This year was another busy one at Air Facts: we celebrated our 10th year online by publishing over 250 articles, including personal stories and lively debates, first solos and harrowing military adventures. The variety, skill, and passion of our contributors continues to impress. If you wrote an article in 2021, thank you. If you’re thinking about adding that to your 2022 to-do list, here’s how to get started.
For now, we wish you a safe and happy new year—and hopefully one filled with flying. Enjoy the 10 most popular articles of 2021 below.
10. Crosswind operations—no drama, please. Boeing captain and Piper Arrow owner Brian Souter dives into the crab vs. slip debate. Which one is really the best idea? This article offers some new ideas to consider, no matter what you’re flying. Read now
9. Witnessing an earthquake from the air. Pilots are taught to plan for emergencies, but Gaspar Galaz was confronted with a truly novel one: an earthquake! He describes how this frightening event changed his fuel planning and even his weather planning. Read now
8. Bam! Not all loud noises in flight are serious emergencies. We’ll leave it at that… Read now
7. Approach, I need the nearest airport. While ferrying an airplane with a checkered maintenance history, Stephan Vlachos experienced a legitimate emergency. He explains what happened, and how a series of small decisions influenced the outcome. Read now
6. When aviation comes to your front yard. When Dan Moore got a call that a Russian helicopter had landed on his farm, he wasn’t sure what to think. He quickly realized this was just another situation where one pilot needed to help another. Read now
5. I could never be so lucky again. A leisurely flight on a beautiful day was ruined when Douglas Evans’s son noticed oil pooling at his feet. The cause was a tiny part and an overlooked service bulletin. He shares eight lessons learned from the ordeal, which are applicable to all pilots. Read now
4. A landing and a one-wheel takeoff on Interstate 25. A forced landing on a highway is stressful enough; Jim Terpstra got to do a takeoff from that highway after he was down safely. He has the pictures to prove it—complete with a bend in the road! Read now
3. Negative transfer: a military pilot learns a hard lesson. Just because you can fly a Navy fighter jet doesn’t mean you can fly a Cessna 172. In fact, some habits are actually dangerous when copied from one airplane to another. Read now
2. Dumb games with very fast airplanes. How did a rifle slug end up in the vertical fin of an F-105? It involves flying at 400-500 knots very close to the ground… and a very mad rancher. Read now
1. Overweight in a Twin Otter—but how? Dave Rohee shares the story of a Twin Otter flight in Guyana that nearly ended in disaster due to a weight and balance mistake. A powerful reminder of how simple errors can cause deadly problems. Read now