The House of Rapp

Time for a Shakeup

Posted by in Opinion Leaders, Safety

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.

Flying is Not Driving

Posted by in Safety

The mid-century era was a wonderful time for design, architecture, and even aviation. Unfortunately, it was also the top of a slippery slope in pilot proficiency which just happens to have coincided with a proliferation of nosewheel designs… and a maddening late 50′s advertising campaign by Cessna based on the concept that flying = driving. Every time I see this ad, all I can think is “no, No, NO!” I don’t care how many flying cars or roadable airplanes they build, flying will never be anything like driving.

The Key to Good IFR: More VFR

Posted by in IFR, Safety

The most common landing procedure used by IFR airplanes is the visual approach. It’s fast, efficient, and simple. So why did the crew of Asiana 214 have such a hard time with it on a good clear day? Because quality IFR flying starts with a solid VFR background — and VFR flying is something ab initio pilots see very little of.

Mandated Spin Training

Posted by in Safety

The stick-and-rudder skill deficiencies in today’s pilots didn’t start today. It began years ago when they were learning how to fly. Fixing it will require a journey into the past. It’s time to get back to basics, and you won’t cover all the bases unless spin training is a central part of the mix.

Acceptable Risk

Posted by in Safety

Dutch pilot Jaap Rademaker recently landed his Foxbat A-22 on the deck of a new kind of cargo ship which features a completely flat top deck. The resulting video has been making the rounds on the internet, and was recently picked up by AOPA. From the comments posted therein, the prevailing opinion seems to be that Rademaker’s landing was an ill-conceived stunt by a low-time pilot with poor judgement. I say it ain’t necessarily so.