Short and Soft Field

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Never Again: The perfect weekend kickoff

Pilot Magazine | Sep 05, 2014

At 550 feet I was still focused on the runway and yaw control when the wheels left the ground. A quick glance at oil pressure and then airspeed—no airspeed! Yet the airplane was surging upward and accelerating forward.

Under fire

Article | Jul 23, 2014

A small corps of pilots patrols protected land in Kenya, facing an increasing threat from poachers as inclined to shoot aircraft as elephants.

Training Tip: Too good on takeoff

Article | Jul 21, 2014

Unable to climb, and unable to lower the nose to accelerate without contacting the ground, he is in a spot.

Engineers Flying Club: Turning out private pilots for $4,000

Article | Jul 04, 2014

A reasonable buy-in rate and low hourly flying costs, along with educational and social events, are among the benefits of belonging to Oklahoma City’s Engineers Flying Club.

Test Pilot

Pilot Magazine | May 13, 2014

1. What aviation safety device was regarded as a gadget, rejected when first introduced in 1931, and considered only for use in an amusement park?

Redbird launches simulator challenge

Article | Apr 01, 2014

Redbird Flight Simulations is encouraging pilots from all over the world to show their stuff in the company's new 'Flying' Challenge Cup.

Testing slow flight limits

Article | Feb 21, 2014

A research effort under way in Europe aims to make airlines slower, at least on approach and landing.

Just Aircraft Super Stol: No runway? No problem

Pilot Magazine | Feb 19, 2014

This 400-foot “runway” has a swamp at one end and a two-story brick building at the other.

Technique: Bears at the end of the stream

Pilot Magazine | Jan 22, 2014

It was in the 1967 movie Cool Hand Luke that a prison captain in charge of a work detail warned his prisoners that if they run twice, they will wear two sets of chains. “You ain’t gonna need no third set, ’cause you gonna get your mind right.”

Rotorcraft Rookie: Up, up and away

Rotorcraft Rookie | Jan 01, 2014

Helicopters are made to be able to take off and land vertically. But doing so can actually be a dangerous maneuver.

The new soverign

Pilot Magazine | Dec 19, 2013

Owner/pilots who’ve reached the top of the single-pilot (SP) jet food chain—most likely in the form of a Cessna Citation CJ4 or Embraer Phenom 300—sometimes wonder, what’s next?

Are your Takeoffs as Good as your Landings?

Article | Dec 16, 2013

Takeoff is consistently the phase of flight with the second-highest number of pilot-related accidents.

Training Tip: Assertive on the controls

Article | Aug 02, 2013

A short-field landing’s combination of precision and assertive handling offers a good example of a maneuver that require smoothness and excellent timing.

Training Tip: Fixed standards, variable conditions

Article | Jul 25, 2013

The practical test standards define acceptable performance, but every runway, and every set of weather conditions, shapes what’s required to achieve it.

Skyhaven Flying Club: Safe, fun flying, continuous learning

Article | Apr 30, 2013

New Hampshire's Skyhaven Flying Club, based at Skyhaven Airport in Rochester, is unified by the goal of continuing to learn about aviation in a safe and fun manner, along with passing on knowledge to the next generation of pilots.

Lost prop on checkride: Did he pass?

Article | Sep 06, 2012

Colorado pilot Brian Garrett expected a simulated emergency on his checkride, not a real one. Then, two of his aircraft's three propeller blades tore loose.

User survey asks feedback on Alaska training strips

Advocacy | Aug 29, 2012

You can practice short-field landings on a long, wide runway, but will you have mastered the technique when trying to land in truly tight confines?

Resuming the Journey: Alaska mountain flying

Article | Aug 08, 2012

The two pilots took off in a Cessna 172 from a private 2,200-foot grass strip in Alaska and headed for Wiseman, about 40 miles east. The pilots were going to fly through the mountain passes of the Brooks Range, not over them, using that tried and true navigation: pilotage. The highest peak on the chart was 5,903 feet.

IFR Fix: Checkup to Chester

IFR Fix | Jul 27, 2012

What's the reciprocal of 235 degrees? What's the short-field landing procedure for the aircraft you usually fly IFR? All of that's relevant today because you are taking a proficiency flight to the serene country airfield in Chester, Conn.

Lesson 6 - Resuming the Journey: Come to Kingdom

Article | Jul 10, 2012

At Kingdom Air Corps in Sutton, Alaska, the grass strip is short and the scenery is long on beauty. Lesson six brought real bush flying, breathtaking views of mountains and glaciers, and a chance to practice a short- and soft-field landing - for real. It was another step forward in a journey undertaken by pilot Kathy Dondzila, manager of technical communications in the AOPA Pilot Information Center, returning to the left seat to take on new challenges, and the blessings that come with them.