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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

Minimum equipment lists

Every once in a while, a flight will be released with something on the airplane that is amiss. The minimum equipment list (MEL) is a document that is written by the airplane manufacturer in conjunction with the airlines and regulatory authorities. It spells out items that do not have to be in perfect working order ...
Career flying

Moving around

Hiring is so hot at the airlines right now that pilots are quite literally hopping from one carrier to the next. In the last few years, I’ve known of several pilots that have been hired by one major only to leave for another in short order. As pilot compensation packages have become more similar across ...
Career flying

Get ready for training

If you’re heading to your first airline job, it will pay to do some work on preparation. The typical airline training footprint is at least 6 weeks long, and it may be as much as 9 or 10 weeks. During this time, you will be immersed in the metaphorical fire hose of training. From the ...
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Articles for Career Pilots