Clouds with sun

Let it be

grand-canyon-in-piper-140-small

Friday Photo: Grand Canyon from a Cherokee

New Articles

Our most recent posts
Clouds with sun

Let it be

by

In this beautiful and heartbreaking article, Mark Fay shares the story of an emotional day. It involved plenty of flying, from a night IFR takeoff to a gusty landing. But the real lessons have a lot more to do with family, grief and decision-making under stressful circumstances. It’s a reminder of the unique perspective flying can give you on life and loss.

Read More
grand-canyon-in-piper-140-small

Friday Photo: Grand Canyon from a Cherokee

by

We flew direct to the Grand Canyon to fly northbound on the “Zuni Point Corridor” (depicted on the Grand Canyon National Park Special Flight Rules Area chart). We then turned back southbound to land at Valle (40G) just south of the Grand Canyon airport (GCN) to stop for fuel and some friendly conversation. The views of the Grand Canyon were spectacular. It’s truly one of those awe-inspiring moments that you will never forget.

Read More
Oil on windshield

Ice, turbulence and oil – oh my!

by

It was a rough flight. One of those flights where you think to yourself, I should have taken up boating. It started as a routine mountain departure. Typical go now in the 30-minute window between snow, sunshine, and the rapidly approaching rain clouds. After clearing mountainous terrain, I picked up my instrument clearance and looked at the broken cumulus build ups in front of me. Be a good chance to use my new Avidyne IFD440 in some real IFR I thought. And then the fun began…

Read More
Eye exam

Seeing and flying: how good is good enough?

by

Despite the requirement for a medical, we have been self-certifying all along once leaving the AME’s office. Do I feel well enough to fly? You bet. Have at it. To me, vision was always the toughest question. How you feel is obvious, vision is not, and the slow deterioration in what you see as you age is as insidious as it is certain.

Read More
pueblo-bonito

Friday Photo: Pueblo Bonito

by

Lauren McGavran finally achieved a lifelong dream when she earned her Sport Pilot license. Taking advantage of this, she took an old friend (and fellow new pilot) along for a flight in a Remos GX. The two friends flew over the iconic Pueblo Bonito in the Chaco Culture National Historic Park of New Mexico, where she snapped this photo.

Read More
RVs in formation

Learning formation flying – hard work, but worth it

by

About a year after buying an already-built Van’s RV-6 and spending a very hot July earning a tailwheel endorsement, I thought I knew the airplane well enough to attend a formation flying clinic being hosted by the Ohio Valley RVators at the not-too-distant Parkersburg, West Virginia, airport. As interesting as it sounded, the very idea of it caused me quite a bit of stress.

Read More
0410flyingcars01

Introducing the Air Facts Caption Contest

by

Today we launch a new monthly feature in Air Facts – our Caption Contest. Once a month, we’ll post a photo and call on our very talented readers to provide a caption for that photo. Check out our first one below and if an amusing or clever caption comes to mind, just post it as a comment. We want everyone to be able to enjoy all the entries, not just us.

Read More

Dick's Blog

Opinion and analysis from Richard Collins
Eye exam

Seeing and flying: how good is good enough?

by

Despite the requirement for a medical, we have been self-certifying all along once leaving the AME’s office. Do I feel well enough to fly? You bet. Have at it. To me, vision was always the toughest question. How you feel is obvious, vision is not, and the slow deterioration in what you see as you age is as insidious as it is certain.

Read More
Cirrus SR22

What’s right with Cirrus pilots?

by

In 2012 I posted an article about what might be wrong with Cirrus pilots. That attracted a lot of attention and is third on the list of most-read AIR FACTS posts. A lot has changed since 2012, the Cirrus safety record has improved dramatically, and what has happened seems directly related to the great debate about flying through computers v. basic flying.

Read More

John's Blog

From Air Facts Editor John Zimmerman
iPad in cockpit

What controversy? 5 debates new pilots don’t understand

by

Pilots love a good debate. This may be the only thing that isn’t controversial in aviation. Enthusiasm for debates doesn’t necessarily make aviation unique; after all, sports fans are famous for their spirited arguments too. What is different is our need to debate the same issues, year after year, sometimes decades after the facts are settled. Two recent examples are particularly long-running – to the point of being frustrating.

Read More
Scud left

How to fly safely when you’re low and slow

by

You don’t have to fly IFR at 10,000 feet to travel efficiently by general aviation. I was reminded of this fact after logging 15 enjoyable hours over the past month – all at 500 feet and 100 knots in VFR-only aircraft.
That doesn’t mean it was boring. Over the course of two long trips, I had a few speed bumps, and in the process I re-learned some important lessons about weather, decision-making and technology.

Read More
Doolittle crew by airplane

The pilot brotherhood – only as good as your next action

by

I think we get carried away with this brotherhood talk. Sure, pilots can be accepting and caring folks, and the common bond of aviation often does bring wildly different people together. That hardly means such behavior is guaranteed, though. Pilots are still human beings who often bring their own powerful emotions, biases and agendas to any situation.

Read More

I Can't Believe I Did That

Learn from other pilots' mistakes
EZ over mountains

Down the rabbit hole – scud running through Central Oregon

by

I then made a really bad decision. I climbed quickly to 8500, dodging scud patches here and there with minor course changes. Visibility worsened further over the next five minutes or so, dropping to 1-3 miles, with 50% ground contact, but hazy blue sky above. At this point in the flight, everything being reported seemed way too optimistic.

Read More
Lenticular cloud

I never should have left the ground

by

I felt I needed to expedite, because there was another Southwest 737 eyeballing me from across the runway, also holding short, and waiting for the little puddle jumper to get out of his way, so they could depart. I rolled out on the runway, and went to full throttle… and with a lot of right aileron and rudder. We lifted off and WHAM, we were 30 degrees to the runway. Yeah, I’d say there was a bit of wind shift!

Read More
Geneva airports

A pilot in command abdication

by

It was a dark and clear winter night, somewhere between 1979 and 1980. I walked up to the Piper Archer with my three other buddies, in full fighter pilot swag, full of myself and the false confidence only a 20-year old can have. I had earned my Private in just 54 hours and now, with a whole 61 hours logged, I was flying my buddies to the Playboy Club Resort at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

Read More

Friday Photo

Incredible views from the cockpit
grand-canyon-in-piper-140-small

Friday Photo: Grand Canyon from a Cherokee

by

We flew direct to the Grand Canyon to fly northbound on the “Zuni Point Corridor” (depicted on the Grand Canyon National Park Special Flight Rules Area chart). We then turned back southbound to land at Valle (40G) just south of the Grand Canyon airport (GCN) to stop for fuel and some friendly conversation. The views of the Grand Canyon were spectacular. It’s truly one of those awe-inspiring moments that you will never forget.

Read More
pueblo-bonito

Friday Photo: Pueblo Bonito

by

Lauren McGavran finally achieved a lifelong dream when she earned her Sport Pilot license. Taking advantage of this, she took an old friend (and fellow new pilot) along for a flight in a Remos GX. The two friends flew over the iconic Pueblo Bonito in the Chaco Culture National Historic Park of New Mexico, where she snapped this photo.

Read More
flight-from-kryy-to-klou-2016-08-03-20-600w

Friday Photo: Tennessee sunset

by

The sunsets always look best after some time in IMC. That’s what Rick and Karen Mills saw from their 1949 Ryan Navion, as they flew home to Louisville, Kentucky. The setting sun over Central Tennessee made for the perfect ending to a beautiful day.

Read More