Safety

Aviation safety

baron-off-airport

Takeoff Briefings for Singles

Things happen quickly when the engine quits at low altitude. Doesn’t it makes sense that the time to prepare for emergent situations is before they occur? If the answer is yes, then I wonder why takeoff briefings are not typically taught or performed in single-engine airplanes. I think they should be, because they’re as important — if not more so — in a single than the multi-engine airplanes where they’ve long been standard procedure. Read more →

After a long night of flying, we were rewarded with this brilliant sunrise as we passed over Manhattan at 3,000 feet.

A Stab in the Back

We put a lot of time and effort into taking care of our flying machines. On a recent trip, I got a rude reminder that our biological machinery needs the same attention. A pulled back muscle turned into a major pain in the neck just as my medical certificate was about to expire. Read more →

Phantom arrested landing

Preventing Stall/Spin Accidents

Angle-of-bank limitations have been suggested by flight instructors, alphabet groups, pundits, and most recently by Richard Collins of all people. I’ve touched on this subject before (see Aviation Myth #14), but for some reason the idea keeps rearing it’s ugly head that arbitrary bank limits make flying safer. They don’t. What they WILL do is make a stall/spin more likely. Here’s why. Read more →

cirrus-wreckage

A Skosh of Paranoia

You’ll hear all sorts of advice on emergent situations. Some say never rush into anything, others will tell you immediate, decisive action is invaluable. It would be lovely if there was a single “best strategy” for every situation, but like many things in the world of aviation, there are times when one of those responses can save your bacon… and just as many when it might get you killed. The real key is knowing which is which. Read more →

ntsb-board

Time for a Shakeup

Flying is a considerably safer today than it was when the NTSB was first established. But the Board’s safety recommendations have picked most of the low-hanging fruit over the past ninety years, and the things they suggest nowadays are sometimes divorced from reality because they don’t consider the cost their proposed enhancements place on an overburdened industry. Perhaps it’s time to change that. Read more →