Waypoints

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Waypoints: On wet wings

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2012

Green doesn't always mean go. I thought of this as I looked at the solid green - and occasional yellow patches - on the Garmin GNS 530W display before me.

Waypoints

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2012

We swapped Bonanza-owner stories in the back seat of the Lincoln Town Car, just as any two pilots might when they meet on a ramp somewhere. But I was pinching myself as Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong described his decision to move from a Bonanza to a Cessna 310, which he only recently sold and is now planning his next airplane purchase.

Waypoints

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2012

Of all the technological changes that have impacted our lives over the past decade or so, the most dramatic have been in the way we consume information.

Waypoints

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2012

With the Adam A500 twin established on final to Lakeland Linder Regional's Runway 9R, I selected gear down and surveyed the airport complex before me. Normally Runway 9R is simply Runway 9, but during the Sun 'n Fun Fly-In the parallel taxiway becomes Runway 9L.

Waypoints

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2012

A scorecard seems necessary to keep track of who's who in aviation today as globalization of company ownership continues. And while foreign ownership of traditionally U.S.-owned companies causes consternation among some American pilots, we have no one except ourselves to blame because it is the lack of U.S. investment that is, for the most part, driving the sale of these companies.

Waypoints

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2012

As the gear thunks into the wheel wells I crank the old Bonanza onto left crosswind—a bit more aggressively than usual, just because it feels right.

Waypoints

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2012

The three of us on board the Beechcraft A36 Bonanza lapsed into a comfortable quiet as we watched the Mid-Atlantic states scroll by on the life-sized moving map out the window. Connecticut turned into New York and then New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and finally Maryland as we slipped into the pattern at Frederick Municipal on that fall Sunday morning for an arrival home after nearly a week at AOPA Aviation Summit in Hartford. With two of the six seats removed, we had gear stacked nearly floor to ceiling in every nook and cranny. Even then, the old Bonanza, a product of the Nixon era, sprinted upward at 1,000 feet per minute right after takeoff, still more than 100 pounds short of its maximum gross weight. With our full load of fuel, we could have continued on to Chicago, Louisville, Atlanta, or Charlotte.

Waypoints

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2012

The three of us on board the Beechcraft A36 Bonanza lapsed into a comfortable quiet as we watched the Mid-Atlantic states scroll by on the life-sized moving map out the window. Connecticut turned into New York and then New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and finally Maryland as we slipped into the pattern at Frederick Municipal on that fall Sunday morning for an arrival home after nearly a week at AOPA Aviation Summit in Hartford. With two of the six seats removed, we had gear stacked nearly floor to ceiling in every nook and cranny. Even then, the old Bonanza, a product of the Nixon era, sprinted upward at 1,000 feet per minute right after takeoff, still more than 100 pounds short of its maximum gross weight. With our full load of fuel, we could have continued on to Chicago, Louisville, Atlanta, or Charlotte.

Waypoints

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2011

General aviation provides a visual perspective not possible by any other means. We all know that at a certain cerebral level. However, when we experience it in a tangible way, it's almost like learning it anew. A recent example: Through the miracle of general aviation flight I was able to experience the lowest point in North America and the highest point in the Lower 48 states all within about an hour of each other -- and that was only half the day!

Waypoints

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2011

Since the economic collapse of 2008, business aviation has been a lightning rod of controversy. Thoughtless auto executives who individually flew their corporate jets to Washington, D.C., to ask for corporate handouts turned tail and sulked home rather than stand and defend the role business aviation plays in the success of a company.

Waypoints

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2011

My aha moment occurred while flying northeast between Baltimore and Philadelphia.

Waypoints

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2011

As New York City's Verrazano-Narrows Bridge slides under my Bonanza's wing and I see the Statute of Liberty, the Hudson and East river corridors, and all of Manhattan laid out before me, I feel a sense of accomplishment, completing a mission planned a decade earlier.

Waypoints

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2011

Forty-five nautical miles—about a 15-minute flight in the Piper Meridian I was flying. Night, good VFR weather.

Waypoints

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2011

The majesty of Denali’s north slope filled the Turbine Otter’s windscreen. Thin, wispy clouds obscured the summit of North America’s highest peak, making it appear even more majestic among nearby competing mountains, Mount Foraker and Mount Hunter.

Waypoints

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2011

In reviewing accident reports I’m often frustrated by the repeating patterns. Some accident trends are skill- related—crosswind landing accidents, for example.

Waypoints

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2011

The B–17’s four cranky Wright engines coughed and barked to life one by one, each leaving a trail of gray exhaust until all nine of the cylinders could agree that, yes, we’re going flying today. The staccato of the big radials broke the early morning’s quiet, commanding attention from everyone in the Sun ’n Fun Fly-In’s warbird area.

Waypoints

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2011

West Virginia farm fields fill the windscreen as we plummet earthward. Pressed against the shoulder harnesses, I crank the yoke over to enter a 45-degree left turn, causing the vertical speed indicator to slash farther toward the 3 o’clock position—nearly 4,000 feet per minute in the descent.

Waypoints

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2011

By the time I leveled off at 11,000 feet, a quick glance at the Garmin 530 showed that I was only 20 minutes from Freeport, Bahamas—20 more minutes of deep blue Caribbean below me. My Bonanza is a headwind magnet, but today we were tooling along with about 20 knots on the tail, so the miles to dry land were ticking by quickly.

Waypoints

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2011

This is not a feel-good, warm-and-fuzzy column about the philosophical meaning of aviation. Nope, this is about how “mean” aviation has become.

Waypoints

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2011

I signed off the e-mail by writing, “I have never regretted buying a Bonanza. It’s been a joy to own.” The comments were in response to a member’s question about Bonanzas.

Waypoints

Article | Dec 01, 2010

In this challenging downturn, economic forecasting makes weather forecasting look like a piece of cake. At least in meteorology you have physical properties that can’t be changed.

Waypoints

Article | Nov 01, 2010

Plowing southwestward into a slight headwind, carving a path through the steaming August air, my mind drifted back nearly a decade to a similar mission. Except then it was a crisp and clear January day with a tailwind as we headed northeast.

Waypoints

Article | Oct 01, 2010

From 1,000 feet above, I watched the Cessna 182 line up for Meadow Creek’s Runway 35—the brilliant white wings a stark contrast to the dark green forest surrounding the grass strip. Minutes later we touched down on the same turf in an equally pristine Cessna 180.