Thunderstorm Safety »

As summer arrives and the days get longer, pilots may let their guard down when it comes to weather. Icing and large hail may certainly be less of a factor during the balmy dog days, but the June, 1999 American MD-80 runway excursion and the Delta L-1011 crash in August, 1985 are some of the incidents that underscore the hazards of flying during the warm season. … More

A Tale of Two Aviation Lawsuits »

The month of May brought verdicts in two lawsuits, providing some good news to those who care about aviation, users of airports and the value of small, general aviation airports to our country as a whole. More

Fixing Your Flare »

No matter how smooth and enjoyable the flight, your passengers always will remember the landing. Anything other than a single, bounce-free touchdown is ripe for comment and, if your passengers also are pilots, ridicule. While a good landing is a combination of many factors, the last chance you have to affect its outcome is in the flare. Whether you're flaring too high above the runway or too low, at too high an airspeed or too enthusiastically, there's usually a fix for what ails your landings. More

West Coast Fog Monster »

Fog along the West Coast of the United States has been documented as far back as the arrival of the Spaniards in the 16th century. Ship captains in later years learned to take it seriously; 100 years ago when the Marine Exchange in San Francisco was asked what proportion of coastal shipwrecks were the result of fog, the reply was "All of them." Even today, aircraft pilots at coastal airports find themselves trying to stay… More

Rare Bird »

A biplane designed in the 1920s inspires thoughts of aviation's Golden Age, and for one pilot, it's a perfect complement to his Aeronca Champ. More

Your Refurb: Engine Overhaul Help »

Engine overhauls give even the most experienced aircraft owners a case of the willies. Beyond the "it's going to be really expensive," there are numerous issues to face and decisions to make—choosing a shop; deciding on the type of overhaul, or a factory reman, and what to do about the engine accessories are some that come quickly to mind. More

Autopilot Repairs: Worth a Try »

It wasn't long ago that an entry-level, two-axis autopilot was priced around 10 grand—including installation. Today, that price is double. Add some options and the bottom line could soar toward $30,000. These big proposals have many owners repairing older autopilots. But as service parts for older systems become obsolete, repair costs are high, downtime is increased and factory flat-rate pricing makes the repair questionable. More

Top Five Pre-Flight Mistakes »

The pre-flight inspection is something we learn about during our first flight lesson. We poke, prod, uncowl, measure and eyeball various fluids and components while the airplane is still safely on the ramp, all to help decide if it's safe to fly. Yet, once we take off, we often find we missed something. Hopefully, what we missed is relatively insignificant and merely embarrassing, rather than a safety-of-flight issue. In any case, we should be striving for perfection and ensuring we've not forgotten anything. So, based on our long experience in missing things during a pre-flight inspection, here's our list of the top five pre-flight mistakes. More

Checkride: The Examiner's View »

Instrument pilots take far more checkrides than their more visually oriented counterparts. In addition to the initial rating check, you occasionally face an instrument competency ride when you are more than six months out of currency. Most times when you add a rating, like a multi-engine ticket, you'll be expected to show off your gauge gazing skills in order to pass. More

Landing Flaps: Full, Partial or None? »

Want to start an argument on an online aviation forum or while having a $200 hamburger with your buds? Express an opinion on flap use on landing in a light single. The responses you'll get are aviation's form of red states versus blue states. More