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Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2007

Here's how you fly the Vomit Comet: At 30,000 feet dive until the modified McDonnell Douglas DC-9 (C-9) hits 350 knots, pull the nose up 60 degrees — that's 1.8 Gs — until you reach 240 knots, then unload. Repeat 40 times and call it a day.


Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2007

Summer Williams is what you might call a triple threat: She's a NASA engineer, she's logged 19 years as a dancer and cheerleader, and, as you can probably discern from her appearing on this page, she's also a private pilot. She took her first flight as a 10-year-old native of tiny Anthony, Kansas, on a commercial airliner.

President's Position

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2007

Phil Boyer has served as AOPA's president since January 1, 1991. In her continuing quest to "sell" the agency's financing proposal, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey recently stated, "You know, GPS is the law of the land in virtually every other business and logistic situation that we have.

Answers for Pilots

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2006

Using the NASA form on your behalf Knowing you may have committed a regulatory violation is perhaps one of the worst feelings a pilot can have. Second only to the feeling of an accident, violations can range from the benign to the downright unsafe.

40 Top Technologies

Article | Aug 01, 2006

Direct to the cockpit In the early days of U.S. space programs, skeptics doubted the practical value of any new discoveries.

Spin Masters

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2006

A hawk soars off the shelf of green — the last bench of the Cumberland Plateau before the forest gives way to farmland, and to the stretch of Tennessee below. On this shelf sits the town of Sewanee, home to the University of the South, and the Franklin County Airport, home to William Kershner.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2006

NASA sets challenge for top GA aircraft If money is what really makes airplanes fly, NASA is ready to write some checks to pioneering general aviation pilots. As part of the broader NASA Centennial Challenges program, the agency is prepared to kick off the aeronautical component called the Personal Air Vehicle Challenge.

Capturing Sunlight

Article | Dec 01, 2005

"Feel that? I'll bet that's the trop." "Yeah, that's probably it." Bill Rieke, chief of aircraft operations at NASA's Glenn Research Center, is hand-flying a Learjet 25 from the right seat and Kurt Blankenship, the center's senior pilot and safety officer, is flying left seat as we pass through 37,000 feet about 50 miles east of Detroit. We're flying a solar-cell-calibration mission to collect data on the cells' performance.

Out of This World

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2005

Behind every great achievement is a support team that makes the incredibly difficult (and sometimes seemingly impossible) a reality. Such has always been the case with NASA's manned space program.

Hangar Talk

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2005

ADS-B (automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast) may well be one of the best-kept secrets in aviation. Few pilots seem to have heard of what seems destined to become one of the most significant new datalink technologies in general aviation cockpits.

Test Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2005

GENERAL What unique method did Japan and other countries use during the 1930s (before the advent of radar) to detect approaching enemy aircraft? According to the Aeronautical Information Manual, what is the most likely way for a pilot to inadvertently induce whiteout conditions? From reader Mark Barchenko: What does a modern U.S. naval destroyer have in common with a McDonnell Douglas DC-10? NASA's hypersonic X-43A, an unmanned research airplane, is powered by an air-breathing scramjet and flew at almost Mach 10 (10 times the speed of sound) on November 16, 2004.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2005

John S. Yodice and his associates provide legal counsel to AOPA's more than 400,000 members.

President's Position

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2005

AOPA President Phil Boyer and his wife own a 1977 Cessna 172. Most of us in aviation have become familiar with the NASA-FAA-Industry partnership called SATS, the Small Aircraft Transportation System.

Welcome to Moontown

Article | May 01, 2005

The red Alabama clay is packed hard into a surface solid enough for lawn bowling — at just shy of 2,200 feet long this grass strip makes an excellent partner whether you're flying an old Piper Cub or an old Mooney. Whether you're as light as a Quicksilver or Blanik, or as heavy as a "Big Annie" Antonov AN-2, slip down below the ridgeline to the west, get down to just a few feet over the hayfield on short final, flare just past the runway end lights — this is a 24-hour operation — and roll onto the smooth grass.

Flights of Fancy

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2005

Aviation has never been an industry to stand still. For years, new designs, ideas, and innovations were tested, scrapped, modified, or put into use, all in the interest of enhancing the general safety record of airplanes.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2004

Aerobatic air racing comes to Reno Top aerobatic pilots now have a new playing field. In its U.S.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2004

Bohannon to try for altitude record in fall Record-holder Bruce Bohannon plans this fall to flog his Exxon Flyin' Tiger to the altitude record he sought at Oshkosh when mechanical problems literally let him down, but not before reaching 45,500 feet. His goal was 50,100 feet.


Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2004

Joe F. Edwards' former business card bore one word after his name, Astronaut.

Never Again Online: Dangerous space

Article | Jun 01, 2004

I could have seen the whites of the copilot's eyes — if he hadn't been wearing sunglasses. Standing on the left rudder and heaving the Cessna 172RG Cutlass nearly to knife edge, I aimed for the tail of the Shorts Sherpa.


Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2004

Capt. Joe Kittinger didn't consider himself a skydiver and he certainly wasn't a paratrooper.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2003

11-pound airplane flies Atlantic Ocean Accomplishing the task required a dozen people with an impressive combination of aeronautical engineering talent and software-writing skills, but in the end it was a piece of luck that assured success. Maynard Hill, 77, finally has achieved his twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth world records using a model airplane: Both records came in August with the successful flight of an 11-pound airplane carrying 5.5 pounds of Coleman lantern fuel that traveled from Newfoundland to Ireland, a distance of 1,900 statute miles.

Test Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2003

GENERAL My head was struck by a propeller, and I was so far gone that last rites were delivered at the hospital. I survived and later set (and still hold) an around-the-world speed record (westbound) as well as a nonstop, unrefueled distance record in a lightplane.

Wx Watch: Ice Flight

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2003

It's 5 a.m. Mountain time, and National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) meteorologist Frank McDonough is on the telephone at his Boulder, Colorado, office.

Test Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2003

GENERAL From reader B.F. "Froggy" Worden: Why does a placard on the instrument panel of some Luscombe 8As recommend that the pilot apply carburetor heat for takeoff and initial climb even when there is absolutely no chance of carburetor ice? John F.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2003

NASA to close Virginia crashworthiness facility A key part of the NASA Aviation Safety Program that was in midstride on several important crashworthiness programs will be closed at the end of September as a budget-cutting measure. The crashworthiness center established baseline data for both metal and composite aircraft, and was used to test Piper, Cessna, Cirrus, and Lancair aircraft, and the Beech Starship.

California Flying

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2003

California City is located in the High Desert of Kern County, California. Also called the Antelope Valley, the area is the last of the five Los Angeles-area counties still available for growth.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2003

The AOPA Sweepstakes Waco UPF-7 made its long-awaited first flight on December 3 at Owatonna, Minnesota. The 1940 open-cockpit biplane, used in the Civilian Pilot Training Program to train World War II pilots on Long Island, New York, was restored by Rare Aircraft.

Wx Watch: Ice Advice

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2003

In the past two issues, "Wx Watch" has delved into two aspects of the general aviation icing problem. In the November issue (see "Icing on the Internet," p.

Pilot Products

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2002

Sporty's SP-200 nav/com A handheld transceiver usually rates as one of the must-have items in a pilot's flight bag, right up there with a headset, a flashlight, a lucky charm, and a dog-eared NASA ASRS form. While the lure of unhurried flight in a pre-1950, fabric-covered taildragger rose-tinges our daydreams, today's reality means that even in that time-travel aircraft it's a good idea to have an aerial walkie-talkie to keep you out of hot water.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2002

NASA pushes the inflatable envelope From solar-powered flying machines to pop-out inflatable wings, NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center had an active year in 2001. And the center's projects didn't go unrecognized.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2001

Rocket man Rutan blasts off Most pilots worry about running out of avgas. How about liquid oxygen? Welcome to the so-called dawn of civilian rocket-powered aviation.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2001

Mooney officials stay the course during bankruptcy Officials at Mooney Aircraft remain optimistic that a buyer will soon emerge to purchase the company out of bankruptcy. The Kerrville, Texas, manufacturer filed for bankruptcy protection in July.


Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2001

Editor in Chief Thomas B. Haines has been covering the general aviation industry for 15 years.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2001

Modern pilots lack right stuff for Wright Flyer The original Wright Flyer was a handful, wind-tunnel tests have shown. A group of California engineers constructed a replica of the first powered aircraft and tested it last spring in a NASA Ames Research Center wind tunnel.

Skyway Patrol

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2000

Opportunities for viewing a space shuttle launch from your airplane have improved, thanks to an increasing frequency of flights to support the International Space Station. Flights are scheduled at the rate of one a month through the end of 2000, and will increase from an average of four or five flights a year to eight in 2001.

Future Flight: Horsepower of a Different Color

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2000

Part 8 of 12 Prompted by the promise that leaded aviation fuel will be going the way of the dodo bird and by NASA-funded development of new-technology general aviation engines, no fewer than five companies are currently working on diesel engines for the light aircraft of tomorrow. In addition, two companies have lightweight, fuel-efficient turbine powerplants in development.

The Buzz About Haptics

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2000

Kristy Stokke's long blond hair floats haphazardly and her feet slowly slide above her head. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology senior is struggling to conduct an experiment in zero-G conditions.

Turbine Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2000

A new pair of very light jets could stand convention on its ear Here in the twilight of the first century of flight, we humans think we have this transportation thing down pretty well. Sprinting through the skies at speeds of 300 to 500 mph in modern, glistening airliners, we smugly relax in climate-controlled comfort while munching on caviar and watching the latest movies….

Wx Watch: Blow Those Boots

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 1999

"One hundred and twenty miles an hour! Only a few minutes before we were cruising at one hundred seventy ... We must not lose any more ...

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 1999

The Aviation Safety Reporting Program, which has been around for almost 25 years, is a good one for pilots. It provides protection from the loss of a pilot's certificate.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 1999

Cockpit of the future being created by consortium Seven U.S. general aviation companies have been selected by NASA to create a futuristic cockpit display system dubbed "highway in the sky" (HITS) that will replace current "steam-gauge"-type instrumentation.

No Go-Around

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 1999

Like the moon floating serenely across the sky, a spacecraft in Earth orbit is in a constant struggle to escape gravity and streak boundlessly toward outer space. It is an exquisite blend of forces that allows an orbiting projectile to free-fall toward our planet at exactly the same rate at which the Earth's curvature falls away.

AOPA Access

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 1998

As aviators, we learn the rules, practice emergency procedures, and promise ourselves on a stack of Federal Aviation Regulations that we will always do what is right. But we all make mistakes — possibly even within earshot of the FAA — and wish we had a Monopoly-like "Get Out of Jail Free" card.

Wake Turbulence: Should You Worry?

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 1998

The student pilot was making a routine approach in light wind conditions. A Boeing 757 had just landed on the parallel runway when, according to witnesses, the Cessna 152 rolled inverted and was hurled to the ground.


Pilot Magazine | May 01, 1998

Cross-country reflections We just read Stephen Coonts' article "Reflections on a Cross-Country" (March Pilot) and wanted to tell you that we have experienced the same feelings while flying at night across the country. Flying at night is truly special, as Coonts' wife said, because it seems to bring out a sense of awareness of being and intimacy.


Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 1998

Deep within a closet in my house there's a cardboard tube containing a rolled-up poster of Ohio Senator John Glenn. The good senator himself signed it in bold script.

Launching Columbia

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 1997

That Lancair's first production-aircraft effort shares names with one of NASA's space shuttles is appropriate in a lot of ways. Just as launching one of our orbiters takes a large and dedicated crew — one that will not tire at the inevitable and myriad setbacks — Lancair's staff must not grow weary of the multitude of seemingly make-work steps in the certification process.

Shuttle Training Aircraft

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 1997

The Gulfstream II in the shadow of the shuttle Twenty years ago a primer-green Grumman Gulfstream II business jet left the factory in Savannah, Georgia, and flew to the Grumman plant at Bethpage, on New York's Long Island, to be transformed into an important tool for our nation's space program. This aircraft and three others that would follow were destined to fly missions very different from the glamorous task of chauffeuring captains of industry to business or pleasure centers around the world.