https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/06170501/Decisions.jpg 362 500 John Zimmerman https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg John Zimmerman2016-05-11 12:26:592016-05-13 11:02:48To go or not to go? That is the (wrong) question
We falsely view most aviation decisions as binary. The language of decision-making subtly reinforces this, with exhortations to "keep it simple" or "be confident." What we end up with is a hopelessly unrealistic set of answers: yes or no, black or white. We should know better. Flying is all about subtle clues, 50/50 decisions and shades of gray.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/06170546/aero-friedrichshafen-exhibit-hall.jpg 853 1280 John Zimmerman https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg John Zimmerman2016-04-25 13:34:592017-09-06 12:32:02General aviation in Europe is both inspiring and frightening
For a crass American, AERO is a very civilized show, held in a beautiful convention center with great coffee and lively beer gardens. Oshkosh this isn't. Beyond these mundane differences, though, the show offers a fascinating lesson for US pilots. If all you've heard is how awful things are for private pilots in Europe, let me offer a more complete - although not entirely rosy - portrait.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/06170650/FlightDesign-c4.jpg 450 800 John Zimmerman https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg John Zimmerman2016-03-28 10:29:262016-03-31 14:44:33Why you should care about the new Part 23 proposal
There has been a lot of talk lately (perhaps too much?) about aviation issues in Washington: Air Traffic Control privatization, the third class medical, and user fees to name just three. Somewhat obscured by these Capitol Hill battles is a more complicated but also arguably more important legislative issue: aircraft certification reform.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/06170717/happy-birthday-red.jpg 220 330 John Zimmerman https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg John Zimmerman2016-03-16 12:00:142016-03-18 10:31:58Air Facts turns five!
This magazine was founded in 1938 by Leighton Collins to advocate for "facts - knowledge - safety." Since then, its pages have been filled by some of aviation's greatest writers, including Richard Collins, Wolfgang Langewiesche, Bob Buck and Richard Bach. Given that rich history, it may seem odd to celebrate a fifth birthday, but Air Facts in its current form was relaunched five years ago, in March 2011.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/06170751/electric-feature.jpg 702 993 John Zimmerman https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg John Zimmerman2016-03-09 15:16:382016-03-11 15:17:06We’re thinking about electric airplanes all wrong
Bill Gates has famously said, "We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten." Thus we overhyped the internet in 2000, but failed to recognize how completely it would change life by 2010. The same could be said for electric aircraft, an emerging technology that seems to have been on the "coming soon" list for decades.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/06170957/black-family-in-morning.jpg 337 506 John Zimmerman https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg John Zimmerman2015-12-28 15:02:122020-12-04 04:26:21Out of touch with modern life – lessons from golf’s decline
Golf and flying share a lot in common: a reputation as an expensive leisure activity, a mid- to late 20th century boom, a significant decline over the past decade and a search for relevance among a new generation. What can pilots learn from golf's decline?
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/06171134/ipad-in-cockpit.jpg 353 600 John Zimmerman https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg John Zimmerman2015-11-04 16:01:532015-11-06 09:20:06More than just a gadget – how the iPad is making flying safer
For all their cynicism, pilots have adopted tablets and apps like eager teenagers. Just five years ago, no one had ever heard of an "Electronic Flight Bag app." Today, the majority of general aviation pilots - and a whole bunch of airline and military pilots too - are flying with one. How many other tools are used by Air Force tanker pilots and J-3 Cub drivers alike?
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/06171354/AF-selfie-stick-feature.jpg 280 520 John Zimmerman https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg John Zimmerman2015-09-28 14:56:092015-10-09 14:47:41The world needs aviation – how flying keeps us grounded
Before I stray too far into religion or politics, let me assure you I am not running for office. But all the complaining does make me consider the unique role aviation has played in my life, and most pilots' lives I suspect. Might it be the miracle cure we're looking for? Consider the following.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/06171449/AF-drone-feature.jpg 280 520 John Zimmerman https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg John Zimmerman2015-09-08 16:33:182015-09-08 16:33:18Stop the drone panic – pilots should take their own advice
For an industry that's usually obsessed with "risk management," aviation sure isn't using much of it when it comes to drones. The constant drumbeat of stories about close encounters between airplanes and unmanned aerial systems (UAS) can be described as nothing short of a panic. Enough already.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/06171610/AF-Icon-A5-feature.jpg 280 520 John Zimmerman https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg John Zimmerman2015-08-18 14:55:342015-08-18 14:55:34Look beyond the hype – ICON just might help aviation
It’s been nearly impossible to miss ICON for the last five years. The sexy design of the company’s amphibian light sport airplane has been matched only by the company’s sexy marketing. But now that ICON has finally delivered the first A5, it’s worth revisiting the project with an open mind. I see reasons for both hope and skepticism, but maybe more of the former.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/06171720/AF-young-pilot-letter-feature.jpg 280 520 John Zimmerman https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg John Zimmerman2015-07-15 10:38:022015-07-15 10:38:02Letter to myself as a young student pilot
So you're taking a flying lesson tomorrow. Congrats. You'll have a blast (yes, the instructor really will let you fly the airplane), but you may be surprised how much this flying thing will change your life. With that in mind, here's some free advice from someone who knows a little about the journey ahead.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/06171810/AF-Apex-feature.jpg 280 520 John Zimmerman https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg John Zimmerman2015-06-25 16:24:012015-11-05 18:19:10The false choice between technology and flying skills
Freedom or security. Ketchup or mustard. Life is filled with supposedly difficult decisions that aren't really decisions at all. Pilots face the same false choice when it comes to technology. It's time to embrace new avionics and solid hand flying skills.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/06171926/AF-Mt-Cloud-helipad-feature.jpg 280 520 John Zimmerman https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg John Zimmerman2015-05-22 12:27:022015-11-17 11:27:52The best hour in my logbook: why some flights are unforgettable
Why do some flights stand out? John Zimmerman reflects on the best hour in his logbook, a short but memorable helicopter flight around the mountains of east Tennessee. He also considers the factors that make some logbook entries unforgettable.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/06172028/AF-electric-feature.jpg 280 520 John Zimmerman https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg John Zimmerman2015-05-04 10:10:352015-05-04 10:10:35Electric airplanes – is the tipping point upon us?
Just like a Chicago Cubs appearance in the World Series, predictions about the coming electric aircraft boom seem to pop up every year, only to be crushed by reality. But four recent developments should be intriguing, if not revolutionary, for general aviation pilots.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/06172135/AF-recurrent-feature.jpg 280 520 John Zimmerman https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg John Zimmerman2015-04-01 11:02:072015-04-01 11:02:07Why do pilots hate recurrent training?
Regular training increases safety and confidence. It's good for you, right up there with eating more vegetables and exercising daily. But while all pilots know these facts, very few of us practice what we preach. Instead, we treat proficiency flights like a trip to the dentist: something we do only as often as we're required to, and even then we dread it.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/06172226/AF-76-years-feature.jpg 280 520 John Zimmerman https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg John Zimmerman2015-03-04 13:12:092018-01-30 14:34:25Air Facts turns 4 (or 77) – what we’ve learned about pilots
The original Air Facts magazine was founded 76 years ago last month by Leighton Collins, and we relaunched as an online-only magazine four years ago this month. Over this time period, we've debated hot topics, shared great flying stories and revisited some of the unique articles from our history. In reviewing many of these articles, a few trends stand out.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/06172341/AF-Cirrus-crash-chart.jpg 280 520 John Zimmerman https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg John Zimmerman2015-02-11 12:01:412015-11-06 12:08:01Fatal Cirrus crashes are way down – thank the parachute
Fatal Cirrus crashes are down sharply over the last two years, while more pilots are using the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System than ever before. This is not a fluke - and it has major implications for general aviation.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/06172422/AF-Doomsday-prepper-feature.jpg 280 520 John Zimmerman https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg John Zimmerman2015-01-14 14:21:252015-11-23 18:18:04Aviation’s doomsday preppers
Roughly 20% of Americans think the world will end in their lifetime. That seems awfully pessimistic, but these doomsday preppers have nothing on pilots. Based on a number of recent conversations and comments from readers here at Air Facts, a solid majority believe general aviation will end in their lifetimes. Not get weaker - cease to exist.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/06172522/AF-skydiving-feature.jpg 280 520 John Zimmerman https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg John Zimmerman2014-12-22 11:08:342014-12-22 11:09:17Flying is not an extreme sport – time to get serious about safety
We complain loudly about the cost of flying - and it is expensive. We complain about the complexity of flying and the FAA's regulations - and they are too complicated. But the topic that comes up most often when I talk to prospective pilots is safety.
https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/06172649/AF-ADS-B-diagram-feature.jpg 280 520 John Zimmerman https://airfactsjournal-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/06142440/Air-Facts-Logo340.jpg John Zimmerman2014-11-21 14:47:062014-11-21 14:47:06Is the ADS-B glass half full?
Over the past 25 years, pilots have complained about three different transponder rules: Mode C, then Mode S and now ADS-B. Is the FAA really this incompetent or do pilots just like to gripe? As usual, the answer is a little bit of both. I say the ADS-B glass is half full.