Weight and Balance: An Open Letter to a Young Flight Instructor »

Do you think you have the "right stuff"? Do you think your skills and your love for flying can overcome the inherent dangers involved? Think you're "bulletproof"? If so, AVweb's Eric Jaderborg penned this open letter to you. It doesn't have a thing to do with loading the aircraft. More

Cockpit Intrusions »

In the aftermath of the September 11 hijackings, crewmembers are asking themselves and others what they could or should do in the event of any attempts to interfere with the safe operation of the aircraft. While there may not be a foolproof way to prevent motivated, suicidal individuals from interfering with a flight crew, there are things crewmembers can do and should know. AVweb's Ken Cubbin, self-defense-trained flight engineer in real life, offers some ideas for prevention and for defense. More

The Corn Was as High as an Elephant's Eye »

When the noise from a single-engine plane's powerplant stops shortly after takeoff, how one handles the ensuing engine-out landing means everything. AVweb's Linda Pendleton recalls one such incident in her career, one which ended in field of tall corn and from which both she and her student were able to walk away. More

Collision on Approach »

There simply is no useful argument to excuse a flight that descends below DH or MDA; you either have the runway or you don't. In this accident report, an aircraft decended below the glideslope, hit an obstruction, and still managed to continue to the airport. But although the pilot "lived to tell about it," an explanation eludes us. More

The Aspen Gulfstream Crash »

On March 29, 2001, a Gulfstream III bizjet crashed on approach to the airport at Aspen, Colo., killing all 15 passengers and three crew members aboard. The crash occurred minutes after a local noise curfew addressing Stage II airplanes became effective that night and involved an approach procedure which was the subject of a confusing NOTAM. AVweb has a collection of documents from the NTSB's accident investigation docket. More

The Naked Truth About Known Icing Conditions »

The question of what constitutes known icing conditions and the legalities involved have been the subject of three articles by AVweb's Scott Puddy and a rebuttal by retired FAA inspector Eric Jaderborg. Scott took a close look at existing regulations and a celebrated enforcement case in which Eric participated. Now, it's Eric's turn again as he takes a close look at what the FAA thinks about icing, where it draws the line and why. Before you depart into icing conditions, read this. You may be risking more than you think. More

The Carnahan Crash »

On October 16, 2000, a Cessna 335 carrying Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan and an aide and flown by the governor's son crashed near Hillsboro, Mo., killing all aboard. Prior to determining a probable cause, the NTSB last week released the documents it has collected during its investigation. AVweb has these excerpts from the docket. More

Microbursts and Other Thunderstorm Nastiness »

Even though fall is fast approaching, thunderstorms are still lurking out there over the horizon. They bring with them some of the nastiest weather a pilot and an aircraft can ever confront, including the sometimes-mysterious microburst. As AVweb's Linda Pendleton writes, we can't stay on the ground every time a thunderstorm pops up. But we can learn how to avoid their nastiest characteristics, including the microburst. More

Engine Out! One AVweb Staffer's Eventful Flight »

It's something every pilot practices (or should) for the eventual day when all his knowledge, skills and nerve will be tested: the day when his or her airplane becomes a glider and the only way out is down. AVweb News Writer Liz Swaine had always wondered how she would handle losing an engine if and when it ever happened. Would she panic? Would she freeze? Like most of us, she was not particularly eager to find out. Fate, though, had other ideas, and on Sunday, August 27, Liz became one of the newest members of the Forced Landing Club. Now she'll never have to wonder how she would react again ... until the next time. How would you do? More

ETOPS Mania »

Until recently, two-engine airliners were restricted to routes that put them within 180 minutes of an alternate in case of an engine failure. But Boeing and ALPA are pushing hard to increase this limit to 240 minutes to allow aging four-engine 747s to be replaced with long-range two-engine 777s, while Airbus and the Allied Pilots Association are arguing against such a move. Caught in the crossfire, the FAA has provisionally increased the limit to 207 minutes while it mulls over a permanent rule change. Ken Cubbin reviews the arguments on both sides of this debate. More