"Eye of Experience" Index

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An index to former FAA examiner Howard Fried's popular Eye of Experience column at AVweb.

Eye of Experience #63:
Confession Time
- (Articles - Feb 12, 2003)

Admit it: You've done some stupid things while flying, haven't you? We all have, and it is always better to learn from someone else's stupid mistakes than to make even more of our own. AVweb's Howard Fried has told us about a lot of things others have done wrong -- now it's time for him to confess his own.

Eye of Experience #62:
What's Wrong with Attitude Instrument Flying?
- (Articles - Jan 15, 2003)

Are pilots learning the safest way to fly on instruments? Or are they missing a piece that long ago was the standard -- how to fly WITHOUT the attitude indicator? AVweb's Howard Fried has seen many students come and go, and he says partial-panel training is only part of the story.

Eye of Experience #61:
- (Articles - Dec 17 2002)

Cockpit Resource Management or Crew Resource Management whatever you call it, there is a place for it in the front seats of every airplane. AVweb's Howard Fried has been in cockpits both large and small and he tells why we all need CRM.

Eye of Experience #60:
The Natural Pilot
- (Articles - Nov 14 2002)

We've all heard about or even met someone called a "natural pilot." But is any part of flying natural? The person to ask would be someone who has seen a lot of students come and try to learn and AVweb's Howard Fried would definitely be such a person.

Eye of Experience #59:
Pass That Flight Test
- (Articles - Oct 25 2002)

AVweb's Howard Fried has used several of his past columns to tell us about the crazy things people have done while taking flight tests. This month in "Eye of Experience," he tells us what we should do to pass the tests.

Eye of Experience #58:
I Still Can't Believe They Did That!
- (Articles - Sep 24 2002)

What do you get during 17 years as a Designated Pilot Examiner? A lot more stories than can be told in just one column! In this month's "Eye of Experience," AVweb's Howard Fried presents more amazing stories from pilot checkrides.

Eye of Experience #57:
General Aviation in Crisis
- (Articles - Aug 29 2002)

AVweb's Howard Fried is very concerned about the future of general aviation. In this month's Eye Of Experience, he looks at the effects of post-terrorism security measures and what the consequences (intended and otherwise) will be on this great passion of ours.

Eye of Experience #56:
Fido Goes for an Airplane Ride
- (Articles - Jul 31 2002)

The dog days of summer are upon us, and that means vacations. You gonna take that pet? In an AIRPLANE? Sure you can! AVweb's Howard Fried gives advice to all pet owners on how to safely and securely transport your best friend, in this month's "Eye of Experience."

Eye of Experience #55:
Being Misled
- (Articles - Jul 30 2002)

Everyone agrees we should promote aviation, both to recruit new pilots and to project a positive light to non-pilots. But sometimes our good intentions backfire, and we forget to tell others about the more difficult or complicated aspects of aviation. In this month's Eye of Experience, AVweb's Howard Fried shows some of the ways we can mislead others.

Eye of Experience #54:
The General Aviation Passenger
- (Articles - Jun 5 2002)

As the peak flying season begins, more and more pilots will be flying with their families and friends, some of whom are flying in a general-aviation aircraft for the first time since September 11. AVweb's Howard Fried presents some issues they may bring into the plane, and suggests ways to help them become more comfortable.

Eye of Experience #53:
- (Articles - May 8 2002)

Checkrides Once the busiest DPE in the Great Lakes Region, AVweb's Howard Fried has taken many and given many. He reflects on the experience in the latest "Eye of Experience."

Eye of Experience #52:
The Smartass A Lesson in Inevitability
- (Articles - Apr 11 2002)

What happens when a student pilot scores 80 percent on the hazardous attitudes evaluation? AVweb's Howard Fried has seen them come and go and, according to Howard, the result is inevitable.

Eye of Experience #51:
You're Lucky to Be Alive Aviation and the Media
- (Articles - Mar 13 2002)

When aviation was in its infancy, there were banner headlines if an airplane made its intended destination. Nowadays, the opposite is true. Just how serious a problem does media paranoia present and what can we do about it? AVweb's Howard Fried has some thoughts he'd like to share.

Eye of Experience #50:
Staying Out Front
- (Articles - Feb 14 2002)

The math is simple. If the airplane is moving along at two or three miles per minute and the pilot's thought processes are lagging behind at about half that pace, circumstances will overtake reasoned responses and adverse consequences will result. According to AVweb's Howard Fried, "staying out front" is crucial for all pilots, no matter what equipment they're flying.

Eye of Experience #49:
Aviation Litigation The Expert Witness
- (Articles - Jan 16 2002)

There are few topics that will engender a more emotional reaction among pilots than the subject of aviation litigation. Greedy plaintiffs. Unscrupulous lawyers. Well, how about the experts who assist them? AVweb's Howard Fried has had several occasions to serve as an aviation expert and offers his firsthand observations in his latest column.

Eye of Experience #48:
Air Racing
- (Articles - Dec 20 2001)

Air racing, like many things, used to be much simpler in the good old days the fastest airplane won, period. Today's handicap races are more complex, as AVweb's Howard Fried recently learned first-hand.

Eye of Experience #47:
The First Flight Program
- (Articles - Nov 25 2001)

Programs designed to expose youngsters to aviation and get them involved for a lifetime are extremely important to the industry's future. Some programs are professionally organized and well-financed. Others have fewer resources but do not lack for their students' enthusiasm or the dedication of their organizers. AVweb's Howard Fried participated in just such a program. What about you?

Eye of Experience #46:
Fun Flyin'
- (Articles - Oct 28 2001)

So much is written about justifying an aircraft's use that many pilots ignore the pure fun other kinds of aviation involve. That's especially true of soaring. AVweb's Howard Fried writes about the first time he went aloft in a glider and about falling in love with flying "all over again."

Eye of Experience #45:
Those Nitpicking Feds
- (Articles - Sep 30 2001)

Many people who work in the FAA are dedicated to aviation and to ensuring the safest, most efficient airspace system in the world. According to AVweb's Howard Fried, others in the agency, for whatever reasons, seem more interested in nitpicking various things that can trip up the unwary pilot or aircraft owner than making a meaningful contribution. Howard tells all.

Eye of Experience #44:
- (Articles - Sep 2 2001)

The old saying that "the job's not over until the paperwork is done" could have originated from within the aviation industry. Some even believe (they are usually FAA employees) that an aircraft can't fly without a certain amount of paper aboard. AVweb's Howard Fried takes a close look at the FAA paperwork and record-keeping requirements that apply to aircraft renters and owners alike.

Eye of Experience #43:
- (Articles - Aug 5 2001)

The general aviation industry is always looking for ways to reduce the cost of flying and training as a way to encourage more people to learn to fly and keep at it after earning a certificate. AVweb's Howard Fried says one of the best-kept secrets in training is the Recreational Pilot certificate. Training for it can help reduce costs and improve retention. Here's why.

Eye of Experience #42:
Some People (Just Don't Belong in the Air)
- (Articles - Jul 8 2001)

The old saw that "anyone can learn to fly it just takes some longer than others" may have been true of the cadet population during World War II, but it's not necessarily true of today's aspiring pilots. AVweb's Howard Fried assaults that truism, and many students' beliefs that meeting the FAA's minimum-time requirements is all they need to do, with the stories of three students he has worked with in his career.

Eye of Experience #41:
Strategies for Aircraft Ownership
- (Articles - Jun 10 2001)

Thinking about entering the aircraft owner ranks? There are lots of ways to accomplish that sole ownership, partnership, nonprofit flying club, etc. and at one time or another, AVweb's Howard Fried has been involved in nearly all of them. In this month's column, Howard shares some of his ownership experiences, both good and bad.

Eye of Experience #40:
The Pilot, ATC, and Special VFR
- (Articles - May 19 2001)

Two of the most enduring mysteries in aviation include managing the pilot/controller relationship and why Special VFR exists, much less how to use it. Every pilot and every controller has a horror story about the other group while newer pilots and controllers simply don't understand their mutual relationship. Too, Special VFR is something that most pilots can't grasp and rarely use. AVweb's Howard Fried tells all.

Eye of Experience #39:
Those Dangerous Props
- (Articles - May 18 2001)

Despite the relative safety of general aviation, each year several people are injured or killed on the ground by spinning propellers. Plus, when it comes to hand-propping engines to get them started, there are all kinds of dangers involved. AVweb's Howard Fried takes a look at the "Armstrong method" of starting airplane engines, offers some stories proving why you need to pay attention anytime there's a spinning prop around and shares some safety tips about this ongoing hazard to pilots and passengers alike.

Eye of Experience #38:
- (Articles - Mar 18 2001)

As children, most of us had vivid imaginations. As we get older, we tend to forego thinking about the future in the abstract and, instead, prefer to think in terms of facts and hard numbers. This is bad, according to AVweb's Howard Fried. Using imagination to visualize flight training maneuvers, to warn us of the dangers involving a planned flight operation or to stay ahead of the aircraft helps us stay out of the weeds. Howard shows how using our imagination helps us anticipate our next move and ensures a likely and safe outcome to our next flight.

Eye of Experience #37:
The Place of the FBO in the Scheme of Things
- (Articles - Feb 18 2001)

Trying to explain an FBO to a non-pilot can be difficult. First, you have to explain the name itself. Then comes trying to explain the aeronautical equivalent of a gas station, driver school, car rental agency, maintenance shop and, perhaps, restaurant all rolled into one. AVweb's Howard Fried starts a two-part series to be finished next week by Rick Durden on FBOs: What they are, what they do and how they might think about doing it better.

Eye of Experience #36:
Luck vs. Skill
- (Articles - Jan 21 2001)

Which would you rather have, luck or skill? When not if you are confronted with bad weather, an unusual attitude or an airframe failure, which will you depend on? The correct answer is "both." You need the skills to know what to do and when to do it. You also need some luck to have the opportunity to use those skills. AVweb's Howard Fried looks back on his own lengthy career to explore the pairing of luck and skill and the ways he has used them to handle in-flight emergencies. So ... do you feel lucky? Well, do you?

Eye of Experience #35:
Safely Selling Your Airplane
- (Articles - Dec 24 2000)

Much of the advice surrounding the sale of an aircraft involves how to ensure that the buyer is fully informed about what he or she is getting. But there are two sides to any story or any kind of transaction. What about selling your airplane? What do you need to know to protect yourself? As a complement to Rick Durden's recent column on buying an airplane, AVweb's Howard Fried takes a look at what you need to know when selling one.

Eye of Experience #34:
The Biennial Flight Review
- (Articles - Nov 26 2000)

Depending on your viewpoint, the Biennial Flight Review (BFR) is either a curse or a blessing. Regardless, it is a fact of aviation life in the U.S. AVweb's Howard Fried examines how the BFR came into being, what the instructor's responsibilities are, why it's probably the most violated FAR, what it entails and more importantly what it doesn't.

Eye of Experience #33:
What Now?
- (Articles - Oct 23 2000)

Congratulations. After many months of training and many dollars, you've just earned your private pilot's certificate. But many say that that piece of paper is only a license to learn, that "real" pilots go on to add an instrument rating or the commercial certificate as they embark on an aviation career. Nonsense, says AVweb's Howard Fried: There are plenty of worthwhile and enjoyable things a freshly-minted private pilot can do. Here are some ideas.

Eye of Experience #32:
The Importance of VFR Skills
- (Articles - Oct 1 2000)

In the moving-map, GPS-approach-certified environment of today, many new pilots are encouraged to concentrate on obtaining their instrument ticket and on maintaining proficiency in the IFR system whenever and wherever they fly. Many think this is a good thing. AVweb's Howard Fried is not among them, however. For one, VFR navigation skills like any others deteriorate if they're not used regularly. And what happens when the electricity driving that hyper-expensive instrument panel takes a vacation?

Eye of Experience #31:
Back to Basics (Again)
- (Articles - Sep 3 2000)

Some things never change. Among them are the proper ways to fly an airplane in various configurations and through various maneuvers. Whether straight and level in cruise, performing steep power turns or handling an emergency, there's a right way and a wrong way to fly. AVweb's Howard Fried explores some of these maneuvers, the proper sequence of actions and where the pitfalls are.

Eye of Experience #30:
Who's Responsible?
- (Articles - Aug 8 2000)

Want to start a raging argument during your next hangar-flying session? It's easy just ask two people to define "pilot in command" and how to enter pilot-in-command time into a logbook. You're guaranteed to get two different answers, even from seasoned flight instructors. If a CFI can't figure out this stuff, what's a student pilot to do? AVweb's Howard Fried takes on this dilemma as he answers the eternal question: Who's responsible?

Eye of Experience #29:
Sight, Sound, and Feel
- (Articles - Jul 3 2000)

Flying an aircraft is a learned skill. As with any skill, we depend on our senses sight, sound, hearing, touch, and even the sense of smell to help us perform it. But which of our senses are we using, and when? AVweb's Howard Fried explores how humans use their senses to "commit" aviation.

Eye of Experience #28:
The Evolution of Flight Training
- (Articles - Jun 4 2000)

There are a lot of procedures in current flight training that have been inherited from the past. At the same time, new developments in flight training have not kept pace with new developments in equipment and airspace. Some of these older procedures are merely a nuisance, but the lack of emphasis on later developments can place newly-minted pilots at a disadvantage. AVweb's Howard Fried explores the many changes in flight training over the last few years and explains why current practices are some 20 years behind the state of the art.

Eye of Experience #27:
A Medal for Dad
- (Articles - May 7 2000)

World War II transformed many men and boys from all across the U.S. into heroes. Most of these heroes were never properly recognized for their bravery and contributions. Others were formally recognized decades later. One such young man was Jerry Stannard, who flew the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt over Europe as part of the 48th Fighter Group. One day in September 1944, he earned the Distinguished Flying Cross. But he didn't receive it until 1993, almost 50 years later. Here's his story.

Eye of Experience #26:
Freight and Specialty Flying
- (Articles - Apr 10 2000)

Most people think of the major and regional airlines when expressing a desire to become a "commercial pilot." But there are a wide range of flying jobs out there that don't involve flying for an airline, some of which can provide very satisfying careers. AVweb's Howard Fried looks at a few, including flying cargo as a "freight dog," crop-dusting and towing banners and gliders. What do you want to do with your career?

Eye of Experience #25:
Making Perfect Landings
- (Articles - Mar 12 2000)

Despite the skill level developed in other operations, making perfect landings can be elusive for many pilots. It's sad but true: A pilot can fly smoothly around thunderstorms, never see the ground for hours, and break out after a perfectly-flown ILS only to have some difficulty in the landing and his passengers will come away doubting his abilities. What are the elements of a perfect landing? What about when ATC throws you a curve or two? AVweb's Howard Fried tackles these and other elements of the perfect landing. How many have you mastered?

Eye of Experience #24:
The Role of the Flight Instructor
- (Articles - Feb 20 2000)

Flight instructors are the backbone of general aviation. No one position in aviation has more impact on safety and efficiency. But the position is too often viewed as merely a stepping stone to a higher-paying job flying turbine equipment. Last week, AVweb's Rick Durden wrote in his column about the challenges and rewards of flight instructing. This week, AVweb's Howard Fried writes about the role of a CFI, one which is equal parts teaching, leading and (lastly) flying.

Eye of Experience #23:
Those Wonderful 'Coupes
- (Articles - Jan 16 2000)

In the market for a good, inexpensive cross-country cruiser? Like to fly with your feet on the floor? Looking for something "special" and "different," with a large following? How about an Ercoupe? This venerable, no-rudder-pedals two-seat single has attracted a wide following over the years. AVweb's Howard Fried explains why.

Eye of Experience #22:
Operations at Non-Towered Airports
- (Articles - Dec 19 1999)

Just because there's not a control tower at an airport, it doesn't mean that there aren't any procedures to follow for landings and takeoffs. Still, operating at a non-towered airport can be one of the most confusing parts of a flight, for experienced and neophyte pilots alike. AVweb's Howard Fried demystifies these procedures with some common sense and some examples of what not to do.

Eye of Experience #21:
The Ninety-Nines Preserving History and Safety
- (Articles - Nov 21 1999)

Most people think of the Ninety-Nines as merely a social club for women involved in aviation, but it's far more than that. Instead, the national organization and local chapters are deeply involved in helping preserve aviation history in the U.S. as well as serving the aviation community wherever and whenever they can. AVweb's Howard Fried explores two examples of the Ninety-Nines' fine work.

Eye of Experience #20:
Mock Trial
- (Articles - Oct 24 1999)

Ever wonder what goes on in a hearing on an alleged FAR violation? Need a new reason to fly "by the book"? AVweb's Howard Fried recently sat in on a mock trial of charges brought against a flight crew by the FAA. Sadly, it often comes down to your word against someone else's.

Eye of Experience #19:
Where Do You Put It, and Why?
- (Articles - Sep 26 1999)

Location, location, location. The top three things a real estate agent looks for are also the top three things pilots should consider when loading an aircraft or deciding where to complete an off-airport landing. AVweb's Howard Fried considers how loading can impact an aircraft's handling and how choosing a suitable landing area will maximize the likelihood of being able to use the aircraft again.

Eye of Experience #18:
Night VFR
- (Articles - Aug 29 1999)

The recent accident in which JFK Jr., his wife and her sister died focused much attention on the relative safety of flying VFR at night. Certainly, VFR at night is different from flying the same trip during the day, but how different is it? Is it unsafe? No, answers AVweb's Howard Fried night VFR simply requires a bit more planning and a clear understanding of those differences.

Eye of Experience #17:
I Can't Believe They Did That!
- (Articles - Jul 25 1999)

So, you think you pulled some dumb pilot tricks on your last checkride? You weren't even close. In his 17-year career as an examiner, AVweb's Howard Fried has seen it all. Here's just a few examples of the mistakes, goofs and stupid pilot tricks he's seen.

Eye of Experience #16:
Killing the Checkitis Bug
- (Articles - Jun 28 1999)

Nothing strikes more fear into the heart of a pilot than the dreaded checkride. Despite the stress, the butterflies and the stupid mistakes, thousands of pilots each year manage to take a checkride and pass it. How do they do it? AVweb's Howard Fried offers up some tips on what to expect and most importantly what the examiner expects of the applicant.

Eye of Experience #15:
Hazardous Attitudes Revisited
- (Articles - May 30 1999)

When pilots talk about "attitude," they're generally discussing roll, pitch and yaw. But it's a different attitude the pilot's frame of mind that is perhaps the most important ingredient of a safe flight. AVweb's Howard Fried offers some case studies of pilots who took an attitude along in the cockpit. Could any of them be you?

Eye of Experience #14:
Flying the Light Twin Safely
- (Articles - May 2 1999)

Thinking of moving up from one fan to two? Sometimes, the mystery and old wives tales surrounding multiengine flying can be enough to scare off a pilot from the transition. In this month's Eye Of Experience, AVweb's Howard Fried dispels many of the myths about light twins and answers reader questions about them. Even if you're not thinking of "trading up" from a single to a twin, you're sure to learn something.

Eye of Experience #13:
It Can Happen to Me!
- (Articles - Apr 15 1999)

The old saw says that there are two types of pilots: those who have had an accident and those who will. In this month's Eye of Experience, AVweb's Howard Fried discusses the five hazardous attitudes identified by the FAA that can lead to an accident. Learn how to recognize these attitudes, how to overcome them and how to avoid becoming a statistic.

Eye of Experience #12:
Understanding the Stall
- (Articles - Apr 4 1999)

Stall entry and recovery is one of the most discussed and cussed portions of a flight training syllabus. Yet, AVweb's Howard Fried believes that stalls remain one of the most misunderstood aspects of safe and knowledgeable flying. His dissection of stalls, spin entry and maneuvering speed in this Eye of Experience is a must-read for students, instructors and grizzled veterans alike.

Eye of Experience #11:
Flying by Sight Picture
- (Articles - Feb 7 1999)

Some pilots fly by the numbers, while others fly by attitude. AVweb's Howard Fried is in the latter camp, and thinks today's pilots are way too dependent on the airspeed indicator and have forgotten (or never learned) how to fly by "sight picture." In discussing this, Howard reopens the old argument about whether power controls airspeed and pitch controls altitude, or vice versa. He explains how to put your airplane where you want it, when you want it, even without an airspeed indicator!

Eye of Experience #10:
Who Needs an Instrument Rating?
- (Articles - Jan 10 1999)

Should every pilot be instrument-rated? The FAA seems to think so, and many in the industry seem to treat non-instrument-rated pilots as second-class citizens. Ever the plain-spoken contrarian, AVweb's Howard Fried says his answer isn't just "No" but "Oh, hell no!" and proceeds to examine the real value of the instrument rating, the commercial certificate, and other types of advanced training.

Eye of Experience #9:
Consistency and Logic in the FAA?
- (Articles - Dec 13 1998)

No one has ever accused the FAA of being either logical or consistent in the interpretation of its regulations. AVweb's Howard Fried examines some classic examples of the FAA's often less-than-sensible approach, both in regulations and in how we train to fly. We've sent Howard our Kevlar flack jacket.

Eye of Experience #8:
Carb Ice Demons
- (Articles - Nov 16 1998)

Carburetor ice is an insidious killer, a demon which appears without warning, often when least expected. AVweb's Howard Fried provides some insight into why you might be caught out unexpectedly by carb ice, when to make use of carb heat to prevent it, and introduces some products to combat it. He also blows away some preconceived notions you may have about when to use carb heat. It isn't just for part-throttle operations.

Eye of Experience #7:
To Spin or Not to Spin?
- (Articles - Oct 7 1998)

To spin or not to spin? That is the question AVweb's Howard Fried tries to answer as he reviews the pros and cons of spin training. Dropped from the training syllabus in the late Fifties, there are still many who feel it has value and would like to see all pilots exposed to this maneuver at a time other than when they are killed by it. Howard suggests that reintroducing it may be more difficult than you think, even if everyone agreed it was a good idea.

Eye of Experience #6:
- (Articles - Sep 20 1998)

Can you teach good judgement? AVweb's Howard Fried questions how we impart this vital skill to pilots. Poor judgement will kill as quickly as poor flying technique. Combine poor judgement on the part of the instructor and the poor student is in double trouble. What is the best way to teach sound judgement? Howard offers some examples about what doesn't work.

Eye of Experience #5:
Feds at Work
- (Articles - Aug 23 1998)

Columnist Howard Fried has firsthand experience with the FAA violation process and lived to tell about it, despite the best efforts of the FAA to hang him out to dry. He survived in part because he understood how the process works. Now he shares this knowledge with you in hopes that should you ever need it, you will be better equipped to protect your certificate. It also serves to explain why the "Hoover Bill" currently before Congress is so vital to prevent further abuses by the FAA of its emergency revocation powers.

Eye of Experience #4:
- (Articles - Jul 22 1998)

AVweb columnist Howard Fried raises an interesting question, why does flight training have such a substantially higher drop out rate than almost any other education endeavor? Howard, says some types of drop outs are understandable, but others beg for an explanation. Why do some complete all their training, but then never actually finish by getting their pilot's certificate? Do you know?

Eye of Experience #3:
Just 40 Hours?
- (Articles - Jun 28 1998)

AVweb's Howard Fried asks, why does the FAA continue to push the myth that you can get your Private Certificate with only forty hours of flight time? Isn't it about time we fessed up and were honest about this? Forty hours may have been quite adequate years ago, but wouldn't flying be better served by using a more reasonable number today, like maybe 60 hours? Howard suggests that it might just make the moribund Recreational Pilot Certificate a popular and useful rating and get more people into aviation. What a radical concept!

Eye of Experience #2:
Acing the Written
- (Articles - May 29 1998)

AVweb's Howard Fried shares his foolproof way to ace the written (now known as the Knowledge Test since the FAA has gone high-tech). Howard believes that people don't fail these tests because they don't know the material. He says they fail because they didn't answer the questions as they were asked, yet he also claims there are no trick questions! Howard's method which isn't really cheating is designed to get you the highest possible score, even if you don't know all the answers.

Eye of Experience #1:
A Lost Art?
- (Articles - May 4 1998)

Remember when all it took to navigate was a sectional and a watch? You don't? Maybe you should rediscover the joys of pilotage and ded reckoning. AVweb columnist Howard Fried sounds off about one of his pet peeves: we're losing one of the most enjoyable aspects of flying, one that also happens to be a potential lifesaver when all our electronic gadgets decide they've had enough.