https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/18171612/Quantico-airport.jpg 872 1314 Randall Shumaker https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Randall Shumaker2022-10-26 08:51:042022-10-18 17:42:36When means, motive, and opportunity come together
Some time ago I was overseeing a project to buy high performance computers for the Department of Defense. I had to do site visits where the new computers were to go. This was mainly to make sure that the infrastructure would be in place in time. This is where the flying opportunity came in.
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/14150658/Dakota-on-ground.jpg 842 1500 Charles Carvalho https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Charles Carvalho2022-10-19 08:28:362022-10-14 15:08:11Flying my Canadian airplane in Trinidad
I flew from Trinidad and Tobago to Calgary and went directly to see the aircraft I was purchasing. My friend was a very particular individual who looked after his aircraft very well. Knowing him the way I did, I put my full trust in him to find me an aircraft. The day I took delivery was October 10, 2009, and the first time I actually sat in the aircraft was when I began my flight to Trinidad.
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/14142303/USAir_BAC_1-11_N1124J_at_LGA_15948513808.jpg 683 1024 Steve Robbins https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Steve Robbins2022-10-17 08:40:452022-10-14 14:24:26A different kind of concrete jungle
Sometime in the late 80s, somewhere in the Midwest (I think it was Grand Rapids), I taxied a USAir BAC 1-11 toward the terminal after landing on a flight from Pittsburgh. I remember the airport had a small, older terminal and there were no jetways, those loading bridges that almost all airline airports have now, so passengers walked on the ramp. As we came on the ramp, I saw there were blocked sections near the terminal where workmen were replacing concrete.
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/06183424/DA42.jpg 1432 2328 Guy Katz https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Guy Katz2022-10-14 08:21:092022-10-14 09:11:16“Geneva Tower, I have to go back”
Everything looked good: positive rate of climb, gear up, and I pulled back power to 92% as I have done many times before, getting ready to relax and prepare for the Alpine crossing. And then something seemed weird. It took me a second to see it: one engine would not go down in RPM, still well in the "yellow," although the throttle was now well below the usual power setting.
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/06155305/AN-2-pushback.jpg 827 1125 Douglas Fulton https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Douglas Fulton2022-10-12 11:59:502022-10-12 11:59:50Flying a Russian biplane through Alaska
"I'm sorry, but your permission to fly to Russia has not yet been granted." The words echoed and a wave of disappointment resonated before our eyes. We had filled out 80 pages of paperwork, gotten our visas from the Russian embassy, faxed in our passenger manifest, and traveled... all the way to Nome.
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/27164207/Larreategui-by-Bonanza.jpg 480 480 Patrick Larreategui https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Patrick Larreategui2022-10-03 08:45:372022-09-27 17:31:17Engine trouble over Lake Michigan
Climbing through 8,500 feet over Lake Michigan, the vibration coming from the engine cowling erupted into a full-on ruckus. The cowling was gyrating as if a wild animal was trying to get out. There was water in every direction and the Chicago skyline in the distance off the right wing.
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/19180359/olRLPrm.jpg 450 800 Neil Cosentino https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Neil Cosentino2022-09-30 08:15:002022-09-19 18:05:44A surprise sunrise in an F-4 Phantom
I decided to use up the fuel in afterburner instead of doing more instrument approaches. Was it fatigue that made me do it? Was it the thrill of doing something different and special with my Phantom? My plan was hatched from nowhere, a simulated double engine flame out from above 40,000 feet, directly above the approach end of the runway at George.
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/19172751/Fun-Jumpers-Skydive-Warren-County.jpg 400 400 Wes Madycki https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Wes Madycki2022-09-28 08:28:082022-09-19 17:28:23Never a dull moment as a skydive pilot
We lined up, got clearance to go and I opened the tap on the 182. She accelerated a bit slower than normal but we managed to get off the deck OK, when suddenly at approximately 200 ft. the jump master lurched towards the back of the aircraft. Unfortunately for me, his parachute had somehow snared my propeller control and put the 182 into full coarse pitch.
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/13180756/Meyers-young-FE.jpg 594 746 John Meyers https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg John Meyers2022-09-21 08:40:572022-09-13 18:12:33The not-so-glamourous life of a flight engineer
Not too long after she left the cockpit, there was a ding on the interphone. It was the A-stew and she had a request. Usually the request was to turn up or turn down the cabin temperature, but in this case she was asking me to come to the cabin and bring one of “my” coat hangers.
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/31114150/Helit_Bell_206_B_22JetRanger_III22.jpg 685 1024 Skip Stagg https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Skip Stagg2022-09-07 08:45:082022-08-31 11:45:48Good old boys and helicopters
Northeast Georgia is beautiful country, a vast forest dotted with small farms and country roads. Truly this was God’s country, and several of John Denver songs came to mind, but trying to locate the landing zone was proving difficult. Our LZ was a motel, with a pool, on a county road on a crossroad with a vacant lot on the east side of it. Go stick that in your GPS.
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/23155819/father-and-son-with-jet.jpg 1792 1536 Casey Ahlbum https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Casey Ahlbum2022-08-31 08:40:362022-08-23 16:09:42Passing the torch from father to son
Leaving Naples behind us, we flew over the dark expanse of the Everglades, with just a thin sliver of light, I-75, below us. As we reached the halfway point, right before switching over from Fort Myers to Miami Approach, the radio chatter had slowed down and for a moment, time just seemed to stand still. It was like it was just the two of us, the airplane, and nothing else. I had flashbacks to all those flights we had made when I was younger.
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/23154454/Bone-with-backpacks.jpg 1655 1170 John Bone https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg John Bone2022-08-29 08:21:122022-08-27 15:03:26Flying for Ukraine Air Rescue—small planes, big mission
Ukraine Air Rescue came to life in just a few days. Within six months, UAR had grown to 313 volunteer pilots worldwide. The pilots range from retired or current airline and military pilots, flight instructors, professional pilots, an EASA safety inspector, and many VFR private pilots. The mix of participating airplanes ranges from the French-built Robin to Pilatus PC-12s and just about everything in between.
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/09174517/twa-707-n760tw-620x413-1.jpg 413 620 Jeff Hill https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Jeff Hill2022-08-17 08:35:382022-08-28 13:46:03Around the world in the “seven oh seven”
One of the first large, long range, intercontinental jet airliners to come on the scene in the late 1950s and early 60s was the Boeing 707. For TWA’s most senior pilots, moving from pistons to jets was the biggest transition since the change from visual to instrument flying in the 1930s. Several of our older captains opted to bypass the jets and finish their careers flying the Connie. The younger fellows, on the other hand, could hardly wait to jump into a jet!
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/04205348/FAF4D049-FD92-4891-92B3-624376A8326A.jpeg 995 1441 Roland Schultz https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Roland Schultz2022-08-10 08:01:422022-08-10 13:21:23Herding cattle with a century-series fighter
Yanking the plane around for alignment, I dropped down to 200 feet (or somewhere in that vicinity) and pushed up the power for a passage over the field at 400+ knots while engaging the afterburner for added effect. As the ground streaked by in a blur, I abruptly pulled up into the vertical at the far end of the fence line and initiated a barrel roll. Tilting my head back over my left shoulder, I glanced back to where I had just been.
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/03173126/OV-10-smoke.jpg 588 1140 Dale Hill https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Dale Hill2022-08-08 08:57:362022-08-04 15:40:50Every pilot a tiger
I quickly surmised that, as Shakespeare put it, "the game was afoot!" This fellow FAC was going to try and get on my tail and I had to do whatever was necessary to keep that from happening. I shoved my control levers into takeoff and land, putting my twin turboprop engines at max RPM while my throttles would control the pitch of the blades. I turned into him and we were quickly in what is called a "furball."
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/03161100/150-on-ground-with-hole.jpg 1125 1500 Christopher McClure https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Christopher McClure2022-08-05 08:30:132022-08-03 17:26:34A 12-minute flight and a serious in-flight fire
At approximately 1000 feet AGL, I entered a left crosswind to begin the pattern for an uphill landing on runway 36. During the crosswind leg, I noticed an odor in the aircraft cockpit that smelled like hot plastic. During entry into the left downwind leg for runway 36, the plastic odor became much stronger. I turned off all aircraft-powered electrical equipment, including the radio and transponder. I abbreviated my pattern slightly and turned left base early.
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/22173404/Super-Cub-over-clouds.jpg 847 1282 Joe Framptom https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Joe Framptom2022-08-03 08:49:392022-08-02 16:43:33Special VFR—sometimes it’s the best option
When I went to Alaska, I had 500 hours in my logbook and a list in my head of things that I’d never do in an airplane, all things that the wise old owls had warned me about. By the time I left four years later, I’d made the transition from inexperienced greenhorn to cocky amateur and finally to competent operator. And I’d checked several of those “I’ll never” items off my list.
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/22180347/dx-01_aerial_2000.jpg 830 900 Randall Shumaker https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Randall Shumaker2022-08-01 12:05:112022-07-22 18:05:24When things went wrong in a good way
Leesburg Airport was still under instrument conditions, so the final landing was also going to be a real VOR approach and a fine ending to the day. Everything went fine until about halfway through the approach when the VOR receiver lost track and the little red flag appeared. Carl had nothing to do with it. I called our approach controller with a missed approach and started the missed procedure.
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/21181852/c__data_users_defapps_appdata_internetexplorer_temp_saved-images_uvxkn4b.jpg 1189 1800 George Frost https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg George Frost2022-07-27 08:40:272022-07-21 18:19:53You’ll get in trouble sonny
There were two older ladies eating at a nearby table. As Hugh walked down the stairs and through the gate to the airplane, one of the ladies stood up and called out to Hugh, “Don’t go out there, sonny. You’ll get in trouble.” She had mistaken him for a teenager without authority to be in that area, so was totally startled when he swung up into the belly hatch of the B-17 and briefly appeared in the cockpit.
https://media.airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/21170740/1351px-North_American_XB-70_above_runway_ECN-792.jpg 1080 1351 Dean Thomas https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Dean Thomas2022-07-25 08:01:352022-07-21 17:12:47A close call for the XB-70 at Edwards AFB
The North American Aviation XB-70 Valkyrie was a Mach 3, high-altitude strategic bomber designed in the late 1950s, with the maiden flight on September 21, 1964. Meanwhile, the Russians had developed their high-altitude surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), which made the XB-70 vulnerable. NASA and the Air Force used the two prototype XB-70s for high-speed flight tests and research into sonic booms.