AVweb Features

LSA vs. Standard: Sacrifice for Savings »

Let's assume you had a cash budget of up to $160,000 to buy an airplane. Your short list of required equipment includes a glass cockpit with autopilot, a modern interior, plus a proven engine that's easy to service and economical to operate. You'll use the plane for local flying, short trips and perhaps some basic instrument training. More

Want to Improve Your Landings? Learn Aerobatics »

Aerobatics aren't just a tremendous amount of fun, the skills learned in controlling the airplane at low speed and making large control inputs can help reduce a pilot's risk of a landing accident. More

Don't Mess Up the Miss »

So there you are, coming down to the decision height (DH) watching as the approach lights emerge from the clag—all configured and at the right speed. In a few seconds the wheels will kiss the pavement and you will have logged another perfect approach and landing. But this is not to be: The tower orders a miss as the preceding aircraft has blown a tire and can't clear the runway. What would have been a simple, gentle flare to a touchdown is now a flurry of activities. More

Handle With Care »

In his timeless classic Fate Is The Hunter, Ernest K. Gann regales readers with several tales of in-flight emergencies, hairy takeoffs and grateful landings. Perhaps the book's most memorable takeoff involves a grossly overweight C-87 departing Agra, India, on a hot day, aimed directly at the nearby Taj Mahal mausoleum. Of course, Gann didn't know the airplane was overweight before beginning the takeoff. How he and his crew flew it could be viewed as a clinic on how to handle an overweight airplane. More

Wooden Props »

While composite props are making inroads, the century-old technology of wood more than holds its own. More

ATC Routing Realities »

It had been a fun morning. The heater had broken in the TRACON radar room. It was 20 degrees outside, not much better inside, and the hot chocolate I was drinking was losing its steam—literally. On top of that, busy last-minute holiday traffic had been giving our morning skeleton crew a kick in the teeth. More

Your Checkout: An Instructor's Perspective »

When the vast majority of American pilots want to go flying they rent an airplane from their local FBO, flight school or flying club. That means they have to go through some sort of a checkout with the aircraft provider before they can take the aircraft on their own. Whether the checkout is in a type the pilot hasn't flown before or with a new-to-the-pilot rental facility, there is a certain amount of uncertainty and discomfort for the pilot—after all, it's effectively a checkride. More

Used Aircraft Guide: Cessna Cardinal »

Although the design is more than four decades old, the Cessna 177 Cardinal—with its racy sloped windshield, wide doors and strutless wings—looks more modern than the newest Skyhawks coming out of Cessna's Independence, Kansas, plant. Yet, sadly, the Cardinal is a poster child for why innovation and audacity in general aviation development has often met dismal results in the market. Despite high expectations for a design that would usher in new thinking in light aircraft, the Cardinal had a rocky start and was gone from Cessna's inventory a decade after it emerged. More

Aviation Innovators: Craig Barnett, Scheme Designers »

For nearly 20 years, Craig Barnett's company, Scheme Designers, has been creating unique paint schemes (and, more recently, vinyl designs) for aircraft. There are now more than 11,500 airplanes flying throughout the world with paint and vinyl schemes his company devised. More

Flying IFR in Older Aircraft »

A reader recently questioned the wisdom of flying IFR in "old" aircraft with traditional flight displays that lack modern accouterments—GPS in particular. It's a fair question and one that deserves some thought. More