3rd Class Medical Reform Set To Become Law

With the Senate’s overwhelming passage of the FAA Reauthorization bill—the House passed it last week—the temporary funding measure goes to the president’s desk for his signature. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law by July 15. While the bill is a broad funding measure, of greatest interest to us personal transportation pilots more »

Going Direct: I Might Have Taken My Last FAA Medical Exam

A new rule means the outdated FAA 3rd Class Medical could be a thing of the past for many of us. With the coming adoption (no jinx) of the FAA Third Class medical reform bill, I might never have to go through an FAA exam again. And I couldn’t be happier. Here’s how the timetable more »

Going Direct: How To Open Up Flying For Everyone

Going Direct: How To Open Up Flying For Everyone

There are probably some pilots who want aviation to be a small world, who’d like nothing better than to make being a pilot and owning an airplane an exclusive club. Let me be clear: We are not those people. We want flying to be open to everyone who wants to fly. It won’t be easy more »

Going Direct: ACS—Why New FAA Testing Standards Are A Mixed Blessing For Pilots

The ACS standards that are now in effect for both knowledge and practical testing are, in theory, a great advance for the aviation community. The reality is a bit more complicated than that. It’s not easy for me to admit that there’s a downside to the change. For many years, I’ve loudly complained to anyone more »

Going Direct: What We Believe

What We Believe

The new Plane & Pilot stands for a lot of things the old brand did, including our embrace of low-and-slow and alternative forms of committing aviation. Beyond that, we stand for a few more beliefs that bear comment, some of which are right in line with what P&P has always believed and shouted that fact more »

Going Direct: Why The FAA’s $500 ADS-B Rebate Plan Smells Like Fear

With little fanfare the FAA announced earlier this week that it was going to give owners of airplanes in need of ADS-B gear a $500 incentive to equip. The plan has been widely praised by aviation organizations from AEA to the ZBAA, and those organizations are encouraging everyone to spring into action and be one more »

Going Direct: Airplanes, Mentors, Sweatshops And Father’s Day

Aviation lessons, the hard way, from my father Much of what I know about flying and about airplanes comes from a small number of people I’ve worked with over the past 25 years. Some were mentors, some were friends and colleagues, and some were heroes. By far, the most important of all was my father, more »

Going Direct: Enough Already—What Does The ICON Mess Really Mean?

The story of a startup airplane maker is an arc. Here’s what ICON’s might mean. The one name that everyone says when they talk about ICON Aircraft and its controversial A5 LSA amphibian program and that no one ever puts in print is this: “Eclipse.” Unless you’ve been lost in the Amazon for the past more »

Going Direct: Is The Solar Impulse A Waste Of Energy?

Is The Solar Impulse A Waste Of Energy?

Solar Impulse 2 landed the other day at Moffett Field, in Mountain View, California, on the doorstep of Silicon Valley. It was a fitting intermediate destination for a grand project that sought to prove that solar power was a fitting energy source for airplanes. In many ways, it has achieved the exact opposite. I know more »

Going Direct: Senate Passes Pilot’s Bill Of Rights II, And Then Some

Going Direct: Senate Passes Pilot’s Bill Of Rights II, And Then Some

It’s edge-of-our seats time in Congress, as legislation on several key aviation proposals makes its way toward the President’s desk for his signature. The Pilot’s Bill of Rights still needs to be reconciled between House and Senate versions, and the resulting bill might contain the very good news of medication certification reform and the very more »

Going Direct: What Is Congress Thinking In New Drone Bill Madness?

Going Direct: What Is Congress Thinking In New Drone Bill Madness?

When just about every aviation group in the country rises almost as one to denounce a pending bill, it’s got to be bad, right? Right. Everybody and their mother is standing up and shouting for Congress to come to its senses. The problem is a rider to the FAA Authorization Bill that would give power more »

Going Direct: Welcome To The New Plane & Pilot

With this issue, we proudly unveil the new Plane & Pilot, a magazine and a brand committed to exploring the universe of all that matters to us pilots. Regardless of whether your flying is for recreation, for personal transportation, for business travel or for your day job, we’re on it, presenting stories, photos, opinion, technique more »

Going Direct: FAA Okays Retrofit Of Non-Certified Avionics In Certified Airplanes

Going Direct: FAA Okays Retrofit Of Non-Certified Avionics In Certified Airplanes

The FAA on Wednesday took the historic step in advancing the cause of safety in light GA and in adding immeasurably to the value of the used fleet by okaying an avionics solution that’s unlike any in the history of the agency. The news? On Wednesday, the EAA, which spearheaded the campaign, announced that the more »

Going Direct: Here’s An Idea: Drop-In Replacement Diesels

drop-in replacement diesels

I know there’s a need for a new fuel for piston engines, because there remains a need for piston engines. This will probably always be the case, but it’s an accident of history that it is. The development of four-stroke gasoline engines came, not coincidentally, in tandem with the rise of the airplane. It’s not more »