Safety Pilot

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Safety Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2012

Start an argument in any hangar merely by asking if spins should be mandatory for the private pilot certificate.

Safety Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2012

Aging Gracefully, Flying Safely is the name of the new Air Safety Institute online course that looks at how we fly as we age (www.airsafety institute.org/aging). It’s no secret that the average age of pilots has been climbing as inexorably as the national debt. While AOPA and other GA groups, such as EAA, are working to bring new and younger pilots into the fold, many of us have been flying for decades and would like to continue. But the safety statistics are not always kind.

Safety Pilot Landmark Accidents: Owatonna overshoot

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2011

Runway excursions -- something other than a planned departure from the pavement during takeoff or landing -- are now a focus of safety officials. It seems there has been an increase in the number of accidents and incidents, especially in jet aircraft. Unfortunately, in light aircraft, we’ve been departing runways inappropriately, and with great regularity, all along. While many of these accidents result in little more than damaged egos and hardware, they have the potential to be deadly. Such was the case of a Raytheon Hawker HS125-800 business jet on a Part 135 charter to Owatonna, Minnesota.

Safety Pilot:

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2011

Life always comes with an expiration date. While it's kind of a downer - confronting your own mortality - I'm buoyed by the comments of Freddy Heineken, the late beer magnate. Freddy was reputed to have said something to the effect that the universe got along just fine in the four to five billion or so years before he came along. It didn't bother him much during that rather long gestation period, so presumably it would be about the same afterward. We all have a variety of faith and psychological coping mechanisms to deal with the hereafter.

Safety Pilot:

Article | Oct 03, 2011

Excursions bring to mind a fun-filled family outing, but in the aviation world, excursions are something to avoid. By now, everyone knows or should know about the runway incursion problem, and the focus is now expanding to include runway excursions as well.

Safety Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2011

Where to draw the safety line in GA will always be debated because opinions and operations are so varied. There are pilots in our system who shouldn’t be flying and some who never should have been certificated in the first place—as in all other personal activities. How to fairly identify and remove them on a consistent basis is a vexing problem. The Air Safety Institute has more than 30 free online courses, publishes a quiz every other week, and offers about 200 free live seminars annually. What more should we do? Are you convinced that the government can make GA much safer than it already is, without a significant reduction in your freedom to fly? That’s really up to us, as pilots in command. So the next time someone tosses off the GA/airline safety stats for shock value, ask them if they equate the high banks of Daytona with the supermarket parking lot.

Safety Pilot:

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2011

One of the biggest safety advancements for light general aviation aircraft has been the availability of weather information datalinked into our cockpits via satellite.

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.