Never Again

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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.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2003

When my buddy, Ernie, and I decided that we would upgrade our aeronautical experience from the variety of fixed-gear aircraft we had been flying to something more complex, we were in luck. A 1947 Navion A was for sale at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey at a very affordable price.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2003

Early on the morning of an IFR flight from Detroit City Airport in Michigan to Boyne Falls, Michigan, I called Lansing Flight Service for a weather update. There were no known adverse conditions on my proposed route.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2003

You know how you'll have an experience that is so bizarre that you're sure it must be a dream? That's exactly what ran through my mind on the riverbank a quarter mile below the Bering Glacier on Prince William Sound, Alaska, where I was stuck with my Cessna 185 on floats. The Bering River drains Bering Lake, the melted glacier pool at the foot of the Bering Glacier, a Rhode Island-size chunk of ice 200 miles east of Anchorage.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2003

The Bob Dylan concert the night before had been wonderful; now it was time to go home. The previous day I had flown the Piper Aztec from Chatham, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod, up to Montpelier, Vermont, to pick up friends and bring them down to Mansfield, Massachusetts.

Never Again

Article | Dec 01, 2002

An early morning fog muffled our footsteps as my crew and I crossed the cobblestoned courtyard of the old German kaserne (barracks) toward our two helicopters. I could feel the occasional snowflake swirling through the gray morning mist stealing into my uniform, causing me to shudder and chilling me to the bone.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2002

Pilots who fly in the Rocky Mountain West are used to looking at sectional charts that are colored mostly brown. The rewards of mountain flying are many, but so are the dangers.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2002

My son, Kirk, and I were ready to begin a flight home from Trinity Center, an unattended airport in northern California, when we found that the alternator on our rented Piper Warrior wasn't working. There were no maintenance facilities in the area, so we decided to get airborne and turn off all the electrical equipment until we got to an airport with a mechanic.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2002

I don't see how the guy could have flown that Taylorcraft all the way from Flushing, New York, to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, with the prop setting up such an incredible vibration! For that matter, I can't figure out how, on that same day in 1955, I gave him $900 for such a rough-looking airplane without even a test hop! But the day he flew it down for me to look at brought about one of those sudden thaws that can turn a grass strip into a bog, scratching the test flight. And I had always yearned for a T-craft.

Topics Technique

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2002

I was commuting on a weekly basis in my Grumman AA-1 Yankee between Hanford, California, deep in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, and Oakland. The California winter had arrived, and the jet stream had dropped down from Seattle to bring us our share of Pacific fronts.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2002

An original "Never Again" story is published each month on AOPA Online (www.aopa.org/pilot/never_again/). I wanted my friends to experience the joy of small-airplane flight, so we decided to take an afternoon and picnic in the Wenatchee Mountains.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2002

An original "Never Again" story is published each month on AOPA Online (www.aopa.org/pilot/never_again/). Thunderstorms can be dangerous, especially when you fly a light aircraft into them.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2002

New is one of the most exciting words for a pilot. A new GPS or a new person to introduce to aviation adds to the thrill of flying.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2002

Some 10 years ago my flying buddy, Charlie, and I planned a flying trip from Chico, California, in the Sacramento Valley, to Eureka, on the northern California coast. It was early spring and the first weekend since January that it had not rained.