Never Again

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Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2012

In 1952, with my four-year-old Luscombe 8E that I had just purchased for $800 - a lot of money for a recent graduate of officer candidate school at Fort Benning, Georgia - I was on cloud nine before I even took off from the grass strip at King's School of Aviation in Columbus, Georgia.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2012

Thwack! My friend David smarted as I slapped his hand with the admonishment to never touch "my" radios. As an instrument pilot and good friend, he had assumed he was competent to help with the flight by managing some of the communications and navigation. When we landed I told him of the experience that led me to the notion that the pilot in command owns the radios, and nobody else should touch them without explicit permission.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2011

Losing important pieces of an airplane, while flying, can be fatal. But you know that. Many people, including some pilots, think of gliders, or sailplanes, as toys. Far from it. They are among the world's most advanced, high-performance aircraft. Beyond their performance, they are insanely beautiful, shaped by the wind. Sailplane pilots like to think of them as highly advanced airplanes that lack only that noisy fire hazard.

Topics Avionics

Never Again

Article | Nov 01, 2011

As a fairly new pilot with 120 hours, I was very excited about an upcoming flight from my home airport in Blue Ash, Ohio, to my favorite vacation spot: Traverse City, Michigan. I was looking forward to the opportunity to fly this trip during the fall color season.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2011

It was a warm sunny Sunday morning at Fullerton Municipal Airport. My wife and I had spent a wonderful two days aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California, soaking up the ambiance of transatlantic travel from a bygone era.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2011

After a quick break and fuel stop in Waycross, Georgia, the Velocity was again very hard to start. Approximately halfway between Waycross and Lumberton, North Carolina, the engine shuddered, and then returned to normal. Scanning the instruments, I found nothing unusual. The engine then began a vibration that was anything but normal...

Never Again: Blowing in the Breeze

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2011

I consider myself one of the lucky ones. I have a passion for general aviation and have found various ways to feed this passion ever since earning my private pilot certificate in 1979 and an instrument rating in 1984.

Never Again: Hawaiian surprise

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2011

Taking off from the island of Molokai for our return flight to the island of Oahu we climbed into a rare, 400-foot overcast. I turned my Beechcraft Travel Air to the west and climbed steeply in solid IMC to cross the VOR in the West Molokai Mountains.

Never Again: Post-maintenance surprise

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2011

It was a nice Texas early fall day in 1992. I had received my private pilot certificate the previous year and had about 75 hours as pilot in command.

Never Again: A lake and a layer

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2011

It was April 19, 2010, a beautiful day for flying. I departed Tyler, Texas, for a two and one-half hour flight to Lakefront Airport in New Orleans.

Never Again:

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2011

I fondly remember many memorable flights with my dad when I was a little boy. No matter what the circumstance, he always seemed to be as cool as a cucumber.

Never Again:

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2011

Although it seems ridiculous to an outsider, operating in less than marginal VFR weather is common in the Louisiana oil field. I was in a Cessna 185 amphibian, engine idling, pointed into the 30-plus-knot wind, holding position in the ship channel southeast of New Orleans.

Never Again:

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2011

Illustration by Sarah Hanson Each of the three passengers had weighed themselves and their camping gear and dutifully telephoned to me the results so that I could calculate the weight and balance for our flight from East Kansas City to Sun ’n Fun in Lakeland, Florida. It had been an unusually cold April in the Midwest and each of us looked forward to the warmth of Florida.

Never Again:

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2011

On a cool and clear April evening, instead of doing homework for my English and biology classes, I drove the 50 minutes from my home in Sandy, Utah, to the Heber City Municipal Airport for the night cross-country portion of my flight training. I had recently completed my introduction to night flying with a local flight after dark, and takeoff and landing practice.

Never Again

Article | Dec 01, 2010

We had many memorable flights during a trip to Alaska in the summer of 1976. The adventure, from Boston to Alaska and back in a Mooney, began on a whim.

Never Again

Article | Nov 01, 2010

A chance encounter at a coffee shop introduced me to the world of general aviation. Chatting with a total stranger while we waited in line for overpriced lattes, he mentioned he was a pilot and owned an airplane.

Never Again

Article | Oct 01, 2010

Glass cockpits provide wondrous, seemingly miraculous information to today’s pilots, but it wasn’t always so. In the dim, dark ages when I learned to fly, we had no such tools—but we did have telephones—and my failure to use one before my first solo cross-country flight could have cost me dearly.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2010

I was a Peace Corps volunteer in the mid-1960s living in the Peruvian Andes, where a small group was working hard to establish a wildlife refuge for the endangered vicuña—a wild cousin of the llama and alpaca—which live in the high plains of the towering mountain chain. Poachers were taking a toll on the vicuña, and it was critical to find a remote and expansive habitat to sustain the animals, prized for their soft wool, long recognized as the world’s best.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2010

My birthday party was held at Ted’s Montana Grill. I’m told it was a great outing.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2010

As we climbed up through 5,000 feet, the airplane began to whisper. Ever so faintly, its breath in my ear, it was trying to tell me something.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2010

The first day you fly your new airplane is a day you will never forget. At 43 years old, I decided to fulfill a lifelong dream and learn to fly.

Never Again: No lights, no alternate

Article | May 01, 2010

The final leg of the wintertime trip to the West Coast was supposed to be easy. The AOPA Let’s Go Flying SR22 was on its way to California, where it would be awarded to the winner of the 2009 AOPA Sweepstakes.

Never Again: Playing through

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2010

Gripping the instrument panel, my friend looked over at me and said, “I guess we’re playing through!” My Piper Cherokee 180 roared over a golf green about 10 feet above the grass as four very surprised golfers and a caddy instinctively ducked. At the moment, I was thankful that we were off the ground at all.

Never Again Online: Sand landing

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2010

Many blunders have a root cause in a previous experience in which the outcome was good, and questionable practices come to seem normal and totally acceptable. A perfectly fine beach landing in the past, led this pilot to try it again. Touching down, the aircraft decelerated in a hurry, the nosewheel dug into the soft sand, and the airplane came to a stop sudden stop under full power...

Never Again: Just land

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2010

A warm summer night and a vacant but familiar airport seemed perfect for practicing takeoffs and landings. I was a new private pilot on that long-ago night, and I was night current, too.