Features

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

The New ATP—A Brief Window Before the Sky Falls? »

Following the 2009 Colgan Air Flight 3407 crash near Buffalo, New York Congress and the FAA mandated extraordinarily expensive changes in the training requirements for the Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate. The ATP changes have almost all phased in, but a few months are left before the most onerous one becomes effective. Pilots seeking an ATP should do all they can to pass the written before August 1, 2014 or face additional training estimated to cost over $15,000. More

Used Aircraft Guide: Cessna 120/140 »

The first of the post-war Cessnas to be built in volume was the diminutive Cessna 140, followed a month later by a stripped-down model called the 120. At the time, the Cessna 120/140s were perfectly serviceable and practical two-place airplanes. They were reasonably priced to buy and economical to own. Although they all initially had fabric wings, they were made mostly of metal, avoiding the periodic need for recovering. More

GAMIjectors—18 Years of Precision Fuel Injection »

After selling over 22,000 sets of GAMIjectors that help aircraft owners save over a million gallons of avgas a year through lean-of-peak operations GAMI now makes precision fuel injectors for almost every fuel-injected, general aviation airplane. Here's a review of the engine power curve and why lean of peak operations can prolong engine live and reduce fuel burn. More

The Pre-Buy Examination—Just Do It »

Face it, buying an airplane involves more of the former Federal Reserve’s Chair, Alan Greenspan’s “irrational exuberance” than it does steely-eyed appraisal—it’s easy to fall in lust with a paint job. That's why a careful pre-buy examination by a mechanic you chose is essential. More

Too Laid-Back? »

Glass panels haven't yet delivered the promised increase in safety. Is greater technology leading to greater complacency on the part of pilots, thus defeating the value of improved technology? More

Real-World Nordo »

The good news is that today's avionics make lost communications increasingly rare. Yet, it does happen. Two real-world success stories provide guidance for dealing with the problem. More

What’s Cold For a Piston Aircraft Engine? »

When is it too cold to start an airplane engine? And, will you damage it by starting without preheat? We've got the answers to those questions, and more. And, yes, you can seriously damage your engine with a cold start done wrong. More

Avionics Outlook: Competition, Lower Costs »

If the Part 23 rewrite doesn’t lower costs, the struggling market might have to rely on increased competition and simpler products to get it done. More