Cross Country

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Safety Pilot: The annual brush-up

Pilot Magazine | Sep 29, 2015

Feeling a bit rusty? Or, perhaps you’re the self-proclaimed ace of the base. How about an honest second opinion?

Pilot Briefing: Flying Clubs

Pilot Magazine | Sep 29, 2015

Tucked into the rolling hills of Middle Tennessee is a flying club that is creating excitement in the local flying community.

Question of the Month

Article | Sep 20, 2015

Every flying club must answer what type of aircraft the club should get. While the process is exciting, there are several things to consider. Most importantly, the aircraft should meet the mission of the club, whether it’s primary training, cross-country travel, or something more unique such as offering taildraggers. But just as important is making sure you have a clear understanding of the club’s finances. This month’s Question of the Month provides some useful tips on how to start your search for the perfect airplane for your club.

Club Spotlight

Article | Sep 20, 2015

The Gateway Flying Club has been around since 1976 and like many clubs, faced some challenges when the economy took a downturn over the past several years. Based at Anoka County Blaine Airport (KANE) in Anoka, Minnesota, the club weathered the storm by making adjustments to it finances, including a dry hourly rate and new member specials. Club President Chris Baye and Board Member-at-Large Curt Stoltz share how the club continues to succeed after nearly 40 years.

Aircraft Spotlight

Article | Sep 20, 2015

The Cessna 177 Cardinal might just be the Goldilocks of Cessna single-engines. It’s bigger than the C-172, but not as fast as the C-182. It fits somewhere in between and provides a nice cross-country aircraft with good speed and economical performance. It makes a reliable IFR trainer and in a pinch can be used for primary students as well. Gateway Flying Club President Chris Baye and Member-at-Large Curt Stoltz share their experience with the Cardinal.

Like father, like son

Article | Sep 08, 2015

The similarities between Rick Mihalinac’s logbook and his late father’s pilot logbook are uncanny: Both had 69.5 hours of flight time when they took their private pilot checkrides; both of their checkrides lasted 1.2 hours; and Mihalinac’s checkride took place on Aug. 27—40 years to the day of his father’s first solo.

Training Tip: A scattering of storms

Article | Sep 08, 2015

If you determine that you and a storm are heading for the same destination, go elsewhere. Don’t get caught in a race to the field.

Pilot Getaways: Powder & the Polar Express

Article | Sep 08, 2015

In the corner of Colorado at the base of the imposing San Juan Mountains, Durango serves as a gateway to a huge array of unique adventures.

Brief, file, and shop

Article | Sep 02, 2015

An online flight planning service and an aviation real estate specialist have joined forces to put hangar homes and other listings on the planning map.

Filmmakers want to bring 'Flight of Passage' to big screen

Article | Aug 26, 2015

Two filmmakers want to bring Rinker Buck's iconic Flight of Passage to the silver screen, and they are asking for your help to make it happen.


Article | Aug 16, 2015

Proper planning and understanding your experience and skill level are something every flying club member should understand. In this Air Safety Institute Real Pilot Story: From Miscue to Rescue, a low-time pilot takes you along on a personal and emotional journey as he reflects how a series of delays, poor decisions, and lack of preparation turned the four-hour cross-country flight into a 30-hour survival crisis for him and his family.

Aircraft Spotlight

Article | Aug 16, 2015

if your club is looking to diversify its fleet and offer something a little different, the Citabria could fit the bill. It’s a design that harkens back to the earlier, simple days of aviation, yet it has modern touches. It’s a reliable taildragger for those that want a tailwheel endorsement, it’s economical to operate, and the tandem seating and stick provide pilots quite a different experience from flying a Cessna or Piper. East Hill Flying Club President David St. George shares his club’s experience with the Citabria.

Aviation for a new generation

Article | Aug 11, 2015

“We want kids to learn, but we want them to be passionate, so it has to be fun for them," says flight instructor MayCay Beeler.

Aviation Legends: The world according to Clay Lacy

Pilot Magazine | Aug 10, 2015

Aviation legend Clay Lacy has become synonymous with jet aircraft and Southern California, so it’s with some surprise that when he appears at a Wichita Aero Club luncheon, he’s introduced as a native son.

Mental gymnastics

Article | Jul 30, 2015

Mastering the mental discipline required to score well in aerobatic competition is arguably both the greatest challenge, and the greatest reward.

Training Tip: Precip's potential pitfalls

Article | Jul 24, 2015

Many student pilots ask: Is precipitation a no-go item for VFR flight?

Aircraft Spotlight

Article | Jul 19, 2015

For clubs looking for an affordable, tricycle-gear LSA to train new pilots or transition existing ones to Sport Pilot, the Ercoupe may be just what you’re looking for. The twin-tail and bubble canopy will attract your eye, but the linked rudder and ailerons and design to prevent stalls are what make it noteworthy. It has proved a popular plane for the Green Castle Aero Club in Oxford, Iowa, and Chief Instructor Terry Koehn shares the club’s experience with the airplane that was far ahead of its time.

Tragedy over South Carolina

Article | Jul 08, 2015

A father and son were killed when a U.S. Air Force F-16 and a Cessna 150 collided over South Carolina July 7.

Never Again: Speaking up

Pilot Magazine | Jul 07, 2015

I was influenced by the senior pilot to my right, who I believed had experience in dealing with decisions like this.

Fly like a fighter: 'Unable'

Fly like a fighter | Jul 06, 2015

Even in a T-38 jet trainer, sometimes the appropriate response to a clearance is, "Unable," recalls retired Air Force pilot Larry Brown.

The ‘see and avoid’ rules

Pilot Magazine | Jul 06, 2015

Faithful readers of this column recognize that over many years I have reviewed for pilots and aircraft owners the general operating and flight rules of the federal aviation regulations.

Aircraft Spotlight

Article | Jun 21, 2015

The yellow and blue colors of the Boeing Stearman are iconic. It trained a generation of pilots that went to went to war, and has been a staple of the General Aviation world for the past 70 years as a crop duster, barnstormer, and air show performer. In Morris, Illinois, you can add flying club aircraft to that list. Blue Sky Aero Flying Club owner and Chief Instructor Cindy Limbach talks about operating a Stearman in a flying club.

AV8R profile

Article | Jun 17, 2015

Ryan Flynn, 16, of Louisville, Kentucky, and his family have traveled the world in commercial jets.

Pilot Briefing: Start 'em young

Pilot Magazine | Jun 09, 2015

Passion for flying starts at a young age, like that of the junior high students in the Pittsburgh Gifted Center.

Training Tip: The M in MVFR

Article | Jun 08, 2015

It’s not just the possibility of a VFR pilot encountering instrument meteorological conditions that raises the risk profile of flight in marginal VFR conditions.

AOPA Homecoming draws thousands to airport

Article | Jun 06, 2015

A steady breeze and partly sunny skies brought welcomed relief to AOPA Homecoming Fly-In attendees from the Mid-Atlantic region who had been deluged with a week’s worth of rain. More than 3,300 people attended the Frederick, Maryland, event, with 375 aircraft flying in.

IFR Fix: Unknown problem, imperfect solution

IFR Fix | Jun 01, 2015

There was a bang, the instructor says, followed by a vibration in the control column. Did something on the cowling let go, striking the tail?

Training Tip: 'VFR not recommended'

Article | May 29, 2015

Don’t let an undramatic presentation of a "VFR not recommended" advisory rob you of your ability to use good judgment about its importance.

Aircraft Spotlight

Article | May 17, 2015

If your club is looking for a low-cost trainer, the Cessna 150/152 often comes to mind. But don’t overlook the Piper Tomahawk. When Piper was designing its replacement to the aging Cherokee 140 training fleet in the late 1970s, it surveyed flight instructors and incorporated their input. The result was a reliable trainer that is more spinnable than a 150/152. Nearly 2,500 were made in the five years it was produced. Graham Wilson, chief flight instructor for Windsor Flying Club in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, shares their experience with this T-tail trainer.

‘CloudStreet’ program captures soaring for PBS

Article | May 13, 2015

Set in intermountain west soaring country, “CloudStreet: Soaring the American West” tells the story of four glider pilots in New Mexico, Idaho, Wyoming, and Colorado.

Homecoming Fly-In, Frederick, Maryland

Pilot Magazine | May 12, 2015

Come to your airport—the national headquarters of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association—for the association’s annual Homecoming Fly-In June 6.

Proficient Pilot: Big trouble

Pilot Magazine | May 06, 2015

Like many airports in the United States, many of Israel’s airports are under pressure to close because of escalating real-estate values and urban sprawl that suffocates their boundaries.

Letters from our April 2015 issue

Pilot Magazine | May 06, 2015

Readers weigh in on the assortment of information in our P&E section, which offers technique tips, ownership ideas, and ways to stay proficient.

CAFE Foundation holds ninth conference

Article | May 04, 2015

The CAFE Foundation’s Electric Aircraft Symposium is a small annual gathering, attracting 170 attendees to the Flamingo Resort in Santa Rosa, California, May 1 and 2.

Training Tip: 'Immediate and rapid descent'

Article | Apr 20, 2015

The emergency descent is a flight-test item found as Task A, Emergency Operations, in the Private Pilot Practical Test Standards.

Club Spotlight

Article | Apr 19, 2015

Hawaii is one of the most beautiful places on earth—and it looks even better by air. With 14 public use airports on the eight islands, there are plenty of opportunities for general aviation pilots. Moore Air is a for-profit company that offers aircraft rental, but also has a flying club to help keep rates low for frequent flyers and visitors to the islands. Moore Air owner and president Mark Jones shares how it all works and what it’s like to fly in Hawaii.

Fly like a fighter: Operation empty Sic-Sacs

Fly like a fighter | Apr 07, 2015

After getting sick on his first five flights in a T-37, an Air Force pilot made it his goal to create an experience in which none of his passengers would get sick, whether he was flying reporters or controllers in an F-15 or T-38 or friends in a Cessna 172.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Apr 03, 2015

One of the most meaningful and emotional flights of my life occurred on May 23, 1995, 20 years ago this month.

Pilot Briefing: Giving Back

Pilot Magazine | Apr 03, 2015

Aviation Adventures Inc. came about in an unexpected way.

Training Tip: Seen and avoided

Article | Mar 20, 2015

Pilots receiving radar traffic advisories might be lulled into letting the "second pair of eyes" at the approach control radar scope keep the lone watch for any further traffic conflicts. Don’t become one of those complacent pilots!

Aircraft Spotlight

Article | Mar 15, 2015

For a cost-conscience flying club looking to offer advanced training or do some cross country flying, the Piper Arrow may be exactly what you’re looking for. While there are faster or bigger aircraft, the Arrow offers an easy step up from a Cherokee to a complex airplane, it has a decent useful load, and it’s inexpensive to operate. Dave Sanders of the Bay Area Aero Club in Pearland, Texas shares their experience.

Question of the Month

Article | Mar 15, 2015

The Pittsburgh Flying Club is looking to get a new aircraft and Frank Beresnyak asked for help on the AOPA Facebook Flying Club page. He detailed the club’s current cost structure and what it would be for each aircraft and asked, “If given the choice between the 172 and 182, which would you choose? Would an increase in dues cause you to go elsewhere to rent/fly?” Several club members provided useful ideas on how to best make the decision.

Air racing revs up in 2015

Article | Mar 13, 2015

Want to participate in an air race in 2015? You don't need to be a Red Bull pilot to race in these upcoming events.