Proficient Pilot

Items per page   10 | 25 | 50 | 100
51 to 100 of 242 results

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.

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.

Proficient Pilot: It's about time

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2008

Author Barry Schiff retired from TWA in 1998. He has flown more than 300 types of aircraft.

Proficient Pilot: How slow can you go?

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2008

Barry Schiff retired as a captain for TWA in 1998. The Aeronca Champ in which I learned to fly had a four-cylinder, 65-horsepower engine that sipped only 3.5 gallons of avgas per hour.

Proficient Pilot: Biting the bullet

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2008

Retired TWA captain and aviation expert Barry Schiff started flying in 1952. When I learned to fly in a galaxy far, far away, an IFR-equipped airplane needed only four flight instruments: an altimeter, an airspeed indicator, a turn-and-bank indicator, and a “whiskey” compass.

Proficient Pilot: The perfect landing

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2008

Author Barry Schiff began writing for AOPA Pilot 45 years ago—his first article was published in June 1963. As I was strolling through one of the display areas at Sun ’n Fun in Lakeland, Florida, in April, someone tapped me on the shoulder.

Proficient Pilot: Time marches on

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2008

Columnist Barry Schiff retired from TWA in 1998 at the then-FAA-mandated age of 60 years old. The earliest recollection I have of wanting to be older is when I was 14.

Proficient Pilot: Home is where the heart is

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2008

Barry Schiff has logged more than 27,000 flight hours in 300 types of aircraft. I was a 13-year-old kid when I first stepped onto Clover Field, now known as Santa Monica Airport (SMO).

Proficient Pilot: Flying lessons

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2008

Barry Schiff began writing for AOPA Pilot in June 1963. World War II had ended only 13 years and seven months before the first edition of The AOPA Pilot was published 50 years ago this month.

Proficient Pilot: On a dime

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2008

December’s column discussed how to perform a turn with the shortest possible radius while maintaining altitude (“Proficient Pilot: What, Me Spin?” December 2007 Pilot). A conclusion was that such a minimum-radius turn is achieved by rolling into a 75-degree bank while maintaining maneuvering speed.

Proficient Pilot: Confessions of a co-pilot

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2008

Most who read this page know that I flew for Trans World Airlines (TWA) for 34 years. I was a captain for only 30 years.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2007

Aviation veteran Barry Schiff writes from southern California. Some years ago I discovered with dismay that, oops, my flight review was going to expire in two days.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2007

Aviation writer Barry Schiff lives in Los Angeles, California. It has been 13 months since New York Yankee hurler Cory Lidle and his flight instructor, Tyler Stanger, inadvertently flew their Cirrus Design SR20 into a Manhattan high-rise.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2007

Author Barry Schiff retired from TWA in 1998 after a 34-year career. He has flown more than 300 types of aircraft.