Fly like a professional? Yes, we can and should!

by

Most of us are not commercial pilots nor do we fly as our profession, so it would be very easy to immediately move to the next article in Air Facts thinking this article doesn’t apply to us. I would argue that flying like a professional does matter. I want to encourage you to approach your flying with the attitude of a professional.

Friday Photo: a great-looking panel

by

For Vini Khurana, checking out in his first airplane was a dream come true. He took this photo on a training flight and it shows a stunning view. The Pipistrel Virus is packed with Dynon avionics that light up the panel, but the view out the front window isn’t bad either.

Nine things I know about flying in Wisconsin

by

Wisconsin is my adopted summer home state and the place where I do most of my fun flying. No, I’m not crazy; I head to Florida when snow, cold temps and ice fishing become the norm. Returning just before Memorial Day allows me the advantage of enjoying the best of both worlds. I like to say that I live in paradise… but in two widely disparate states.

A rusty pilot takes to the skies again

by

Fast forward 35+ years and I was once again inspired by my father to get back into aviation, this time as a result of an agonizing four hour road trip to visit my parents (now in their 80s). I wondered if it would be easier to fly instead, so I purchased my first airplane in the fall of 2017, a “new to me” 1966 Piper Cherokee 180! Always a Cessna guy, I’m not sure how I ended up with a Cherokee.

How many second chances do you get?

by

We thought our most exciting memories were behind us. Everything was going great; the sun was about to set and, in an instant, we lost everything but the motor. No radios. No lights. No electrical instruments. And no ideas – yet. We got through the checklist and decided we had lost our alternator.

Friday Photo: Rocky Mountain National Park

by

Rocky Mountain National Park is a stunning 265,000 acre park in northern Colorado, famous for the Trail Ridge Road and its spectacular vistas. In this Friday Photo, Daniel Hesselius shares his unique view of the park, one that’s even better than the Trail Ridge Road. He took this photo from the left seat of his Baron as he cruised back to Denver in clear skies.

VFR to Russia? No problem!

by

This past July, we joined the Alaska Airmen Association and Circumpolar Expeditions on a group flight from Nome, Alaska, to Provideniya, Russia. The trip served two purposes: one as a goodwill mission to the Chukotka region of Russia and the other to keep the route between Nome and Provideniya open.

Read those NOTAMs!

by

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

by

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

by

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

by

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

by

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

by

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

by

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

by

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

by

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

by

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?

by

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.”