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

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

Prepping For Your IPC »

Maintaining your IFR currency isn’t that hard. Just fly and log in actual or simulated conditions six instrument approaches, “holding procedures and tasks” and “intercepting and tracking” electronic courses within the preceding six months, and you’re golden. But after 12 full months of being out of IFR currency, you’ll need an instrument proficiency check, or IPC. There was a time, before the most recent revisions to FAR 61, when an IPC—previously known as an instrument competency check— wasn’t structured. That’s no longer the case. More

Wrong Airport, Wrong Runway »

You are on approach in busy airspace with an even busier cockpit...you are changing frequencies, receiving vectors, looking for traffic. You are well into the descent phase. As you flip through your kneeboard to get ready for the final phases of flight, you instinctively start looking for the runway. You see one in front of you just as ATC asks, “Do you have the airport in sight?” “Affirmative,” you respond with confidence. The only problem is that it's the wrong airport. More