Never Again

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Never Again

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2005

Barring extenuating circumstances, an airplane should never run out of fuel. Still, I've had employers and passengers get upset with me because I either topped off the tanks, delaying the departure, or stopped en route, delaying the arrival.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2005

As I pulled the propeller blade down, a cylinder fired and sent the propeller spinning. It happened in a split second and nothing seemed wrong until the engine fired.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2005

The sky was bluer in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, that spring Sunday morning than I could remember. Forecasts for our destination of Tri-Cities, Tennessee, for broken-to-overcast ceilings did not seem possible.

Never Again

News release | Feb 01, 2005

My brother and I woke up excited in our slope-side suite at Mammoth Mountain, California, ready for another day of epic skiing. The trip had gone well so far.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2005

After being involved in several different businesses, my last 24 years of working before retirement were spent in aviation, operating an FBO at the Hillsboro, Oregon, airport (now Portland-Hillsboro). When not overseeing employees and attending to other aspects of the business, my most enjoyable experience was selling new and used airplanes.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2004

"Stay out of the ice." This blanket advice has been handed down from instructor to student for as long as pilots have been flying in the clouds. The key to avoiding ice is a proper weather briefing, especially one that includes pilot reports, freezing levels, and cloud layers.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2004

I departed South Texas in my Cessna 177 Cardinal with a passenger in the right seat to return to Houston after a hunting trip. This airplane is well equipped for IFR with a standby vacuum pump, an alternate static source, and a Garmin GNS 430 GPS/nav/com.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2004

That morning began as most Saturdays did, with the weekly routine of flying with my longtime partner. While preparing to leave the house for Montgomery Field in San Diego, my eyes were drawn to the television screen showing the contrails of space shuttle Columbia disintegrating as it passed over clear Texas skies.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2004

Mooney Four-One-Seven-Five-Sierra, cleared to Denver. Climb and maintain 13,000 feet." I repeated the clearance back to the flight service station with my most professional voice before I taxied onto the runway.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2004

We departed Paine Field in Everett, Washington, around noon on a warm Saturday, my fiancée Suzanne and I in a 1967 Cessna Skyhawk. Winds were light from the south with scattered cumulus along the west side of the Cascades as we climbed eastbound to 7,500 feet.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2004

Although I had been flying twins for the past 22 years, I found myself flying less, so I decided to throttle back a bit and spend some time getting to know a 1981 Cessna 182 Skylane. I was pretty safe, and determined to keep it that way.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2004

The last time I had a fighter on my wing was during the Cold War, and I was the leader of a two-ship formation. As a pilot with the 146th Fighter Squadron assigned to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) I was combat-qualified in the F-102, a single-seat delta-wing supersonic fighter-interceptor, and most of our missions involved practice intercepts designed to keep us sharp in the face of the constant threat of Soviet bombers.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2004

It was the kind of perfect spring day that pilots love, and I was no exception. I was on my way to the grocery store, with my baby in her infant seat and the dog along for a ride.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2004

It was early April, right around the time that the clock had "sprung" forward for spring. Excited about the extra hour of daylight, I decided to go up for a local after-work flight.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2004

Greg, an A&P specializing in sheet-metal work, laid the straight edge on the rivet line and said, "The spar's been pushed back about a quarter of an inch." He turned off the lights in the hangar and then set a floor lamp to cast low lighting across the top of the left wing of my Cessna 172. "You have definite wrinkles aft along the rib." The damage to the aircraft coincided with the return of smelt fishing to rivers in the Pacific Northwest.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2004

I awoke that cold and blustery February morning anticipating my upcoming flight in an airplane in which I had just been checked out. Only a few months earlier I had earned my private pilot certificate in a Piper Warrior.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2004

The logbook entry for January 29, 1989, is almost as brief as the flight itself: IFR Green Bay to Oshkosh; ILS 36; ice. On that day, after a family visit in Green Bay, Wisconsin, my wife, Cindy, and I climb into a rented Socata Trinidad for a late afternoon flight back to DuPage Airport near Chicago.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2003

In 1991 I was flying for an air taxi operator located in Fairbanks, Alaska. We provided scheduled service for mail, freight, and passengers from Fairbanks to outlying villages.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2003

"Brainard Tower, this is Grumman Tiger Two-Eight-Eight-Five-Seven, 11 miles southwest, inbound with Alpha." (Information Alpha at Hartford, Connecticut's Hartford-Brainard Airport was reporting winds at 240 degrees and 10 to 15 knots, traffic using Runway 20.) Not too bad, I thought to myself, a slight crab at the onset maybe, and then a little right aileron with left rudder. "Grumman Tiger Two-Eight-Eight-Five-Seven, report entering a downwind for Runway 20," the controller said.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2003

I almost killed myself twice in the same night. It all began back in the early winter months of 1985.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2003

Maybe you fly a docile puppy dog rather than a rip-snorting Yakovlev Yak-52, but don't think that what happened to me can't happen to you. I pulled up to the pump to refuel the Yak, a Russian-designed aircraft certified to plus-7 and minus-5 Gs, after a few local hops.

Topics Pilots

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2003

I have waited a few years before writing this, but I think there are some good lessons to be gained from the true account that follows. It began about eight years ago when I walked into the FBO from which I fly at Florida's North Perry Airport underneath the north side of the large Miami International Class B ring.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2003

It was a sparkling-clear late summer day, and from Flight Level 240 you could see almost forever. I felt literally on top of the world.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2003

It was a typical humid summer day in the Los Angeles Basin — a name you really can't appreciate until you've seen it from the air — a Cyclopean bowl filled with a broth of smoke and humidity, its top surface neatly defined by the temperature inversion layer so common in summer. The air above 1,200 feet msl was as clear as it was hazy below.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2003

The morning in early May dawned bright and clear. My wife, Jeri, and I would fly that day from Baker, Montana, to McMinnville, Oregon.