Wind and Gusts

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Wx Watch: Storm Survey

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2008

All thunderstorms are not created equal. They vary from region to region, from season to season, and rely on slightly different mechanisms to help them fire off.

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.

Airframe and Powerplant

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2007

Tie the airplane out of harm's way Mike Moll flew small airplanes — Piper Super Cubs, de Havilland Beavers, and Cessna 185s — in Alaska from the minute he turned 16 years old until he died in the early 1990s. His father, who also made a living flying in Alaska, taught Moll how to take care of himself and his airplane.

Member Guide

Article | Sep 01, 2007

AOPA Expo lands in Hartford AOPA Expo 2007, general aviation's premier event, will be held in Hartford, Connecticut, from October 4 through 6 at the Connecticut Convention Center and Hartford-Brainard Airport. This is the annual AOPA Expo's first visit to New England.

Pilotage

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2007

Aviation writer Mark R. Twombly writes from southwest Florida.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2007

Aviation writer Barry Schiff is a former captain for TWA. The worst turbulence I ever experienced while flying a jetliner occurred during the early 1970s near Newfoundland in clear air at 39,000 feet on a flight from Rome to New York.

Flying Seasons

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2007

Get your airplane ready for flying after a long winter's nap The yellow trumpetlike daffodils have popped up. Hot-stove hangar flying — those mirthful and informative flying-story sessions seasoned with a shake or two of can-you-top-this and a twist of aw-shucks humility — is slowing down as the days lengthen and the air warms.

Flying Seasons

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2007

What to do in tooth-shattering, head-banging turbulence Soon the spring season will come pounding its way to your area, shaking you free of evil winter — evil, that is, except for skiing — and leaving turbulence in its wake. Quick, what's your power setting for maneuvering speed (VA)? You know about VA, the speed that helps protect the airframe from structural damage, right? You could look it up if you could read the pilot's operating handbook between bounces.

California Flying

Article | Nov 01, 2006

The Barstow-Daggett Airport is a friendly laid-back airport with two long and well-maintained runways. Yet, in spite of this, there are only a few member comments about the Barstow-Daggett Airport on the AOPA's Airport Directory Web site.

Flying Together

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2006

Marital navigation aloft Taking my husband and children flying after obtaining my pilot certificate and instrument rating years ago used to be effortless and fun. Whether it was doing a few steep turns over our sheep pasture or popping over the mountains to see grandma's house, we enjoyed the freedom of being airborne together.

Trout Raining From the Skies

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2006

My wife, Lorraine, and I were enjoying a quiet day of fishing on a remote Maine trout pond last fall when my ears perked up at the sound of a light airplane. As a pilot, I couldn't resist craning around for a look.

Wx Watch: ASOS Basics

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2006

Since its introduction in the 1980s, automated weather observing stations have become standard equipment at many airports around the world. These include the federally funded ASOS (automated surface observation system) and the federal- and/or state-funded AWOS (automated weather observation system) instrument suites.

Landmark Accidents: Down and Locked

Article | Dec 01, 2005

Pilots, like doctors, should take the Hippocratic oath: When faced with an emergency, don't make the situation worse — do no harm. It sometimes happens that we turn a minor mishap into a major accident.

Pilotage

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2005

Aviation journalist Mark R. Twombly writes from South Florida.

Waypoints

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2005

Editor in Chief Thomas B. Haines uses his Beechcraft Bonanza for personal and business flights.

Wx Watch: Squall-Line Lowdown

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2005

It's challenging enough to cope with "garden variety" thunderstorms, what with all the extra preflight weather research and in-flight monitoring that safe flying demands in the convective season. To all that, factor in other brands of convective activity that require as much, or more, vigilance (see "Safety Pilot Landmark Accidents: Midlevel Mayhem," page 66).

Wind, Weather, and Passengers

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2005

In flying, much is made of personal limitations. This is especially true of low-time pilots and newly certificated instrument pilots with regard to flying solo in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC).

Wx Watch: Windwise

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2005

I once did a study of general aviation weather accidents for the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. It had many goals, but one objective was determining which weather phenomenon caused the most accidents.

Never Again Online: Yes, overconfidence!

Article | Oct 01, 2004

As I remember, it was a Friday afternoon in early October when I looked skyward over Van Nuys Airport in California. Weekends were open since my wife and son were still back East, busy selling our home on Long Island, New York.

Letters

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2004

The Great Airplane Bank Robbery This is in response to "The Great Airplane Bank Robbery" article in your August issue. I have been telling that story to people for 35 years and have encountered some who knew of Bugs and his escapades.

Waypoints

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2004

Editor in chief Thomas B. Haines enjoys the challenge of instrument flying but would rather watch thunderstorms from his front porch than from the cockpit.

The Flap About Flaps

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2004

As Shakespeare didn't say, "To flap or partial flap, that is the question." Flap usage becomes a matter of experience and, therefore, personal opinion. That may be why, over the years, pilots of single-engine airplanes have hotly debated the issue.

Near misses with boomers

Article | May 01, 2004

Bruce Landsberg, Air Safety Foundation executive director, has spent years studying Thor's handiwork. It's thunderstorm season once again and throughout the magazine you will see plenty of references to why messing around in the big clouds is a bad idea (see "Wx Watch: Storm Season Insights," page 123).

Never Again Online: Gravity waves: A pilot's perspective

Article | Apr 01, 2004

As pilots, we know quite a bit about many things. For instance, while we are not mechanics, we understand our aircraft's systems.