The House of Rapp

A True Story: Landing at the Wrong Airport

Posted by in Opinion Leaders, Safety

The news outlets have been buzzing about a recent spate of wrong-airport landings. Since those have been well-covered by the media, let me tell you about a very memorable wrong-airport landing I personally witnessed at a most unlikely location.

A Skosh of Paranoia

Posted by in Safety

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.

Year of the Tailwheel

Posted by in Blogging in Formation

My wife and I just returned from a fun and relaxing flight along the Southern California coastline in a vintage 1947 Stinson Voyager. It was a perfect start to what will hopefully be a safe and prosperous new year. It also got me thinking about what would make this trip around the sun a positive one for the world of aviation.

In the Chinese zodiac, this is the year of the horse. Conservation groups have designated it the year of the salamander. CNN claims it will be the year of the blame game. For aviators, I firmly believe 2014 should be the Year of the Tailwheel.

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.

Expectation Bias

Posted by in Opinion Leaders

A massive Boeing Dreamlifter recently landed at the wrong airport in Wichita. As a pilot, by definition I live in a glass house and will therefore refrain from throwing stones. But the incident does provide a good opportunity to review the perils of what’s known as “expectation bias”, because this phenomenon can bite hard — if you let it.