The House of Rapp

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.

Our Flying Family

Posted by in Blogging in Formation

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.

The Red Rocket

Posted by in Aviation

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.

Solo: The Abandoned Column

Posted by in Blogging in Formation

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.