Thanks to Daniel Valovich for this great shot of a Pitts. We're getting great pictures but some of the descriptions leave a lot to be desired. Set the scene for our readers. Tell us the type of plane, name of the pilot, if you know, where the photo was taken and what was going on at the time. You'll have a much better chance of getting your photo published.
This article originally appeared in IFR Refresher, July 2006.Throughout more than 8000 hours and 20 years of flying, I have, like most of us, had numerous opportunities to scare myself and marvel at my own incompetence. Flying -- and especially instrument flying -- is such a complex endeavor that, given enough time, it's inevitable that we all do something that's ... well ... not so smart. It's a process that's unavoidable and one that strikes even the best of us. The uptick is that each misadventure can serve as a lesson for the next pilot. I've learned more about staying alive from hangar flying sessions than anything I've read in a flight-instruction book. So, to the old-timers who loved to spin a yarn, I'm forever grateful. Since we can learn from each other's mistakes, I've decided to 'fess up about some of my personal misadventures. These occurred when I was freightdogging it in light, piston airplanes. Perhaps you've already been in similar situations. If not, hopefully you'll recognize them as they happen and take a better course of action. I learned from these lessons. Maybe you will, too.