License to Learn

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License to Learn: Slow town

Pilot Magazine | Sep 29, 2015

“After aligning the airplane with the runway centerline, the final flap setting should be completed; in the absence of the manufacturer’s recommended airspeed, a speed equal to 1.3 VS0 should be used.”

License to Learn: I'm a fan

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2015

My experience suggests that students who join flying clubs are more likely to complete their training compared to attending traditional flight schools.

License to Learn

Pilot Magazine | Aug 06, 2015

Responding to angle-of-attack warnings

The pilot shortage

Pilot Magazine | Jul 06, 2015

When a humorist is asked about the looming pilot shortage, he proposes booster seats to solve the problem.

License to Learn: High anxiety

Pilot Magazine | Jun 03, 2015

These were mistakes stemming from the natural decline in skill that results from a pilot’s failure to train regularly.

License to Learn: Be a good tracker

Pilot Magazine | May 06, 2015

The fact is that this method of tracking is challenging for some people because it involves thinking in terms of angles.

Topics VOR, Navigation

License To Learn

Pilot Magazine | Apr 03, 2015

Here’s a good lesson that every pilot should learn: When something out of the ordinary happens in an airplane, think before you act.

Fewer feathers

Pilot Magazine | Mar 09, 2015

My hangar once housed a Bonanza A36. That was followed by a Cessna P210. Now a Cessna 150 nestles there.

Topics Gear

Drones aren’t new

Pilot Magazine | Feb 03, 2015

Shh! Don’t tell anyone, but drones aren’t new.

The wrong question

Pilot Magazine | Jan 08, 2015

Kahneman posits that our mind is organized into a fast-thinking (intuitive, reflexive) part and a slower-thinking (logical or “think it over”) part.

License to Learn: The right thing to do

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2014

Recently, my wife summoned me to our patio deck and pointed to puffs of smoke rising from the roof of a condominium complex below us.

AOPA’s regional fly-ins

Pilot Magazine | Nov 07, 2014

If you didn’t have the pleasure of attending an AOPA regional fly-in in 2014, then you’re in for a real treat when you do next year.

Topics Fly in, Events

The examiner

Pilot Magazine | Oct 02, 2014

We should all have a deep respect for designated pilot examiners (DPE), especially when you consider the unofficial job description for their line of work.

License to Learn: Somebody pinch me

Pilot Magazine | Sep 04, 2014

It’s called an Ercoupe. Built by Fred Weick and first manufactured in 1939, the two-place coupe was so revolutionary that even birds tweeted about it.

License to Learn: Media mania

Article | Aug 05, 2014

My approval/disapproval relationship (mostly disapproval) with the news-entertainment industry began in 1978, when a TV news anchor described how a collision occurred between a Boeing 727 and a Cessna 172 over San Diego.

License to Learn: Anxiety be gone!

Pilot Magazine | Jul 31, 2014

Several years ago, a fellow pilot, whom I’ll call Norm, confessed to an anxiety he developed about flying his airplane.

License to Learn: Attention grabber

Pilot Magazine | Jun 04, 2014

There was no mental drift when I sat down to take the Air Safety Institute’s online eFIRC (Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic) a few months ago.

License to Learn: The four C-note lesson

Pilot Magazine | May 12, 2014

A friend recently took his first flight lesson at a Midwest flight school and paid $400 for 1.2 hours of dual instruction. Shocked?

License to Learn: What’s in a date?

Pilot Magazine | Apr 04, 2014

AOPA has been nothing less than a caped crusader protecting the liberty of everyone who flies.

License to Learn: Managing our agreements

Pilot Magazine | Mar 06, 2014

Many years ago,I saw half a house moving down the street on a flatbed truck.

License to Learn: Aviation poetry

Pilot Magazine | Feb 12, 2014

Novelist Arnold Bennett once wrote, “I myself have seen it empty buildings that had been full; and I know that it will scatter a crowd more quickly than a hose-pipe, hornets, or the rumour of plague.

License to Learn: Submarine knowledge

Pilot Magazine | Dec 19, 2013

The best lessons I’ve ever learned about the mental game of flying an airplane didn’t come from studying books on aviation psychology. Instead, they came from reading history.

License to Learn: Confirmation bias

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2013

Have you ever flown with someone who agreed with every decision you made, even the ones that played out badly? I’m speaking of someone who kept saying yes to your every muse.

License to learn: Two minds—if you don’t mind

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2013

My father told me, “Never to go to bed without having a really good question on your mind.” I told him I’d think about it.

License to Learn: Having a clue or two

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2013

If you know what to look for, there’s something deeply satisfying about watching a runway’s geometry grow proportionally in your windscreen.

License to Learn: Ties the bind us

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2013

We actually do quite well at training people to make good decisions regarding their safety. People in industries ranging from commercial aviation to the nuclear industry have made impressive improvements in their safety record over the years.

License to Learn: Turbulence—yuck!

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2013

I don’t like clear air turbulence, and my passengers like it even less. It’s one of those things that saps the fun from flying, because it affects the neural nooks that are the primitive levels of our biology. It’s unlikely that you or your passengers will learn to like turbulence, but by understanding and sharing with your passengers what it can and can’t do to your mind and airplane, you can make turbulence tolerable.

License to Learn: The backseat

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2013

In the early 1980s I was offered a trip by airplane to a speaking engagement by a fellow named Pete, who had hired me to speak. He had just purchased a Comanche 250. Given my assumption of riding right seat, I eagerly accepted.

License to Learn: Aviation photography

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2013

I don't understand contemporary art. Neither did a night janitor working the London's Eyestorm Gallery in November 2001.

License to learn: The dark night rises

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2013

I remember the time I spent an entire day at a nearby airport filming video segments for an online aviation magazine. It was the perfect confluence of airplanes, sunlight, and even more sunlight.

License to learn: Bang for your buck

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2013

Four lessons from steep turns

License to learn: Ice follies

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2013

Some interesting cockpit applications

License to learn: Steppin' in it

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2012

Everyone makes mistakes on the radio now and then.

License to learn: Free to choose

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2012

So how many is too many?

License to learn: Natural hazards

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2012

Many moons ago, on a dual flight to a rustic little airport, my student (we'll call him Bob) was about to begin his landing flare when things got a little squirrely. A squirrel popped up, periscope-like, near the VASI and then made a mad dash across the runway. Thump! The squirrel had failed to hide his hide.

License to learn

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2012

I knew my article in the April 2012 issue of AOPA Pilot ("License to Learn: In Defense of Stick-and-Rudder Training") was a hot topic, but I didn’t know how sizzling it was until the letters rolled in. Every letter I received--except one--supported emphasizing stick-and-rudder basics during primary flight training.

License to learn

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2012

Our story begins in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on a sunny spring morning. The pilot of a Beech Baron prepared to depart on a cargo flight at 9:30 a.m. After starting his engines, he did something each of us does on most flights. He reached for his radio switch and turned it on. This time, however, his right wing exploded. Kaboom!

License to learn

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2012

Everyone believes in a myth at one time or another. This is especially true for those convinced that the world will expire on December 21, 2012, because the Mayan calendar abruptly ends on that date.

License to learn

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2012

It happened in the early 1990s. That was the time we saw the diminishing influence of World War II-era flight instructors (and their instructional progeny). Our pilots didn't fly jets, they flew airplanes that demanded exceptional stick-and-rudder skills.

License to learn

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2012

I remember sitting on a runway with a flight review student, years ago, waiting for a takeoff clearance. The crosswind was exceptionally gusty

License to learn

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2012

I remember sitting on a runway with a flight review student, years ago, waiting for a takeoff clearance. The crosswind was exceptionally gusty

License to learn

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2012

Reasonable people can disagree about how to fly an instrument approach, with both sides of the argument having some merit. This applies to a discussion I had with an experienced instrument flight instructor about how to descend to the minimum descent altitude (MDA) on a nonprecision instrument approach. We disagreed over two approaches to approaches. The constant airspeed technique (my recommendation) has a pilot making a descent to the MDA, leveling off, and flying to the missed approach point (MAP). If the pilot has the required visibility and identifiable runway environment, he descends and lands, but only after reaching the visual descent point (VDP).

License to learn

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2011

An FAA-designated pilot examiner once told me about the most anxious private pilot candidate he ever experienced on a checkride. Aside from sweating and mumbling during the oral exam (the applicant, not the examiner), the ultimate demonstration of in-flight nerves began when the examiner requested a steep turn.

Predict the future for pleasure

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2011

Aviation is an enterprise whose front end is loaded with warnings, caveats, regulation, and a dizzying supply of do's and don'ts (mostly don'ts). Not even a Houdini can escape this saturation of safety information. Don't get me wrong. Safety information is good, but too much good can be bad.

License to Learn

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2011

Electric airplanes, synthetic vision, and iPad accessories these things, abundant at this year's EAA AirVenture.