Technique

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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: 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.

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: 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.

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.