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Debate: is there a pilot brotherhood?

Debate: is there a pilot brotherhood?

Many pilots value their license not just for the privileges it unlocks, but also for the membership it represents. That membership is in the unofficial “pilot brotherhood,” which bonds together aviators from around the world–regardless of race, class or location.

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The hungry pilot: flying with Subway

The hungry pilot: flying with Subway

Why was I happy to see a report that the longtime Wichita, Kansas, FBO, Yingling, would soon have a Subway at its facility?

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60 seconds airborne: the end of Sabre 26710

60 seconds airborne: the end of Sabre 26710

As we passed over the end of the runway at about two hundred feet above ground level, a massive explosion (accompanied by a transitory smell of smoke) was heard and felt aft of the cockpit coupled with a complete loss of acceleration. The sudden cessation of over seven thousand pounds of thrust was noticeable.

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Competition in a man’s sport: top six women in early US flight

Competition in a man’s sport: top six women in early US flight

The challenge of this article is to identify the six most significant women and their contributions to the art of flying as a sport and as a science in the early years. These women pilots were built of courage, conviction, passion and vision.

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What’s wrong with Mooney pilots?

What’s wrong with Mooney pilots?

I have found that the safety record of an airplane relates more to who flies it and what they try to do with it than anything else. Maybe the pilot is 90 percent of the equation and the airplane ten. When thinking of it in this way, the Mooney 20 series is by far the most diverse airplane in the fleet.

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Thrills awaiting a flight instructor

Thrills awaiting a flight instructor

By now we had lost several thousands of feet as expected, after starting off at 8000 feet. There was no answer from the front seat so I attempted to take control, only to find the controls jammed in the pro-spin positions.

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Some thoughts on landings

Some thoughts on landings

I was TERRIBLE at landings. Not just bad–TERRIBLE. I either stalled the plane at three to five feet (or more) above the runway or drove right into it. My airspeed control was marginal. My sight picture was non-existent. Here’s how I got better.

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The approach plate olympics – more crazy charts

The approach plate olympics – more crazy charts

Everybody loves a good approach plate. At least Air Facts readers do. After we shared seven bizarre instrument approach charts last year, we had hundreds of positive comments and numerous requests for more. As we like to say here, the readers are PIC, so here we will indulge your desire for more torturous procedures.

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The flight of a lifetime

The flight of a lifetime

Flying in a light aircraft has its risks and rewards just like any other endeavor. We all know that the risks can be considerable, but what about the rewards? Are they worth the risks? This flight, complete with pictures and video suggests they are.

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Richard Bach and Air Facts: long time ago…

Richard Bach and Air Facts: long time ago…

In the summer of 1960 a 24-year old Air Force jet fighter pilot, Richard Bach, submitted an unsolicited article to Air Facts. It was the beginning of an incredible writing career. Here, Dick Collins tells Bach’s story and we republish his very first Air Facts article.

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Night flying: out of our element

Night flying: out of our element

As much as we romanticize night flight, it’s not something most pilots do very often. It’s foreign territory, and the poor accident records backs this up. So what can we do to fly safer at night? Let’s consider terrain, spatial disorientation, weather, fuel and fatigue.

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Going solo: a eureka moment

Going solo: a eureka moment

My first trip in the air force trainer of the period, the Chipmunk, was a revelation. As I subsequently wrote home to my mother that evening, “I had my first trip today. It was easy. I think I am a natural pilot.” It wasn’t until later that I found out that following through on the controls whilst listening to an explanation of their effects can’t really be called flying.

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The Hungry Pilot: Nemacolin Resort, PA

The Hungry Pilot: Nemacolin Resort, PA

This large hotel and resort has its own private airport, just steps from the lobby. Fly in for a good burger or a elegant French dinner–there are plenty of options at Nemacolin.

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Warp speed: birth of an aileron

Warp speed: birth of an aileron

Instead of shifting its weight to right itself, as every bird-watching, would-be aeronaut assumed their winged subjects did, the buzzards flexed one wingtip up and the opposite down. Could there be a more unlikely, less romantic bird to bestow the gift of flight upon humanity?

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The risky moments: when decisions go bad

The risky moments: when decisions go bad

Everyone who writes about aviation safety eventually comes around to the subject of risk management. The FAA wants CFIs to teach it using checklists, which is hardly realistic. The simple truth is that risk management can be done only through a deal the pilot makes with self.

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