Short and Soft Field

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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.

As 'old school' as it gets

Article | Jul 02, 2012

Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome has for half a century fielded a vintage fleet of pioneer, World War I, and barnstorming aircraft in weekend shows that test the skills of a select group of pilots.

Resuming the Journey: Wrapping up the flight review

Article | Jun 25, 2012

After nearly a decade on the ground, a pilot wraps up a thorough five-lesson flight review. On to soft-field landings, short runways, no towers, and lots of adventure in Alaska.

Resuming the Journey: Short- and soft-field takeoffs, Alaska style

Article | Jun 12, 2012

Can short- and soft-field practice at a 5,200-foot pave runway prepare this pilot for operating on a 1,700-foot grass runway, with the last 500 feet sloping downhill at a 15-percent grade?

Able Flight success

Article | Apr 20, 2012

Adam Kisielewski was feeling the pressure. The former U.S. Marine who had lost his left arm and a portion of his right leg in combat in Iraq was about to take a sport pilot checkride, and the usually cocky 28-year-old was rattled.

Resuming the Journey: Takeoffs and landings

Article | Apr 19, 2012

A pilot's first lesson after a nine-year hiatus left her feeling increasingly confident in regaining her skills. But how would she handle the second lesson: takeoffs and landings with winds of 13 knots gusting to 18?