Short Final: Pugachev’s Cobra


Returning to Palo Alto airport from the East on a short flight through the busy Bay Area airspace, I was admiring Mount Diablo at 4500 feet when NORCAL instructed, “Skylane XYZ hold your current position.”

I was extremely tempted to respond “NORCAL, Skylane XYZ commencing ‘Pugachev’s cobra’ maneuver,” but said instead “Skylane XYZ right 360s.”

The humble Skylane goes slow and steady but cannot hover! Maybe one day.

Ivo Linev
Berkeley, California

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  1. After 9/11 some government planes were given discreet ID’s to use instead of N numbers. The Department of Interior had 3 aircraft in the Northwest a KingAir 200, Cessna 414 and a Bell JetRanger. Several times controllers would clear me to land “at the ramp” to which the reply would be, that’s pretty short for a 200 mph airplane, but I’ll do the best I can.
    Control would shortly come back with,”Oh, you AREN’T the helicopter, clear to land 10 Right”