Read those NOTAMs!

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We cruised on down to the Long Island Sound shoreline to shoot the VOR-A approach into Griswold Airport (now closed). Griswold was private, but nothing said we couldn’t shoot a low approach. Local scuttlebutt alleged that a Griswold family owned the airport and that they were “crazy.”

Volare: the family circle of fliers

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Helen Keller said, “Life is either a daring adventure or it is nothing.” Most who live by those words are fliers, in one way or another. Try to think of an avocation, a passion, an adventure, that doesn’t involve the release of a person or object from gravity’s surly bonds. They know the moment of flight where the daring adventure of life is attained.

Friday Photo: Isla Palomino

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Sometimes everything comes together: a high wing airplane, a beautiful Caribbean island, and a friend to share the flight with. That’s what Reinaldo Marquez shares in this Friday Photo, and it looks pretty good to us. The view is of Isla Palomino beach, on the southern edge of a small island just off the coast of Puerto Rico.

When pilots have too much experience

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As pilots we spend our flying careers amassing hours of experience. Our skill and competence, and qualification for new ratings, and certainly for flying jobs, is largely based on our hours of logged experience. But when does a pilot have too much experience? In other words, when do the number of years logged since birth matter more than the number of hours in the logbook?

Omaha to Tel Aviv in a Cessna 210

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Jim and I talked further about ferry procedures, the probable route and the likely departure date. I was grateful then, when at the end of our lunch, he agreed to accompany me on the trip. I had about two thousand hours of over-water time by then, but all of it was with four engines at high altitude.

Go or No Go: heading home on Friday afternoon

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At the end of a long week of work with a customer in northwest Arkansas, it’s time to fly home for a relaxing weekend with the family. The skies are cloudy as you drive to the airport, but the weather looks good overall. Read the weather reports below, then tell us if you would fly this trip.

Manual override and Occam’s razor

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What if there were an easier way to revert to manual control? To remove the so-called “envelope protection” algorithms built into modern flight control systems. We’ve all heard the adage: Aviate, Navigate, Communicate. But can you really aviate when control inputs are analyzed thousands of times a second and then spit out to the control surfaces?

Friday Photo: sharing the sky

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I hadn’t been to the Reading WWII Weekend at KRDG in many years. As I was going through my photos picking out the best shot of each airplane in the show I stumbled across this shot of the P-51 along with a small winged friend sharing the sky. I’d love to say, it was planned, but it wasn’t. Never saw the bird while making the photo.

Jumpseating to Europe… maybe

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I ran madly through the hallways, up then down, left then right, back-tracking when I took a wrong turn. If I missed the flight to Madrid, then I might as well turn around and head back to YIP. Finally, I saw the gate. Phew! Boarding had not yet began.

Video tip: IFR departure considerations

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Instrument approaches get a lot of attention, whether it’s the intricacies of WAAS approaches or the unique missed approach procedures at mountain airports. Most pilots spend far less time considering the instrument departure, which is equally demanding. In this video tip, taken from Sporty’s Instrument Rating Course, you’ll review the key elements of an instrument departure, when to file one, and what the difference is between an ODP and a SID.

What’s a real emergency?

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Temps were good, fuel pressure and quantity good, but there’s that oil pressure, lower still, but just a little lower. But temps are all good, maybe the gauge is misbehaving? I got a little alarmed, but the voice in the back of my head said, “There’s nowhere around here I want to land, there’s a snowstorm below me, this is not a good time for an emergency.”

Friday Photo: a Cub at rest

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This is recreational aviation at its very finest. Pete Aarsvold shares a photo of two pilots relaxing on a bench, right next to a Cub Crafters Sport Cub sitting on an immaculate grass runway. Looks like the start of a great day.

I damaged my airplane. Now what?

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About three years ago, I had an unfortunate incident with my airplane. I flew to a nearby airport to pick up my instructor for a couple of days of training. We typically did intensive IFR training but this year, I wanted to refresh some basic flying skills so we planned a combination of some VFR basics and some IFR.

My first flying lesson

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After spending some time doing basic airwork (turns, stalls, etc.) Hal said he was bored and took control of the airplane. First he tried looping the Cub, which did not work out as his 200+ pounds plus my paltry 115 pounds made the maneuver impossible. He would nose the plane over, build up airspeed and pull the nose up with full power and, somewhere near vertical, the plane would fall back out of the sky.

“In this business we play for keeps”

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Few dreams worth having are achieved with shortcuts and in flying airplanes there is no substitute for experience. The increase in airman wisdom is recorded on paper in logbooks. More importantly, the experience gained is remembered in your mind and heart, the rewards being increased skill, finesse in the craft, and survival.

Friday Photo: cranberry harvest

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Cranberries are knocked off their bushes while the bogs are flooded, allowing them to be corralled for harvest. We may be flatlanders here in this part of our state but the water views (both coastal and lakes) make it beautiful flying country. This annual sight is always one of my favorite iconic views of the Cape Cod area.

History moving forward – my flight in a B-17

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I like history. I try to imagine what it was like to experience the things that I read about. What were the sounds, the smells, the feelings? Well, after volunteering with our EAA Chapter 17 that hosted the B-17, I was able find out. A group of ten of us who volunteered over the weekend were selected to tag along on the repositioning flight.

Eight things I know about flying in Georgia

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Georgia was my birthplace for flying. I cut my teeth piloting a little Alarus out of DeKalb-Peachtree airport in northeast Atlanta (PDK), and that was home base for 15 years. I set a goal of landing at every public-use airport in the state, and dang near got most of them, even if it was just a touch and go. Over that time I learned a thing or two about flying in the South.

Go or No Go: IFR over the mountains

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Since upgrading to a Cirrus SR22 Turbo a few years ago, you’ve really started using your instrument rating for serious travel. The airplane is well-equipped with a TKS deice system, Garmin glass cockpit, and built-in oxygen. All of those are useful for your typical flights around Montana, Idaho, Utah, and Oregon. Today is no exception, as the mission calls for a two-hour flight from Billings, Montana (BIL), to Boise, Idaho (BOI).