https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/06135748/T-38_Talon_over_Edwards_AFB.jpg 550 800 Ron Frederiksen https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Ron Frederiksen2022-05-18 08:49:322022-05-10 17:29:12A rushed preflight leads to a terrifying discovery
I directed my student to strap in, told him that we needed to hurry, and I did a very quick walk around once we were refueled. My student taxied onto the runway, held the brakes, and ran up the engines to military power (without burner). The right engine generator failed, crossover relay failed, and the master caution light illuminated. We were whipped.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/06135815/Catalina-runway-22-1.jpg 1019 2037 Skip Stagg https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Skip Stagg2022-05-13 08:45:422022-05-04 18:04:37The problem with emergencies is they are difficult to schedule
Raphael and I departed Long Beach Airport (LGB) in a rented Grumman Traveler after requesting a tower in route to Catalina Airport (AVX). A quick climb to 4000 ft put us "feet wet" as we crossed over the shoreline. The crossing would keep us…
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/06135809/B-47-takeoff-smoke.jpg 814 1280 Steve Green https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Steve Green2022-05-11 08:38:132022-05-07 23:59:13Runways anchor our life—an airline pilot reflects
If you fly long enough, you find yourself aging with runways; they become like an old, comfortable shoe, worn and a bit cracked but always just where you left them, easy to slip on and off. And they remember with you.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/06135904/OV-10A-Bronco.jpg 683 1024 Dale Hill https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Dale Hill2022-04-29 08:08:532022-04-19 17:01:43Smile: you’re on (aviation) candid camera
After intercepting the bomber, Charlie tucked in close to the observation bubble on the fuselage of the bomber through which the Russian crews were known to take their pictures. As the Russian cameraman readied his equipment, Charlie turned his head away momentarily to raise his helmet visor and unhook his oxygen mask. When he turned back, he could see the shutter flicking open and closed as the Russian operator took numerous pictures.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/06135912/Flight-bag.jpg 1200 900 Greg Calvert https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Greg Calvert2022-04-27 08:25:452022-04-29 10:32:42Requiem for a flight bag
I recently moved, again, and with so many moves under our belts as a career military family, many things remain remembered but unseen in boxes for years. I imagine myself an archaeologist of a kind when I make these discoveries while digging through a dusty box, and some of those finds conjure emotions and memories that are quite powerful.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/06135918/CA-route-structure.jpg 1583 1614 Andrew McDonough https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Andrew McDonough2022-04-25 08:42:522022-04-29 10:18:08Old and bold—not
Everybody liked George. Everybody that flew with George respected his abilities and performance. He was funny, he was serious, he was an old warrior, having flown bomber missions in the Mediterranean theater during WWII. He was the “old man,” our “graybeard” pilot, even though he had no beard, his hair was gray among a crowd of dark haired youths. And here he was still flying with a bunch of 20-somethings, dropping tidbits of knowledge.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/06135923/B767-Sim-Cockpit.jpeg 435 640 Cal Tax https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Cal Tax2022-04-20 08:45:472022-04-15 17:09:25A pilot fresh from the sim gets a real world test
Heaven knows how many passengers would run off the airplane if they knew that their pilot today had never flown the actual airplane they were on. You might be flying with a crew member who either had a thousand landings in the airplane or NONE, ZERO, ZILCH! You have no way of knowing. But fear not, the FAA and the airlines require that the new pilot be accompanied by a designated Line Check pilot, an experienced “old head,” for their early flights on the line.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/06135929/Cape-Breton.jpg 944 1386 Scott Winick https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Scott Winick2022-04-18 08:38:472022-04-15 16:46:49How does an engine “know” when to scare a pilot?
I was doing my routine engine checks (EGT, oil pressure, oil temperature, RPM, manifold pressure), as we made that transition. I was also explaining to Linda about the weird phenomenon of "auto-rough," commenting on what a strange psychological thing it was. Sure enough, just as we crossed the shoreline at 10,000 ft., I felt 30H shudder ever so slightly. It had to be my imagination.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/06135935/6-17-2021-Flight.jpeg 240 320 Luke Meek https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Luke Meek2022-04-15 08:31:282022-04-01 17:20:37My not quite rusty return to flight
I’m not a student pilot, and technically this wasn’t a lesson. However, flying as pilot in command for the first time in well over a year, it sure felt like it. It was never my intention to let that much time lapse between flights. But thanks to the Covid-19 induced quarantine, paired with the financial burden of my recent move halfway across the country, it was my reality.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/06135938/Cessna_180_305734823.jpg 960 1280 George Frost https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg George Frost2022-04-13 08:38:582022-03-30 18:12:31Test pilot: two lessons learned in Cessnas
The plane started its takeoff roll and went about 200 feet before pitching up and leaving the runway. It was about two feet above the runway when I suddenly found the seat and I were against the rear seats of the plane. The front of my seat was no longer on the seat tracks and had pitched backward as well.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/06135956/Mt-Shasta.jpg 1350 1800 Edwina Sharp https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Edwina Sharp2022-04-06 08:07:042022-03-29 17:23:19Bringing the Comanche home—Apple Valley to Auburn
In late 2019 I became the caretaker/owner of a 1960 Comanche 180, but one with a slight problem: I was living in Seattle, and the airplane was in Southern California. Due to Covid complications, it wasn’t until the summer of 2020 that I had a chance to get familiar with the plane and bring it home to the Pacific Northwest.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/06173517/G1000-Stationair1.jpg 1024 1280 Steve Toby https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Steve Toby2022-04-04 08:49:502022-03-29 16:44:06Safety, philosophy, and the glass cockpit
Here’s the basic temptation of filing IFR with the Garmin G1000 glass cockpit: its improvement in your situational awareness is so great that it seems to allow you to lower your personal minimums and cut the FAR limitations, or commonsense ones your instructors taught you, a lot closer than you would with conventional instruments. Is this OK, or is it likely to create unsafe conditions?
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/06140201/A.jpg 688 1150 Parvez Dara https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Parvez Dara2022-03-18 09:01:032022-03-08 17:49:22Weight and performance—there is a tradeoff
Interestingly, upon reaching the cruising altitude of 10,000 feet, the cruise speed was 12 knots less than that calculated prior to flight. I tried various settings of manifold pressure, RPM, and fuel flow. Flying lean of peak, which the big bore Continentals are adept at, the speeds were consistently lower than advertised.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/06140215/Brown-with-dad.jpg 662 878 Michael Brown https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Michael Brown2022-03-09 08:36:152022-03-02 11:44:37Kids in the cockpit: be sterile and not heard?
As a talkative toddler who grew up in an aviation family, I became very familiar with the term sterile cockpit. Sterile cockpit was a kind way for my father to tell me to “shut up.” As I got older, I understood its importance because my dad was a single pilot operator and had a lot to focus on. We even started using the term outside the cockpit when somebody was busy with another important task.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/06140217/Air-Force-in-flight.jpg 928 1412 Art Bridge https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Art Bridge2022-03-07 08:41:332022-03-02 11:29:21How I became friends with ATC
ATC give us two turns the whole way before the arrival procedure, and cleared us up to one altitude, 8,000 feet. It was the smoothest, most peaceful ride for the baby and his mother you can imagine. They knew. They all had seen the flight plan. They all had a hand in bringing in a baby for care. The care and safety of our airplane and our baby were foremost, for us and for ATC.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/06140231/1008px-thumbnail.jpg 720 1008 Steve Mosier https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Steve Mosier2022-03-04 08:21:492022-02-24 16:56:31Tales from the doc side
Susan Northrup is an Air Force vet and now works for the FAA at the national level. In a sidebar conversation I asked what her favorite experience was. She quickly replied, "my first fighter squadron, at Moody AFB, and going with the unit to Desert Storm." For some reason that triggered my memories of flight surgeons I’d been stationed with, and the variety of personalities and circumstances.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/06175414/clouds-at-night.jpg 667 1000 Al Cercone https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Al Cercone2022-03-02 08:33:052022-02-24 17:58:36What are the odds? An electrical failure at night
As I depressed the microphone button, the lighted LED frequency numbers on my comm radio immediately dimmed and started to scramble to different numbers off frequency. I reset the frequency and tried again. Same result. I was unable to communicate because I did not have enough electrical power.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/06140242/STOL-finish-line.jpg 538 860 Steve Thompson https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Steve Thompson2022-02-23 08:42:122022-02-23 16:20:35What STOL everybody’s attention?
If you keep tabs on current aviation news and social media, you’ve noticed this thing called “STOL” has become popular. Not a day goes by that you don’t see a reference to STOL, a reminder of an upcoming STOL event, or even an image or video of a STOL airplane approaching a gravel bar or a makeshift dirt strip. What is STOL, why is it growing like a wildfire, and how can you learn more about it?
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/06140253/imengine.public.prod_.cdr_.navigacloud.com_.jpeg 523 800 Roger Wess https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Roger Wess2022-02-21 08:39:552022-02-17 18:35:18A minor emergency, but only in hindsight
I don’t remember if we had switched to the departure frequency, but shortly after we were in the air the windscreen started to glaze over with something and then then drops of something started running up the windscreen. The only fluid in front of us had to be OIL!
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/06140256/Waco-on-ramp.jpg 862 988 Katherin Fink https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg Katherin Fink2022-02-18 08:15:262022-02-11 16:39:49Maiden Mooney trip: lessons learned but fun too
I was a bit rusty in the air, not having flown much in the past two years because of grandchildren duty. So perhaps these near mishaps can be contributed to less-than-adequate planning. I’ll share them with you as a fellow pilot to reinforce the ever-present need to prepare and be aware. We all aim for perfect flights and when they are perfect we can be proud. When they are not perfect, we chalk them up as lessons learned.