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By Brian Nicklas

Among the first airframes to choose from as the jet airliner started to become an accepted mode of transportation, were the de Havilland DH 106 the Douglas DC-8, Convair 880 and the Boeing 707.  Continue»

By Thomas Turner

Editor’s note: A very inside look at a very expensive problem that effects us all.  Continue»

By Paul A. Craig

There exists an extremely high level of instrument competence that requires precision flying, but also the ability to understand not only what controllers say, but what they really mean.  Continue»

By Jeff Pardo

Everyone is affected by economic instability to varying degrees. Although we're all flying more carefully after last September, thoughts for flying frugally in these leaner times are probably also in our minds. This might be a good time to offer some proactive logistical insights and strategies to save a few bucks. Flying less is one punitive option, but I'd prefer flying smarter.  Continue»

By Jeff Pardo

Most pilots with instrument ratings would probably agree that when it comes to an uneventful passage through haze, gloom, or dark of night and back to Mother Earth, an ILS is a much better deal than a VOR approach. Given a choice between the somewhat more relaxed progression of a non-precision descent profile and the relatively more rapid cross-checking required to remain within the allotted confines of a precision approach path, when the chips (and the ceilings) are down, the precision approach is definitely the better of the two. Until there are many more GPS WAAS approaches besides the few now coming online, for a while yet at least, the odds are that if you have to get down through a layer of low clouds, the bases of which might be as low as 200 feet, you’ll be flying an ILS. (Of course, the PAR or precision approach radar that I wrote about last year also qualifies as a precision approach, but I’ll concentrate on the ILS here.) So what is it that makes an ILS so special?  Continue»

By Paul A. Craig

When you file a flight plan, either VFR or IFR, the procedure begins the same way: by calling the Flight Service Station.  Continue»

By Paul A. Craig

It’s time to watch the Outside Air Temperature Gauge and determine your altitudes based less on winds and more on how cold it is ... or suffer the consequences.  Continue»

By Chad Austin

The way people work with machinery, or to say it better, the way machines work with people is a field of study called human factors. When we look at general aviation aircraft, few have a worse reputation for human factors incidents than the early Beech Bonanza models. This is because in an effort to make an airplane that was as beautiful to see as it was to fly, Walter Beech created the infamous "piano key" control panel.  Continue»

By Jeff Pardo

Some Things You Probably Didn’t Know: Chances are that if some nine year-old asks you just how high up can clouds be, you'd probably think about those wispy cirrus clouds or towering cumulonimbus.  Continue»

By Thomas Turner

I faced aeronautical temptation this weekend... a lot of temptation.  Continue»

By Paul A. Craig

Anything that is not specifically prohibited by the Federal Aviation Regulations is therefore allowed.  Continue»

By Jeff Pardo

I had my chart clipped to my left thigh, and as we passed over my first checkpoint (which was only three miles away from our home field), I started looking for my next one, coming up in about 15 miles -- well, it never came up...  Continue»

By Paul A. Craig

Since last July, my articles have been about Instrument Flight; the articles are filled with the 'nuts and bolts' of instrument flight -- procedures, facts, do's and don'ts, techniques, and regulations involved -- but there is more to flying IFR than all that.  Continue»

By Doug Marshall

What happens if you read back a clearance and comply, but ATC claims you busted altitude? The findings of a recent court case might surprise you.  Continue»

By Chad Austin

I can still remember the day as clearly as when I was there. I was sitting with my instructor, a gentleman named Don, just after finishing my first night cross-country...  Continue»

By Paul A. Craig

The Pitot Tube is an essential part of an essential aircraft system and failure to understand exactly how that system functions or assure its proper operation has made for catastrophic results.  Continue»

By Paul A. Craig

While conducting a Biennial Flight Review, I once asked a man to get his chart out and point out some uncontrolled airspace -- how would you have done?  Continue»

By Chad Austin

Ah, it's that time of year again! Spring has rolled past, and with it have come blooming flowers, grass to mow, and finally tagging along for the ride, my annual inspection. While some pilots dread their annual inspection, I look forward to mine with great anticipation.  Continue»

By Paul A. Craig

This is a true story and like most true stories that end up in print, it doesn't read like one...  Continue»

By Paul A. Craig

The purpose of becoming a student pilot is to become a private pilot, but there are some pilots that deliberately remain students and, in doing so, retain certain privileges, while bypassing certain requirements.  Continue»

By Thomas Turner

The Cessna 152 was 200 feet above the ground when its engine quit.  Continue»

By Thomas Turner

The air was absolutely still save for the far-off putter of an O-320 Lycoming at low power. A Cessna 172 hung silhouetted against high, scattered clouds stained yellow by the rising sun.  Continue»

By Thomas Turner

A Bonanza’s forward cabin door pops open as it takes off into blue skies, and in his rush to return the aircraft to the ground and secure the door, the pilot forgets to extend the gear.  Continue»

By Jeff Pardo

Flight instructors have many obligations, but so do their students. In addition to teaching, coordinating their schedules with airplanes and their students... plus the weather... in the warmer months they’re often on the go 12 hours a day.  Continue»

By Jeff Pardo

Wouldn't it be nice to have the privileges of an instrument pilot but retain the VFR freedoms of choosing your own path in the clear blue? Well, for those of you who have earned an instrument ticket, there are a few strategies at our disposal that might be worth reviewing. There's nothing underhanded about them either; these options aren't ploys or smooth moves. They're well defined ATC procedures. The only "trick" is knowing the few strings that are attached. Here's how to use the system without abusing it...  Continue»

By Brian Nicklas

'The Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin.' So stated Sir Winston Churchill on June 18, 1940.  Continue»

By Paul A. Craig

In 1993 the current airspace system that uses the alphabet to designate the different airspace types went into effect, replacing all the previous airspace designations, but one.  Continue»

By Thomas Turner

Through your windscreen, the runway rolls into view ... growing by the instant, with your extreme approach.  Continue»

By Thomas Turner

Last week we discussed the difference between a broker and an agent -- this week, we discuss another distinction that could save you money...  Continue»

By Thomas Turner

No, it's not the beginning of a very bad joke ... hopefully.  Continue»

By Thomas Turner

Which is safer: a well-used rental airplane flown by dozens of pilots, from students to high-timers; or a personally owned airplane, flown regularly by only one, certificated pilot?  Continue»

By Chad Austin

You wonder how he does it -- every year, a pilot on the field seems to get 13 months out of his plane between annuals; and even though your financial lives are identical, his plane seems to get a little nicer each year, too.  Continue»

By Chad Austin

Oil leaks and airplanes seem to go together like butter and potatoes, but not all oil leaks are benign... as I found out, first-hand.  Continue»

By Chad Austin

Did you ever take a good look at your aircraft’s induction system?  Continue»

By Jeff Pardo

You hadn’t eaten much this morning, but suddenly you’re aware that you’re not hungry any more...  Continue»

By Jeff Pardo

Like most student pilots, I tended to fly with the type of casual touch that my primary instructor described with the term 'death grip.'  Continue»

By Editor Staff

Canadian investigators said that cell phone usage was a contributing factor in the crash of a Cessna Skywagon that killed its pilot in a remote corner of British Columbia last November. During the 75-minute flight, the pilot spent almost half an hour on the phone and replied to three text messages. By comparing cell phone data with the plane’s radar track, investigators found that each time the pilot made a call or sent a text, the plane descended as much as 1,000 feet. But the pilot didn’t use his phone in the last 11 minutes of the flight. Because the flight occurred at night, investigators suspect that the pilot may have been susceptible to night-flying illusions that make it challenging to judge proximity to terrain. The pilot was the only person on board the the Skywagon, and had already been flying for seven hours that day by the time of the crash, suggesting that fatigue could have also played a role.

http://www.torontosun.com/2012/08/14/plane-crash-caused-by-cellphone-report

  Continue»

By Editor Staff

A Forth Worth aircraft mechanic with ties to Florida could face 20 years in prison for trying to sell several used Airbus A300 aircraft to Iran Air. Diocenyr Ribamar Barbosa-Santos faces charges in connection with violating international sanctions against Iran that severely limit trade with the country. Barbosa-Santos allegedly talked with officials and suppliers in China who wanted to sell the planes, and offered to work out the financial and logistical aspects of moving the seven aircraft from China to Iran. The sale price would have been $136.5 million, according to court documents. Iran Air’s fleet of aircraft is aging and has a history of accidents related to poor maintenance, since the airline has difficulty getting spare parts for repairs. But Iran has refused U.S. offers to help arrange ferry flights to have the country’s airliners repaired elsewhere. Barbosa-Santos ran several aviation-related businesses in Forth Worth but earned his A&P certificate in Florida, which is where he was charged. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine for trying to orchestrate the aircraft sale.

http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2012-11-29/news/fl-iran-airplane-sanctions-20121126_1_iranian-market-nuclear-program-mechanic

  Continue»

By Chad Austin

Terrorists struck at the heart of America with acts against civilian targets...  Continue»

By Editor Staff

The airplane that can drive off the airport and onto the highway could do so for customers by the end of this year, now that flight tests are well underway. The Terrafugia completed its first round of flight tests in upstate New York, setting basic aerodynamic parameters like stall and cruise speeds, as well as the center of gravity range and engine power settings. There are five more flight test phases required for the Light Sport Aircraft certification process, but Terrafugia plans to complete all those steps by the end of this summer. At the same time, the company is putting the prototype through its paces on the road so that it can gain National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approval. The extra safety features required to drive on roads meant getting an exemption from the FAA for the Terrafugia to be as much as 110 pounds over the maximum weight for an LSA aircraft. In the air, the Rotax engine powers a pusher prop at the rear of the plane; on the ground, that same engine disconnects from the propeller and drives the wheels. The wings on the $280,000 plane extend and retract at the push of a button in the cockpit in 30 seconds to complete the conversion from air to road.

http://www.gizmag.com/terrafugia-flying-car-test-flight/23141/

  Continue»

By Thomas Turner

Ten gallons -- about thirty bucks worth of avgas -- what'll it get you?  Continue»

By Jeff Pardo

Anyone who has ever caught themselves flying while getting uncomfortably close to the big "E" will appreciate the following irony, and its potential lesson: Just when you think you've got the advantage, when you're holding all the cards, one could turn out to be a Joker.  Continue»

By Paul A. Craig

There have been some unexpected airline pilot retirements lately - unexpected because the captain had not reached age 60. This early retirement was not because of pay cuts or poor working conditions, it was because he or she was asked to move to a ‘glass cockpit” airplane and the upward technology transition was just too much. Is it hard to teach an old dog new tricks?  Continue»

By Thomas Turner

Most instructors do a great job of teaching the basics of flight -- unfortunately, there's more to it than that.  Continue»

By Reader Submission

Designed by C. G. Taylor (who also developed the Taylorcraft line), the Cub series became the most recognized light airplanes in the United States.  Continue»

By Thomas Turner

My MD-88 flight from Atlanta rocketed down final approach at the Class C primary airport in Florida this hot Monday morning. From seat 19A I spied a Seneca in the run-up area at the end of the eastbound runway. (A lot of flight training originates from this airport.) The twin Piper sat cocked into the wind, the forward cabin door open as the instructor tried despondently to capture some of the last of the prop blast before sentencing himself and his student to the broiling cabin.  Continue»

By Jeff Pardo

Driving to Distraction: We've all noticed greater coverage in the media lately regarding the increasing number of automotive accidents attributed to the use of cell phones while driving -- so what about talking while flying?  Continue»

By Jeff Pardo

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, many people (as many as one in five) suffer from specific phobias to some degree -- fear of public speaking, however, is nearly universal (close to 95%).  Continue»

By Chad Austin

There are plenty of honest aircraft dealers out there... and there are exceptions, too. Honest dealers work to get you the right plane, at a price that will be profitable for them and affordable for you.  Continue»

By Chad Austin

How many times have you found yourself at the airport looking at another pilot and thinking, "Man, that guy is an idiot!"? Well, it happened to me the other day and the good news is we have still more tales of the experiences of Dick to share with you.  Continue»

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