Features

Your Refurb: Aging Gracefully »

In our series on refurbishing airplanes we've covered what's involved with updating all aspects of your airplane. As a wrap up, we'll look at the situation where you like your airplane as it is, and you want to keep it in good shape so you can keep flying it happily and safely for the foreseeable future. More

Used Aircraft Guide: Mooney Ovation »

Mooney aficionados tend to be clustered in the end of the gene pool that has "I want a fast airplane" in the DNA. For years, they flocked to the marque that promised and delivered speed while sipping fuel. Starting with the single-seat Mite, they were willing to shoehorn themselves into tiny cabins in return for not having to stay in them long when going someplace, while assuming a certain look of superiority over others due to miserly demands at the gas pump. Over the years, Mooney obliged its faithful with progressive aerodynamic clean ups, making quick airplanes steadily faster. However, Mooney eventually shocked the aviation world by tacitly admitting that they'd gone as far as was economically viable with aerodynamics, and it was time to accept that there's no replacement for displacement when it comes to sheer speed. More

Well Structured ATC »

In spring 2003, I was halfway through my flight training. My instructor and I were chatting about air traffic control. He'd just visited the local TRACON. From his description, I pictured a dark room filled with the intense chatter of men and women half-lit by radar scopes and blinking sci-fi lights. A few short years later, I'd be a radar controller in one of those dark rooms. My imagination hadn't been far off. In due course... More

Hypoxia: The Subtle Killer »

Almost 15 years ago a well-known professional golfer named Payne Stewart was a passenger in a Lear 35 that departed Orlando, Florida for Dallas, Texas. Three minutes after the last communications with the Lear it made a turn consistent with a human input, but just three minutes later ATC was unable to raise any response from the aircraft. More

Avoiding Extreme Weather »

As anyone who's paid attention to Central U.S. weather the last few months knows, it's been a particularly violent spring across "Tornado Alley." Midwest storms made national news and reintroduced repeat targets—such as Moore, Okla. Well ahead of the storms and far in front of the inevitable miles of destruction images, Americans coast to coast shared ringside seats of the progressing destruction thanks to the coverage of storm chasers who shared real time some of the clearest videos and still images ever made of in-progress tornadoes. Most images came from a large contingent of ground-pounders but, more than ever before, much of the resulting imagery was captured through the efforts of people aboard aerial platforms, whether helicopter or fixed-wing. More

Changes Revealed in FAA Enforcement Procedures »

During the annual EAA Legal Advisory Council Board Meeting on July 24, 2015, our special guest Reggie Govan, the recently installed FAA Chief Counsel laid out several changes underway at the FAA that will affect how the FAA conducts enforcement actions against pilots and maintenance technicians. More

Propeller Care »

In May 2008 the FAA published five new SAIBs or Suggested Airworthiness Information Bulletins on propeller maintenance. While these bulletins do not carry the weight of an AD, they do come about as a result of discussions with field organizations such as aircraft type clubs as well as maintenance shops who identify problems they see as recurring or actually becoming worse. Such problems now seem to be somewhat a result of our aging aircraft fleet and frequent deferred or minimal maintenance to get past an inspection or minimal overhaul compliance. More

Yikes, I've Gotta Land Gear Up »

You're near the end of a lovely flight, but the gear won't come down no matter what you do. Now what? More

Belly Degreasers »

For many pilots, the first realization that the bellies of their airplanes are becoming hazardous waste sites is when ATC advises that their transponders are intermittent. Investigation reveals a layer of goo on the belly antennas, doing its best to block the signal. Frequently cleaning the by-products of engine operation—oil, grease, soot and other delicacies—off of the belly isn't just presenting a pleasing view to the world when over-flying, it helps keep the dorsal antennas working their best, keeps potentially corrosive materials off the paint and aluminum and lets you easily see whether the fasteners are in place or the paint isn't. The idea is to be able to remove that coating of grease, oil and soot without having to wear a hazmat suit. For many of us, water isn't available at the hangar, or the airport requires that all washing be done on a wash rack that has a drain that catches the crud that comes off of the airplane—and it's a half mile away. More