Flying Real-World Weather »

G.A. pilots are taught to stay on the ground when the weather briefing doesn't look good. That advice may be Politically Correct, but it doesn't cut the mustard if you use your airplane as a serious long-range transportation tool. The author has flown dozens of coast-to-coast trips by lightplane in all sorts of weather, and offers one experienced instrument pilot's perspective on how to deal with real-world weather. More

What Pilots Can Do to Help Their Non-Pilot Right-Seaters »

There is plenty the pilot can do to make it easier for the non-flying companion, even for those who have never taken a Pinch-Hitter style course. (This article is intended as a companion to Doug Ritter's other article, " The Pilot's Incapacitated Now What? ") More

The Pilot's Incapacitated — Now What? »

A recent Cessna 414 crash in Georgia offers a tragic reminder of why non-pilots who regularly occupy the right seat should prepare themselves for such a contingency. Tens of thousands of non-pilots have gone through such "pinch-hitter" training, which typically requires just four hours of flight and four of ground school. Non-pilot Sue Ritter reluctantly took the course a few years ago, while pilot/husband Doug (AVweb's news editor) hid in the corner and took notes. Here's a play-by-play from both Doug's and Sue's viewpoints. Sue's advice: stop making excuses and just do it! More

Frosty Peril »

With the arrival of Fall comes morning frost in many parts of the country. Frost is dangerous when it adheres to airfoils such as wings, control surfaces, propeller and rotor blades because even a thin and nearly invisible layer of frost can degrade lift catastrophically. In this timely article, AVweb's safety editor Brian Jacobson discusses how you can protect yourself from this serious threat. More

Lessons Learned from a Successful Ditching »

AVweb's News Editor Doug Ritter, an authority on aviation survival, interviewed the pilot and a passenger from that successful ditching off the coast of Baja, Mexico. Doug's narrative of this adventure makes gripping reading and his analysis of the incident provides insight into what went wrong, as well as what went right, and how other pilots faced with similar circumstances might avoid similar mistakes and improve their chances. More

Pressure Cooker »

"Pilot error" once was a term used by investigators when they couldn't find any suitable explanation for an aircraft accident. But in today's world of CVRs and FDRs, we're learning that the human factors that contribute to aircraft accidents are far more complicated than anyone imagined. Today's pilots operate in a pressure-cooker atmosphere that provides precious little margin for error. This article explores some of the reasons we make the mistakes that result in accidents. More

"Flying Blind, Flying Safe" by Mary Schiavo »

BOOK REVIEW. A review of the ex-DOT Inspector General's FAA-bashing tome by Avweb publisher, pilot and aircraft owner Carl Marbach. He thinks this book has an important message about the internal workings of the FAA, but that the soap-opera melodrama in the later chapters of the book serve to weaken rather than strengthen Schiavo's credibility. "Read the first half, then pass it along to another pilot," Marbach advises. More

Cross-Country Without a Clue »

A 200-hour pilot set out to ferry his Bellanca from California to New Jersey. He didn't make it. There were no flight plans or telephone or radio contacts with the aircraft, and not much left of the plane. But it's not too hard to guess what happened...and why. More

Lessons from a Learjet Crash »

Aviation Safety's Brian Jacobson takes a critical look at the June 1994 crash of a Mexican-registered Learjet 25D at Washington's Dulles airport, killing both pilots and all ten passengers. The brand new Learjet captain who did poorly during his recent transition training at FlightSafety International inexplicably attempted two ILS approaches when Dulles tower was reporting RVR far below minimums. He missed the first approach, and his luck ran out on the second try. More