AVweb Features

Back in the Game »

Sometimes something comes between us and flying, and sometimes the interruption can last a few years. Here' how I came back to flying IFR, by making a plan and flying the plan. More

Handling Broken Glass »

With glass cockpits becoming more prolific, a wider spectrum of the pilot community is now engaged in flying them. Understanding the implications of malfunctions is an important responsibility of the PIC as higher levels of technology competence and preparedness are required. More

Pre-Flight Follies »

When did you last experience an embarrassing moment on the takeoff roll? Have you ever had to taxi back to the ramp to deal with a problem discovered during the run-up? Any moments of tension or near-terror because you missed something during the pre-flight? Most pilots can recite at least one tale about discovering they missed something in the pre-flight inspection. The idea at its root is to never, ever start the engine without a thorough look-around to be sure all remains as it was when you last landed the airplane. In the case of the day's first flight, you're conducting an inspection to confirm the aircraft's airworthiness, general condition, fuel status, etc. More

Fasteners Through an Engineer's Eye »

The structure of an airplane and its systems are only as strong and reliable as the joints holding its components together. The strength of a joint is dependent not only on the properties of the fasteners, but on the design of the joint itself. The way the fasteners are loaded, the strength of the parts the fastener is holding together, and the stability of the joint itself are all important. More

Engine Operation Superstitions: Frustrating Persistence »

I used to be astonished at how aviation myths, particularly when it came to engine operation, have such incredible staying power. Now, when I hear one spouted, I just shake my head in admiration of the power of ignorance and belief over data. With some folks, the laws of physics, aerodynamics, metallurgy and thermodynamics are trumped by unwavering faith in their particular superstitions. More

Gear Emergencies »

I've really only had one landing-gear-related situation in many years of flying retractables. In that event, a brand-new gear motor—installed at annual—failed to extend the gear while airborne after several successful tests on jacks. More

View From Both Sides »

The successful completion of an Instrument Proficiency Check (IPC) combines the knowledge and personality traits of both the instructor and pilot. More

King Katmai Mod: Safe STOL »

With a stall speed of 31 knots, climb rate of more than 1500 FPM and no handling vices, the King Katmai is at home in the bush or on the pavement. More

Five Landing Fixes »

Especially when looking at recent accidents involving scheduled airliners, it occurs that some people are still having problems with their landings. Yes, they can be difficult to master, especially when crosswinds or other factors complicate things and distract us. But this shouldn't be so hard. More

Pointless Ovals in the Sky »

Talk about IFR holding patterns in a recurrent training setting and your time will most likely be spent discussing entries, maximum speeds and mandatory reports. There is a need created by the realities of the system for ATC to park you somewhere in the sky until it is time to move on. The reasons for being placed in a hold and held there normally boil down to one of three things: weather, traffic or an abnormal ATC situation. More