At six AM the next morning, I was on a flight from Quebec City to Belize International Airport. The plan was to land, clear customs, and head right out to the plane on the ramp and ready for takeoff, with a 200 NM flight to Cozumel, Mexico. Seeing as how I had already done all these procedures in reverse, I was less apprehensive than I was on the initial ferry.
Angel Falls is undeniably breathtaking from any perspective. With a height over 3,200 feet, it is the highest uninterrupted waterfall on Earth and a powerful testament to nature’s power. Some 80 years after American pilot Jimmy Angel first flew over the falls, Douglas Olivares snapped this photo from his Cessna 172, complete with a partial rainbow.
Another CFI joined me in the grass area between the runway and the taxiways, as we both watched my student solo. I enjoyed smiling to the CFI who joined me and my student waved at me as he passed us halfway on his second takeoff roll. The student was smiling and waving at me with confidence in what he was doing – with only six hours of total time.
I recently added a multi-engine rating to my commercial certificate and it was one of the most fascinating experiences of my 30+ year flying career. Obtaining the rating was a bucket list thing. In light of the time available to me for flying, I chose to do an accelerated program held over a weekend to minimize the impact on my work schedule.
My idea of air travel was a sexy TWA Constellation or the mighty Pan Am Stratocruiser, not some clunky old DC-4. The Brits were already flying the first jet airliner, the Comet, and Boeing engineers were hard at work on the Dash-80, code name for the Comet’s competitor, the 707. But my father insisted on obscurity…
The Northwest United States offers plenty of stunning vistas, making it a favorite for pilots – especially when the weather is good. In this Friday Photo, Duane Root shares a beautiful shot of the snow-capped Tetons, shot from his F.8L Falco as he flew to Montana for an AOPA Fly-in. As he says, “It’s views like this that remind us why we love flying!”
“Girls can’t fly airplanes,” was verbal garbage the guys kept tossing at me when I announced that I intended to learn to fly. It was the 1950s, and that was a common litany despite what women pilots had accomplished during World War II.
You can go your whole career chasing the rabbit; chasing the airline, chasing the airplane, chasing the seat, always being junior. You can go your whole career and miss everything. You can miss your kids growing up, your marriage, your friends, holidays, weekend events, miss your life.
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.”
Geoff van Schie flies his Cessna 172M on volunteer missions to teach Christian Value Educational classes to mainly indigenous children in four remote schools in Australia. This photo was taken at the end of a five-day trip, for a total of 8 hours for the week, much of around IFR weather.
My dad inspired me to start my flight lessons, and he always told me a pilot must be alert for the signs. And as I asked him, “How do I know if something is a sign?” He answered, “Sometimes we just realize we were warned after we get into and out of trouble.”
For the first time, I was truly concerned about my safety, and that of my son, in an airplane. How had I let myself get in this situation? What are my options? Will I become a statistic? Looking down at the terrain below me, I know there are no “good” places to set an airplane down that has just run out of fuel.
As a student pilot, the ups and downs of the learning cycle can be as exhilarating as your first flight or as frustrating as bad weather on a day you really wanted to fly. On one particular day after not flying for a few months, I had my first “I can’t believe I did that!” moment. I had asked my instructor to go on a “no stress, fun flight.”
Ronald Hays has been flying for a while – over 3,000 hours in 18 years, from Alaska to Guatemala – but he says “the scariest departure ever was from our home airport.” This week’s Friday Photo shows why, as thick smoke from the Thomas fire in Southern California fills the air. It was a scary sight, but at least Hays was on his way to cleaner air.
It was a trip that I’ve thought about making for the past 18 years. It was a place I often dreamed of flying into as I planned my next $100 hamburger, but thought, I just don’t have the time this week, I’ll soon get out there. On January 26, 2018, that trip became a reality.
I learned to fly in a Piper Colt at tiny Concord Airpark east of Cleveland. It was nearly 50 years ago and in the more than 10,000 hours of flying all types of general aviation airplanes since these are the events that did much to shape my life in the air.
In order to obtain the “NASA form” waiver of a disciplinary certificate suspension or a fine, the matter must not have involved an “accident.” This exception has caused some confusion because NTSB’s definition of an accident is narrower than commonly understood.
The world’s largest fly-in starts next week in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. To celebrate, this week’s Friday Photo shows a great scene from AirVenture 2017, as a 1944 Howard is parked beneath a deep blue sky that is punctuated by a skywriter’s “EAA script.” Happy Oshkosh week!
How could it have been seven years since my last time behind the controls of an airplane? I knew I had to get back in the cockpit but I was unsure of how to kick start my training. Just as planning for an intricate cross country flight can be broken down into small legs, I developed an easy and realistic plan to help take the pressure off of myself.
One of my most memorable flights was my long solo cross country during my PPL training. The two hours that I spent in the cockpit of my little Cessna would turn out to be two of the most valuable hours in my flight training.