Safety Pilot

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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.

Safety Pilot: Flight risk evaluator

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2010

The Wrights, being among the first test pilots, understood risk better than most and were methodical in dealing with it, as they were in everything else: “In flying I have learned that carelessness and overconfidence are usually far more dangerous than deliberately accepted risks,” said Wilbur. As the hardware and systems have gotten progressively better, the problems shifted from mechanical to human.

Safety Pilot Landmark Accident: I think we’re alone now

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2010

It is often the flimsiest circumstances that bring two aircraft together. This non-fatal mishap is not the usual VFR-into-IMC, descent-below- minimums, midair collision, thunderstorm, or icing-related accident, but rather a series of relatively common events that by themselves meant little.

Safety Pilot: A personal and systemic failure

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2010

For the general aviation pilot who might be contemplating an airline career, the Colgan Air Q400 (Dash 8) accident in Buffalo in February 2009 may have some far-reaching consequences. An ATP certificate or some academic/experiential equivalent is under consideration for new hires.

Safety Pilot:

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2010

With apologies to my long-suffering blog readers, who have read much of this before, a topic that riles many pilots is the antics of others in nontowered-airport traffic patterns. There are times when patterns become saturated.

Safety Pilot Landmark Accidents: Attitude or altitude?

Article | Mar 01, 2010

Pilot attitude is, perhaps even to a greater degree than skill, an accurate predictor of an unhappy outcome. This month’s Landmark Accident is a testament to the adage that haste makes waste, and that the laws of aerodynamics apply equally to all pilots, regardless of their station in life.

Safety Pilot:

Article | Feb 01, 2010

In-flight breakups are extremely rare in all models of aircraft when they are operated inside the approved flight envelope. Outside the design limits anything can be broken and no one is surprised.

Safety Pilot:

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2010

“Don’t just do something. Sit there!” That’s what my Mom used to say when bad things were about to happen without intelligent intervention.

Safety Pilot: Landmark Accidents

Article | Dec 08, 2009

Never forget that as comfortable as our glass cockpits are and as experienced as we might be, any chair that moves faster than 15 knots should be treated with great respect. The accident in this story is ironic in that it occurred to a pair of highly experienced Civil Air Patrol (CAP) pilots with more than 50,000 hours of flight experience between them.

Safety Pilot: Student again

Article | Nov 02, 2009

As Will Rogers said about people, I really haven’t met an airplane I didn’t like. Some were more likeable than others, but they’ve all had socially and aerodynamically redeeming qualities.

Safety Pilot: Mapping the mind

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2009

Beyond voyeurism the best reason to investigate an accident is to learn how to keep from doing it again. Dozens of brilliant quotes relate to the human ability to screw up and why, in some circles, it’s considered a good idea.

Safety Pilot: Truth in performance

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2009

Don’t believe everything you read. Section 5 in the General Aviation Manufacturers (GAMA)-format pilot operating handbook (POH) is where the takeoff and landing distances, time to climb, fuel burn, and most other performance numbers reside.

Safety Pilot: Too close for comfort

Article | Aug 03, 2009

The loss of Air France Flight 447, an Airbus A330, over the Atlantic—presumably because of a thunderstorm entanglement—is a stark reminder that thunderstorms are to be avoided at all costs. How could an airliner fall victim to such a fate? We’ll know eventually, or there will be endless speculation because the unrecovered data recorders reside in Davy Jones’ locker.

Safety Pilot: Wish List II

Article | Jul 01, 2009

Air Safety Foundation President Bruce Landsberg has served the association since 1992. Looking at some of the new aircraft—and the same old accident causes—got me to thinking again about how good engineering can really assist in not depending so much on the training or the human memory, neither of which is particularly robust.

Safety Pilot: No one wins

Article | Jun 01, 2009

Bruce Landsberg was named president of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation in January 2009. The NTSB recently issued an urgent request to the FAA to immediately ground all Zenair CH 601XL light sport aircraft.

Safety Pilot: Something's burning

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2009

Bruce Landsberg is the president of the Air Safety Foundation. An in-flight electrical fire is one of the worst emergencies that can confront a pilot.

Safety Pilot: You be the judge

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2009

Bruce Landsberg was named president of the Air Safety Foundation in February. The great football coach Vince Lombardi used to exhort his Super Bowl-winning Green Bay Packers that “Winning isn’t everything—it’s the only thing.” That’s fine for professional sports, but shouldn’t “safety” replace “winning” as what pilots, and the agencies that oversee them, should be thinking? However, the FAA is charged with enforcement to be used when more collaborative methods for safety fail.

Safety Pilot: Weather windows

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2009

Bruce Landsberg has logged more than 6,000 flight hours and holds multiple ratings. What a difference a day makes! It’s axiomatic in the accident investigation business that the wreckage is usually picked up in good weather.

Safety Pilot Landmark Accidents: The day the music died

Article | Feb 01, 2009

Bruce Landsberg is executive director of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. Some accidents are burned into memory even decades after they happened.