Safety Pilot

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Safety Pilot:

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2011

Do the current FAA Practical Test Standards (PTS) measure what’s needed in today’s flight environment? I have a standing wager that no one has yet taken: If all pilots merely flew to the current private pilot PTS just as they are written today, the number of accidents would plummet—no need for further “tinkering.” See if you agree.

Safety Pilot: Landmark Accidents

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2011

Some accidents aren’t really accidents, since the definition of “accident” includes the adjectives “unforeseen” or “unexpected.” Here is a rare FAA overindulgence to tolerate those who don’t measure up. The pilot’s history is punctuated by an incredible series of miscues and mishaps by one who was, shall we say, financially gifted but aeronautically challenged.

Safety Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2011

In a recent Air Safety eJournal, my mostly weekly blog, I cited a study released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety touting the benefits of red light cameras. The Washington Post noted that traffic fatalities were down 26 percent over a five-year period in D.C., significantly more than cities that didn’t employ such enforcement.

Safety Pilot:

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2011

There’s plenty of aviation darkness to curse today. Aircraft sales and the pilot population are spiraling downward, manufacturing is migrating offshore, professional flying is not perceived as the glamour job it once was, and costs are up.

Safety Pilot: Landmark Accidents

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2011

High flight is exhilarating, but the atmosphere up there does not support life as we know it. Every year several accidents are attributed to hypoxia, or lack of oxygen.

Safety Pilot:

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2011

There is a myth among many in aviation and education that advanced math is essential to fly with any degree of safety and skill. Unfortunately, my father did not pass along his genetic gift for advanced mathematics, but that was little detriment to my becoming a pilot.

Safety Pilot:

Article | Nov 01, 2010

Just in case you slept through high-school Latin, a non sequitur is a thought that does not logically follow what has just been said. A recent law passed by Congress, House Rule 5900, mandates that the FAA require new pilots hired by the airlines to have at least 1,500 hours total flight time and an ATP certificate.

Safety Pilot:

Article | Oct 01, 2010

Some fairly experienced fliers have forgotten that high-powered engines driving propellers can cause aircraft to do unhelpful things during takeoff, balked landings, and stalls. In the past five years there have been more than 100 accidents where too much power applied too quickly at too high an angle of attack with too little rudder applied too slowly resulted in a too-bad outcome.

Safety Pilot: A deadly invincibility

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2010

One of the necessarily frustrating things about NTSB reports is that they generally do a good job of telling us what happened, but the why is often left to interpretation and the imagination. This month’s “Landmark Accident” fits that description perfectly and leaves us to wonder why the pilot made the decisions he did.

Safety Pilot: Revised flight plan

Article | Aug 02, 2010

Flight planning is one of those necessarily boring things requiring process and discipline to get where we’re going, taking into account weather, terrain, airspace, and airports. The results of poor planning are often the topic of this column, but even with the best of intentions weather moves in and the headwinds are stronger than anticipated.