Turbine

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Twin turboprop for the masses

Article | Nov 01, 2011

Given that it's been decades since we did a pilot report on the Piper Cheyenne, you might be surprised to learn that I am such a fan of the model, especially the II XL. From a value standpoint, it's hard to beat a Cheyenne - fast, comfortable, and capable.

200 feet, lights in sight

Article | Nov 01, 2011

"Approach lights in sight, continue" is a callout heard during every two-pilot jet simulator session, yet generally unfamiliar to pilots transitioning from piston aircraft. Why? The reliability and capability of jet aircraft are so great that they are often flown into weather conditions a pilot wouldn't take a piston aircraft. Very low visibility conditions are one such example.

Consolidation of knowledge

Article | Nov 01, 2011

There are a number of witty phrases used among pilots to refer to the often-intense nature of turbine aircraft training courses. "Drinking from a fire hose" is particularly descriptive, as anyone who's ever taken an accelerated type-rating course can attest. Earning a type rating is no small achievement for any pilot, from the airline veteran whose certificate is bulging with multiple type ratings to the newest light-jet pilot earning his or her first. The amount of information is often overwhelming; the pace at which it is presented can be enough to quickly drown one's self-confidence.

Where flying is 'still fun'

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2011

There are only a handful of days before the Memorial Day weekend and at the north end of Lake Washington just outside Seattle, there is a buzz of activity surrounding a group of de Havilland Beavers and Otters. The lake is more than 20 miles long and for more than 65 years its northern tip has been home to the largest floatplane operator in the country. With the unofficial start to the summer season just days away, Kenmore Air is busy preparing its fleet of floatplanes for the busiest time of the year.

Powering into the future

Article | Oct 01, 2011

Relative to older style engines, modern turbofan engines sound almost too good to be true: Higher and faster on less fuel, lower emissions, and less noise, lower weight, and longer TBO. In this case, the old adage about too good to be true doesn’t hold up.

The NeXT Beechjet

Article | Oct 01, 2011

Photograph Courtesy Nextant Photography by Mike Fizer It’s no secret that there are plenty of good used jets on the market today. Some are just plain excellent values for the owner-pilot, but others are particularly well-suited for remanufacturing and remarketing as rejuvenated airplanes.

Flying the Jumbo, Jumbo

Article | Oct 01, 2011

Illustrations by John Sauer When I was a young commercial pilot, I wanted to fly jets. Didn’t we all? A jet pilot’s life would be so easy; just flip a few switches, wait for the engines to roar to life, and take the runway.

Profile: Stuart Woods

Article | Sep 01, 2011

Stuart Woods, a best-selling mystery writer with 46 books published and more on the way, can churn out a chapter in an hour and spend the rest of the day on a restored antique boat somewhere. That "somewhere" could be in Maine, New York, or Key West, Florida. Woods found public acclaim with "Chiefs" in 1981 and stays on the New York Times bestseller list with his Stone Barrington and Holly Barker series. Like many popular authors, Woods' name appears on the cover of his books in larger type than the title. His latest book is "Bel-Air Dead." His publisher dictates mandatory nationwide book tours, but, "If I had to fly the airlines, I wouldn't do book tours," Woods said. "I like landing, backing the car up to the airplane, and we drive away. That's my idea of travel," he said.

Swapping avgas for Jet-A

Article | Sep 01, 2011

Strapping a fire-breathing turboprop engine on your average piston single confirms that one man’s toy is another man’s tool. To some, such a swap seems like a questionable use of resources.