Never Again

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Never Again

Article | Feb 01, 1998

After finishing my day of instructing at a flight school owned by a large regional airline in Farmington, New Mexico, I volunteered for a flight to the Beech factory at Salina, Kansas, to pick up parts at for a grounded airliner. We were to leave well after dark and, according to my weather briefing, the flight would include instrument conditions for much of the route.

Never Again

Article | Jan 01, 1998

In the midst of the worst winter in history, I had managed to pick a week of benign weather in January to fly from my new home in North Carolina back into the frozen Northeast to do some business. VFR weather was predicted along the East Coast, so it seemed that I had planned the perfect day for the return trip.

Never Again

Article | Dec 01, 1997

As a newly certificated private pilot with 200 hours in my logbook, I bought a 1972 Cessna 172L that had been restored to excellent condition. Everything in the airplane seemed to work fine until the weather got colder.

Never Again

Article | Nov 01, 1997

Having had a recuperative weekend on Florida's Gulf Coast at Thanksgiving, we climbed out of the Pensacola Regional Airport at around 9:30 a.m. in a rented Piper Cherokee 180.

Never Again

Article | Oct 01, 1997

"What next?" was the question my flight instructor always asked during my practice and review of emergency procedures. Little did I know how those two words would ring in my mind during a later in-flight emergency.

Never Again

Article | Sep 01, 1997

As a one-man dealer for Maule Aircraft in the Northeast, I was anxious to get a freshly certificated trigear MXT-7-180 to the Fall Aviation Expo at Laurence G. Hanscom Field in Bedford, Massachusetts.

Never Again

Article | Aug 01, 1997

Like most open-cockpit biplane enthusiasts, I had a slight, but hopefully undetected, feeling of superiority over the Cessna pilots who shared the local airports in and around Mobile, Alabama. After all, everyone knows that Stearman pilots can land in 500 feet and do several touch-and-goes while the Cessna pilots are out on the horizon, turning from base to final.

Topics Pilots

Never Again

Article | Jul 01, 1997

My early flying years had been spent around Seward, a coastal community adjacent to Resurrection Bay in south-central Alaska. The eastern Kenai Peninsula, where Seward is situated, is primarily mountainous with beautiful valleys, passes, and ice fields.

Never Again

Article | Jun 01, 1997

In June 1968 I was working as a special agent for the United States Treasury Department out of Atlanta. I had been flying for about four years and obtained my instrument rating in March, but I had accrued very little actual instrument time.

Never Again

Article | May 01, 1997

I was a bit apprehensive about starting this particular trip with 395 hours in my logbook. Since so many accidents happen to pilots with fewer than 400 hours, I felt that I was ripe for something to happen; little did I know how ripe I was.

Never Again

Article | Apr 01, 1997

I had recently obtained my private pilot certificate and my first airplane, a Piper Cherokee. One spring afternoon, I decided to take a friend from my home base in southern Maryland to Ocean City, Maryland, for dinner on the boardwalk.

Never Again

Article | Feb 01, 1997

Back in December 1970, two friends and I decided to leave chilly New England for Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Never Again

Article | Jan 01, 1997

My journey into near oblivion began a few days before Christmas, when I decided to fly to Anchorage from northwest Alaska. That morning the temperature was minus 47 degrees Fahrenheit, but I was anxious to see the big city and rendezvous with a special lady friend.

Never Again

Article | Dec 01, 1996

I had been a private pilot for about 6 months when my father and his two brothers decided that they wanted to learn to fly again. They ended up buying a real cream puff 1965 Cessna 150 that had been restored and maintained by the longtime owner and his partner, an A&P mechanic.

Never Again

Article | Nov 01, 1996

Inexperience, stupidity, get-home-itis — take your pick. Any of them applied to me one late November evening as I cruised over Chicago's Loop with an electric night sign slung beneath the belly of an old, but well running Champion Citabria.

Never Again

Article | Oct 01, 1996

Because of a mechanics' strike at my regular airline job, I was flying charters and flight instructing part-time during the summer of 1966. My employer was an FBO that had recently purchased a nice Cessna 337 Skymaster.

Never Again

Article | Sep 01, 1996

Soon after earning my flight instructor's certificate and a multiengine instructor rating, I was sure that I knew it all. I'd seen everything that I could in the world of aviation and I'd survived.

Never Again

Article | Aug 01, 1996

The June morning dawned clear and crisp as I loaded my wife and two kids into a rented Cessna 172RG for a long-awaited trip to visit friends and family on the East Coast. Taking off from Madison, Wisconsin's, Dane County Regional-Truax Field, I was particularly confident.

Never Again

Article | Jul 01, 1996

It was summertime in California's Imperial Valley and I had finally landed a job with a reputable cropdusting company. We were swamped with work.

Never Again

Article | Jun 01, 1996

I was flying my Pitts, practicing maneuvers for my "free" program (in the Unlimited category of competition aerobatics, that means 18 maneuvers). I was practicing over an open field about seven miles from the Plymouth Municipal Airport in Massachusetts.

Never Again

Article | May 01, 1996

My first real life-or-death emergency began when the approach controller, who spoke perfect English with a moderate German accent, cleared me for the approach into the Stuttgart (Germany) International Airport. It was June 3, 1971, and I remember the flight as if it happened last night.

Never Again

Article | Apr 01, 1996

It was a beautiful April morning in Indiana. The weather forecast promised clear skies, but afternoon wind gusts as high as 15 knots were blowing across our grass strip.

Never Again

Article | Mar 01, 1996

Tomorrow was to be an important day. I had almost finished my instrument training with Professional Instrument Courses (P.I.C.), an accelerated course in instrument flight, and was scheduled to be in Concord, New Hampshire, the next morning for the flight test.

Never Again

Article | Feb 01, 1996

My Piper Arrow was in the shop for a routine oil change when the mechanic called me at work. He said that the oil drain plug head was rounded off, and he wanted to put in a quick-drain.

Never Again

Article | Jan 01, 1996

As usual, I was in a slight hurry. My plans for the weekend were fairly well thought out, even to the times I would leave work, go home, pack, and get the family ready for a spectacular weekend at a west Texas ranch.

Never Again

Article | Dec 01, 1995

I had already swept away an inch or two of snow from my ski- equipped Piper Cub's wings and tail and released the tie-down chains that I were frozen in the ice on West Graham Lake, Minnesota. Temperatures had been moderate, just below freezing, so the usual three swings of the prop quickly brought the 90-horsepower Continental to life.

Never Again

Article | Nov 01, 1995

After spending four days in central and Southern California, I was ready to get myself and my 1967 Cessna 210G home to Parkside Airpark — near Battle Ground, Washington — from Van Nuys, California. The trip was delayed by weather for an extra day, but I was able to leave the following morning.

Never Again

Article | Oct 01, 1995

My wife and I had logged our minimum required time at the family Christmas gathering and were eager to return home. The flight from a dirt strip north of Marysville, California, to the old Santa Rosa Air Center would take just under an hour in our Cessna 170.

Never Again

Article | Sep 01, 1995

It was 11 years ago this September, and the weather at the Chester (Connecticut) Airport was beautiful — a typical late summer morning, complete with a bright sun rising over the lazy fog on the Connecticut River. The preflight inspection and runup of our 1966 Alon Aircoupe were completed for what was to be a short flight to New Haven for my wife and me.

Never Again

Article | Aug 01, 1995

It was 1947, and I had just left the East Los Angeles Airport (long since gone) in a Piper J-3C Cub, headed for the nearby practice area. My private ticket was still a long way in the future.

Never Again

Article | Jun 01, 1995

When I was 22 years old, I thought I could do no wrong. I was a senior in college and had already completed my instrument and multiengine ratings, and I was trying to accumulate enough flight hours to obtain my commercial certificate.

Never Again

Article | May 01, 1995

It was a sunny spring day in May 1990. I had purchased an Interstate Arctic Tern a month earlier and had flown it only a few hours.

Never Again

Article | Apr 01, 1995

"Nearly killed myself" was the comment I wrote in my logbook for September 9, 1976. It was the day on which my skills enabled me to survive in spite of my poor judgment.

Never Again

Article | Mar 01, 1995

It was a perfect day for flying: severe clear and unlimited visibility. I had taken a vacation day to fly with the family from Dallas to San Antonio, Texas, for a much-needed long weekend retreat.

Never Again

Article | Feb 01, 1995

A cold November wind swept the early-morning runways at the Burlington (Vermont) International Airport. As I moved through the pre-flight inspection, my mind turned to the upcoming flight: east over the 4,000- foot mountain range to Montpelier, then on to Kennebunk VOR and into Portland (Maine) International Jetport for a 9 a.m.

Never Again

Article | Jan 01, 1995

After a pleasant but cold weekend in Boston, it was time to return to our home on an island off the coast of Cape Cod. After receiving a forecast for good VFR weather from Bridgeport Flight Service, I called the local FBO to have them preheat the engine on my 1974 Cessna Cardinal.

Never Again

Article | Dec 01, 1994

After an evening flight in our Piper Twin Comanche, from Fayetteville, Arkansas, to Little Rock, my son failed to turn off the master switch and I failed to check behind him. Four days later, I had to deliver a passenger to Memphis.

Never Again

Article | Nov 01, 1994

Five of us owned a Cessna 140 in a loosely formed club. There were rules to follow but we really didn't have meetings or get-togethers to discuss them.

Never Again

Article | Oct 01, 1994

Any amount of objectivity would have helped me to see that in my mental state, I was not fit to fly. Objectivity, however, wasn't high on my list as I prepared to fly from near Birmingham, Alabama, to Greenville, South Carolina, in late October.

Never Again

Article | Sep 01, 1994

Although my nose dribbled blood, it was in reality my pride that was injured. Both my pride and joy�a Piper Cub�and my personal pride as a pilot were now in need of repair.

Never Again

Article | Aug 01, 1994

After 200 hours and probably four times that number of landings in my soaring club's 180-hp Piper Super Cub, I became relatively proficient at landing when and where I intended. Coupled with that experience were several hundred hours in gliders, which improved both technique and confidence.

Never Again

Article | Jul 01, 1994

It was a warm and hazy Friday in September, and I was on my last flight lesson of the day at the aviation college where I was a new faculty member. My student for this lesson was an Air Force ROTC pilot candidate who had flown with me many times before.

Never Again

Article | Jun 01, 1994

The last leg of a three-week flying vacation started rather slowly in Salem, Oregon. A low ceiling prevented a planned early morning departure.

Never Again

Article | May 01, 1994

As an aircraft mechanic and pilot, I've performed many cylinder break-in flights in aircraft ranging from Cessna 150s to cabin-class twins. I've had several real in-flight emergencies during this kind of maintenance flight, as well as during regular business or pleasure flights.

Never Again

Article | Mar 01, 1994

My wife Susan and I were looking forward to spending Christmas with my brother and his family in Boise, Idaho. Close to my brother's house was a small landing strip, Strawberry Glen, which made the trip by private airplane easily the most convenient way to travel.

Never Again

Article | Feb 01, 1994

It was cold and snowing hard as my sister and I departed IFR from Rochester, Minnesota, on an afternoon flight to Nebraska in my Beech Baron. After a tense week at the Mayo Clinic with our father and seriously ill mother, Linda and I were tired and anxious to get home in spite of the late hour and lousy weather.

Never Again

Article | Sep 01, 1993

It was a hot morning in early September when my wife, my daughter, and I embarked on a short cross-country trip from Raymond, Mississippi, to Mississippi State University in Starkville. We were going to visit my oldest daughter, a graduate student.

Never Again

Article | Oct 01, 1991

It was a beautiful fall afternoon in Texas. My wife and I had flown our much-modified Cessna 170 to Austin to see the University of Texas Longhorns play football.