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 »

Going Direct: The Madman All Pilots Should Thank

If you’re a GA flyer like me, you owe a lot to this guy, who’s got your back when it comes to the FAA. There’s one person in aviation who’s responsible for a lot of great things happening for almost every GA pilot in the United States, regardless of what you fly, where you fly more »

Going Direct: Wait A Minute: What Won The Collier Award?

The prestigious award has had some odd twists and turns lately. This year included. Chances are that you won’t really care much who the winner of the prestigious 2015 Collier Trophy is, because the award, presented each year for an achievement in aeronautics or aviation was once again for a space program, in this case more »

Going Direct: Zombie Bill: ATC Privatization Not Really Dead Yet

Will gridlock save the world’s best ATC system from the worst intentions of Washington? A few days ago, the threat of the federal government privatizing the nation’s air traffic control system seemed dead, at least for this year. Last week the proposal, which would have funded the FAA for the next year while introducing a more »

Going Direct: A Word On The New Plane & Pilot

Why the “Pilot” part of the title means everything to us As the big re-launching of this title approaches, I’d like to ensure our loyal readers that the essential nature of Plane & Pilot will not be changing. We have always been a brand that focuses on the flying experience, as seen from the left more »

Going Direct: 5 Reasons That ATC Privatization Is Bad . . . And Unethical

The proposed giveaway by Congress to the airlines is unprecedented and bad news on all counts. Here are five reasons to demand action. Proof that getting Congress to write aviation regulations is a twin-edged sword is the latest FAA reauthorization bill, the Aviation Innovation, Reform and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act (H.R. 4411), making its slithering way more »

Going Direct: Privatize ATC? And Other Colossally Bad Ideas.

The FAA reauthorization bill rises to absurd heights of legislative overreach When the house committee responsible for coming up with the legislation that would once again reauthorize the FAA (as though we don’t know in advance that we’re going to be needing it again in a few years?), it came back with a massive, 275-page more »

Going Direct: Coming in May: Plane & Pilot Announces Big News

Details on major changes coming soon In two months, with the May cover date, we’ll be launching the new Plane & Pilot. In that premier issue, just about everything about the magazine will have changed, while, somewhat paradoxically, all the important things will remain the same. The new magazine will feature award-winning authors, illustrators, and more »

Going Direct: The Soul Of LSA Shines At Sebring

What a whacky, wonderful collection of light planes teaches us about regulations and economics After a down year in 2015, this year’s edition of the Sport Aviation Expo is looking strong. Held in the aviation friendly Central Florida town of Sebring, famous for its winding Grand Prix race track (which was very noticeably in use more »

Going Direct: Star Wars Was Apparently Made By And For Pilots

At the risk of spoiling the fun for you, I’m about to talk about the latest Star Wars film, The Force Awakens, as well as another less well known film about flying. In case you’ve been off scavenging star cruiser parts on Jakku for the past few weeks, let me warn you now that I’m more »