Icing

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Wx Watch: The problem with pireps

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2012

Let's get this out right up front: Pireps are a valuable source of information that can be indispensible for safe flight planning - and can help prevent weather-related accidents and incidents.

Wx Watch: Searching for snowmageddons

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2012

Ever since the huge 2010 East Coast snowstorm dubbed "Snowmaggedon," those living in the busy northeastern coastal corridor states have been extra curious about any nearby winter lows or fronts. Every time an extended-range outlook pops up, we pay extra attention. The temptation is to look for a storm complex somewhere to the west or northwest, on the assumption that weather complexes traditionally move from west to east. That may be true in a general sense, but the worst of the northeast winter snowstorms are actually born in the south.

Answers for Pilots: Icing

Article | Dec 01, 2011

Each winter, AOPA members call the Pilot Information Center with questions about icing, asking, what, exactly, is "known icing"? When can I fly and when am I grounded? The answer depends to an extent on the kind of deicing equipment an aircraft has. But, since the majority of general aviation aircraft are not equipped for FIKI (flight into known icing), we’ll focus on non-equipped aircraft flying in cold weather.

Power up, temps down: King Air 250

Article | Aug 01, 2011

In late June, Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC) certified its new King Air 250, a more refined variant of its predecessor, the King Air B200GT. Like all King Airs, the 250 has the classy, comfortable cabin that has made the line the go-to twin turboprop for more than 7,000 customers.

Piper Mirage: Pressurization

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2011

You might think that the primary driver of a pilot’s move from a piston airplane to a light turbine is the need for more speed, or range, or altitude. And while those factors certainly play a part in the decision, my recent conversations with pilots who have made the move suggest that the primary reason for the change was to get pressurization.

Safety Pilot: Landmark Accidents

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2011

Some accidents aren’t really accidents, since the definition of “accident” includes the adjectives “unforeseen” or “unexpected.” Here is a rare FAA overindulgence to tolerate those who don’t measure up. The pilot’s history is punctuated by an incredible series of miscues and mishaps by one who was, shall we say, financially gifted but aeronautically challenged.

Wx Watch: Checking the weather

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2011

The aviation weather forecasts we receive from flight service are, for the most part, accurate and useful for our short- and long-term flight planning purposes. Sure, there are exceptions.

System synopsis: Bleed air malfunctions

Article | Mar 01, 2011

Engine bleed air systems can vary widely in design and operation from one airplane type to another, but they all perform the same basic group of functions. Bleed air pressurizes the cabin, heats and cools the cabin, provides heat for ice-protection systems, and even inflates door seals.

Never Again

Article | Dec 01, 2010

We had many memorable flights during a trip to Alaska in the summer of 1976. The adventure, from Boston to Alaska and back in a Mooney, began on a whim.