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Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2003

Retired airline captain Barry Schiff has logged more than 26,000 hours in 275 types of aircraft. When taildragger pilots gather at their local watering hole for post-flight imbibing, they occasionally engage in that ageless debate about whether the wheel landing is superior to the three-point, or vice versa.


Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2003

Becoming a real pilot Phil Boyer's article "You're Not a Real Pilot," appearing in the January issue of AOPA Pilot, was "déjà vu all over again" for me. Last year, after flying tricycle-gear-equipped aircraft for 25 years, I received my taildragger endorsement in a 1946 Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser.


Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2003

AOPA Pilot Editor in Chief Thomas B. Haines has landed on everything from skis to skids in his flying career.

AOPA Centennial of Flight Sweepstakes

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2003

Or how I learned to fly a taildragger Throughout my 35 years of private flying I have consistently been admonished by fellow pilots that "you're not a real pilot until you have flown a taildragger." I hate to admit it, but during my entire flying career, accumulating more than 6,500 hours, I have never logged any time in a tailwheel-equipped airplane. Don't be too quick to criticize me, since I am probably the typical private pilot who learned to fly in the past three or four decades.

Back to Basics

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2002

Fifty miles southeast of Washington, D.C., where the Patuxent River meets the Chesapeake Bay, a U.S. Navy aviation officer crosses the ramp at the Navy's Test Pilot School.

Budget Buys

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2001

A little airplane that could Born in poverty, nurtured in adversity, and forced from production by the machinations of an egocentric airline president, the Piper Clipper nevertheless persevered because it was a good, simple airplane. Spartan, small, and cheaply built, but surprisingly pleasant to fly, its backseat introduced more than a few young baby boomers to the world of flight.


Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2001

Day-tripper I really enjoyed "Budget Buys: Day-Tripper" (July Pilot) about the Piper Tomahawk. Finally, someone did an honest evaluation of this fine little airplane.

Surviving the 709 Ride

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2001

The shiny yellow Piper Cub sat up expectantly like a puppy. It was dwarfed on one side by a Stearman's huge radial and on the other by a spit-shined Beech Baron.

Budget Buys

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2001

Citabria and Decathlon pilots have more funSlick ads and new-aircraft displays entice you, but somehow, after the kids get their lunch money and the sport-ute is filled with gas, there isn't an extra $130,000 or $200,000 around for the purchase. So the goal becomes, as Bellanca-Champion Club President Robert Szego puts it, "access to the beauty of the sky" at an affordable price.

Tough Love

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2001

I have an admission to make concerning my flying, or in the recent context, my lack of flying. The fact is that an unsightly layer of dust lies upon my aeronautical skills.


Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2001

Helio Courier mystique I have loved the Helio Courier ("Helio's Macho Machines," January Pilot) since the first day I saw it, and have been fortunate to work around them and with them for about three years. The tricycle-gear Helio that Thomas A.

Wx Watch: Working the Wind

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2001

Pilots can view strong winds as either a curse or a blessing. Fifty-knot tailwinds aloft for that long cross-country flight? Great! Twenty gusting to 30 knots, blowing at 90 degrees to your destination's 2,000-foot-long, 50-foot-wide active runway? Bad, bad news.

Fairchild 22

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2001

A young airplane woos a young man Charles W. "Bill" Worman has been infatuated with aviation since he was six years old and spent much of his youth building and flying rubber band-powered model airplanes.


Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2000

Remembering our roots I just read Vince Czaplyski's article on flying Piper Cubs at Hampton Airfield in Hampton, New Hampshire ("Tailwheel Transition," July Pilot). Strong memories instantly flooded back, for I flew my Cessna Cutlass from Palo Alto, California, to Hampton Airfield a few years ago.

Sportplane Reborn

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2000

Too often in these pages we focus so much on an airplane's attributes in getting us quickly and efficiently from point A to B that we lose focus on what prompted most of us to get our pilot certificate in the first place, the fact that flying is fun. One flight in Micco's new SP20 sportplane can bring you right back to the days when you walked around with a smile on your face for several days after a flight.

Piaggio Royal Gull

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2000

The CEO of seaplanes The 1957 magazine advertisement painted an idyllic picture of the unusual and elegant Italian-built, twin-engine, and gull-winged amphibian: "Here's a working ship that's specially designed for the man who's going places. Be he an air-minded executive, aerial survey, or company pilot, he'll go 'sky-wide and handsome' in the exciting new Royal Gull." Francis Trecker, the Milwaukee machine tool magnate, was one of those "sky-minded executives." Although not a pilot himself, he was the man who brought the twin-engine, five-seat Piaggio Royal Gull pusher to the United States and built an organization to assemble, equip, market, sell, and support it.

Tailwheel Transition

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2000

Some flying lessons we learn more than once. And every so often, we don't realize what we've forgotten until its absence stares us in the face.

Lust for a Luscombe

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2000

They exist because of the determination of an affable scalawag to create and mass-produce all-metal airplanes. They have been the victims of unfairly critical accusations about their ground handling.

Grumman's Gosling

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2000

A pilot inspecting a Grumman G-44 Widgeon for the first time might think that a World War II tank manufacturer had built the airplane. The fuel caps weigh two pounds each; the landing gear assembly is so rugged that it can be extended safely at any airspeed; and the master switch is a hefty lever that, when moved through its several inches of lateral travel, goes "klunk" upon reaching its On or Off position.


Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 1999

Polished perfection You made my day when I opened my July copy of AOPA Pilot and saw the beautiful picture on the contents pages. Wow, an AT-7! I immediately thought, that has Pratt & Whitney R-985 AN-1 engines and Hamilton constant-speed propellers.

A Land Rover with Wings

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 1999

First of all, no, you can't buy a Land Rover Maule 260. This is a one-time, one-of-a-kind marketing arrangement between Land Rover North America, Inc.

Polished Perfection

Article | Jul 01, 1999

Every once in a while you see an airplane that prompts slack-jawed silence; you recognize the airplane's perfection as one of the best examples of its type. A few months ago, a Model G18 Twin Beech stopped by our airport and immediately captured the attention of all the classic airplane lovers on the field.


Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 1999

Life in the slow lane Like Stephen Coonts ("Come Fly With Me," April Pilot), I thought everyone else but myself had flown a Piper J-3. So I jumped at the chance when a friend called me and asked me if I wanted to go fly in his J-3 with him.

AOPA Access

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 1998

Every pilot is a student, whether you are a low-time student — say, with six hours under your belt, trying to learn landings — or a seasoned veteran flying the line with several dozen completed logbooks, trying to relearn landings in a Cessna 150. All good pilots are always learning and, therefore, are students.

Weekend Biplanes

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 1998

Dave Cleveland wheels his Waco UPF-7 out of the hangar and a crowd gathers. The brilliant red biplane would look at home on static display, yet Cleveland frets over a bit of oil on the belly, some dust on the cowling.