Features

ATC Routing Realities »

It had been a fun morning. The heater had broken in the TRACON radar room. It was 20 degrees outside, not much better inside, and the hot chocolate I was drinking was losing its steam—literally. On top of that, busy last-minute holiday traffic had been giving our morning skeleton crew a kick in the teeth. More

Your Checkout: An Instructor's Perspective »

When the vast majority of American pilots want to go flying they rent an airplane from their local FBO, flight school or flying club. That means they have to go through some sort of a checkout with the aircraft provider before they can take the aircraft on their own. Whether the checkout is in a type the pilot hasn't flown before or with a new-to-the-pilot rental facility, there is a certain amount of uncertainty and discomfort for the pilot—after all, it's effectively a checkride. More

Used Aircraft Guide: Cessna Cardinal »

Although the design is more than four decades old, the Cessna 177 Cardinal—with its racy sloped windshield, wide doors and strutless wings—looks more modern than the newest Skyhawks coming out of Cessna's Independence, Kansas, plant. Yet, sadly, the Cardinal is a poster child for why innovation and audacity in general aviation development has often met dismal results in the market. Despite high expectations for a design that would usher in new thinking in light aircraft, the Cardinal had a rocky start and was gone from Cessna's inventory a decade after it emerged. More

Aviation Innovators: Craig Barnett, Scheme Designers »

For nearly 20 years, Craig Barnett's company, Scheme Designers, has been creating unique paint schemes (and, more recently, vinyl designs) for aircraft. There are now more than 11,500 airplanes flying throughout the world with paint and vinyl schemes his company devised. More

Flying IFR in Older Aircraft »

A reader recently questioned the wisdom of flying IFR in "old" aircraft with traditional flight displays that lack modern accouterments—GPS in particular. It's a fair question and one that deserves some thought. More

Turbulence V-Speeds »

Structural failure accidents, often from getting too friendly with thunderstorms, kill both people and what little good press GA is able to garner. In the last decade, 50 accidents—about 10 per cent of all accidents—were due to in-flight structural failure. Worse, even with better weather data in flight, these accidents aren't going away. More

Kermit Weeks Hangar: The EAA's Home Shop »

The Experimental Aircraft Association's Kermit Weeks Hangar is just down the road from the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. While the museum is the public face of EAA, the Weeks Hangar is where the action is. In the most basic sense, it's a maintenance and restoration facility. But that's a bit like calling the Grand Canyon a hole in the ground. More

Buzz Jobs: A Frank Discussion »

It's time to start talking openly about low flying. It's time to drag the subject into the open because it's something virtually every pilot wants to do. And if there's one thing that has been proven time and time again in aviation, when a pilot tries something new for the first time without having either thought long and hard about it or taken some dual, the odds are staggeringly high that he's not going to do it very well. More

Piper Seneca »

In our view, the Seneca is an entirely reasonable airplane. That, more than anything, may explain why it endures in Piper’s line, although the latest Seneca V is far more complex than the original Seneca I. The Seneca V is one of only five twins still in production—the others being the Baron, Piper’s own Seminole, the Diamond Twin Star, plus the Tecnam P2006T. More

Short and Soft-Field Takeoffs »

Short-field landings are all about using excellent technique to get your airplane into a tight spot. That same technique, however, can put you in an even tighter spot when it's time to leave. More