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Blogs by Leighan Falley

Leighan Falley

The Things People Say to a Female Pilot

The following are a few of a female Part 135 pilot’s anecdotal encounters with the rest of the world.  The outside temperature at the Talkeetna airport read minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit. It had warmed up from the overnight low, but I still struggled to make the de Havilland Otter ready for its flight to the ...
Alaska

Flight training is no place for self loathing

The following is a story about dealing with the ups and downs of learning to fly a bigger airplane.  It was a chilly spring morning in Talkeetna, Alaska. An uncontrollable shiver racked me as I walked up to the gleaming Garrett Turbine Otter. Set against a pale sky populated by thin cirrus, the white airplane ...
Alaska

The Darkest Hour: A Recap of the Thunder Mountain SAR

  The following is a story about what happens after the ELT goes off. It is written from the perspective of a fellow Alaska Range Pilot... who happens to be married to the incident commander of the search-and-rescue effort. At 6 p.m. Alaska Daylight Time on Aug. 4, a de Havilland Beaver on a scenic ...
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Blogs by Ron Rapp

Opinion

Adventures in flying

I’m always puzzled by the awe with which so many people—some of them pilots themselves—regard those of us who regularly fly to other continents. From Day One, there was clearly nothing superhuman to me about the feat, especially given the incredible capability and redundancy of the equipment we operate. Modern business jets are as well ...
Business aviation

Why Choose Business Aviation?

I’m often asked: Why pursue a career in business aviation? Most professional pilots measure their career with two metrics: compensation and quality-of-life. If scheduled airlines provide more of one or both of these, why would any right-thinking pilot consider private, charter, or corporate flying as anything other than a stepping stone to a Part 121 ...
Business aviation

Paranoia Pays Off

Normally, paranoia is considered unhealthy. As it pertains to flying, however, in my experience a moderate dose can keep the doctor away much like the proverbial apple. It’ll keep the FAA, NTSB, and unemployment line at arm’s length as well. There are so many things to be concerned with when aviating that I find great ...
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Blogs by Chip Wright

Career flying

Professional pilot health risks

I recently had the opportunity to work at a high school career fair, and it was fun to hear what the kids’ first questions were. The most common one was “Why do this?” That’s pretty easy to answer, as the job is fun and provides great travel opportunities. But the most interesting question by far ...
Career flying

Alcohol standards are tightening

Recently, other countries have adopted more stringent rules for pilot drinking, and in the United States, at least one state (Utah) has moved to lower the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) for driving to 0.05 percent. It’s always a big deal when a pilot is arrested or implicated in an alcohol- or drug-related arrest. We ...
Career flying

Be reasonable

This piece of advice no doubt applies to just about any line of work, and it isn’t limited to pilots. That said, it bears repeating. It isn’t uncommon for pilots to have to spend money out of their own wallets for certain work-related expenses. Cabs, crew meals, and hotels fall into this category, and at ...
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Articles for Career Pilots