Autopilots are handy, but you'd better be able to fly the airplane by hand. You just might have to.
2015, 03 03
In flight, you want everything possible working to your advantage.
2015, 02 19
Under certain circumstances, helicopters can create their own weather. It's often a change for the worse.
2015, 02 03
The reason for making a flight is never more critical than managing the flight itself.
2015, 01 14
The rule "always leave yourself a way out" takes on particular importance when flying a piston single over mountainous terrain in instrument conditions.
2014, 12 29
Even when no single item is absolutely prohibitive, accepting too many challenges on the same flight can lead to a very bad day.
2014, 12 17
When operating from remote or unusual airports, local expertise can save a world of grief.
2014, 12 02
For those who fly either airplanes or helicopters, the go-around is like Monopoly’s Get-Out-of-Jail-Free card. The go-around is not a difficult maneuver, but it does get harder the longer you wait.
2014, 11 18
Safe instrument flight requires a realistic understanding of how sharp your skills are today.
2014, 11 03
In an unprotected airplane, anything more than a trace of ice is cause for immediate action, including declaring an emergency if that’s what it takes to get out. In a better-equipped aircraft, the urgency of the situation depends on a number of things.
2014, 10 27
Initiative is widely regarded as admirable, and having the gumption to manage one's own education is one of the most widely admired initiatives of all. But aviation isn't a skill that lends itself to being "self-taught."
2014, 10 17
Hurry is usually counterproductive. In aircraft maintenance, it can be catastrophic.
2014, 09 30
Reported ceilings and visibilities above VFR minimums are no guarantee of a clear view of the horizon. NTSB investigators concluded that the VFR pilot in a fatal crash Oct. 21, 2013, likely lost control in reduced visibility caused by rain showers.
2014, 09 15
Teaching yourself to fly an unfamiliar airplane is daring enough. Teaching yourself to fly an unfamiliar homebuilt when you haven't flown in a decade practically invites catastrophe.
2014, 09 05
Initial reports that a King Air C90 had succumbed to apparent fuel exhaustion on the short hop from Pine Bluff, Arkansas, to Bentonville (about 172 nautical miles straight-line distance) inspired some incredulity. How could anyone able to operate a King Air be too cheap or too careless to assure he had enough fuel for the flight?
2014, 08 11