Features

Speed: Buying 180 Knots for $180,000 »

In this day and aviation market age, a $180,000 purchase price isn't out of line, especially if it's split a few ways. Moving through the air at 180 knots is cooking along nicely, so in keeping with our general fascination with symmetrical numbers, we decided to create the 180 for 180 club and then find out what airplanes are qualified to joinóthose that have a real-life cruise speed of at least 180 knots and a Bluebook value of $180,000 or less. More

No Electrics? No Problem! »

A pilot can learn a great deal by stripping his or her flying down to its fundamental roots. Flying an aircraft without an electrical system puts you in touch with the basics of flying by altimeter, whiskey compass, pilotage and pure stick-and-rudder skills. On the mechanical side, it's a chance to commune with the engine using only the minimum required instruments. There's also a certain romance to flying a vintage plane, especially one lacking an electrical system. It harkens back to the barnstorming days when men were real men, women were real women and there was no TSA to verify the difference via pat down. Even in this era of modern instruments, glass panels and gadgets, there's still room in the skies for a basic plane with minimal systems. Here's how. More

one-G simulation: Affordable Flight Simulators »

We're interested in the attractively-priced flight simulators developed by one-G simulation, a Seattle-based company made up of CFIs and commercial pilots. We think they hold promise to make high-quality simulator training available to more pilots in more areas at attractive hourly rates. More

Sikorsky S-38 Project »

It's probably safe to just come right out and say it: Walter Treadwell is not your typical homebuilder. In fact, he's something of a legend around his local airport. The latest project of the World War II combat pilot is a scratch-built, 55 percent-scale replica of a 1928 Sikorsky S-38 amphibian. More

The Invisible Hand »

The Air Traffic Control System Command Center in Warrenton, Virginia is responsible for the entire National Airspace System. Unlike tower or radar controllers who micromanage up to 30 planes at a time, the ATCSCC oversees the five thousand or so aircraft at any given moment over the United States. More

Used Aircraft Guide: Piper Arrow »

It seems there's always an Arrow on the ramp as well as a good selection of them on the used market. Flight schools have long sworn by them as relatively economical complex trainers, and owners report happy relationships with their combination of useful load and range. Through longevity and numbers, it may have replaced the Bonanza as the ubiquitous retractable single. More

Your Flight Review — From Surviving to Thriving »

What's not to love about a flight review? You get to spend a bare minimum of two hours doing something virtually everyone hatesóbeing evaluated. Getting involved from the start can help you turn your flight review from something to be survived to an enjoyable experience that will make you a better pilot. More

Partial Panel Peculiarities »

In developing training scenarios, it's important to tailor the training to the actual configuration of the aircraft with regard for the likelihood of multiple unrelated simultaneous failures. The purpose of the exercise is to prepare pilots for realistic failures in the aircraft they normally fly. More

Choosing A Refurb Shop »

The selection process for a refurb shop is nearly identical to that of choosing a good maintenance shopófinding a facility that is professional, will give estimates for all work, won't do any work without your approval and will do the refurb process in partnership with you, the aircraft owner. More

Turbocharging Systems »

Turbocharging systems get somewhat of bad, but to a degree, deserved rap for requiring more than their fair share of maintenance and pilot workload. They certainly have to deal with more than their fair share of very hot air and have to spin at dazzling rpms to do their jobs. More