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    Floatplane transition training

    We as humans seek experiences that are routine, comfortable and safe. We intentionally do things that are predictable because we like to believe we can control our environment and for that matter ourselves. Control we eventually realize is only an illusion. Change is rarely easy. Learning new things is often punctuated with awkward moments, frustration, failure and ...
    Uncategorized

    VFR on top…and the hole closes

    It is rather well established that one of my most transcendent routines is to climb above a broken or overcast layer in the mountains, flying around in a bubble of tranquility. I enjoyed a comparable experience in Yellowstone once, flying over deep snows in early winter, well away from roads and ranger stations, out of ...
    Aircraft

    Flying Slice of History; the Rare Noorduyn Norseman to OSH21 Pt.1

    In late June 2021 I received a message from Brent Blue asking if I would like to fly right seat to Oshkosh in his 1942 Noordyun Norseman.  Honestly I had never heard of the Norseman but after a quick review of this historic Canadian WWII aircraft I was keen to say yes. I had never ...
    Career flying

    Schedule Changes

    I was recently explaining to someone the vagaries of my airline schedule, and the fact that my preferred overnights were not as available because of the way the trips had been changed. This led to a series of questions about the hows and whys of schedule construction. Every airline tweaks its schedule from month to ...
    Alaska

    FAA to extract visibility from weathercams through crowd sourcing: looking for Alaskan volunteers

    Since its inception the FAA Weather Camera Program has provided Alaska pilots with a valuable tool, helping us make critical go/no go decisions.  Today, FAA is looking to squeeze more information out of the system by estimating visibility from the images.  To conduct a demonstration project, they are looking for 40 weather camera users—pilots, dispatchers ...
    Career flying

    Medical Events

    Medical emergencies in flight are pretty rare, but when you consider the numbers, it is inevitable that some will happen. With 50 to 350 people on an airplane, some of whom already have underlying health issues and may be experience more stress than normal because of the travel experience, someone will eventually get sick. Hopefully, ...
    Career flying

    Flying in other countries

    Aviation is supposed to be a world with a common language, but it doesn’t always work as well in practice as it does in theory. English is the agreed-upon language, but the fact is, not everyone speaks it as a primary language, and many struggle with it. I do quite a bit of flying in ...
    Alaska

    NASA terrain avoidance flight system demonstrated

    NASA is developing technology initially created for fighter aircraft into a tool to help general aviation aircraft to avoid collisions with terrain.  While many of us fly today with features in our GPS that will alert us to the proximity of terrain, the basic response is, “pull up—pull up.” If, however you are in a ...
    Career flying

    Regional pilot bonuses

    If there was ever any doubt about the need for pilots, or the need to try and retain pilots, those doubts have been squarely put to rest. In August, Piedmont, PSA, and Envoy, all of whom fly under the American Airlines banner, announced significant retention bonuses. All captains are to receive $30,000 immediately, first officers ...
    GA community

    Reinventing yourself: Finding and buying a floatplane

    Emboldened by my recent Single Engine Seaplane (SES) rating and move the Pacific Northwest, it was time to set out on a search for a very special airplane. But which one? There are so many different types of seaplanes, should I go with a classic or something newer? Floats or a flying boat? Honestly, I had ...
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