The House of Rapp

Trust Us — We’re Professionals

Posted by in Opinion Leaders, Safety

The FAA has seen fit to ban all personal electronic devices from the airline cockpit, as well as strongly recommend a similar prohibition for Part 135 and 91K operators. As one who flies a fair number of overnight, long-haul flights, I think this is a bad idea and one which will hurt rather than help flight safety.

The Hacked Airplane

Posted by in Opinion Leaders, Technology

For better or worse, the relentless march of technology means we’re more connected than ever, in more places than ever. For the most part that’s good. We benefit from improving communication, situational awareness, and reduced pilot workload in the cockpit. But there’s a dark side to digital connectivity, and in an era of internet-connected refrigerators, toilets, and a/c systems, I predict it’s only a matter of time before we start to see it in our airborne lives.

User Fees for All

Posted by in Car and Driver, Economy/Finance

User fees for general aviation have been proposed — and rejected — over and over again for nearly two decades. Today something new is in the works: the Federal government has decided to start with the highways instead. It makes me a bit nervous, and I can’t help but wonder whether GA will be able to make the case against those fees after the “freeway” moniker has been fully transformed into a sad anachronism.

Learning to Fly — Without An Instructor?

Posted by in Instructing

Just how important is the instructor when it comes to learning to fly? That might be a surprising question for an CFI to ask, but the longer I teach, the more cognizant I become of the many ways in which an instructor can function as a barrier to the student’s progress. And apparently I’m not the only one who feels that way.

Last month, Paul Bertorelli penned (keyed?) an editorial about simulator maven Redbird stepping into the training void created by Cessna’s shift away from the piston market. What caught my eye about the piece was this line:

The Contract Pilot

Posted by in Gulfstream, Opinion Leaders

As much as one may love flying, it can be a tough career choice. Many pilots struggle through the food chain only to end up discouraged, if not downright hating their job. We’re all aware of the reasons: low pay, long days, little respect, too much time away from home, difficult working conditions, commuting, regulatory hassles, bankruptcies, furloughs, and ruinously expensive training. Quite a list, isn’t it?

On the other hand, life is often what we make of it. From bush flying to firefighting, there are many different gigs out there for those willing to take Frost’s road-less-traveled. For the past three years, for example, I’ve been flying as a “contract pilot” and truly enjoy it.