Never Again

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Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2007

On a cold February morning, 57 years ago, I began a 75-mile VFR flight from Ithaca to Rochester, New York, where I had to attend a business meeting. I had rented a Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser — a three-place tailwheel airplane configured with a single pilot seat in front of two passenger seats.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2006

I am an aircraft-fueling engineer for a military and civilian fuel farm manufacturer and regularly use my Cessna P210N on business trips. This time I had arranged a three-day back-to-back schedule in the 210.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2006

Descending on final, the nose of our Cessna 152 was pointed 30 degrees to the left of the runway. Moderate turbulence bumped us from side to side.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2006

Close friends for 30 years, John and I had flown together a few times in my Beechcraft A36 Bonanza. We both had busy medical practices so we decided to fly to South Dakota to participate in a pheasant hunt rather than drive the distance and take the additional time away from work.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2006

I was attending a private college in the San Diego area working toward my instrument rating. One of my friends had just passed his private pilot checkride.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2006

I grabbed a Cessna Turbo 210 from the flight line and religiously preflighted it for a planned overnight trip from Cessna Aircraft Field in Wichita to Hilton Head, South Carolina. I was scheduled to give a speech about the future of general aviation and the role Cessna would play in it.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2006

"If you hurry, I think you can make it." Those were the last words from the briefer at the Raleigh Flight Service Station (FSS). We were talking about a little cell that popped up just off the North Carolina coast, and I agreed it should present no problems.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2006

It had been a rush job, from the moment our chief flight instructor asked me to deliver documents to a company aircraft located at another airport, to the last-minute air traffic control (ATC) request that I land long on the huge Runway 1R at Washington Dulles International Airport. Frankly, I was in over my head, and was about to be brutally reminded of it.

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.