Proficient Pilot

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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.