Eye of Experience #24:
The Role of the Flight Instructor

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. More

Eye of Experience #23:
Those Wonderful 'Coupes

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. More

Eye of Experience #22:
Operations at Non-Towered Airports

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. More

Eye of Experience #21:
The Ninety-Nines — Preserving History and Safety

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. More

Eye of Experience #20:
Mock Trial

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. More

Eye of Experience #19:
Where Do You Put It, and Why?

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. More

Eye of Experience #18:
Night VFR

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. More

Eye of Experience #17:
I Can't Believe They Did That!

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. More

Eye of Experience #16:
Killing the Checkitis Bug

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. More

Eye of Experience #15:
Hazardous Attitudes Revisited

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? More