Never Again

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Never Again

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2006

At about 7 a.m., on March 15, 2004, two passengers and I went to the airport to launch on an IFR flight from Texas to Kansas. When we arrived, my 1998 Beechcraft A36 Bonanza was sitting in front of the FBO, with the main and tip tanks topped off the previous night.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2006

I was halfway there, delivering a Cirrus SR20 to its new owner, cross-country from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, all the way to Boston. I had just completed a planned stop in rural southwest Chicago, where the aircraft was subject to a pre-buy inspection.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2006

Sometimes my wife wonders why I spend so much time hanging around the airport, even on days when I am not scheduled to fly. To me, hangar flying is an important part of staying current.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2006

In early April 2003, I flew a Cessna 182 from Omaha to Nashville, a trip I had made several dozen times before. Prior to departure, I had gleaned from The Weather Channel that rain or snow was expected to move across my route in a few days.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2006

I had obtained my private certificate when I was 17 but had taken a hiatus from aviation to complete college. I entered the Air Force through the ROTC scholarship program and was stationed in Biloxi, Mississippi, for technical training.

Never Again

Article | Dec 01, 2005

The truth is, I had caught "go fever," maybe the most deadly disease a pilot can be infected with. I was in Hawaii with my wife, Karen, at the end of one of her long business trips.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2005

I was returning to Columbus, Georgia, from a Thanksgiving trip to Asheville, North Carolina, with my wife and 9-year-old daughter. The Cessna 172 that I rented from a flight school was a strictly VFR machine and rather beat up from heavy flight training.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2005

I had just bought my airplane, a Piper Cherokee 180. My private ticket was still two months in the future and my logbook shows that I had about 32 hours' total time.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2005

It was my airplane, my sweat oozing between my fingers on the yoke, and I was officially pilot in command. But the folly of allowing someone else — someone with a completely different view of mortality — to influence my decisions became glaringly obvious.

Never Again

Article | Aug 01, 2005

No pilot needs to be reminded that flying can be a dangerous and costly endeavor if common sense isn't part of his or her makeup. I fell victim to just such a flaw during my early piloting days.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2005

A textbook definition of spatial disorientation is "sensory confusion, sometimes accompanied by a dizzy, whirling sensation." On one memorable flight, I was given an object lesson in spatial disorientation. The Chicago-area flying club I belonged to had a number of aircraft that included a Grumman Tiger.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2005

Dave and I have known each other for almost 35 years. We had begun an annual college fraternity reunion and golf outing at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and the year this story took place we would celebrate in Pinehurst, North Carolina.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2005

Barring extenuating circumstances, an airplane should never run out of fuel. Still, I've had employers and passengers get upset with me because I either topped off the tanks, delaying the departure, or stopped en route, delaying the arrival.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2005

As I pulled the propeller blade down, a cylinder fired and sent the propeller spinning. It happened in a split second and nothing seemed wrong until the engine fired.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2005

The sky was bluer in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, that spring Sunday morning than I could remember. Forecasts for our destination of Tri-Cities, Tennessee, for broken-to-overcast ceilings did not seem possible.

Never Again

News release | Feb 01, 2005

My brother and I woke up excited in our slope-side suite at Mammoth Mountain, California, ready for another day of epic skiing. The trip had gone well so far.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2005

After being involved in several different businesses, my last 24 years of working before retirement were spent in aviation, operating an FBO at the Hillsboro, Oregon, airport (now Portland-Hillsboro). When not overseeing employees and attending to other aspects of the business, my most enjoyable experience was selling new and used airplanes.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2004

"Stay out of the ice." This blanket advice has been handed down from instructor to student for as long as pilots have been flying in the clouds. The key to avoiding ice is a proper weather briefing, especially one that includes pilot reports, freezing levels, and cloud layers.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2004

I departed South Texas in my Cessna 177 Cardinal with a passenger in the right seat to return to Houston after a hunting trip. This airplane is well equipped for IFR with a standby vacuum pump, an alternate static source, and a Garmin GNS 430 GPS/nav/com.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2004

That morning began as most Saturdays did, with the weekly routine of flying with my longtime partner. While preparing to leave the house for Montgomery Field in San Diego, my eyes were drawn to the television screen showing the contrails of space shuttle Columbia disintegrating as it passed over clear Texas skies.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2004

Mooney Four-One-Seven-Five-Sierra, cleared to Denver. Climb and maintain 13,000 feet." I repeated the clearance back to the flight service station with my most professional voice before I taxied onto the runway.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2004

We departed Paine Field in Everett, Washington, around noon on a warm Saturday, my fiancée Suzanne and I in a 1967 Cessna Skyhawk. Winds were light from the south with scattered cumulus along the west side of the Cascades as we climbed eastbound to 7,500 feet.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2004

Although I had been flying twins for the past 22 years, I found myself flying less, so I decided to throttle back a bit and spend some time getting to know a 1981 Cessna 182 Skylane. I was pretty safe, and determined to keep it that way.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2004

The last time I had a fighter on my wing was during the Cold War, and I was the leader of a two-ship formation. As a pilot with the 146th Fighter Squadron assigned to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) I was combat-qualified in the F-102, a single-seat delta-wing supersonic fighter-interceptor, and most of our missions involved practice intercepts designed to keep us sharp in the face of the constant threat of Soviet bombers.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2004

It was the kind of perfect spring day that pilots love, and I was no exception. I was on my way to the grocery store, with my baby in her infant seat and the dog along for a ride.