Tag Archive for training

For decades, Japan Airlines ran an ab initio flight school in Napa, CA using Beech Bonanzas

The Ab Initio Flaw

Thus far, airline ab initio programs haven’t been a major part of the landscape here in the U.S. because our aviation sector is fairly robust. We are blessed with flying jobs which build the experience, skill, and time necessary for larger, more complex aircraft. But it might become an attractive option for airlines because the cost of learning to fly has risen dramatically over the past decade while the benefits (read: money) remain too low for too long. Airlines can cure the shortage by training pilots from zero hours… but at what cost? Read more →

Garmin G1000 panel

To Pull or Not to Pull

Simulating partial panel used to be so easy: slap a cover over one or two of the instruments and let the fun begin! In an era of integrated glass panel avionics, however, it’s not always so simple. Take the G1000 for example. The FAA doesn’t like us pulling circuit breakers, so they ask instructors and examiners to use a method that’s far less realistic. That might be better for the electronics… but what about the pilot? Read more →


Flying is Not Driving

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. Read more →