Month: April 2014

Our Flying Family

Once bound together by the glue of our airborne passion, we must look out for the other members of our family. David Ogden Stiers once said, “Family means no one gets left behind, no one is forgotten.” That is the exact approach we must take with our flying family. The more experienced pilots need to take an interest in the “care and feeding” of newer, less experienced flyers. Those of us holding positions of authority within the aviation industry – be you a regulator or an economic engine – must work to ensure the sustainment of the entire family. Read more →

Breaking the Rules: Teaching Snap Rolls

Efficient aerobatic instruction is challenging enough when you’re doing a loop, hammerhead, or Cuban. Those figures last ten or fifteen seconds. A snap roll is over in about one second, and what’s happening is far more involved. So how does one teach the ‘snap’ when this complex maneuver is over almost before it starts? The method I’ve settled upon involves using techniques I normally avoid like the plague. Read more →

To Pull or Not to Pull

Simulating partial panel used to be so easy: slap a cover over one or two of the instruments and let the fun begin! In an era of integrated glass panel avionics, however, it’s not always so simple. Take the G1000 for example. The FAA doesn’t like us pulling circuit breakers, so they ask instructors and examiners to use a method that’s far less realistic. That might be better for the electronics… but what about the pilot? Read more →

The Red Rocket

I suppose every pilot has a catalog of “dream aircraft” they’d like to fly before their gravity-defying days are over. My bucket list includes a quirky looking homebuilt called the Questair Venture.

The Venture conjures up a unique set of images: blistering speed, eggs, air racing, and more than a crash or two. Many folks deride the airplane for it’s unusual fuselage shape. I’ll grant that she’s undoubtedly unique, but I happen to love the compact, curving visage of this zippy little ship. Read more →

Solo: The Abandoned Column

No matter how dog-eared and scuffed it may get, an aviator’s logbook is invariably one of his or her most prized possessions, the decimal-based journal of a life lived in the clouds. Yet in this venerated document, there’s one quirky column which lacks appreciation and respect even among pilots; every logbook on the market has a space for this data, yet virtually no one uses it beyond primary training. It’s a shame, because it records one of the purest forms of flying. Read more →


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