Technique

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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.

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.

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.

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.