Get extra lift from AOPA. Start your free membership trial today! Click here

Hangar Talk

The story behind the story

Kansas has a strong pioneering heritage. Nathan A.

Kansas has a strong pioneering heritage. Nathan A. Ferguson, AOPA Pilot contributor and managing editor of AOPA ePublishing, was reminded of this while flying the new 200-horsepower Aviat Husky (see " Aviat Husky A-1B 200: Bigger Bark, Better Bite," page 60), low and sometimes slow, with a dealer in the southeastern part of the state. He saw the unmistakable swales left by covered-wagon trains. "Kansans have a prevalent can-do attitude and exude friendliness, not unlike those in Wyoming, where the airplane is built. No wonder the Oregon Trail connects them," he says.

AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Thomas A. Horne has long written about icing, but in this issue he has some new observations. "Preliminary information shows that the icing accident rate has been down in the past year," he said. "And among the few fatal accidents, most involved high-time pilots." Horne says that in the past you could usually count on about 10 to 12 fatal structural-icing-related accidents per year, but that began to change some eight years ago. "Pilots seem to be taking the warnings to heart, especially after the ATR-72 crash in Roselawn, Indiana, in 1994," he says. Accidents like that, and the sort of educational weather articles Horne's been writing for the past 25 years, appear to be making a difference (see " Flying Seasons: Icing Accidents," page 83 and " Wx Watch: Icing, the Win a Six, and Expo," page 85).

Like many Boston drivers, journalist Tom LeCompte often finds himself stuck in traffic and dreaming about his car taking wing. His story on the efforts of some Massachusetts Institute of Technology students, their company Terrafugia, and other "roadable" aircraft offers the latest on efforts to make this flight-of-fancy a reality (see " A Flying Car...Seriously," page 73). When not writing about aviation, LeCompte enjoys escaping in his Piper Cherokee to the Cape, the Islands, the coast of Maine, or simply shooting a few approaches.

"IFR arrivals usually get much more attention than departures, but history has repeatedly shown that if there are mountains or obstacles nearby, careful planning is essential" — words to heed from AOPA Air Safety Foundation Executive Director Bruce Landsberg. "Add in some fatigue, a nonroutine clearance, and a casual approach by ATC and the safety margins that are typically available to IFR flights have vanished," Landsberg says (see " Safety Pilot Landmark Accidents: An Inconvenient Departure," page 66).

Check out the new multimedia features on our completely revamped AOPA Pilot Online Web site. You'll find exciting video, enlightening audio interviews, and slide shows featuring the same stunning photography you've come to enjoy so much in the pages of AOPA Pilot.

Related Articles