https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/African_buffalo_Syncerus_caffer_caffer_male_with_cattle_egret.jpg 683 1024 John Rousch https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png John Rousch2022-05-04 08:22:312022-05-03 11:36:42Time management, buffaloes, and airplanes
We all seem to have challenges in managing all we want or need to get done in life, and as pilots we have many things to manage in order to be safe and have a good flight. Time management guru Peter Drucker said there are three rules for effective time management. They work well for pilots. These are also concepts I teach to my high school aviation students.
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Main-sim-setup.jpg 1127 1500 Sean Dwyer https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Sean Dwyer2022-05-02 08:49:042022-05-02 08:51:03Building a frugal flight simulator
Covid shut down Young Eagles and $100 hamburgers, and my flying skills were going to pot. "Use it or lose it" is true where adherence to procedures and reactions to emergencies are concerned. Would a flight simulator help? What would one cost?
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/AF-podcast.jpg 467 925 John Zimmerman https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png John Zimmerman2022-04-28 09:04:042022-04-19 16:47:13Podcast: aviation safety and airmanship
Recent episodes of the Pilot's Discretion podcast from Sporty's cover some important topics in aviation. Richard McSpadden, the Executive Director of AOPA's Air Safety Institute, shares his perspective on the GA safety record, including VFR-into-IMC accidents, the role autopilots can play, and why good pilots make bad decisions. In episode 23, flight instructor and airshow performer Spencer Suderman explains what airmanship means to him and offers some suggestions for improving your stick and rudder skills.
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/PD-podcast-Trescott-scaled.jpg 1024 2048 John Zimmerman https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png John Zimmerman2022-02-04 08:51:452022-02-02 13:41:38Podcast: Max Trescott on technology, pilot training, and Cirrus
As one of the premier Cirrus flight instructors in the country, Max Trescott has strong opinions about pilots and technology, including: "the debate about the parachute is over" and "the autopilot is the glass cockpit." In this episode of Sporty's Pilot's Discretion podcast, Max makes the case that technology has changed and pilots need to change too.
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Len-Morgan.jpg 308 250 James Walters https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png James Walters2022-02-02 08:42:032022-01-25 22:11:30Tips from the Ancient Pelicans
“Good judgment comes from experience,” said the early aviators, “and experience comes from poor judgment.” Fifty years later, I still hear the voices of those Ancient Pelicans who had learned in taildraggers or biplanes—many of whom had flown in the big war. Though they are long retired, their hard-won wisdom still instructs us today, such as these nuggets.
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/IMG_1101.png 1536 2048 Tom Slavonik https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Tom Slavonik2022-01-05 08:41:052022-01-05 10:24:32Filing, dialing, and smiling—and a touch of humility
Why don’t more pilots file a VFR flight plan on CAVU days when IFR pilots do? I wonder if some of us, myself included, are perhaps haunted by the notion of, “if we forget to close it we’ve got some tall ‘splainin’ to do." Never mind the cost of that practice SAR exercise. I’m not exactly sure, but it’s the only reasonable explanation I can come up with.
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/60abc9bb5b5dd.image_.jpg 1200 1200 Joe Framptom https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Joe Framptom2022-01-03 08:22:352021-12-22 16:58:58Objective area analysis for GA pilots
During my Air Force career, I flew to remote airstrips in places like Ethiopia and New Guinea, and busy airports like Bogota, Colombia, where nobody I knew had been. My crew and I had to study these places on our own to ensure that we could safely accomplish our mission. In military jargon, we called this preparation “objective area analysis” and used a mnemonic, called OUTCAST, to guide our preparation.
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Bonanza-in-hangar.jpg 384 698 Art Bridge https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Art Bridge2021-12-22 08:28:262021-12-17 18:13:51Learning the hard way
In flying, as they say in recovery programs, “One has to do the work.” A written article may make an impression. Far better for learning is deep and concentrated study. Study plus practice is better yet. Then, there’s experience. One can learn from experience. Sadly, a wise man noted, “That always means bad experience.” I would like to offer you several learnings of this kind.
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Bush-pilot-landing.jpg 841 1500 George Frost https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png George Frost2021-12-08 08:27:252021-12-03 18:17:42Stabilized approaches: the last six inches is all that counts
There are groups of pilots who seldom use a stabilized approach because the variables of most of their landings make that difficult, and their normal landing is to use a flexible approach with almost everything varying except the final contact with the ground. A stabilized approach is best for normal flying but is a luxury that some pilots don’t have.
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Rockwell-CL601-CVS-CL605-PL21adv-HUD-Image_02_824x549.png 549 824 Mac McClellan https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Mac McClellan2021-11-29 08:31:002021-11-24 16:27:50Flying perpetual VFR—PFDs, HUDs, and conformal displays
The key is that with a full conformal display cockpit we are flying as though we are looking out the window in clear skies while still seeing the most precise flight guidance available. Are you flying instruments, visual, or both? Really both. And that’s the best of all worlds.
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/F14-Cat-06-CVN65.jpg 752 960 Pat O'Brien https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Pat O'Brien2021-11-17 08:38:432021-11-12 14:32:13Learn to love stalls
Stalls are not a subject I ever expected to be writing about. They have been part of my flying repertoire since I first learned to fly in the 1970s. So why write this article? After a 25-year hiatus from flying, I returned to making stalls…
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/BretAztecVFR.jpg 563 1000 O.C. Hope https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png O.C. Hope2021-09-20 08:24:492021-09-14 17:01:08Managing engine failures on takeoff: a new approach
I have just read another accident report about the fatal crash of a twin engine aircraft following an engine failure shortly after takeoff. Conditions were VMC. The accident report stated that the pilot applied the wrong rudder, which resulted in loss of control. The bottom line is that training for this critical emergency was and still is woefully inadequate.
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Takeoff-tailwheel.jpg 614 1100 Brian Souter https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Brian Souter2021-09-06 08:24:092021-08-31 17:37:20Crosswind operations—no drama, please
Contrary to the title, you frequently hear two different viewpoints being vociferously debated between the proponents of crabbing into wind or wing down and slipping for crosswind landings. Let’s dissect the arguments.
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Flaredusk.jpg 1080 1418 Enderson Rafael https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Enderson Rafael2021-08-09 08:45:422021-08-09 12:33:09Smooth operator: sometimes you can go too far
How smooth is too smooth? And how to achieve that? Before we start the never-ending discussion about super butter/greased touchdowns, an essential disclaimer right from Boeing’s Flight Crew Training Manual: “A smooth touchdown is not the criterion for a safe landing.”
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/emergency-checklist-copy.jpg 738 1275 Mac McClellan https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Mac McClellan2021-08-02 09:01:322021-07-23 15:40:48Checklist vs. memory items
An old saw among pilots is that you use a checklist for actions you perform on every flight, such as lowering the landing gear, but for a very rare event, such as an engine fire, you’re required to perform the proper actions from memory. Does that make sense?
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Turning-on-final.jpg 868 1546 Ed Wischmeyer https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Ed Wischmeyer2021-07-26 07:21:232021-07-22 14:24:09Reducing loss of control accidents in five minutes
Let’s cut right to the chase: there is a strong case to be made that many base-to-final accidents may have as a significant factor the pilot’s fear of a runway overshoot, fearing that any runway overshoot can only be disastrous. However, if pilots have flown even one deliberate runway overshoot and seen that the real issue is instead fear of the unknown, then just one five minute traffic pattern with a deliberate runway overshoot has the potential to significantly reduce loss of control accidents.
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Berube-Zahn-2.jpg 600 975 Leo Berube https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Leo Berube2021-07-15 09:05:462021-07-06 18:25:54The startle response
The crosswind, downwind, and base legs were uneventful. Then, while turning from base to final for Runway 11, a flock of redwing blackbirds suddenly appeared out of nowhere. A heartbeat later, the Cub’s windscreen was shrouded by a dark cloud of feathers and more. This was my first encounter with the startle response.
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/NXi-PFD.jpg 1000 1500 Parvez Dara https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Parvez Dara2021-07-13 09:12:202021-07-06 18:25:49The magenta line children and buttonology
The aircraft that I fly is tricked out with a high-tech minimalism of the G1000 NXi. And lo and behold, the other day it decided to bite my hand. The very hand that paid for it, no less! On a very short trip of about 70nm to Caldwell, NJ (CDW), my human frailty showed its colors.
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Traffic-page-Garmin.jpg 1000 857 Ed Wischmeyer https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Ed Wischmeyer2021-06-28 08:41:512021-06-23 11:56:31Great expectations: ADS-B traffic uplink
When ADS-B traffic uplink was announced, there were great expectations for what it could do to improve safety, specifically, to reduce mid-air and near mid-air collisions. After some years of flying with ADS-B traffic, my expectations have been, shall we say, down-sized. It’s nice to think that improvements are easy, but there are real world constraints.
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/In-a-flight-simulation-you-can-safely-try-IMC-conditions.-Even-ones-you-would-never-attempt-in-reality-copy.jpg 675 1200 Mario Donick https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Mario Donick2021-06-08 09:01:432021-06-04 17:53:04Desktop Flight Simulation and COVID: how it helps, how it hinders
The coronavirus pandemic caused the flight school to close for several months and also imposed some funding issues on me. I am even at the point now where I have to repeat the theoretical exam, because it is more than three years since I passed it. However, whenever I go back to the cockpit, I feel right at home. I am convinced that flight simulation on desktop computers helped me to keep in a mental state of preparedness.