https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/06154904/1107px-Matanuska_River_8701s.jpg 900 1107 Mort Mason https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Mort Mason2018-10-18 08:34:522018-11-05 23:25:27Poor planning, poor choices, and poor airmanship
I could see that the weather lifted just beyond the big rock that held the radio tower located off to my left and not far ahead. I could see that I would have about 50 feet between the cloud deck and the highway there, enough room to skirt the rock and fly into better weather. So I just took it...
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/06154937/Cherokee-140-2.jpg 978 1500 Peter Allen https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Peter Allen2018-10-11 16:46:472018-10-11 16:47:40The day I almost didn’t take off
As I advanced the throttle, the acceleration on takeoff was less than I thought it should be, but I justified this with the thought it was a 140 and not the 180. No alarms were going off in my mind yet. What could go wrong with almost 760 lbs of people and full fuel?
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/06155506/Boeing_Stearman_N67193.jpg 533 800 Wendy Diaz https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Wendy Diaz2018-07-30 16:42:162018-07-30 16:43:48Fitting in flying around a busy life – and learning a lesson
As a student pilot, the ups and downs of the learning cycle can be as exhilarating as your first flight or as frustrating as bad weather on a day you really wanted to fly. On one particular day after not flying for a few months, I had my first “I can’t believe I did that!” moment. I had asked my instructor to go on a “no stress, fun flight.”
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/06173306/skyhawk-blue-sky-medium.jpg 416 520 Alex Cabot https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Alex Cabot2018-07-18 11:49:522018-07-18 11:50:22Never fly in New Jersey
One of my most memorable flights was my long solo cross country during my PPL training. The two hours that I spent in the cockpit of my little Cessna would turn out to be two of the most valuable hours in my flight training.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/06155735/108BT_on_wheels.jpg 675 900 Tom Callahan https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Tom Callahan2018-06-20 10:16:502018-06-20 10:17:02A bad case of get-there-itis
What kind of idiot would knowingly take off into unsafe conditions, simply because they were in a rush to get home? I only skimmed this section of my training manual, secure in the knowledge that I was too smart, self-aware and cautious to ever fall prey to that kind of insidious thinking. Who could be so stupid and reckless? I now know the answer to that question: me.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/06155856/PLANEDOWN2_20130309172223_640_480.jpg 480 640 Harry Grannemann https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Harry Grannemann2018-05-29 13:42:422018-05-29 13:43:01Landing gear up – how the unthinkable happened to me
I was brought to my senses by a tremendous noise followed by an ominous quiet. In this quiet there was no sound of the motor. I realized that the airplane had stopped. I could get out of the airplane. I scrambled through the door only to be met by the tarmac three feet closer than it had been. It was not where I expected. I had crash landed. The wheels were still up. I had landed in a daydream.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/06160439/Thunderstorm-at-night-lightning.jpg 733 1100 Dan Moore https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Dan Moore2018-04-05 15:52:222018-04-05 15:52:43What are we deviating for?
I should be in bed. That was the thought that was going through my head as I bounced off the ceiling, again, and basically was tossed around like a dog with a toy. Unfortunately, my airplane and I were the toy, not the dog. We'd flown inadvertently into a thunderstorm.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/06160848/maxresdefault-16.jpg 720 1280 Keith Myles https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Keith Myles2018-02-14 10:07:062018-02-14 10:07:22Caught in a thunderstorm
I have several cardinal rules of flying: Don’t fly in freezing clouds, don’t fly IFR in the mountains, don’t fly with less than one hour of usable fuel in the tanks, and don’t fly in thunderstorms. I have been conscientious about following these rules in my years of flying. Until one day over Pennsylvania.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/06161226/DSCN6812.jpeg 467 623 Jose Gonzalez https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Jose Gonzalez2018-01-15 12:31:492018-01-15 12:32:02Caught on top, Moses on board
Fully proud of my license and confident of my newly acquired knowledge and 125-hour engine, I felt fully prepared for the 450nm trip that would take me from my home base at PDK to 5A1 in Norwalk, Ohio. For days I carefully reviewed weather patterns around my planned route of flight. It was not to be.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/06161547/image1-5.jpeg 960 1280 Duane Mader https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Duane Mader2017-12-13 11:34:572017-12-13 11:36:05I never considered canceling
Dividing my attention between setting power, keeping her straight and watching my speed, I noticed the windshield starting to mist over with ice but I kept charging. Acceleration was normal and I had a fairly long runway so at 120 I gently rotated the nose - and continued to roll with the mains fully planted.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/06161708/Piper_PA-23_Apache_-_Venezia_800.jpg 608 800 William Babis https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg William Babis2017-11-29 18:15:262017-11-29 18:15:36A bad way to learn about aerodynamics
Many decades ago, my flying career was just getting off the ground when it nearly ended. It was August 1976 to be more exact and I had the opportunity to ferry a PA-23 that a new owner was restoring that had the full Geronimo conversion from Albuquerque to Cincinnati for radio and autopilot work at my father’s shop.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/06162334/Cub-by-tractor.jpg 652 1000 Jules Tapper https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Jules Tapper2017-10-09 16:44:452017-10-09 16:46:20One chance to get it right: inadvertent IFR flying
I immediately knew that my current situation was extremely serious. I was currently flying at 4000 feet and was trapped between two layers of cloud in a wide band of clear air. This “meat in the sandwich” scenario at the end of the day, in a low speed, basically instrumented aircraft with a relatively low-time pilot was about as bad as it could get.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/06162510/5233105116_5e9d1d932b_z.jpg 480 640 Renato Tucunduva https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Renato Tucunduva2017-09-25 17:03:592017-09-25 17:04:26An awful sensation – lost above Brazil with no alternator
I was totally by myself. I aligned the plane with the 04 runway, with no one in sight, since it was the middle of the week. I took off and decided to test the new plane with some basic maneuvers and a lazy flight. It's important to say that I was totally unfamiliar with the area, as I was used on flying my Cubs from another airfield some miles away. But the fates decided it was a good time to put me to the test.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/06164022/1-3.jpg 480 852 Ben Holloway https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Ben Holloway2017-05-30 12:33:042017-06-01 12:13:22Stumbling into IMC without a plan
I believe this is where things go bad for well-trained pilots. It’s not that we can’t improvise and come up with new plans, but when we're a little lost and our original plan isn’t working out, we need a few moments to compose a new one. I was in the pattern in IMC, trying to descend well below pattern altitude to get below the scattered clouds while trying to do what I told the tower I would be doing - and also not get in trouble with ATC.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/06164250/scud.jpg 547 1000 Tom Brusehaver https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Tom Brusehaver2017-05-08 14:16:462017-05-11 16:27:46I am lucky to be a pilot, and I am a lucky pilot as well
It was a humid early September evening after a hot day. In Minnesota, that means when it cools off in the evening, the clouds come up, and the thunderstorms start. I hadn't considered what would be happening later in the evening.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/06173424/152-spin.png 333 500 Greg Hutchison https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Greg Hutchison2017-04-05 07:11:482017-04-07 11:47:57A humbling solo flight
So I poured the power on and hauled back on the yoke. With the lighter load, that yoke came right back and the nose of the plane pointed right up. For a split second I thought “that's strange” and before I knew it, I was pointing straight down at the ground in a left spin.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/06164901/9548_720w_0000.jpg 480 715 Mike Mason https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Mike Mason2017-03-20 10:01:452017-03-23 13:41:33Tomorrow’s good enough for me
This story happened many years ago to my father-in-law and me, and the statute of limitations has hopefully run out on any broken or bruised FARs we might have encountered during the course of events. Nevertheless, there is a debt to be paid: that is the debt to one’s own conscience when, years later, you look back on things and realize your own stupidity.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/06165346/luscombe_8_f-pmcd_ebdt_2009_4.jpg 771 1200 Ken Howell https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Ken Howell2017-01-19 14:52:412017-01-23 13:55:00Miracle at Mojave: surviving an airplane crash
At an altitude of about 50 feet, the airplane stalled and Gus lost control. Given our present situation, a team of engineers, analyzing every available factor, would be hard pressed to come up with a set of circumstances that would make this event survivable. I closed my eyes just before the lights went out.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/06175541/fuel-gauge-low.png 360 640 Stephen Hunter https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Stephen Hunter2016-11-09 16:41:552016-11-11 10:53:08It can happen to you – a low fuel confession
I always said of pilots who lived through fuel starvation that “God protects drunks and fools… and they probably weren’t drinking.” I never understood how someone could be so thoughtless. And then this…
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/06165755/vfr-on-top-of-cloud-deck.jpg 744 759 Josh Ford https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Josh Ford2016-10-26 17:09:382016-10-26 17:09:38VFR on top… for a long time
Slowly but surely, my outs -- the airports that I intended to be able to land at if need be, began to close up. First was Baton Rouge, as the overcast quickly engulfed the airport to IFR. I also noticed that the TAF had been amended to include IFR conditions for most of the remaining day. Next was New Orleans. Now the gravity of the situation began to take hold in my mind. What if everything closes up?