This article originally appeared in IFR Refresher, July 2006.Throughout more than 8000 hours and 20 years of flying, I have, like most of us, had numerous opportunities to scare myself and marvel at my own incompetence. Flying -- and especially instrument flying -- is such a complex endeavor that, given enough time, it's inevitable that we all do something that's ... well ... not so smart. It's a process that's unavoidable and one that strikes even the best of us. The uptick is that each misadventure can serve as a lesson for the next pilot. I've learned more about staying alive from hangar flying sessions than anything I've read in a flight-instruction book. So, to the old-timers who loved to spin a yarn, I'm forever grateful. Since we can learn from each other's mistakes, I've decided to 'fess up about some of my personal misadventures. These occurred when I was freightdogging it in light, piston airplanes. Perhaps you've already been in similar situations. If not, hopefully you'll recognize them as they happen and take a better course of action. I learned from these lessons. Maybe you will, too.
Big Sky protects us in cruise flight, but where traffic funnels onto final, knowing where the other guy is will keep you alive. More
Mark Robidoux caught this postcard-perfect image of a seaplane in National Geographic light. Nice shot Mark.