AOPA PILOT ONLINE
Explore the “Day in the Life of America’s Airports” series, featuring additional photos, stories, and video on AOPA Online.
In the space of three weeks, AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne—a 4,300-hour ATP—added even more quality time to his already bulging logbook. In that time, he flew Cessna’s new Citation Encore+, the first C–90 King Air C90B retrofitted with a Garmin G1000 avionics suite; a Mitsubishi MU–2; and Diamond’s new DA40XLS (see “ Diamond’s Luxury Single,” page 52). “The DA40XLS recalls the cockpit comfort of the Encore+, and has the capability of the G1000-retrofitted C90B,” Horne says. “This makes it a standout in the light single market. ‘Low-powered’ used to mean low-capability. But with TAS, TAWS, datalink weather, and great visibility, the DA40XLS is a game-changer.”
“Decision making is a part of every flight, and although most of us don’t get a perfect score every time we fly, it’s a skill that’s critical to develop,” says Bruce Landsberg, executive director of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. In “ Safety Pilot Landmark Accidents: Snowy, Foggy, and Overloaded,” page 60, an ATP-rated flight instructor makes a bad series of mistakes and underestimates the risk of a winter business trip. “Every CFI and instrument-rated pilot should read this case study,” says Landsberg. “The temptations are real and pervasive.”
What better place to launch our occasional series “America’s Airports” than where it all began—in Dayton, Ohio. AOPA Pilot Managing Editor Julie Summers Walker (seated in the Wright “B” Flyer replica) and photographer Chris Rose spent the day at Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport just south of Dayton for “ America’s Airports: Birthplace of Aviation,” on page 79. “General aviation is hard at work—and play—in Dayton,” says Walker. “The Wright brothers would be proud and amazed at the life taking place in the twenty-first century at Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport.”
Rick Durden was with a group of friends at Oshkosh when a pilot in the group said he didn’t often fly with other pilots and, without a frame of comparison, it was difficult to tell whether he was a good pilot. A number of ideas about self-appraisal and evaluation were tossed around within the group, yet the question stayed in Durden’s consciousness. He researched and spoke to a number of respected names in aviation. From that work, he came up with a series of objective self-evaluation guidelines that appear in his “ Am I a Good Pilot?” article on page 85. Read it if you dare.