Technique

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Technique

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2006

Putting your professional side to work on every flight Bent metal, charred wreckage, and ruined lives point to the many failures in pilot decision making, but the clues to what makes a competent pilot decision maker are far from clear. Competence in aeronautical decision making is quite different from the skills that we learn in becoming pilots.

DIMS?

Article | Aug 01, 2006

I was never the kind of student who aced everything, especially anything to do with math. Ironic, given that my grandfather was a mathematician who worked for NASA at one time.

Proficiency

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2006

Worldwide tips on emergency landings "Surprise yourself by closing the throttle without premeditation or assessing the wind direction and strength, and break it off when you are in an ideal position because the hard part is already done."—Edward Jones, Cabair College of Air Training Actually the prop usually windmills if engine power is lost but "The prop windmills here" just didn't work as a title. In preparing this article, I heard that there are flight schools in the world where props are intentionally stopped — to be clear, at these schools the engines in single-engine airplanes are shut down during routine training.

Proficiency

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2006

A man's got to know his limitations It seems there's been a lot of bad aviation karma in the news lately: a boundary fence overrun at Chicago Midway International Airport on an icy and snowy night; a wing strike during landing on a windy evening in Alaska; a crash in Greece because no one seemed to speak the same language. It didn't hit me immediately, but I eventually realized that all these accidents involved airlines, and even further, the Boeing 737, the same airplane I fly.

'Say Again?'

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2006

I recently was leaving the gate at a small Midwestern airport. Small, of course, is relative.

Proficiency

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2006

Staying sharp when time is short When we posed the question of proficiency to AOPA members, we asked what specific procedures and maneuvers they would practice to stay proficient if they only had an hour, or a single flight, in which to accomplish these tasks every month. Let's set aside the debate for a moment, which begs the question: Can a pilot stay proficient while flying one hour a month? "I don't think I can stay sharp anymore.

On the Way Down

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2006

We've all heard the rumor that a stabilized approach can lead to a good landing. Great, we can always use more good landings.

Technique

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2006

Flying into big airports can be fun — really "Reading departure signs in some big airport/Reminds me of the places I've been." So sings the captain of Air Margaritaville himself, Jimmy Buffett, in his song, Changes in Lattitudes, Changes in Attitudes. I sometimes think of that song when I am sitting in the terminal of a little airport, one that doesn't have but a fraction of the air-carrier operations of the megaplexes.

Proficiency

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2006

Is dependence on GPS steering you wrong? Doctors at Wright State University in Dayton call it "in-flight geographic disorientation," or IGD. It means you get lost, land at the wrong airport, but at least can say, "I got down (IGD)." The better-publicized cases of landing at the wrong airport involve airlines, and you'll find 70 examples from over the years by following the Internet link at the end of this article.

Proficiency

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2006

Depending on fuel gauges is not a good idea Research shows that just about every other day a general aviation airplane is involved in an accident in the United States because of fuel starvation, exhaustion, or contamination. This statistic doesn't even include incidents or unreported events.

Proficiency

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2006

When landing to "look-see" is the best option An emergency clears the decks. You distill possible actions to address the task at hand — correcting the problem or getting the airplane safely on the ground.

Racing the Weather

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2006

The weather that dominated the week of the 2005 Air Race Classic was an echo of the whole long summer: A stubborn high-pressure system — a necklace of H's — choked the midsection of the country. Good flying weather? Well, essentially yes, but not the prettiest, or the most fun.

Fill 'Er Up?

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2005

It's a rare day that a pilot of a light general aviation airplane doesn't head for a destination with a full tank of fuel. The only barrier to this practice is almost always going to be some kind of performance consideration, such as a short runway, a full airplane, a hot day, or a combination thereof.

Up and Out

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2005

Last year, Pilot published an article on VFR arrivals (see "Approaching the Airport," May 2004 Pilot), describing how best to approach an airport in visual conditions, and in response received the following e-mail from flight instructor Mark Hutchins in Virginia: "As a person who flies in and out of the traffic pattern a lot, I appreciate your article on pattern entry. I hope you will do an article on VFR departures from a nontowered field.

Secrets of Safe Departures

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2005

The pilot was in a hurry. Because he had an IFR-clearance-void time to make, he urged his wife and child along as they made the requisite preflight stops at the rest rooms and vending machines.

Hitting the Fan

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2005

Emergencies in flight — we read about them, we talk about them, we train for them. Regardless of what kind of airplane we fly or what kind of flying we do — we wonder, "What happens when it really happens?" Well, it really happened to me.

The Three Stages of Takeoffs

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2005

A takeoff is a takeoff is a takeoff, right? Well, sort of. You add full throttle, roll down the runway, get some speed, and if all goes well, you go flying.

Bird Strike!

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2005

Recent articles in AOPA Pilot triggered these questions from readers: What do you do when you see a bird just ahead? Should you descend, climb, continue straight ahead, or turn? Most pilots believe that the bird will dive. Well, not always.

Runway Manners

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2005

It is a well-known, well-documented statistic that the most dangerous realms of flight are the takeoff and the approach and landing phases. This makes sense.

This Is Standard?

Article | Jun 01, 2005

The vagaries of individuality. One of our most fascinating traits can be one of our most frustrating as well.

Not Deadly -- But Costly

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2005

Ask experienced pilots of complex aircraft what they fear most as far as accidents go, and you likely won't hear about obvious crises such as an engine failure or a loss of control on an instrument approach. No, the most competent, careful pilots I know — to a one — say, "I'm afraid of landing gear up." Why would a normally nonfatal event — many gear-ups don't even qualify as accidents — strike fear into the hearts of skilled, high-time pilots? Because they know it's one that only takes a couple-minutes lapse of attention, or distraction, or misunderstanding to cause.

One Step Ahead

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2005

Do we continue the takeoff or do we abort, do we land or go around? There are times in aviation when our whole world can change in the blink of an eye. The V1 decision — to go or not to go — is probably the most famous split-second decision that we have to make, and we do it on every flight.

Getting to Know You

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2005

It was the pilot's first flight in the 1977 Mooney 201, which he had just acquired with a partner. Conducting the checkout was an instructor who had more than 100 hours of Mooney experience — in a 1981 model.

A Personal MEL

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2005

One of the common threads in aviation — general aviation, the airlines, corporate, the military, and even the space program — is the problem of dealing with something on the aircraft that is broken. Hardly a student or a renter has not had to deal with an airplane that has a broken part.

Me, Myself, and I

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2004

Last week you were flying with Perfect Pilot, the King of Crew Resource Management (CRM). Perfect knew everything, shared it willingly, was a great stick, helped little old ladies across the street, and even paid for dinner.