https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/30163939/mooney-m20c-scaled.jpg 1920 2560 Bill Bond https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Bill Bond2024-02-16 08:55:482024-02-23 13:57:04Lessons learned from a sloppy IFR/VFR approach
Lowering the Mooney’s nose for descent enabled me to finally see the runway. However, when my bird’s nose is lowered, she is so slippery I accelerate quickly at the very time I need to be slowing. I intercepted the approach course and then flew through it.
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/15100754/black-hawk-scaled.jpg 1707 2560 Curtis Penner https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Curtis Penner2024-01-29 08:55:132024-01-29 08:58:01Watch out for TFRs
Suddenly, my peripheral vision picked up something to my left and the serenity of the morning was shattered. A Black Hawk helicopter was a few feet off my wing! As I stared at it in disbelief, the door slid open and a soldier in fatigues held up a large 121.5 sign. My shaking fingers stabbed at the radio 'emerg' button and I managed a feeble “hello?
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/17111341/light-sport-flight-deck.png 798 1222 Kyle Braga https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Kyle Braga2023-11-29 08:55:562023-11-29 14:32:18Two in a row – a chain of mistakes and lessons
With less than 30 minutes to go before arriving, the battery couldn't hold a charge anymore. A warning message popped up on the PFD, and it only took five minutes for the electrical system to shut down. Thankfully, the PFD has a backup battery, so I knew I had around 30 minutes before it would go dark. I also had a Sporty's backup radio in my flight bag.
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/06173416/Collision_wide-2.jpg 480 720 Robert Patlovany https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Robert Patlovany2023-11-27 08:55:012023-11-27 08:58:06My self-taught Immelmann for collision avoidance
The speck eventually sprouted a fuselage, twin-engine nacelles and a T-tail. By the time the wing panels outboard of the engines became big enough to see, along with the turbine exhaust pipe exiting the near side nacelle, I was measuring four G’s on my panel accelerometer and depressing my control stick microphone switch.
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/06173406/1965-Mooney-201E-Super21.jpg 693 1024 Jay Wischkaemper https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Jay Wischkaemper2023-11-24 08:50:412023-11-24 08:50:27Unfamiliarity and distractions nearly result in a gear up
About that time, another beeping noise could be heard over the buzzing in my headset. “What’s that?” I asked. “I’m not sure,” was the reply. Now we were about a mile and a half from the runway. Thankfully Philip did his GUMP check. Gas, undercarriage. Then we both noticed where that other beeping noise was coming from.
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/09093432/overcast.jpg 1536 2048 Don Grimm https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Don Grimm2023-10-27 08:55:352023-10-27 11:01:07Caught above an overcast layer results in first encounter with IMC
By the time I did a 180 degree turn, there wasn’t a spot of open ground to be seen from horizon to horizon. At this point in my training, I didn’t even know what an approach plate was, but I knew I needed some kind of a plan for what to do next. What happened in the next few minutes was a combination of beginner’s luck with the benefit of a recent lesson on instrument familiarization from my instructor.
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/30102146/MD10-scaled.jpeg 1707 2560 Mario Jimenez https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Mario Jimenez2023-09-13 08:55:552023-09-13 10:08:53Expectation bias and distractions lead to near disaster
what was causing our 400,000 lbs. abode to creep forward at an alarmingly increasing rate? What was earlier yards or even feet of separation now seemed like mere inches. Those vehicles, those people, they had no way to move, no way to extricate themselves from the approaching doom.
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/11094420/low-visibility.jpg 663 1008 Dan Stukas https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Dan Stukas2023-08-30 08:55:432023-08-31 11:36:18Never again – too much trust in the weather forecast
All of a sudden, a giant water tower appeared in front of me. I was now at 200 ft. AGL and quickly turned around the water tower to find my position. Woodville, Mississippi was written on the side of the water tower. Yes, at least now I knew where I was. I got out my VFR paper map and hunted for Woodville on that map, but I could not find it.
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/06170358/runway-lights-at-night.jpg 360 480 William Reyer https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg William Reyer2023-08-02 08:55:012023-08-07 17:52:37A night flight I’ll never forget
My unfamiliarity with the airplane, its engine, and perhaps the fact that Goff was red-lining his airplane which had 30 more horsepower made the gap between us increase more and more until the dot I was following on my wind screen which I believed was Goff turned out to be an insect splatter. Suddenly, I was flying alone and in the dark.
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/06144453/3821785284_12ba4cd904_b.jpg 768 1024 Bill David https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Bill David2023-07-03 08:55:232023-07-03 08:56:11My secret forced landing
Then the Cub quit flying. It just fell out of the sky and plopped into a farmer’s field. The soft soil not only absorbed my abrupt landing, but also stopped the airplane in just a matter of feet. The tail plopped down. It was over.
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/06145815/Upset-in-Citabria.jpg 545 900 Gennaro Avolio https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Gennaro Avolio2023-06-07 08:45:382023-06-07 08:48:18My near miss and partial panel recovery
I applied full left stick and pulled back. I swear I could hear the engine of the other airplane as it passed the belly of mine. After I realized that we had missed each other, I looked around and could see only black and no horizon.
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/06140659/Gray-clouds-from-ground.jpg 894 1398 Bill Gust https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Bill Gust2023-05-26 08:55:522023-05-08 12:18:30Surviving 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.
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/24093526/N24783.jpg 2016 1512 Jim Nardulli https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Jim Nardulli2023-05-03 08:55:182023-05-04 13:47:52Multiple 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.
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/27110826/ov-10-bronco.jpg 778 1200 Dale Hill https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Dale Hill2023-04-10 08:55:392023-04-10 09:52:59Sleeping on the job – a lesson in staying alert
WAIT! I’m supposed to be flying, not sleeping! Where am I? Where am I going? I checked the instruments and saw I was now heading west at 10,500 feet. I glanced around and knew exactly where I was, so I turned back to a northerly heading.
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/27105235/IMG_0302_Original-scaled.jpg 1920 2560 Grace Eger https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Grace Eger2023-04-05 08:55:362023-04-05 15:34:35Young and reckless
A wall of clouds quickly advanced from the west. Lightning flashed, illuminating several shocked faces in the dark. Before I ducked into the small backpacking tent Niki and I were sharing, I glanced at the Cessna 177 parked next to us. It was snugly tied down, chocked, and ready to weather the storm. The tie-downs. My stomach sank. I forgot to pack the tie-downs!
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/03152613/Dougs-story_coloured-scaled.jpg 2560 1874 Doug Morris https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Doug Morris2023-03-22 08:55:282023-03-28 15:02:08Fate was on my side – a lesson in scud running
It was a dreadful sickening feeling, flying ever so close to the tower with the supporting guy wires clearly visible. The tower pulsed strobe lights, meaning it poked menacingly into the sky to at least 500 feet unseen in the daunting gloom.
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/06162202/Traffic-from-side-window.jpg 815 1223 Troy Kelley https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Troy Kelley2023-03-01 09:00:502023-03-28 15:05:56First solo out of the pattern: an unexpected adventure in risk management
All of a sudden, I hear “MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY!” along with a report that a small biplane had a propeller failure during the takeoff roll. After a minute or so of radio silence, the UNICOM monitor announces that the the runway - the ONLY runway - at my home airport is closed until further notice. Gulp.
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/07135023/KDEDRwy5.jpg 998 1413 Enderson Rafael https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Enderson Rafael2023-02-20 09:00:302023-02-07 13:56:25My near fuel emergency
The extra RPMs to compensate for the half-opened carb heat, a probably too conservative mixture, and of course stronger than forecasted winds aloft resulted in a much higher fuel burn than expected. Surprisingly, the FBO pumped 34.5 gallons into our Skyhawk! That calculates to only 3.5 gallons remaining.
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/19170024/Super-Cub-in-grass.jpg 1125 1500 William Reyer https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg William Reyer2022-09-26 08:41:452022-09-19 17:01:41A simple oversight almost ruins a bucket list trip
From Andover I flew the first leg to Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, the Cub’s birthplace. We topped off and I climbed up to check the tanks, which was probably my first mistake. Lyle took the front seat and I squeezed all 6‘ 1” of me into the back. Lyle cranked the starter and we heard a bang like something hitting the plane. We ignored it. Second mistake.
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/16150443/46026413735_8bbb80a097_b.jpg 768 1024 Frank Humbles https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Frank Humbles2022-08-24 08:48:132023-02-03 12:12:58The hex of the X
I was soon downwind with a Cheshire cat grin on my face my only thought being what a great pilot I was to become. After a greased landing “Mr. Pro Pilot” taxied up to the FBO. Strangely, no one was there to greet me? It was mid-morning but all the doors were locked. Now what do I do?