Pelican's Perch #12:
Warbird Crews Wanted!
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The last time you were at an airshow, did you wonder what it takes to keep all those warbirds up and running? Ever wanted to get "up close and personal" with the people and the machines themselves? So have we. In response, AVweb's John Deakin takes readers on a mini-tour of what a "warbird" is, discusses some of the considerations in getting involved with a warbird group and even offers some suggestions on whom to contact to learn more. Be sure to bring your ear plugs and your wallet! More

Pelican's Perch #11:
Using a Handheld GPS — IFR!
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Never one to let a good idea, or safer method of flying, wither away for lack of action or misunderstanding, AVweb's John Deakin takes on the subject of flying IFR with your GPS handheld. "Not legal," you say? "Not so," says John. Flying IFR with your handheld GPS is not only legal, it's a godsend he says, and explains just how to get the most out of that handful of navigation wizardry. More

Pelican's Perch #10:
A Pox on Stabilized Approaches!
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But isn't a stabilized approach a "good thing"? AVweb's John Deakin points out that a necessity in the jet transport world is a detriment to those of us flying piston-engined props. Even the FAA distinguishes between the two, though many CFIs and others are too busy trying to imitate the big boys to realize the danger they place themselves in by doing so. A stabilized approach in our GA aircraft is a far different animal than that flown by an airline captain in his jet and you'd best recognize the difference before it bites. More

Pelican's Perch #9:
The Type Rating Checkride
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Anyone who likes checkrides has to be nuts, says AVweb's John Deakin. We don't expect to find many who disagree. As an FAA Designated Examiner who must also take checkrides himself, John gives pointers from both sides of the cockpit. Join John as he wends his way through one of his C-46 checkrides, explaining the ins and outs, and offering some relatively unknown, but important information that could make your next checkride a lot easier. More

Pelican's Perch #8:
Go Ahead, Abuse Your Engine!
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AVweb's John Deakin is asking you to abuse your engine, or so it might seem to many until he sweeps a whole slew of old wives' tales (OWTs) off the cliff. Using digital technology for data collection and simple graphs, John supports his unorthodox engine operating suggestions with data that proves the old ways may actually be worse for your engine. Wrong may well be right! If you've been taught that you must always reduce MP before reducing RPM, you're going to be forced to rethink that notion. If you think you're helping your engine live longer by reducing MP to 25 inches after takeoff, boy are you going to be amazed at how badly you've been abusing your engine. And, that's only for starters. More

Pelican's Perch #7:
Run That Fuel Tank Dry!
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AVweb's John Deakin takes aim at yet another OWT (Old Wive's Tale). While running a fuel tank dry in your recip powered plane may serve to increase your heart rate, John explains why it's not such a bad thing at all, and it is probably a really good idea for most of us. In fact, John explains why it's one of the first things you ought to do with a new plane and how it could save your life someday. More

Pelican's Perch #6:
There's a Good Side to the FAA!
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AVweb Columnist John Deakin writes his most shocking column yet. He's saying good things about the FAA! Well, not the whole FAA, but still, it's quite a shock to hear anyone, let alone John, compliment even a small part of the FAA. Even he admits it does "feel very strange." What's he saying that's so nice? Well, it has to do with flying some warbirds, but for the rest of the story you'll have to read John's column. Just make sure you're sitting down first. More

Pelican's Perch #5:
Don't Time That ILS Approach!
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Don't you just love it when a FSDO starts making up its own rules, contrary to the FARs? AVweb columnist John Deakin doesn't much like it at all and calls the FAA down to the chief pilot's office for a rug dance. Seems there's a FSDO out there busting IFR checkrides for not timing a full ILS. However, there's nothing in the PTS that says you should, and AVweb's resident Pelican doesn't think much of the idea in any case. More

Pelican's Perch #4:
Engine Failure!
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It ain't easy being contrary, but AVweb's John Deakin makes the effort worthwhile. Engine failure in a piston twin is no time to be messing with complicated procedures that some seem to favor. John lays out his straightforward ideas on how to react to this critical emergency and explains why in detail. There's more to it than just "identify, verify, feather" or "dead foot, dead engine." Once again, the real world requirements that could save your life may not be well served by some of "the old ways." More