Mac McClellan logged thousands of hours in his Beech Baron.
Mac McClellan is a frequent contributor to Air Facts, but as Editor-in-Chief at Flying magazine for 20 years he flew just about every new airplane delivered since 1976. In this podcast episode, Mac shares his favorite ones and some that he wished he’d never flown.
As a keen observer of general aviation trends, Mac also explains why pilots are flying fewer cross countries, why personal flying inevitably means tradeoffs between safety and efficiency, and what the future holds for urban air mobility/eVTOL proposals.
In the “ready to copy” segment, Mac shares why he thinks personal minimums are a bad idea, the best places to fly in Michigan, and what sailing and flying have in common.
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When people ask Mac McClellan what he does for a living, he replies, “I fly airplanes and write about them. And I’m one of the most fortunate people in the world to have been able to make a career of doing what I love.” Mac has been a pilot for more than 45 years, an aviation writer for more than 40 and has been lucky enough to get to fly just about every type of personal and business airplane in production from the 1970s onward. He was on the Flying Magazine staff for 35 years and editor-in-chief for 20 of those years. He has private pilot privileges in single-engine airplanes, commercial pilot in helicopters and ATP in airplanes with more than one engine. He holds several business jet type ratings and has logged more than 10,000 hours. His first airplane was a Cessna 140 and for the past 27 years he has owned a Baron 58 flying it more than 5,000 hours to cover the aviation industry. And now he is a part-time corporate pilot flying a King Air 350.
Latest posts by Mac McClellan (see all)
I’ve just listened to your Fast 5 podcast and really enjoyed it. Strange as it sounds, it was great to hear the voice and opinions of a writer whose work I have admired and read for many years.
I started reading Flying at age in 1973 at age 13 and never stopped. PPL at age 17, RCAF flying career after university and now 30 years with Cathay Pacific Airways. B747-200/300, Airbus A330-300, A340-200/300/600, A350-900/1000. Flying has been with me every step of the way. Richard Collins Richard Bach, Gordon Baxter, Len Morgan, Peter Garrison, Lane Wallace, Martha Lunken and you.
Thank you for an incomparable aviation learning and reading experience.
With best wishes, Martin Baggaley.
Thank you for another well thought out piece about general aviation. I agree that many pilots do not have as much real world IFR flying in the ATC system as they should. After obtaining my IFR certification, the best advice I ever received was to file IFR every time to take advantage if gaining more experience with communicating and flying instrument departures, arrivals and approaches. This has allowed us to feel comfortable traveling on an VFR or IFR day. I fly out of a very busy GA airport (KPDK) where the number of Bonanzas almost equals the number of Cirrus airplanes. We are fortunate enough to own a G36 Bonanza that has take us from Atlanta to all over the Southeast, up to Canada and as far West as Jackson Hole, WY. There is no greater pleasure than to safely accomplish these trips with family and friends for both business and pleasure. The Covid-19 pandemic has even further cemented the benefits of flying your own airplane to just about anywhere om this continent. Please, keep up the good work with your articles and podcasts.
I grew up flying with my uncle in the Cleveland area in the late 50’s and early 60’s and reading every issue of Flying or Pilot I could find. I got my ticket at Ohio U in 1975 and moved to Virginia to work in construction sales. I had a large territory and my employer would let me use GA aircraft for travel if the mission parameters made sense. In the late 80’s / early 90’s that changed as the company was acquired by a large corporation and the lawyers made the decisions. Even working for a smaller company now the decision to fly has been thwarted by “legal worries”, even though I am IFR rated have years of experience. Small airports near sites not served by airlines were time savers. Now I have to spend more time on the road.
I understand you also trained in NE Ohio, where and when? And for places to fly in MI, my family vacationed in the Mackinac area when I was a kid, told my wife we need to make that trip.