Proficient Pilot

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Silent night

Pilot Magazine | Nov 07, 2014

>During a recent gathering of local pilots, some were surprised to learn that I rarely fly cross-country at night in single-engine airplanes.

Proficiency: Get your head in the game

Article | Oct 07, 2014

“Nobody likesto take the instrument proficiency check,” said the woman at the front desk of a local flight school. But there are ways to make it almost fun, and that’s by taking a quick review course before presenting yourself to the instructor.

Training your feet

Pilot Magazine | Oct 02, 2014

A pet peeve of mine that is particularly grating occurs occasionally when I administer flight reviews in single-engine airplanes.

Proficient Pilot: Gotta have a static

Pilot Magazine | Sep 04, 2014

Prior to cleaning the airplane, the static ports had been covered with duct tape to prevent contaminants from entering the static system (a good thing).

Proficient Pilot: Pitot-static pitfalls

Pilot Magazine | Aug 05, 2014

At some point during a pilot’s training (advanced or otherwise), I might use a piece of said tape to cover either the opening of the pitot tube or one (or both) static sources.

Proficient Pilot: Something for nothing

Pilot Magazine | Jul 31, 2014

One of the most popular cross-country flights from the Los Angeles Basin is, not surprisingly, across the Mojave Desert to Las Vegas.

Proficient Pilot: In the thick of it

Pilot Magazine | Jun 04, 2014

Santa Paula and LAX are only 40 miles apart, yet worlds apart procedurally.

Proficient Pilot: Best for the worst

Pilot Magazine | May 12, 2014

Every once in a while, a hangar-flying session involves debating the best and worst types of aircraft to use when ditching (assuming that one had a choice at such a time).

Proficient Pilot: 60 years a member

Pilot Magazine | Apr 04, 2014

Dark clouds had been gathering when AOPA was founded in May 1939. World War II began only four months later when Germany invaded Poland.

Proficient Pilot: Those good old days

Pilot Magazine | Mar 06, 2014

I sometimes feel sorry for younger pilots who read this column.

Proficient Pilot: Partial power

Pilot Magazine | Feb 12, 2014

One of the most common emergency procedures taught to pilots involves coping with an engine failure— a total engine failure.

Proficient Pilot: Flying is for the birds

Pilot Magazine | Jan 17, 2014

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the Earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”

Proficient Pilot: A bum rap

Pilot Magazine | Dec 19, 2013

Like other fields of endeavor, aviation is replete with myths, biases, and half-truths, many of which would be amusing if not taken so seriously and creating such misleading impressions.

Proficient Pilot: A bygone era

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2013

When I started with TWA in 1964, the 250-knot speed limit below 10,000 feet did not exist.

Proficient pilot: Not a way to go

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2013

A sad aspect of having a lengthy career in aviation is that the list of people one knows who have perished in aircraft accidents grows longer with the passage of time.

Proficient Pilot: Speak up!

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2013

On December 28, 1978, United Airlines Flight 173, a McDonnell Douglas DC–8-61 with 189 souls on board, was approaching Oregon’s Portland International Airport.

Proficient Pilot Automation dependency

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2013

Most of us have heard about automation dependency.

Proficient Pilot: Interruption of routine

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2013

Prior to taking off from the dirt “airstrip” serving the Londolozi Game Reserve in South Africa, the manager there had requested that I treat the guests to a low pass over the lodge, which was nestled in a ravine near the departure end of the runway. Not one to pass up such an invitation, I enthusiastically agreed.

Proficient Pilot: Another nail in the coffin

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2013

Thirty-two years ago I wrote a feature article titled, "Death of an Airport" (August 1981 "AOPA Pilot"). It described how the city council of Santa Monica, California, had been conducting a war of attrition against aviation users in an unveiled attempt to close one of the oldest airports in the country.

Proficient Pilot: Reflections, 1963-2013

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2013

My first magazine article, “Why Not Really Learn to Navigate,” appeared in these pages exactly 50 years ago (June 1963).

Proficient Pilot: Time to be true?

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2013

When I used to fly TWA’s polar routes in Boeing 707s between the U.S. West Coast and northern Europe, we often passed close to the magnetic north pole.

Proficient Pilot: Airmanship

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2013

Safe, legal and comfortable

Proficient Pilot: Playing favorites

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2013

I've never met an airplane I didn't like