172 on short final

Don’t damage the pilot brand

All of us pilots are functioning as brand ambassadors of the general aviation (GA) business to the public.  We need to strive to make sure everyone sees our brand in a positive light. Straight up accidents are going to be a consistent part of living life and there is probably nothing we can do about some of those, but the avoidable things are what we really can change.
Gray clouds

Surviving my solo cross-country flight in South Korea

When I arrived at the Sea of Japan coastline, was I supposed to turn south, or was it north? Which way had the winds been blowing me? I did not recognize any landmarks on the chart. So, I turned south, flew for 10 or 15 minutes, and still did not find the expected landmarks.

The U.S. Forest Service Beaver Program in Ely, Minnesota

The program’s primary area of responsibility is the 3 million-acre Superior National Forest in northeast Minnesota. Included entirely within the forest is the 1 million-acre Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). Three separate Prohibited Areas (P-204,  P-205 and P-206) overly the BWCAW and prohibit aircraft from flying below 4,000 feet MSL.
Cirrus in flight

Cirrus and Bonanzas dominated their eras

No two other airplanes dominated their time as the premier personal piston single. And each succeeded by being different in very fundamental ways.

Friday photo: The Las Vegas Strip

This trip was my first flight into North Las Vegas, and it was busy even after the tower had closed.  I was very focused on flying the departure procedure so I hadn't given any thought to where the procedure would take us relative to the city.

Pilots are not smarter, they are just better prepared

Ask any group of pilots to raise their hands if still a student, and you will be surprised at how many hands go up.  The pace of progress for aviation instruments requires pilots to be lifelong students, and they know it. 
Pilot in cockpit with instructor

The truth about learning to fly

As a community, pilots do a pretty good job of getting kids interested in flying. But I think we do ourselves a great disservice when we tell prospective pilots that learning to fly is all fun and excitement. It’s not, and we know it’s not.
Airline pilots

What it means to fly like a pro: 12 habits

Flying like a professional doesn’t mean you get paid to fly, it doesn’t mean you wear epaulets, and it doesn’t mean you burn Jet A. More than anything, it means you understand the responsibility you have as a pilot and you take pride in how you conduct every flight. Here's how to approach flying with a pro's mindset, and 12 habits for safer flying.
Air Force Museum

General Aviation Accessible Aviation Museum Directory

I eventually compiled a list of 176 on-airport aviation museums in the U.S. and some in Canada – all of which can be accessed without the need to rent a car or pay for a ride. I contacted most of the museums to confirm that a pilot could land at the airport and either park at the museum or walk to the museum.
Wiegman and son in airplane

A mother overcomes her rusty pilot fears to share the joy of flying

I loved my time in the air. But after having my son, I found I feared flying. I was afraid to leave him without a mother. I would think about flying once in a while as I focused on working and raising him. I was busy, for sure, but I was also afraid. I accepted that bad things might happen when I flew before he was born. In the years after he was born, though, things changed.

Friday photo: Boeing 737 shadow

We were beginning a descent into a lower overcast with the late afternoon sun slightly behind and on the right side. I happened to look out the left side window and was amazed to see the airplane’s shadow perfectly silhouetted against the cloud deck.
crashed airplane in grass

Multiple mistakes were too much to overcome

The airplane suddenly was blown to the right of centerline by a strong gust.  I immediately put in left aileron and worked the rudder to get back to centerline.  Just as abruptly the gust was gone, and I felt a sensation that I had not felt before in an aircraft.  The left wing simply stopped flying – as if there was no lift at all.  This did not develop like any stall I had ever experienced.

The hidden benefits of learning to fly

Learning to fly takes time, dedication and commitment. But the reward can serve you in life far beyond flying an airplane. You probably know the benefits of flight - speed, saving time, maximizing productivity - but have you considered the benefits of learning to fly?
Grass runway

Engine Failure Over Kentucky

As I dialed in the tower fre­quency, the cockpit fell silent. Prop-loafing, heart­ stopping engine failure. My training kicked in (thank you, Tom Davis). I added carb heat (late, I know), checked the fuel selector (should have an hour's fuel still in the tanks), flipped through the left and right mags, and pushed the mix­ ture knob into full-rich. No change.
Mooney M20E

Making a difference – speaking up when it mattered

I lost sight of them before liftoff as they passed behind the fuel island tanks. They had passed over the dam and were following the river drainage to the south. At this point, they still had not climbed above pattern altitude. After what felt like an agonizingly long time, they finally reached their cruise altitude of 9,500'.

The Chart Supplement and “Deer, coyotes, and birds on and invof arpt”

The Chart Supplement can spell out the huge words “waterfowl” or “jack rabbits,” but can’t spell out the word “airport,” but instead uses “arpt?”  Or “invof” versus “in the vicinity of?” Why not abbreviate bears, to “brs?”  Or “buffalos” to “bfflo?”  Reason?—because all the bfflo were sht by bfflo-hntrs in like 1885.

Friday photo: turning on a tail

My husband and I discovered flying in Costa Rica last year. We had the pleasure of exploring the land of Pura Vida by renting an airplane based at the Pavas (MRPV) airport, along with a local instructor. Through researching options available for GA opportunities, we found an excellent flight school in San Jose that gave us the direction and training to explore this beautiful country from the air.

A pilot’s views on 360 photography

For me, the most important attribute of these 360 cameras and their capabilities (most of which I haven’t even touched on here) are the game changing effects on my pleasure flying that I mentioned early in this report.  I have literally re-opened my backyard (local) flying areas to a new excitement and now see familiar settings with a revived sense of interest and even joy.
Preflight with CFI

Are Your Preflight Inspections Becoming Routine?

Maintenance-related problems are one of the most deadly causes of accidents in general aviation. Contributing to this is a pilot’s failure to identify maintenance discrepancies because of a lack of knowledge and improper techniques used during the preflight of the aircraft.

The safety window – Raytheon Premier accident analysis

Synopsis It is midday on Thursday 12 March 2015. A Premier I business jet is descending to its destination, Blackpool (EGNH), UK. The aircraft experiences intermittent hydraulic pressure fluctuations with associated indications and warnings.…