Entries by

IFR challenge from Pilot Workshops: What would you do?

In this PilotWorkshops IFR Mastery scenario, you own a Beech Sundowner equipped with upgraded instruments, an IFR GPS and an autopilot. The Sundowner will take you, your spouse and a family friend from Abilene, Texas (KABI) to McAlester, Oklahoma (KMLC). On approach to your destination, you execute a missed approach in low IFR conditions. Should you try this approach again or cut your losses and head to the alternate?

IFR Challenge – RNAV approach at Tillamook

You’re the only airplane inbound and ATC has cut you loose to join the approach as you see fit. However, the more you review the approach chart the more complex it becomes. The simplest options will be the toughest to execute given the winds and descent, but the easier options might not be legit. Watch this video from PilotWorkshops’ IFR Mastery scenario collection and challenge yourself—what would you do?

Pilot’s Discretion Podcast with John Zimmerman – top 10 episodes of 2023

Join Air Facts Editor-in-Chief, John Zimmerman, as he interviews some of aviation’s most interesting people in the popular Pilot’s Discretion Podcast. You’ll recognize some of the guests as contributing authors at Air Facts. From honest discussions about flight training to fascinating stories from world famous airshow pilots, this podcast is for anyone who loves to fly.

Air Facts top 10 articles of 2023

Sporty’s Air Facts published more than 150 articles in 2023, written by more than 100 different writers. Many of these writers were first time contributors with a compelling story to tell or a lesson learned. Thank you for your many comments and spirited debate. Please enjoy these 10 most popular articles of 2023.

Webinar video: Flying with Datalink Weather

Datalink weather, either from ADS-B or SiriusXM, is an essential tool for almost all pilots. Once you’ve flown a cross country with in-flight radar, up-to-date METARs, and visual AIRMETs, it’s awfully hard to go back to flying without it. It makes flying safer, easier, and more comfortable – a rare combination – but only if you know how to use it properly.

Video: Patty Wagstaff on flying aerobatics

Patty Wagstaff is one of the most famous airshow pilots in history as a six-time member of the U.S. Aerobatic Team, the first woman to win the title of U.S. National Aerobatic Champion, and one of the few people to win it three times. She’ll share her decades of experience flying aerobatics to show you how aerobatics can help improve your pilot skills.

From the archives: What it takes to fly the President

Air Force One, as the Presidential plane is identified when the Chief Executive is aboard, is a swept-wing Boeing VC-137C, basically the same design as the 707-320B, an intercontinental jetliner flown by many airlines. Delivered in late 1962, it has a top speed of 620 miles-an-hour, and a non-stop range of 7000 miles — 2500 miles more than the previous Presidential jet.

From the archives: The Airphibian

This article first appeared in the January 1947 edition of Air Facts. As amazing as it might seem today, Leighton Collins believed back then that flying cars had arrived. He wrote in the headline to this article, “Put it down for keeps that a successful car-airplane is now an accomplished fact.” Seventy five years later, flying cars are still in the headlines but not in any garages or hangars. Still, the description of the Airphibian offers a fascinating look at the post-war general aviation boom.

Go or no go: how much ice is too much?

Just because the calendar says spring doesn’t mean in-flight icing is no longer a concern—especially around your home base in Chicago. So today’s proposed flight home from Detroit (PTK) to Gary, Indiana (GYY), might be a challenge. You are instrument rated and current, and you’re planning on an IFR flight. Your Cirrus SR22 has a TKS deice system but not a “known ice” system.

From the archives: Richard Bach on the pilot brotherhood

This article, from the November 1960 issue of Air Facts, is a classic example of Richard Bach’s mastery of both aviation and language. In telling the simple story of an hour in an air traffic control tower during the graveyard shift, he captures the beauty of airports and the common bond among pilots. “What if every pilot knew, I thought, that we are already brothers?”