Proficient Pilot

Items per page   10 | 25 | 50 | 100
1 to 50 of 226 results

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

Proficient Pilot: True confessions

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2012

Up, up, and away in a beautiful balloon.

Proficient Pilot: J–3 heresy

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2012

He's picking the Champ over the Cub!

Proficient Pilot: There is no excuse

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2012

Fuel mismanagement shouldn't be a gotcha.

Proficient Pilot: Look, Ma, no elevator!

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2012

When primary flight controls become a problem.

Proficient Pilot: Look, Ma, no rudder!

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2012

On one fine day in the mid-1950s, a pilot was departing Santa Monica, California, in a Model 18 Twin Beech that had just been returned to service after extensive maintenance.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2012

While attending (and speaking at) this year's convention of the Soaring Society of America in Reno, Nevada, a frequent topic of conversation related to the state of soaring.

Topics Pilots

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2012

A friend recently told me that her chapter of The Ninety-Nines was planning a visit to SoCal Approach, the FAA's air traffic control facility near San Diego that provides approach and departure control service for much of Southern California.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2012

Last December I mentioned that some airplanes, especially Beech Bonanzas, threaten to enter an over-the-top spin when stalled with full power and flaps extended. This is why, I continued, Beech does not suggest using flaps for takeoff.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2012

Last October I announced an essay contest for young men and women between the ages of 16 and 21 ("Proficient Pilot: It's Payback Time," October 2011 AOPA Pilot).

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2012

The expression "behind the curve" apparently has to do with being on the left side of the so-called bell curve, the type of curve that many teachers use to issue grades. Being behind the curve also refers to something or someone unable to keep up with the norm.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2012

Whenever receiving my new copy of "Plane and Pilot", I almost always flip first to the last page of the magazine for my visit with Budd Davisson, one of my favorite aviation writers (and a regular contributor to "Flight Training" magazine).

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2012

When I was preparing for my private pilot "rating" in 1955, the night experience required by the Civil Air Regulations (CARs) consisted only of 10 takeoffs and landings. A cross-country flight at night was not required then as it is now.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2011

No one likes to admit failure, and I'm certainly not an exception to the rule. One misstep I dislike mentioning is when I failed the flight test for my flight instructor certificate in 1956 when I was 18 years old. I was in the rear seat of the Aeronca 7AC Champion and looking forward at the back of the examiner's head as I completed the 720-degree steep turn.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2011

The old Piper Apache was anything but a muscle machine. Its pair of 150-horsepower four-bangers could barely lift it into the sky. Yet there I was pointing down Oakland, California's longest runway with a full load of fuel. And I mean full. In addition to burgeoning wing and auxiliary tanks, the cabin was stuffed with a humongous ferry tank also filled to capacity.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2011

Although I do not think that many young nonpilots read this column, that is exactly the audience I would like to reach this month.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2011

Mentioning certain types of military aircraft often conjures thoughts of single missions for which they were most famous. The North American B–25 Mitchell reminds us of the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo (April 18, 1942), and you cannot think of the Boeing B–29 Superfortress without being reminded of the role it played in America's use of the atomic bomb to end World War II. The "Superfort" was the only airplane capable of performing that historic mission. So it was that upon completion of my feature article about the B–29 ("The Lady has a History"), I thought it remiss not to include my thoughts about the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, the two most violent acts of war ever committed. Or were they?

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2011

My friend, Hal Fishman, and I used to have an ongoing and vigorous disagreement about which was best, high- or low-wing airplanes, a subject that has been hotly debated since before the 1903 Wright Flyer. Tongue-in-cheek historians claim that Orville and Wilbur’s biplane was a compromise; its main disadvantage was having twice as many leading edges from which to remove bugs.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2011

If I were king of the FAA I would require students to become glider pilots before allowing them into the cockpit of an airplane. Soaring offers a certain purity of flight that teaches fundamentals by eliminating the masking and distracting effects of power and propeller.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2011

Sometimes when I write about the so-called “good old days,” I can usually anticipate some readers accusing me of being an aeronautical dinosaur. I can understand that kind of sentiment directed toward someone who refuses trying to embrace new technology.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2011

As an 18-year-old flight instructor in 1956, I tried to be clever and original in the way I taught. There were times, though, when I was too clever.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2011

One question I am frequently asked is, “What is your favorite airplane?” I answer candidly that I don’t have a favorite. It depends on my mood and the purpose of the flight.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2011

During a recent rainy-day gabfest at my home airport, one of the local pilots asked me to explain the principles of inertial navigation and why, in this age of GPS, inertial navigation systems (INSs) are still in use by the airlines. I told them that this is a subject more easily explained in writing than during the informality of hangar flying.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2011

Every pilot who flies a single-engine airplane with a constant-speed propeller is instructed by the emergency checklist to position the propeller in high pitch (low rpm) following engine failure. This is because a windmilling propeller creates less drag in high pitch than in low.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2011

Last April’s column touched on three unrelated topics, items that individually did not justify a full column but were thoughts nevertheless worthy of discussion (“Proficient Pilot: 3 in 1”). Here we go again.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Dec 01, 2010

The other day I read an article by Ross Detwiler in the October 2010 edition of Business & Commercial Aviation. The article conveyed a concept so simple in principle yet so profound in potential benefit that I immediately decided (at the risk of appearing plagiaristic) to pass it along to readers of this column.

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.