Takeoffs and Landings

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German engineers smash bugs in bid to save jet fuel

Article | Aug 12, 2013

German aerospace engineers are hunting bugs in hope of one day saving fuel.

Training Tip: Completing the appropriate checklist

Article | Aug 08, 2013

Understanding the “why” of the items on your checklists will help you remember steps required for a flight operation to meet performance goals.

Letters: The Unlikeliest Astronaut

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2013

Our June issue highlighted two aviation legends with a profile on test pilot Mike Melvill and reflections of columnist Barry Schiff, who celebrated 50 years with AOPA Pilot.

Pilot Briefing: One fast cat

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2013

On a recent visit to Spokane, Washington’s Felts Field, AOPA Pilot got a first look at Northwest Turbine’s latest conversion undergoing certification. The Cougar Baron is a Beechcraft 58P outfitted with a pair of 500-shaft-horsepower Pratt & Whitney PT6A-21 turboprops. Rocket Engineering is doing the certification legwork for partner company Northwest Turbine LLC, which also markets the Royal Turbine conversion of the Beechcraft Duke.

Mentor Matters Jet landing distance calculations

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2013

Examining light jet accident statistics, it’s immediately clear that pilots going off the end of the runway are responsible for a lion’s share of bent metal. When considering how manufacturers derive the performance information that tells a pilot how much landing runway is needed, this fact becomes more understandable.

One-on-one type training

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2013

The vast majority of my training in turbine airplanes has been simulator-based, and conducted at facilities run by CAE/Simuflite, FlightSafety International, CAE, and Simcom. The training was excellent, with a daily mix of formal classroom sessions and time spent in the simulators.

Never Again: Tumble in the desert

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2013

My private pilot training took place nearly 36 years ago in a Cessna 150 at Ryan Field near Tucson, Arizona. No one can exaggerate the benefits of training as a student pilot in the Arizona desert’s persistent severe-clear conditions. However, even the perfect training environment could not prevent a nearly disastrous event that occurred during one of my solo cross-country flights.

No-compromises SuperStol bush plane sells well

Article | Jul 30, 2013

Just Aircraft Founder Gary Schmitt wasn't sure anyone else would be interested in the no-compromises bush airplane that he wanted to own and fly.

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.

Jury faults tower controllers in banner tow crash

Article | Jul 17, 2013

A Florida jury has assigned most of the blame for a 2007 crash to the contract air traffic control tower operator.

Quiz Me: What do I have to report to the NTSB?

Article | Jul 12, 2013

Question: My friend forgot to extend the landing gear before landing, which resulted in a gear-up landing. There were no injuries, but there is minor damage to the propeller and dents in the lower cowl and fuselage. Does this need to be reported to the NTSB?

Cell phone call solves lost-com emergency

Article | Jul 11, 2013

When the electrical system of his Beech Bonanza quit after takeoff, Raymond Cody's iPad and cell phone came in handy.

NTSB recommends changes after near misses on go-arounds

Article | Jul 02, 2013

The NTSB has recommended a change in ATC procedures to ensure traffic separation during go-arounds.

Clean Sweep

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2013

Of all the aftermarket-modification specialists available to turbine operators, James D. Raisbeck must certainly stand out as one of the most prolific. Raisbeck, CEO of Raisbeck Engineering of Seattle, Washington, started his company in the 1970s by developing performance-enhancing wing and flap modifications to the Learjets 35 and 36. By 1982 he was eyeing Beechcraft’s King Air line of twin turboprops.

Proficient Pilot: Another nail in the coffin

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2013

Thirty-two years ago I wrote a feature article titled, "Death of an Airport" (August 1981 "AOPA Pilot"). It described how the city council of Santa Monica, California, had been conducting a war of attrition against aviation users in an unveiled attempt to close one of the oldest airports in the country.

Technique: The third wheel

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2013

For such a tiny part of the airplane, the third wheel of a taildragger has a vicious bite if it's not treated with proper respect. "You can't get lazy in a tailwheel," instructor Ron Rapp explained early in 5G Aviation's tailwheel endorsement training program at Southern California's John Wayne Airport-Orange County.

Solar airplane fosters technology exchange

Article | Jun 20, 2013

Solar Impulse, with the wingspan of an airliner—208 feet—weighs only 3,527 pounds and can fly day and night.

Virginia looks to expand landing areas, pilot population

Article | Jun 20, 2013

Virginia, mindful of the need to build the next generation of pilots, is looking to expand turf runways and supporting the seaplane community as well.

Quiz Me: June 7, 2013

Article | Jun 07, 2013

True or False: While performing a takeoff from a short runway, I should always retract the landing gear immediately after liftoff to reduce drag.

Nebraska airport zoning bill boosts safety margin

Article | Jun 03, 2013

A Nebraska bill would keep instrument approach paths free from new obstacles by expanding airport approach zones and revising outdated language in the state’s Airport Zoning Act.

Cool Stuff: Terrafugia begins studies on hybrid electric flying car able to take off, land vertically

Article | Jun 01, 2013

The Transition isn't yet certified as an airplane and automobile, but already its parent company, Terrafugia, Inc., is looking to the future.

Never Again: A date with his girl

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2013

I started flying lessons at age 16 at Dalton Airport in Flushing, Michigan. My instructor, Spike, was patient despite some breathtaking moments I provided in a Citabria 7EC.