Never Again

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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.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2002

It was a lazy, sunny Southern California Saturday in the winter of 1998, when my morning paper reading was interrupted by the ringing telephone. My son was calling from Mammoth Mountain, where he had been skiing with his father.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2002

I was a new pilot, and I was feeling increasingly confident about my flying. This particular flight was supposed to be fun — a routine night flight to sharpen my skills and spend quality time with my 10-year-old daughter, Stephanie.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2002

In January 1998, on Super Bowl Sunday, I logged a few frightening moments of glider time in a Cessna 172. Only seconds after passing over the numbers on the departure end of the runway on takeoff, I faced one of a pilot's worst nightmares: sudden and complete engine failure.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2001

My wife and I flew a Piper Tri-Pacer from Fort Worth, Texas, to my sister's home in Washington, D.C., on December 22, 1952, to visit my mother for the last time before she passed away from cancer. L was a young, struggling flight instructor, and this was the third time in three months that my boss had graciously lent me one of his airplanes and given me the time off to make the trip.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2001

A perfect day for flying: Visibility is 10 miles or greater, the ceiling is unlimited, and the winds are light and variable. My plan is to fly from Macon to Griffin, Georgia, and have lunch with my son.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2001

After you go through the checklist, you're still not finished assessing the airplane. You should maintain constant vigilance — I realized this the hard way on a beautiful fall day in the Pacific Northwest.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2001

The weather was typical of a mid-September day in the Southeast. A cold front had swept through the area the day before our afternoon flight from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2001

I own (and fly as often as I can) a 1968 Piper Cherokee 180D. It's an aircraft that gives me a great deal of pleasure, and it has always behaved very well.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2001

In the summer of 1977, I flew with a colleague from Islip, New York, on Long Island, to Washington, D.C., for a conference with Adm. A.

Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2001

My boyfriend and I had planned a weekend trip to Las Vegas from our home base on the California coast. The "June gloom" had settled in early Saturday morning but was predicted to lift, according to the weather briefing I had received.