Proficient Pilot

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Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2001

Barry Schiff retired from TWA as a captain in 1998. He has been flying for 49 years.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2001

A retired airline captain, Barry Schiff has been flying for 49 years. After inching our way along the parallel taxiway behind a lengthy procession of early morning departures, we were finally cleared for takeoff on Runway 30L at St.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2001

A retired airline captain, Barry Schiff has been writing for AOPA Pilot since 1963. About 150 U.S.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2001

A former TWA captain, Barry Schiff has been flying for 47 years. He retired from TWA in 1998.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2001

Barry Schiff holds seven flight instructor ratings and has been instructing since 1956. The recent tragedy involving a Grumman Gulfstream III in Aspen, Colorado, has generated speculation about the circumstances surrounding this accident.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2001

Barry Schiff is a retired airline captain who holds 11 type ratings and recently flew the U–2. You've probably heard some pilot described as having every rating in the book.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2001

A retired airline captain, Barry Schiff has been writing for AOPA Pilot since 1963. The pilot departed Runway 30 at Santa Maria, California, and pointed the nose of his 1995 Piper Seneca IV into an overcast sky dripping with rain.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2001

Not long ago, a friend was operating a charter flight and dropped off his passengers at Denver. While preparing for his return home, he noticed that a fast-moving line of bellowing thunderstorms might affect his arrival and create additional flight-planning problems.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2001

It was June 23, 1956, my eighteenth birthday, and I had planned to celebrate by passing the checkride for my flight instructor certificate. This was when spins had to be demonstrated during the practical exam.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2001

There is something about watching airplanes flying in formation that is beautiful and aesthetic, a tribute to those who have mastered the skill. Yet formation flying seems so easy, a deception that tempts untrained pilots to try it without understanding the principles and hazards.

Topics Pilots

Proficient Pilot

Article | Dec 01, 2000

A friend and I had just picked up a new Cessna 172 at the factory and had begun the ferry flight to Los Angeles. Bob was flying the first leg, Wichita to Amarillo.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Nov 01, 2000

Not long ago I read a study dealing with CFIT (controlled flight into terrain) accidents. One item stood out: "The vast majority of CFIT accidents involving flight into mountainous terrain occur surprisingly close to the apex of a mountain or slightly below a ridge line." In other words, if the majority of aircraft involved in CFIT accidents had been only slightly higher, these accidents would not have occurred.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Oct 01, 2000

Last month I wrote about the joy of flying various types of aircraft, an avocation to which I refer as "type collecting." A Gulfstream III captain, Joe McGuire, wrote to tell me that he collects destinations. He says that he has flown to every state, 61 countries, and four U.S.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Sep 01, 2000

When I was a flight instructor working my way through college in 1956, a P–51 taxied onto our ramp. Its pilot was Vance Breese, who I believe was the Mustang's original test pilot.

Topics Pilots

Proficient Pilot

Article | Aug 01, 2000

Last month we discussed that the best way to deal with an engine fire is to quickly shut down the engine and deprive it of flammable fluids. Every aircraft, of course, has an engine-fire checklist, but not many pilots would take the time to locate and read it during such an emergency.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Jul 01, 2000

I once had a ground instructor at TWA who used to tell his students, with tongue in cheek, that there was little to fear from a jet engine fire. "After all," he would say, "these engines are always on fire." In one respect, he was right.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Jun 01, 2000

Most pilots are accustomed to an instructor’s simulating the failure of an instrument. This usually is done by covering the "ailing" gauge with a Post-It note or an object to which a small suction cup is attached.

Proficient Pilot

Article | May 01, 2000

Throughout my flying career, I have had a number of memorable encounters with those other fliers with whom we share the sky: birds. (None involved competing to occupy the same chunk of airspace at the same time.) The first such experience was while soaring in a thermal over a mountainous slope in Southern California’s Mojave Desert.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Apr 01, 2000

Dave Salzman and his wife, Susanne, own D&S Aviation, an on-demand charter operation at Van Nuys Airport in Southern California. One of their popular offerings is called "Shimmering Lights," an hourlong sightseeing flight over the Los Angeles Basin at night.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Mar 01, 2000

Last month we discussed the "zero-zero" landing, an emergency-only procedure that can be used when a pilot paints himself into a corner and is left with no option other than to attempt an approach and landing when the visibility is nil. The flip side of this coin is the "zero-zero" or instrument takeoff (ITO), which is somewhat of a misnomer.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Feb 01, 2000

The bad news came through my earphones as I cruised over southeastern Newfoundland: "Gander’s reporting indefinite ceiling, zero; visibility zero." The only suitable alternate airports within range, Goose Bay and St. John’s, were similarly shrouded.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Jan 01, 2000

Pilot reader Mark Barchenko, a private pilot from New Jersey, recently wrote to ask how I became an aviation writer. Because others have asked the same question, I decided that this would be an appropriate place to respond, so I hope that you will permit me to begin Y2K on a personal note.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Dec 01, 1999

When I was hired by TWA in 1964, type-specific simulators were not as effective as they are today. Although they helped to develop proficiency in normal and abnormal procedures, we still had to fly the airplane to become familiar with its handling qualities and quirks.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Nov 01, 1999

On weekend mornings, the outdoor patio of the Spitfire Grill at California's Santa Monica Airport hosts a congregation of local pilots who gather to wait for the morning stratus to dissipate or to engage in lively conversation about topics aeronautical. One Saturday last month, the hot topic involved the pros and cons of VFR operations at night.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Oct 01, 1999

Those who have read my ramblings for very long might recall that I have been known to surprise a pilot during a biennial flight review by popping open a cabin door during takeoff and just before rotating for liftoff. I don't do it to be mean.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Aug 01, 1999

Pilots for American Airlines recently made headlines by acknowledging that many of them occasionally take catnaps in the cockpit during flight. In an attempt to calm the public fear and outcry that could result from such adverse publicity, American's management vehemently denied that any of its pilots doze on duty.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Jul 01, 1999

The approach controller at Nagoya, Japan, cleared Dynasty 140 for a visual approach to Runway 34. Weather conditions consisted of scattered clouds at 3,000 feet, and the visibility was greater than 10 miles.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Jun 01, 1999

It has been said that rudders would be little more than extraneous appendages if ailerons were designed properly. This is an obvious overstatement.

Proficient Pilot

Article | May 01, 1999

Last February I was a competitor in the first Great Hawaiian Air Race (see "Racing the Trade Winds," page 87). So that any airplane could compete fairly against all others, it was necessary to determine a handicap speed for each of the participating aircraft.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Apr 01, 1999

I am occasionally asked if I have ever been truly frightened while flying a general aviation airplane. If asked by a nonpilot, I usually try to sidestep the truth because of a natural desire to defend general aviation, to promote it, and to encourage others to join our brotherhood.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Mar 01, 1999

Although the investigation is far from complete, and conclusions cannot yet be drawn, the accident involving Swissair Flight 111 last September has attracted considerable speculation and Monday-morning quarterbacking. One criticism, for example, suggests that the crew might have reacted to the apparent electrical smoke and/or fire emergency and prevented the subsequent disaster by more expeditiously diverting to the nearest suitable airport.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Feb 01, 1999

A friend was visiting from overseas and knew that I had obtained a new type rating. He had never seen an FAA pilot certificate and was as curious to see mine as I was to see his.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Jan 01, 1999

One of the most challenging aspects of writing a monthly column isn't as much the writing as it is thinking of a subject that would be of interest to the majority of readers. When flying, I'm constantly on the alert for suitable topics and experiences.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Dec 01, 1998

Accidents often result from a chain of events and can be avoided by breaking one of the links before it can connect with others. The problem with most such links, however, is that they may not appear sufficiently prophetic to be perceived as an element that could lead to disaster.

Topics Pilots, Events

Proficient Pilot

Article | Nov 01, 1998

There probably are few general aviation pilots who haven't ridden in the back of a jetliner, secretly hoping that they could save the day by taking over the controls after the crew had somehow become incapacitated. This fantasy apparently originated with a Doris Day movie in which the heroine (a nonpilot) did the same after the pilots had contracted food poisoning.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Oct 01, 1998

Following my retirement from TWA last June, I wrote an article about my last flight. It was titled "Sentimental Journey" and appeared in the August issue of Pilot.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Sep 01, 1998

The most likely time for a midair collision is when operating in the vicinity of an uncontrolled airport on a clear Sunday afternoon. I believe that the procedures used to enter a traffic pattern are one reason for these and other midair collisions.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Aug 01, 1998

A friend had recently purchased a used Cessna 182RG, and I was providing him with the 10 hours of instruction that he needed to comply with his insurance requirements. About halfway through the checkout, we were on final approach to Southern California's Big Bear Airport with two other friends in back.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Jul 01, 1998

A widespread low-pressure system centered over northern Missouri had been pumping low cloud and rain over Wisconsin and dampened my spirits. I had just taken delivery of probably the only new airplane I would ever buy, a 1998 American Champion Explorer (nee Citabria 7GCBC), and I was eager to begin the flight home.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Jun 01, 1998

The most likely time for an airline pilot to buy an airplane seems to be in the vicinity of his sixtieth birthday. This is when the FAA dictates that his life as an air-carrier pilot will come to an abrupt and ignominious end.

Proficient Pilot

Article | May 01, 1998

A pilot's flying career is memorable because of its highlights. As the host of the recently completed Pilots' Tour of New Zealand, I was fortunate to add another to my list.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Apr 01, 1998

An engine fails for one of four reasons. The first is component failure, which, thankfully, is relatively uncommon.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Mar 01, 1998

Last month in this column, I discussed the possibility that training methods encourage pilots to instinctively use the elevators as an up-and-down control. We saw how this can exacerbate and make it difficult to recover from low-altitude stalls.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Feb 01, 1998

Accidents resulting from inadvertent stalls and spins continue to claim a tragic number of victims each year. This occurs despite improved stall-awareness training.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Jan 01, 1998

As William Kershner writes in "Practice Area: Aviation Myths and Insight," on page 66, the danger of operating an aircraft engine oversquare is one of aviation's greatest myths. Combine the oversquare discussion with a debate on the downwind turn and flying on the step and you can wile away an entire evening — or two.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Dec 01, 1997

My curiosity about the custom of clipping the shirttails of new solo pilots began on my sixteenth birthday, June 23, 1954. This is when my instructor destroyed my favorite shirt, adorned it with data, and hung it on the wall of my flight school.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Nov 01, 1997

It was fun for awhile. The Cessna 320 Skyknight and I darted in and out of towering cumulus on an IFR flight over the Rocky Mountains between Denver and Salt Lake City.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Oct 01, 1997

There are few aviation activities that I enjoy more than ridge soaring in Hawaii. And so it was 25 years ago that I found myself strapped in the cockpit of a Schweizer 2-33 sailplane, preparing for a five-hour endurance flight over the northwestern tip of Oahu.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Sep 01, 1997

There is only one way to fly an airplane: as well as it can be flown. This is especially true with respect to instrument flying.