Friday Photo: a French chateau from the air

Friday Photo: a French chateau from the air

Read More
When a practice emergency becomes the real thing
The two rules of weather flying

The two rules of weather flying

Read More
A fly-in movie night in the mountains of Australia
Friday Photo: the Swiss Alps

Friday Photo: the Swiss Alps

Read More
We flew a Mooney to Cuba for the weekend!

We flew a Mooney to Cuba for the weekend!

Read More
A Christmas book list for pilots: 18 top picks
Stuck on a riverbed in a Champ

The Richard Collins Writing Prize for Young Pilots

Gulfstream in flight

Eight life lessons you learn as a pilot

New Articles

Our most recent posts

Friday Photo: a French chateau from the air

by

The historic Chateau de Chantilly is just 30 miles north of Paris, but looks like a time capsule from the 19th century. Philippe Platek was flying over it on a beautiful day when he took this photo from his Tecnam P-2008JC. It shows the Grand Chateau and the stunning formal gardens. The perfect flight for a general aviation airplane.

Read More
Radar map

The two rules of weather flying

by

It’s when you start to plan longer trips, over several hours or several days, that you develop a deeper understanding of how to navigate the atmosphere. And for me there are two principles that guide my thinking on these journeys: the weather will always change; and, it’s always scarier on the computer screen!

Read More

Friday Photo: the Swiss Alps

by

The weak sun of October had not completely removed the fog in the south of the Black Forest and over Switzerland. The Alps were sticking out of the cloud layer in the South. The air was smooth at FL090. I was crossing the arrival sectors of Zurich and the controllers had given me the most direct route that I could dream of.

Read More
Cuba

We flew a Mooney to Cuba for the weekend!

by

It was a cold February day when I decided that we would fly our 1994 Mooney M20R to Havana, Cuba. Restrictions for U.S. citizens traveling to Cuba had recently been lifted. The island was only 90 miles from Key West. We had flown our Mooney to the Out Islands of the Bahamas in the past. The only problem was that my wife did not want to go.

Read More
Santa Clara River

Stuck on a riverbed in a Champ

by

As I flew alone over the river near Fillmore, California, I noticed a really big area of sand that had been scoured flat and level by that high water. It was white, obvious and very clean looking, and the water was long gone. This is when it occurred to me that a guy might just be able to land on it in a Champ with big tires.

Read More

John's Blog

From Air Facts Editor John Zimmerman

A Christmas book list for pilots: 18 top picks

by

As social media and cable TV deteriorate into ill-informed shouting matches, I find myself reading more and more books. And as a book lover, Christmas means making my list and distributing it to family and friends. So in the spirit of the holidays I’ll offer my list of great aviation books.

Read More
Collins family

I’ve got connections

by

What is aviation, in a word? Many writers have tried to answer that question, and the word mentioned most often is freedom. Aviation sets you free, whether it’s freedom from the ground-bound view of the world or freedom from everyday worries. That’s certainly true, but I’d like to offer another nominee, even if it’s not as poetic: connection.

Read More

I Can't Believe I Did That

Learn from other pilots' mistakes
Grumman Cheetah

When a practice emergency becomes the real thing

by

Everything looked perfect – too perfect as it turned out. I kept expecting Bob to advance the throttle (or tell me to) so we could fly out of there, but instead we kept getting lower, flying a final approach to the off-airport landing spot. I couldn’t quite believe it when Bob, instead of applying power and initiating the go-around, started a landing flare!

Read More
Santa Clara River

Stuck on a riverbed in a Champ

by

As I flew alone over the river near Fillmore, California, I noticed a really big area of sand that had been scoured flat and level by that high water. It was white, obvious and very clean looking, and the water was long gone. This is when it occurred to me that a guy might just be able to land on it in a Champ with big tires.

Read More
Matanuska River

Poor planning, poor choices, and poor airmanship

by

I could see that the weather lifted just beyond the big rock that held the radio tower located off to my left and not far ahead. I could see that I would have about 50 feet between the cloud deck and the highway there, enough room to skirt the rock and fly into better weather. So I just took it…

Read More

Flying Technique

Tips and tricks for safer flying
Cessna on runway

The other 4 C’s of aviation

by

We are taught the 4 C’s of aviation in primary training. When faced with difficulty, such as getting lost or flying VFR into IMC, the safest course of action is to Climb, Communicate, Confess and Comply with instructions. But there is another set of C’s that has become more relevant to me as my flying experience has progressed.

Read More

A pilot’s dilemma: inoperative instruments or equipment

by

A recent legal interpretation by the FAA’s Office of Chief Counsel (dated June 13, 2018) addresses the rule on operating an aircraft with any inoperative instruments or equipment, FAR 91.213. It gives us an opportunity to review this sometimes complex rule that has bedeviled many general aviation pilots and owners for years.

Read More

Threats: can they keep us safe?

by

Humans make mistakes. We always have and always will. We have to use our training and skills to recognize the fact that we will make errors, recognize those errors, use techniques to minimize errors and mitigate any negative outcomes caused by those errors. There are many methods and tools to accomplish this, but let’s focus on the management of the “threats.”

Read More

Weather Geek

Understanding Mother Nature
Radar map

The two rules of weather flying

by

It’s when you start to plan longer trips, over several hours or several days, that you develop a deeper understanding of how to navigate the atmosphere. And for me there are two principles that guide my thinking on these journeys: the weather will always change; and, it’s always scarier on the computer screen!

Read More
500mb chart

How dynamics and thermodynamics create weather

by

As a pilot, you know that the atmosphere is constantly evolving. The changes in precipitation, cloud types, and hazards you see all link back to changes in temperature, pressure, and forces. Understanding weather means understanding the two main meteorological processes behind weather changes: dynamics and thermodynamics.

Read More

How to use a Skew-T Log-P diagram

by

Whether you’re a high or low altitude pilot, you can see how the temperature and amount of moisture in the air changes as you rise and descend through the atmosphere. How can we better understand these vertical changes to improve weather safety and awareness? Let’s get acquainted with a meteorological diagram called a Skew-T Log-P.

Read More

Young Pilots

Stories from the next generation
Liftoff of Cessna

I had the sky to myself: my first solo at 16

by

My takeoff was great and my landing was spectacular; “a greaser” as Dan would say. “Two more like that,” said Dan, “and I’ll let you fly solo!” My heart pounded. I knew I was close to my first solo, but now, with both parents right there with me? To say I was excited would have been a terrible understatement.

Read More
Kids at airport

Aviation’s future: a young pilot’s perspective

by

“We need more young pilots, like you,” is a statement that I find myself hearing quite often. I typically hear this coming from older pilots and I completely agree with them. But a lot of the older pilots that I know got into aviation because they were either in the military, or they grew up around an airport. Today, these are not usually the top reasons why people get involved in aviation.

Read More
Cessna in hangar

More comfortable in the air: an Adirondack odyssey

by

My first long-distance flight in a single-engine aircraft began exactly like every other mission we’ve ever flown: with my worrying about the weather and Dad squinting at the radar image on his iPad, assuring me that we would be fine as long as we got in the air within an hour. I call our trips missions because we rarely fly without a purpose.

Read More

Friday Photo

Incredible views from the cockpit

Friday Photo: a French chateau from the air

by

The historic Chateau de Chantilly is just 30 miles north of Paris, but looks like a time capsule from the 19th century. Philippe Platek was flying over it on a beautiful day when he took this photo from his Tecnam P-2008JC. It shows the Grand Chateau and the stunning formal gardens. The perfect flight for a general aviation airplane.

Read More

Friday Photo: the Swiss Alps

by

The weak sun of October had not completely removed the fog in the south of the Black Forest and over Switzerland. The Alps were sticking out of the cloud layer in the South. The air was smooth at FL090. I was crossing the arrival sectors of Zurich and the controllers had given me the most direct route that I could dream of.

Read More

Friday Photo: rainbow off the left wing

by

The old saying reminds us that behind every cloud there’s a silver lining. Most pilots know that behind every line of summer showers, there’s a rainbow. Ed Loxterkamp was in the perfect position to capture this beautiful sight when he was flying home from EAA AirVenture in his Piper Arrow.

Read More