Night IFR Operations »

Most instrument rated pilots log about 10 percent of their flight time in IMC. That same percentage holds true for night operations. When you combine the two, encountering IMC at night is a rare occurrence for many. More

On Your Tail »

Of all the major components of a conventional airplane, the tail—empennage, if you prefer—may be the least understood. Yes, we generally know it's there to help balance and stabilize the airplane's attitude in flight, and to help control yaw and pitch, but that's often the extent to which we paid attention in ground school. If we were paying more attention, we might have learned airplane tails come in many different shapes and sizes, and can be placed at either end of the airplane. They can be partially or totally omitted from some airplanes, while others might be considered to have more than one. More

Pet Pup »

Building a replica Sopwith Pup from scratch is not for the faint of heart. More

Summertime, and the Tailwheels Are Flying »

If you want to expand your aviation horizons into some more adventurous flying, why not get a tailwheel checkout and endorsement? If nothing else, it will greatly expand the spectrum of types of airplanes that you can fly and, in my opinion, substantially upgrade your aeronautical skills. More

Life Rafts »

When comes to buying a life raft, quality costs money. In reviewing what's on the market, Winslowl, in our opinion, offers the best rafts—you pay a premium, but we feel you get the value for your dollars. More

Is Owning Safer? »

Pilots decide to buy their own airplane for a variety of reasons. It could be a business decision, helping ensure coverage of a relatively wide sales area, or perhaps an aerial photography business. Specialized flight training—like acro, or a quicky instrument rating—also can be a reason. Recreation or personal transportation is yet another. One of my major motivations was safety. More

Creating an Emergency »

Flight instructors often note to the student, early in the training cycle, that there are back-up systems in case the primary equipment fails. However, using the backup system may require some skill and one wonders why a pilot would depart with the primary system inoperative. More

Your Refurb: Upgrading the Interior »

One of the centerpieces of any aircraft refurb is upgrading the interior. It can be as basic as recovering the seats, but usually involves a complete redo of the headliner, side panels, carpet and upholstery. As the insulation is often stripped out and replaced as well, it's a good time to install soundproofing. More

An IA's Notes on Recent Annuals »

As a long-time IA and A & P mechanic and pilot I look at airplanes with a somewhat different eye than pilots. My purpose, whether it's actually inspecting an aircraft, flying one or writing about my experiences, is safety. Most certificated aircraft owners should know what the meaning of airworthy is and that there are two parts to the determination that an aircraft is airworthy at the time of an annual inspection. More

Used Aircraft Guide: Tailwheel Maules »

Still the only production four-seat or side-by-side, conventional gear airplanes being built in the U.S., Maules have been attracting owners who march to a slightly different beat for over 50 years. In general, the airplanes are easy and forgiving to fly when in the air, yet not so much on the ground—the runway loss of control accident rate is distressingly high. They're simple to fix, good at going slow but capable of decent cruise speeds, although the published speeds for many in the line are considered humorously optimistic. More