Reader Eric Smith takes us to task for recent comments on the "AVweb Insider" blog about appropriate chatter on the radio: "Anyone who flies on VFR weekends knows that CTAFs are awash in squealing verbal garbage, making it often impossible to announce a position or identify the cluck who's announcing every stinkin' leg of the traffic pattern or that he's taxiing to the runway at your airport so you can confiscate his microphone and return it only after he learns that the radio does not produce lift. While I agree that many pilots do not effectively communicate on a CTAF, complaining about a pilot reporting his/her position on every leg or when taxiing onto the runway is way off base. Your comments may lead pilots to believe that this is inappropriate, and it is not. I'd rather have frequent reporting rather than have a plane magically appear on a one-mile final or report he's now taking off when I am half a mile from the threshold. Take a look at the AIM -- Table 4-1-1 (SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDED COMMUNICATION PROCEDURES), which says reporting before taxi, and on downwind, base and final are all appropriate. If done properly, frequent reporting beats the alternative." Click through to read other letters from AVweb readers. More
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
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
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
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
Do airplane companies need to build brand awareness like Apple and Starbucks? Maybe, but I think if they just build good airplanes, they'll be fine. More
Larry Uzelac of Auburn, CA delivers the goods in our latest installment of "PotW" which, incidentally, features a great batch of other photos from AVweb readers. Click through to enjoy their work.