AVweb Features

AVmail: April 14, 2014 »

AME Larry W. James writes: "I find it very interesting that AOPA is planning to refurbish three Cessna 152s looking for a price point of $85,000. Also, the comments about the 1,320-pound gross weight limit for LSA being a problem in the U.S. for flight schools. Both of these concerns lead me to believe, as others do, that the LSA regulation should have a gross weight of around 2,000 pounds. This would take in a lot of very reasonable two-seat airplanes. Along with this, rather than eliminating the Class 3 medical requirement, the FAA could make the change from a five-year medical to a two-year medical more gradual, such as establishing a four-year Class 3 at age 45 and a three-year medical limit at age 50 rather than totally eliminating the Class 3 medical." Click through to read the full text of this letter and other mail from AVweb readers. More

Engine Fires »

I still have my airplane today. I'm very lucky. After the most recent annual inspection was completed, my aircraft's induction system caught fire. I found I was woefully unprepared for such an event. If I was unprepared, you probably are, too. More

Flagship Detroit—The Oldest Flying DC-3 »

The oldest airworthy DC-3 was located and purchased by the Flagship Detroit Foundation in 2004. Formed by former and current American Airline employees determined to find and restore the oldest former American Airlines DC-3 it could, the Flagship Detroit again wears American Airlines’ livery, down to the socket for the flagstaff adjacent to the copilot's window. More

Climb Faster »

Best rate of climb and best angle of climb speeds have no use beyond checkrides-and shouldn't even be used there, according to John Deakin. There is always a better speed for the first 1000 feet of climbout. More

LSA: We Took the Wrong Road »

According to the poem, when you choose between two roads in the woods, you choose the road less taken. Sometimes it’s the wrong one. In my opinion, general aviation chose the wrong road when we started walking toward Light Sport Aircraft. More

Air Care Alliance: The Voice of Public Benefit Flying »

One of the ongoing bright spots in the world of public perception of general aviation is the growing recognition that pilots are quietly volunteering their time, skills and aircraft to make flights that benefit others. Working tirelessly to support those pilots and the organizations for which they fly is the Air Care Alliance, the Voice of Public Benefit Flying. More

AVmail: March 17, 2014 »

Captain Matt Romana, who routinely flies into St. Barths, wrote: "I watched with great interest your video with the Aztec landing in St. Barths and finishing on the beach. I happened to be in St. Barths recently. I fly there regularly in my Cirrus SR-22 but was there most recently flying an airliner. Here are a few words about your commentary, which was mostly excellent." Click through to read the full text of this letter and other mail from AVweb readers. More

Long Trips On Short Legs »

For most of us tooling around the airstrip and to the occasional pancake breakfast, the size of our fuel tanks doesn’t matter. But when you’re planning a longer flight, your aircraft’s range becomes a consideration. More

Vortex Generators: 50 Years of Performance Benefits »

It was more than 50 years ago that Boeing used the first vortex generators—carefully located metal tabs angled slightly relative to the airflow—on portions of the upper surface of the wing of the original 707. The odd-looking devices eventually trickled down to general aviation, notably on Learjets, then to even the most modest of bugsmashers. For decades, vortex generators, or VGs, have been providing safety and controllability benefits throughout the piston single and twin world at a rate well beyond what their diminutive size might imply. More

Partial Panel Peculiarities »

Probably the most difficult task on the Instrument Rating (IR) practical test is Area VII, Task D: Approach with Loss of Primary Flight Instrument Indicators. But why is the FAA so interested in this? In their own words from the IR Practical Test Standards (PTS): “The FA A is concerned about numerous fatal aircraft accidents involving spatial disorientation of instrument-rated pilots who have attempted to control and maneuver their aircraft in clouds with inoperative primary flight instruments (gyroscopic heading and/or attitude indicators) or loss of the primary electronic flight instruments display.” More