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.
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/John-wise-by-airplane.jpg 900 1200 John Wise https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png John Wise2019-05-28 10:37:292019-05-28 10:37:44Lessons from a later bloomer CFI – and why you should be one too
A CFI friend who worked with me on this rating told me that I would probably ruin the lives of my students for the first 100 hours that I instructed. It was true, but hopefully not that bad. As of this writing, I have over 700 instructing hours in most every single-engine trainer out there, and I have evolved in my thinking about this whole business of training homo sapiens to safely take to the skies.
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/737-with-static.png 295 450 Mac McClellan https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Mac McClellan2019-05-01 10:09:162019-05-01 10:09:40What is that dragging behind the Boeing 737 MAX in TV news video?
I’m sure you’ve seen video of a Boeing 737 lifting off as yet another news reader drones on about the MCAS troubles in the MAX version of the world’s most popular airliner. If you watched closely, you have seen what looks like a wire or tube with a cone on the end trailing from the top of the rudder.What the heck is that thing, and why is the 737 dragging it through the air?
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-16-at-6.12.57-PM.png 303 418 Air Facts Staff https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Air Facts Staff2019-04-23 10:04:372019-04-23 10:05:37From the archives: Wolfgang Langewiesche on mountain flying
Wolfgang Langewiesche is famous for writing the bible on flying, Stick and Rudder. He was also a friend of Air Facts founder Leighton Collins and a frequent contributor for the magazine. In this detailed article from 50 years ago, Langewiesche offers some timeless tips for flying in the mountains.
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/CitationiPadWeather.jpg 563 1000 Jerry Thomas https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Jerry Thomas2019-03-07 14:00:412019-03-07 14:01:03Bridging the gap – why we need to teach pilots how to use electronic flight bags
Today, tablets running EFB applications are common in cockpits. However, students wanting to become proficient with EFB use are left to search for training videos on YouTube and to experiment with it in flight. They are hard pressed to find a CFI who will not only teach them how to use an EFB, but also how to manage its use in the cockpit. Until recently.
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/172-on-short-final.jpg 509 800 Parvez Dara https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Parvez Dara2019-01-31 13:57:582019-01-31 14:02:18Landing energy management – the key to smooth touchdowns
You go up in the air with a whole bunch of fuel burn and then coast down with a bunch less. But in that bunch less is a major wizardry of airmanship. How we manage that energy is what determines the difference between the sound generated by the repeating Doppler-effect-engine-power-hog-jock and an aviator.
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Cessna172_on_Runway.jpg 409 750 Jeff Schlueter https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Jeff Schlueter2018-09-20 15:19:012018-09-20 15:19:17The other 4 C’s of aviation
We are taught the 4 C’s of aviation in primary training. When faced with difficulty, such as getting lost or flying VFR into IMC, the safest course of action is to Climb, Communicate, Confess and Comply with instructions. But there is another set of C’s that has become more relevant to me as my flying experience has progressed.
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Inop-sticker-wide.jpg 665 1099 John Yodice https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png John Yodice2018-09-04 11:37:492018-09-04 11:38:03A pilot’s dilemma: inoperative instruments or equipment
A recent legal interpretation by the FAA’s Office of Chief Counsel (dated June 13, 2018) addresses the rule on operating an aircraft with any inoperative instruments or equipment, FAR 91.213. It gives us an opportunity to review this sometimes complex rule that has bedeviled many general aviation pilots and owners for years.
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Screen-Shot-2018-08-06-at-3.27.03-PM.png 524 798 Ken Petschauer https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Ken Petschauer2018-08-06 15:25:202018-08-06 15:28:29Threats: can they keep us safe?
Humans make mistakes. We always have and always will. We have to use our training and skills to recognize the fact that we will make errors, recognize those errors, use techniques to minimize errors and mitigate any negative outcomes caused by those errors. There are many methods and tools to accomplish this, but let’s focus on the management of the “threats.”
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/bonanzacrash.jpg 495 660 John Yodice https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png John Yodice2018-07-23 07:14:152018-07-23 07:14:35Accident notification and reporting – the details matter
In order to obtain the "NASA form" waiver of a disciplinary certificate suspension or a fine, the matter must not have involved an “accident.” This exception has caused some confusion because NTSB’s definition of an accident is narrower than commonly understood.
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Traffic-from-side-window.jpg 815 1223 Tom Curran https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Tom Curran2018-06-18 13:57:352018-06-20 15:09:13Surviving the merge: how to avoid a mid-air collision
After presenting a mid-air prevention seminar at more than a dozen locations around the country, I’d like to highlight some observations and issues that came up during our discussions. First, we’ll review what the regulations say, then we’ll break them down and look at how they might be applied in specific scenarios.
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Compliance-philosophy-feature.jpg 658 528 John Yodice https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png John Yodice2018-06-07 09:02:232018-06-07 09:02:33A kinder, gentler FAA
The good news is that the FAA is currently operating under a new, so-called “Compliance Philosophy,” showing a kinder and gentler treatment of those charged with potential violations of the Federal Aviation Regulations and other aviation laws. However, the bad news is that FAA enforcement of the laws and regulations is still alive and well in many cases.
https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/210-crash.jpg 534 800 Robert Reser https://airfactsjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Air-Facts-Logo340.png Robert Reser2018-05-30 13:28:352018-05-30 13:28:45Emergency landing vs. crashing
The control of the aircraft during any approach and touchdown determines the difference of landing or crashing. A controlled aircraft flown to and through touchdown is a landing. An approach which stalls the aircraft at any time prior to touchdown will result in a crash. A crash is the aircraft falling uncontrolled to the surface, even just a few feet.