Features

Pilots and Mechanics: Improving the Relationship »

Pilots/aircraft owners and mechanics/shops need each other to survive, yet the love-hate relationship between them seems to wax and wane, depending on the person you spoke with last. Good communications and reasonable expectations are key to keeping things running smoothly. More

Dancing With the Crosswind »

It never seems to fail. You reserve the airplane for an early morning departure for the family vacation. Then the delays add up and you arrive at beautiful Lake Runamuck as the turbulence reaches its glorious maximum, the winds are 270 at 15 gusting to 20, the runway is oriented north and south and is 75 feet wide. More

Used Aircraft Guide: Citabria and Decathlon »

Owners who fancy aerobatics might lust after a Pitts S1 or an Extra 300. But then reality sets in. And that’s why so many owners gravitate toward the Citabria or the Decathlon, starter aerobatic airplanes that turn out to have much more capability than many realized until they take a close look. More

Glider Add-On »

Several years ago, I bought my husband a ride in a glider as a gift, and I latched on to the idea of learning to soar. I had read and heard about how flying gliders could add to the safety of flying an airplane, not only as a result of the skills and judgment learned but also by improving basic stick and rudder work. More

Joe's Lockheed »

Thank goodness there are passionate and determined owners of vintage aircraft in this world. Due to people such as Joe Shepherd, the lives of we who are crazy about flying machines have been vastly enriched because we get to see the results of their passion fly rather than gather dust. Shepherd owns, and regularly operates, a flying rarity, a Lockheed 12A Electra Junior. More

When It All Goes Dark »

Wait a minute. . . The panel lights are dimming? When was the last time we checked on the aircraft’s electrical system? A quick glance at the meter confirms our fear. We are in the midst of an electrical system failure, and like countless pilots, we were guilty of not monitoring the electrical meter until we had eaten well into our battery supply. More

Checkride Disasters »

Confession is good for the soul but can be embarrassing. Here, now, the unscientific tabulation of readers' responses to "Brainteasers" quiz 194's question, "How did you screw up your checkride?" More

ADS-B: Time to Stop Procrastinating? »

Pilots are notorious for procrastinating when it comes to compliance with regs—ask any AME whether the demand for flight physicals is higher at the beginning or end of the month. Waiting until 2019 to upgrade your aircraft for ADS-B compliance could prove expensive and the backlog may be so long the work doesn't even get done that year. More

Approach Light Secrets »

The approach lighting system (ALS) deserves more respect than just a bunch of lights short of the threshold. It bridges the gap between instrument flight and visual flight. More