Editor’s choice: our top 10 articles from 2019

We published over 200 articles at Air Facts this year, including personal stories, tips for safer flying, and memorable pictures. Some of these were written by well-known authors like Mac McClellan, but most were written by everyday pilots. After reviewing all of them, we’ve selected ten must-read articles from 2019.

10. Low and fast – a bad combination. Most pilots know that buzzing a friend’s house or making a low pass isn’t a great idea, but as Jeff Edwards explains in this article, it’s simply stupid. He reviews the regulations, the terminology, and why pilots have a responsibility to set a good example. Read More

9. I damaged my airplane. Now what? You’ve probably read about near-misses and accidents, but what about those in between scenarios? Larry Noe shares the story of his slightly damaged Bonanza, and the tough decision he faced: fly it home or not? Read More

8. That other ice. Carburetor icing doesn’t get nearly as much attention as airframe icing, but as Kim Hunter writes in this fascinating article, it might be more prevalent. He offers some personal stories and some tips for safer flying. Read More

7. When pilots have too much experience. Mac McClellan wrote a number of thought-provoking articles for Air Facts in 2019, and one of the best was this meditation on aging pilots. How old is too old? It’s a question that has a personal angle for Mac. Read More

6. What’s a real emergency? Pilots are very good at denying reality when the facts are inconvenient, as Gal Bar-Or’s story shows in vivid detail. He almost ignored a developing engine problem, but finally declared an emergency. Read More

5. Surprise at 11,000 feet. Turbine engines aren’t supposed to quit, but that’s exactly what happened to John Karasek one day in his Quest Kodiak. The cause will probably surprise you, but the lessons learned are definitely worth reviewing. Read More

4. First and last solo. What do you do as a flight instructor when a student pilot comes to you after being fired by another CFI? Robert Burke experienced exactly that, and the results weren’t pretty. Read More

3. What’s wrong with Robinson R44 pilots? Another in our popular series that explores the safety record of different aircraft. This edition dives into the sometimes controversial history of the Robinson R44 helicopter—is there a problem with the machine or the pilot? The answer may surprise you. Read More

2. Why I love it, why I hate it: Cessna 210. The 210 was the pinnacle of Cessna’s single engine lineup in the late 70s and early 80s. While it is respected for its load-hauling ability, it has a bad reputation for maintenance. This article shares some personal opinions, based on years of flying the big single. Read More

1. Can Boeing trust pilots? There was no bigger aviation story in 2019 than the troubles with the Boeing 737 MAX. In this must-read article, Mac McClellan goes beyond the headlines to consider the deeper issues involved and asks some uncomfortable questions. As he argues, “I am sure the future belongs to [fly-by-wire] and that saying pilots need more training and better skills is no longer enough.” Read More

2 Comments

  • Air Facts should do a review of Renters Agreements. Renters can get into serious finanical trouble by signing and not reading the renters agreement. I am an Aviation Insurance Broker , 2020 will be my 60th year. I insured Mac’s Baron. I would be glad to write the article. Larry Rachlin

    • Please write it. There are so many little things people don’t know about and cutting corners can effectively limit what you are buying without knowing it

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *