https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Skunk-Strike.jpg 856 1423 Steve Ford https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Steve Ford2020-08-13 08:56:592020-08-10 11:21:36The clean wing—not just a concern in winter
The vast majority of GA pilots will no doubt have a firm understanding of the clean wing policy when it comes to winter operations. The question we have to ask ourselves though, is do we realise that the same aerodynamic risk exists all year round?
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/SR22.jpg 996 1500 John Bone https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png John Bone2020-08-05 09:15:512020-08-09 10:34:00A young pilot’s plan to eliminate get-there-itis
Most of us have a Plan B in mind but it might not be developed into a concrete plan and often is not executed in time to put it into action. This is where Dylan's plan works beautifully and has been very successful for both him and the company. One of the key elements of the plan is that it be implemented 24 hours before the scheduled departure.
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Cirrus-Perspective-Garmin-keypad-0508b.jpg 396 400 Ed Wischmeyer https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Ed Wischmeyer2020-08-03 09:11:172020-07-29 16:14:51Recovery from spirals with the LVL button
In a flight in a Cirrus SR22, it was mentioned in passing that the LVL function on the Garmin autopilot is not taught for unusual attitude recovery. A flight in the RV-9A, equipped with a Garmin G3X Touch system, was then made to evaluate the LVL function for spiral recovery. These flight tests clearly indicate that the FAA technique is not always required for all airplanes.
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/medical-feature-1000725.jpg 725 1000 John Munch https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png John Munch2020-07-21 09:15:072020-07-21 09:20:26The route to a special issuance medical
One day, I’m enjoying retirement, flying when and where I want, and life is good. The next day, my cardiologist calls. That routine stress echocardiogram two days ago showed “a problem” with a coronary artery. Now what?
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/USAF_x15-29_072.jpg 412 325 Ken Howell https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Ken Howell2020-06-18 08:32:082020-06-12 16:04:56The 180-degree turn: a life-saving maneuver for all pilots (even test pilots)
Under certain circumstances, a 180-degree turn is the greatest life-saving maneuver that can be performed in an aircraft. I can personally attest to this fact, as it is highly likely that I’m here writing this thanks to a certain 180-degree turn that I made many years ago. That also applies to my three passengers at the time, hopefully still happy and healthy, wherever they may be.
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Cirrus-Jet-cockpit-on-landing.jpg 563 1000 Steve Ford https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Steve Ford2020-05-26 09:15:322020-05-26 09:57:25Threat and Error Management for the GA Pilot
“Threat and Error Management” has become synonymous with the airline industry and particularly within the major carriers who, due to the sheer scale of operations, require structured solutions to risk. This does not mean we are risk adverse as an industry; it can't by the very nature of what we do. But it does mean we have to manage risk in a way that always keeps us in the middle of the envelope.
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Autothrottle-Gulfstream.jpg 1000 1500 Bob Teter https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Bob Teter2020-05-21 08:56:342020-05-21 10:02:36Automated flight—are you ready?
Only a few years ago, a fully integrated automatic flight control system (AFCS) with an autothrottle was the sole domain of the air transport aircraft and heavy iron business jets. However, today’s AFCS with autothrottle (AT) are becoming common on single engine turboprops. Are you ready?
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/C172-Short-Finalsmall.jpg 225 400 Mac McClellan https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Mac McClellan2020-05-04 09:15:072020-05-04 09:55:57What to practice with limited flying time
No matter what you fly or why, you’re certainly doing less flying now as the country tries to survive the Covid-19 virus. So how can we get the most effective practice and proficiency retention out of the limited flying we can do? Practicing landing is important, for sure, but I think there are some other maneuvers that can test and refine your skills more effectively in less flying time.
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Instrument-approach-G1000.jpg 319 520 Parvez Dara https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Parvez Dara2020-04-28 09:25:022020-04-28 13:08:23Dealing with distractions
The desire to fix what had been broken ceased upon my nerves and now my multiple thousand hours melted away and I felt I was back in training. A certain drift of scent that emanates from failure hit me square in my nostrils and I realized that the glide path indicator had drifted down to the lower end, in accordance with a required missed approach. Damn!
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Cessna-C172-Simulator.jpg 1280 1920 CP Jois https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png CP Jois2020-04-09 09:17:382020-04-09 09:20:39Flight simulators, safety, and the power of AI
We are now at the cusp where combining capable simulators with high-powered compute environments can enhance safety in aviation. Consider this—can flight simulator data tell us more about yet to be known opportunities that can improve airspace safety; or tell us more about how to prevent loss of control incidents; prevent communication lapses from turning into serious issues?
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/F-4.jpg 297 445 Dan Sobczak https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Dan Sobczak2020-04-02 08:48:222020-04-02 10:55:45Fighter pilot skills every aviator needs to fly safe
Fighter pilots are some of the most skilled aviators in the world. But just because you're not a fighter pilot doesn't mean you can't borrow from their tool set. Whether you're a 100-hour general aviation private pilot or a 10,000-hour commercial pilot, it behooves you to think and perform like a fighter pilot in some key areas.
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/International_Civil_Aviation_Organization_logo.svg_.jpg 600 728 William F. Fox https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png William F. Fox2020-03-31 09:14:172020-03-31 10:21:01ICAO – more than just a flight plan format
Older pilots may wonder why they used to be able to refer to “decision height” on an approach chart rather than “decision altitude.” Or why they now have to refer to their home airport, as I do, as “KFDK” (Frederick, Maryland), rather than the old “FDK.” What my pilot friends are dealing with is the work of a fairly obscure international agency, created under the auspices of the United Nations.
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/airspeed-indicator.jpg 654 686 Mac McClellan https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Mac McClellan2020-03-09 08:37:532020-03-09 08:54:48Say your airspeed—which one?
Say your airspeed. Seems like a simple question. And it’s one controllers often ask when separating in trail airplanes in busy airspace. But there’s nothing simple about airspeed. There are at least four kinds of airspeed—indicated airspeed (IAS), calibrated airspeed (CAS), true airspeed (TAS) and Mach. Each value has significance to pilots.
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Centerline.jpg 632 1052 Parvez Dara https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Parvez Dara2020-02-17 08:48:262020-02-17 09:17:47The promise of proficiency
Proficiency is a story of safety through constant practice, of acquiring experiences and then putting these experiences to hatch their possibilities. These experiences however must be taught to the “habit monster” within us to have the element of precision baked into them. All other non-precise experiences are side shows.
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Garmin-autopilot.jpg 392 620 Mac McClellan https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Mac McClellan2020-02-10 08:48:382020-02-10 10:53:35When to disengage the autopilot
A real hardware/software failure of an autopilot could lead to a dangerous situation, but so can pilot mismanagement of a fully functioning autopilot. The results are essentially the same in either situation—the pilot in command is not fully in control of the airplane.
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/172-nose-high.jpg 500 900 Kathleen Bangs https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Kathleen Bangs2020-02-04 10:14:062020-02-04 11:35:50No stall, no spin: why angle of attack is essential
Pilots often only associate stalls with the slow airspeed regime of the energy envelope. That's why it can be misleading when instructors caution students to, "watch your speed or you'll stall" because an airplane can be stalled at any airspeed, in any attitude.
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Canyon-view.jpg 777 1175 Luis Moura https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Luis Moura2020-01-06 08:44:452020-01-06 08:58:24How to safely reduce the radius of your turn—in case you need to
If you're asked about the minimum ground turning radius of the airplane you fly, you probably know the number or at least you know where to find it in the Pilot’s Operating Handbook (POH). What if the question is about the minimum turning radius when the airplane is flying? The answer might not be that simple, given the number of factors it depends on.
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/VOR-Morse-code.jpg 593 733 Peter Steinmetz https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Peter Steinmetz2019-12-19 08:40:562019-12-19 10:43:47Learning Morse code in the 21st century
I didn’t really need to be able to copy Morse code at full speed to recognize the two or three letters used to identify aviation navigational aids. Nonetheless, I thought I would give the Koch method a try and learn at low full speed. At the time I thought, “What could it take—a few weeks of working on it in the evening?
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/propstopped.jpg 995 1768 Parvez Dara https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Parvez Dara2019-12-02 08:48:272019-12-06 14:35:17Engine out: the essential steps to a safe outcome
In the unlikely event that you encounter an emergency like the one Sullenberger was faced with, there are a few things that need to be processed immediately and without hesitation to ward off a disaster. Let’s first ask the question: when would a pilot face such an emergency?
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Citabria-takeoff-on-grass.jpg 637 978 Tom Curran https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Tom Curran2019-08-12 10:21:392019-08-12 10:23:36Always read the fine print
It was pretty obvious that some folks hadn’t cracked open their respective book(s) in a long time. Those who had studied their documents, tended to be familiar with the BIG PRINT stuff, like their Normal Procedures sections and Emergency checklists, but were not so well-versed when it came to the various Notes, Warnings, and Cautions found throughout. There’s a lot of free, but hard-earned, wisdom in that fine print, all intended to protect life and limb.