Technique

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Technique: Emergency winning Performances

Article | Aug 03, 2009

Shortly after this year’s Academy Awards, the NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) managers issued some awards of their own. Normally ASRS receives reports of confusion or problems that need to be addressed to improve air traffic control or the national airspace system.

Technique: Seeking your own level

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2009

Where do you go—high or low—when picking an altitude for flight? The right altitude may seem obvious at first glance. But you may gather information and find yourself torn between factors that tell you to go high and others that say to fly lower.

Technique: Instinctive response

Article | Jun 01, 2009

Can a pilot stumble through stalls, botch the balked landing, turn terribly, and still impress a check pilot more than another pilot whose maneuvers are sharp as a tack? Absolutely, and not because the observer can’t tell the difference. The check pilot may grasp that the out-of-practice pilot is rusty, but has superior know-how.

Technique: Vital function

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2009

It sounds like the easiest pilot gig on the planet. Climb aboard and watch for traffic while the other pilot logs time flying under simulated instrument conditions.

Technique: Back to basics

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2009

Routine is always best Every aircraft, from the supersonic stealthy sled to the general aviation family flier, starts its aviation day by taxiing. Proficient pilots fly their aircraft from engine startup until engine shutdown.

Technique: The preflight

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2009

Avgas trucks never use a single-point refueling nozzle. As you sip your coffee in the pilot lounge looking through the window at your airplane, it seems like a fuel truck that has a second hose outfitted with a single-point nozzle just pulled away from your airplane.

Technique: City Lights

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2008

Nearing the end of a 10-hour flight in 1994 from Frederick, Maryland, to Wellington, Kansas, I could see the destination had to change. The goal was Wellington to take an AOPA sweepstakes aircraft, the “Better than New 172,” in for its engine work.

Technique: Missed Approach Musings

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2008

Those of us who are instrument rated and current practice missed approach procedures on a regular basis—in VFR weather. But a real-world missed approach in below-minimums weather is something altogether different.

Technique: The Accidental Stall

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2008

The Piper Cherokee 140 was airborne, but it wasn’t happy. In ground effect all had seemed normal; symptoms only began appearing when the aircraft tried to climb.

Short Matters

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2008

There’s an island in the French West Indies where the jetsetters play, but you can’t land a jet there. It’s called Saint Barthélemy —St.

Technique: On Final, on the Gauges

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2008

While it may be true that passengers judge a pilot’s competence by the quality of their landings, we know better. When it comes to precise flying, excellent judgment and staying ahead of the airplane, nothing is a better test of competence than flying an instrument approach.

Technique: Star Performance

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2008

Whether you’ve logged a lot of actual instrument time, are a rusty instrument pilot, or have a newly issued instrument rating, a review of safe IFR procedures is never out of style. That’s especially true when you’re nearing your destination.

Technique: I Wear My Sunglasses at Night

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2008

The cold night wind swirls through the rear cockpit of the Waco YMF Super as I tuck my chin, turtle-like, into the warmth of my jacket’s upturned collar. I’ve flown this gorgeous biplane around the Atlanta area countless times in the last five years in my weekend job as a scenic rides pilot.

Technique: Windy Day Departures

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2008

Wow, it’s windy this morning. Definitely a hold-onto-your-hat kind of day.

Technique: Am I a good pilot?

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2008

It afflicts each of us. Every pilot who has pushed a throttle forward for takeoff has, at one time or another, wakened in the chill of the pre-dawn hours nurturing that very private uncertainty: “Am I a good pilot or do I just think I am?” Some pilots are incapable of the necessary introspection and self-evaluation required for the answer; some deal with it by deciding not to care, too often proving their disregard by creating the most foolish of impacts with the earth; and the majority of us are willing to pursue the question and want to find a working definition as to what a good pilot is so that we might enter that most exclusive of human fraternities.

Technique

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2007

Remembering Pilgrim Airlines Flight 203 My memory of Pilgrim Airlines Flight 203 resurfaced recently after a report about an unfortunate pilot who ditched and drowned near the shoreline of Lake Michigan after running out of fuel. The Pilgrim Airlines Twin Otter ditched into Long Island Sound just five miles short of the Groton-New London, Connecticut, airport on February 10, 1970.

Technique

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2007

Emergency landing strategies Some lessons we are taught, or teach, often lead to new ones being learned. For instance, when practicing a simulated engine failure as a student pilot, we often do so from a number of different altitudes, from a low-level failure with little time to deal with the problem to a cruise altitude failure with loads of time to troubleshoot and try to restart the engine before committing to an emergency landing, possibly off the airport.

Bragging Rights

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2007

While sitting in a hotel recently, I was getting my logbook caught up to date, and I had reached the end of the page. While I was totaling up the numbers, I realized that I had made my 5,000th landing — 5,003rd to be exact.

Technique

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2007

The step-by-step solution to emergencies So you are flying along, smooth operator that you are, when all of a sudden something goes wrong. That "something" could be anything: oil on the windscreen, smoke from the engine compartment, a violent shaking that is making the airframe sound as though you are inside of a washing machine full of tennis shoes.

Technique

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2007

More thoughts on engine failures after takeoff The response made me feel much better: You get it, or at least you got it after reading about it in these pages. What's this to "get"? The response — the push — you need to condition yourself to make if you experience an engine failure immediately after takeoff in a light airplane.

Technique

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2007

Standard techniques for nonstandard runway conditions We had pilot reports from the day before, and the weather had been dry for several days. But with a backcountry air-strip you never know.

Technique

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2007

It's the visibility that counts From the time we learn to fly, we learn some basic weather rules. As a student, much is made of cloud clearance requirements and the minimum visibility required in given airspace.

AOPA Pilot - Technique

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2006

A compass, a clock, and a sectional chart "Meanwhile, Pancho Barnes was following the pilot's friend, the iron compass — railroad tracks. The pilots all agreed that they were never lost, simply momentarily disoriented." — The Powder Puff Derby of 1929 by Gene Nora Jessen Once, during my youth, I flew a 1947 Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser from Corpus Christi, Texas, to Soldotna, Alaska.

Technique

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2006

Your first move when the engine fails The message had been delivered via cell phone just a few minutes before: There's been a terrible accident; we think it was Leo; there were no survivors. The details were, of course, sketchy, but it was day visual meteorological conditions at Falcon Field in Atlanta that morning.

Technique

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2006

Yanking and banking toward trouble Quickest way to die in an airplane? Horse around at low altitude. If your pilot friends don't believe you, print out a copy of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's 2005 Joseph T.