Proficient Pilot

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Proficient Pilot

Article | Nov 01, 2010

Since retiring from TWA in 1998, I have made it a point to submit to an instrument proficiency check almost every year. In each case, I have used an airplane equipped with analog gauges.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Oct 01, 2010

Safety in flight relies on the health of both man and machine. Most of us are thorough and meticulous when it comes to the care and feeding of our aircraft, but many of us are not as careful about taking care of ourselves.

Topics Events

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2010

Every airline pilot has his favorite flight segments. Domestically, mine was the route between Los Angeles and Denver (or vice versa).

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2010

There are two basic kinds of flight instructors. The first comprise the majority, those who instruct by rote, the do-as-I-demonstrate types.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2010

Several years ago I wrote about my desire to fly as many different types of aircraft as possible. My initial goal was to reach 300.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2010

In 1927, the Ford Motor Company used the first of its Tri-Motors to fly auto parts between Chicago and Dearborn, Michigan. This is when a young Ford engineer, Eugene Donovan, developed and patented the “four-course, loop-type, low-frequency radio range,” the first radio aid to air navigation.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2010

My last international flight for TWA was in 1998 and involved navigating across large chunks of ocean by following a magenta line on a moving-map display from coast-out to coast-in. It was little different than the way we now use GPS, a matter of flying direct from one waypoint to the next.

Proficient Pilot: 3 in 1

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2010

I marvel at how newspaper columnists develop ideas for numerous columns every month while I have such difficulty coming up with just one. So it was this month as I scrounged through my file of scribbled notes intended to remind me of possible column ideas.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2010

I have celebrated 71 years on Earth, including 27,000 hours above it. Spending the equivalent of three years in a cockpit nurtures a perspective that gives one the right to reflect on events aeronautical with some credibility.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2010

Reading Rod Machado’s column about fuel gauges (“License to Learn: Show Me the Money,” January 2010 AOPA Pilot), I was reminded of one of the most bizarre experiences of my aviation career. (Keep writing, Rod; I am approaching the point where I can use all the reminders I can get.) My ex-wife and I were visiting South Africa with friends Jack and Donna.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2010

Before and following my retirement from TWA, the most common question asked me by nonpilots has been, “What was the most harrowing [or equivalent adjective] emergency [or equivalent noun] that ever happened to you?” I always feel a little apologetic when I reply that I have not had any seriously threatening events as an airline pilot. A little disappointed, they usually then ask, “Well, what about engine failures? Surely you must have had some of those.” The truth is that during my 53,322 jet-engine hours with TWA, I never had so much as one failure.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Dec 08, 2009

Several local pilots and I were huddled in the Waypoint Restaurant at the Camarillo Airport sheltering ourselves from a rare October rainstorm that was scudding across Southern California. The discussion du jour eventually evolved into recollections of our most memorable flights.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Nov 02, 2009

Believe it or not, this really happened. I was administering a flight review to a 2,100-hour private pilot who had been flying his own Beech V35B Bonanza for almost 15 years.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2009

I apparently had passed the oral examination for my instrument rating, and it was time for the checkride. The airplane was a red Stinson Station Wagon, a comfortable old taildragger equipped with a low-frequency receiver and gauges barely sufficient for instrument flight (no gyros).

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2009

A friend, Steve Kivo, called excitedly, “Hey, Barry, how would you like to see that electric airplane from China?” A rhetorical question; he knew that I would. “It’s being flight-tested here in Camarillo.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Aug 03, 2009

One challenging aspect of being an instrument instructor is teaching instrument approaches. In major metropolitan areas, the CFII must cope with busy controllers, clearance delays, and so much VFR traffic that it can be impossible to complete an instrument approach (and the missed approach) because of VFR traffic in the pattern.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2009

Barry Schiff has written two aviation novels, The Vatican Target and Flight 902 Is Down. Anyone who has spent time watching landings from the sidelines probably has wondered why so many pilots land on all three wheels simultaneously in tricycle-gear airplanes.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2009

The Cessna 310 and I had begun the decades-ago trip from Los Angeles to Innsbruck, Austria, several days earlier using Greenland and Iceland as stepping stones across the North Atlantic. It had been a fatiguing flight characterized by short, sleepless nights caused by having to outrun weather.

Proficient Pilot: The joy of soaring

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2009

Barry Schiff was awarded an honorary doctorate from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. The last five years of my career with TWA involved flying back and forth between Los Angeles and Honolulu, the best parts of which were the layovers.

Proficient Pilot: Waiting for the go

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2009

Barry Schiff has held five world aviation speed records, one taken from the USSR. Our new Piper Aztec lifted off from John F.

Proficient Pilot: Engine Out

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2009

Barry Schiff has authored 12 aviation books including two novels. The student, of course, is expected to remain calm, establish a normal glide, locate and begin an approach to a suitable landing site, and make an effort to restart the engine (if time, altitude, and workload permit).

Proficient Pilot: When in Rome

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2009

Barry Schiff has written more than 1,500 aviation articles. When working on my instrument rating in 1956, I had to execute instrument approaches using four-course, low-frequency ranges.

Proficient Pilot: Flat-footed flying

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2009

Retired TWA captain Barry Schiff has been a flight instructor since 1956. Last month I administered a flight review to a 165-hour private pilot in a Cessna 172P.

Topics Pilots

Proficient Pilot: Schiff's Mailbag

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2008

Barry Schiff has been writing for AOPA Pilot since June 1963. Tom Travis is a retired airline captain and was the fleet manager of the Boeing 747 and Douglas DC-10 for American Airlines.

Proficient Pilot: Attitudes to live by

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2008

Barry Schiff is an aviation writer and avid, active pilot who lives in Southern California. While driving to the airport a few weeks ago, I was listening to Leon Kaplan, a.k.a.