Month: October 2005

Death by Control Lock

Why is it that so many pilots seem to neglect to remove the control lock before takeoff? I just don’t get it. This is the one thing that’s 100% guaranteed to kill you in an aircraft. Take, for example, this DeHavilland DH4 Caribou. In 1992, this aircraft was being used as a testbed for the Pratt & Whitney PT-6 turboprop… Read more →

Skill vs. Judgement

If there’s one thing aviation will never run out of, it’s ‘old sayings’ (it will also never run out of abbreviations, but that’s another story). “The best way to make a small fortune in aviation is to start out with a large one”. Or how about “Takeoffs are optional; landings are mandatory”. These aphorisms are bandied about in emails and… Read more →

Washington ADIZ Proposal

If you’re an aviator, aviation enthusiast, or are connected in any way with the aerospace community, then this should be of interest to you. The Federal government is proposing a permanent ban on general aviation flying in the Washington, D.C. area. The crippling Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) would cover approximately 3,000 square miles and set a precedent almost sure… Read more →

Farewell Marta

Well, it had to happen. Sooner or later, everyone who flies loses a friend to an accident. I’ve been lucky — since 1998 there hasn’t been a single person I can think of who’s been killed in an aircraft — but that changed recently when an odd mechanical failure claimed the life of Marta Meyer. I was in Las Vegas… Read more →

GPS: A VFR Requirement?

(Note: this is, to an extent, a continuation of my previous post on GPS dependency) Recently, a fellow pilot opined that all aviators should have a GPS receiver in the cockpit. He related the story of a low visibility day where several pilots had a hard time spotting the airport, even when they were nearly on top of it, and… Read more →


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