Vintage Aircraft

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Easy Flyer

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2012

With its rounded lines and roly-poly looks, the Ercoupe looks like it would be right at home with a smiley face painted on its nose. And why not? The Ercoupe is one of the simplest, easiest, safest, and most fun airplanes you could want. It's also among the least expensive to buy and fly on the used market today and, despite its age, has a robust parts and owner support network.

Stricken P-51 lands with help from a legend: Bob Hoover

Article | Feb 29, 2012

Circling above Mobile, Ala., on Feb. 26 with the left main landing gear of the vintage P-51 stuck halfway down, pilot Chuck Gardner calmly worked the procedures. When that failed to produce the desired result, a little advice from fellow aviators - including 90-year-old aviation legend Bob Hoover - proved helpful.

Graves: FAA bill protects GA

Advocacy | Feb 07, 2012

Keeping user fees out of the new FAA reauthorization bill was a "big win" for general aviation--but vigilance and education efforts must continue, said Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), the House GA Caucus co-chairman and member of the conference committee that produced the final bill.

Classically quick

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2012

Since its beginnings, the Mooney name has been synonymous with speed. Pilots like to go fast, and Mooney marketing knew that--and has played up the speed credentials for practically every airplane to ever come out of the Kerrville, Texas, factory. But today is a different day.

Fly-Outs: Big Bear City Airport

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2012

Big Bear City Airport (L35) is the gateway to year-round activities. Located in a wide valley ringed by the peaks of the San Bernardino Mountains, Big Bear City Airport is a hop, skip, and a long climb away from the Los Angeles Basin and its surroundings.

Controlling traffic during LSA show 'an adrenaline rush'

Article | Jan 25, 2012

FAA Operations Manager Boyd Martin said working the air traffic control tower at the Sebring U.S. Sport Aviation Expo is a thrill, comparing it to "an adrenaline rush," similar to what skydivers or bungee jumpers feel when they take the plunge.

Challenges: River dance

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2011

Let's all tip our caps to aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss, who was one of the first to brainstorm the possibility of marrying a boat to an airplane. Curtiss attached pontoons to a biplane and managed to get airborne in 1911, and pilots have enjoyed both the utility and the fun of being able to land and take off on water ever since.


Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2011

"Above New York" is the best piece of writing on the vibrant and historic New York City rotorcraft scene I have read (September 2011 AOPA Pilot). Julie Summers Walker captured, in a remarkably brief piece, the range and diversity of helicopter operations in the city: the heliports, the bread-and-butter air tours, and corporate operations that contribute so much to New York financially and culturally, the Eastern Region Helicopter Council that serves so well in relations with residents and politicians, even a nod to the utility and wildlife operations most New Yorkers never see.

Fly-Outs: Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2011

Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in New York's Hudson River Valley redefines the word "old." Or should we say "really old"? For in 2011, a World War II vintage aircraft, at more than 60 years old, is old, but a World War I aircraft? That's really old. And not only are these aircraft really old, but they are performing, active flying machines from a time when aviation was in its infancy.

Dogfight: Experimental versus Standard

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2011

Editor at Large Tom Horne and Senior Editor Dave Hirschman have a lot of things in common: lots of ratings, lots of experience in lots of airplane models - and lots of opinions (and similar haircuts). We last turned them loose on the topic of running the tank dry on occasion and the response to two different schools of thought garnered some of our most interesting musings from a large number of readers. So with a "Dogfight" this month regarding lean vs. rich of peak, we hope you'll enjoy these two takes on a topic - and let us know what you think, too.

Ride in a 'Tin Goose'

Article | Sep 01, 2011

EAA's 1929 Ford Tri-Motor 4-AT-E has had careers as a barnstormer, aerial applicator, and fire fighter. At next year's EAA AirVenture, it will take the winning bidder in the AOPA Foundation's A Night for Flight auction - and eight friends - for the ride of a life.

Field of dreams

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2011

General aviation businesses are high-risk propositions in all seasons. But when an economic hurricane such as the recent credit crisis spawns a collapse in the housing market and a precipitous drop in general aviation manufacturing, a residential airpark near GA’s epicenter would seem doomed.

Avionics: Portables

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2011

In-cockpit weather has made the leap from being regarded as a luxury to a near-necessity for pilots flying cross-country trips. From vintage and light sport airplanes to corporate jets, it’s increasingly common for aircraft—or the pilots flying them—to carry satellite receivers and GPS displays that provide a big-picture view of the changing weather around them.

AOPA 2011 Crossover Classic Sweeps

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2011

One down, three more to go. Work packages for AOPA's 2011 Crossover Classic sweepstakes Cessna 182, that is. Those of you who've followed our sweepstakes restoration projects in the past know how these very substantial projects progress through four basic stages: engine and propeller; avionics; interior; and paint.

Hangar Talk

Article | Oct 01, 2010

Flying in a hot air balloon is something Technical Editor Mike Collins has done several times over the years, but he’d never participated in anything on the scale of a mass ascension at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (“The Air Up There,”). “There are balloons in every direction.

Pride of WWII

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2010

Distraught by the attack on Pearl Harbor and a series of defeats in the Pacific, America desperately needed a victory during the early months of World War II to bolster morale at home and give a shot in the arm to U.S. armed forces struggling to contain Japan’s drive across the Pacific.

Fly-Outs: July

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2010

It's July and summer is in full swing. What a great time to celebrate your freedom to fly.


Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2010

The airplane has been parked on the sweltering ramp since 10:45 this morning. The shades I tucked between the front windshield and dash are blocking the worst of the sun’s blistering rays, but even so that cabin will be turkey-roasting hot when I pop the door open in about an hour.

Wonderful Wacos

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2010

--> The first glimmer of dawn is beginning to lighten the eastern horizon as I lower myself into the Waco YMF-5D at W.K. Kellogg Airport in western Michigan.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2010

The first day you fly your new airplane is a day you will never forget. At 43 years old, I decided to fulfill a lifelong dream and learn to fly.

Fly-Outs: June

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2010

Calling all dads! June is the month to celebrate your dad and what better way to honor the old man than with an aviation event, cross-country, or road trip? From the unusual to the sublime—if you have a pilot in your midst, you can go just about anywhere with your father. Enjoy dad this month at one of these events or check our online calendar for other ideas.

Tin Goose

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2010

Personal letters arriving in the U.S. mail are so rare these days that when one arrives it’s guaranteed to draw my attention.

Member Guide

Article | Oct 01, 2009

Answers for Pilots: Logbooks Logbooks mean many things to pilots—sentimental diaries of cherished time in the sky; reminders of people from years past who shared the cockpit with us; fond memories of aircraft we flew and destinations we enjoyed; journals of lessons learned. Logbooks, of course, also have a practical use, which includes keeping a record of time and training toward currency, and to demonstrate eligibility for additional certificates and ratings.

Hangar Talk

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2009

Editor at Large Tom Horne got a taste of the test-pilot life when he went to Diamond’s Canadian factory to fly the company’s new D-JET (“Turbine Pilot: Dawn of the D-JET”). Because the airplane is in the pre-production prototype stage, only a few test pilots had been flying it as of early August 2009—when Horne made the voyage.