Don't Touch That Propeller! »

Most piston-engine pilots habitually hand-rotate their propeller for various reasons: to orient the blades horizontally for tiedown in close quarters or vertically for parking in the rain, to "loosen the oil" prior to starting in cold weather, etc. The author used to do this, too, until his prop unexpectedly started to spin after hand rotation one cold morning...with nearly catastrophic results. After researching the subject carefully, and came to the conclusion that there are no compelling reasons ever to hand-rotate a propeller. Here's why. More

Piper Malibu Pitch-Over Incident »

Dallas-based corporate pilot Jason Palisin offers a detailed account of a frightening severe pitch-over indicent that occurred in March 1997 in the Piper Malibu he was flying. The cause? A malfunctioning encoding altimeter that fed erroneous information to the KX-297B altitude preselect/alerter module which in turn was tied to the KFC-150 flight director/autopilot. Could a similar scenario have been responsible for the rash of Malibu in-flight breakups during the late 1980s? More

Tricked by a Transient »

This article dissects a December 1994 accident at Raleigh-Durham, N.C., in which the pilot of an American Eagle Jetstream turned a false warning into a full-blown emergency by assuming an engine had flamed out without verifying or following through. Both pilots and 13 passengers were killed in the ensuing crash, and 5 passengers were seriously injured. More

Zero Seven Papa, Are You Declaring an Emergency? »

A harrowing first-person account by a low-time instrument pilot who was flying home IFR at night with his wife in their Piper Tri-Pacer when he ran into a nightmare: severe icing due to an encounter with unforecast freezing rain. If you flight light planes in IMC during the winter, this story will send chills up your spine. More

Where Are You? »

Situational awareness is more than knowing your exact position. It also includes anticipating events. A 16,000 pilot examines several accidents from WW2 to the present in which the crew simply lost the picture. More

Landing an Iced-Up Airframe »

If you fly in honest-to-god weather, sooner or later you'll have to do it. Here's a survival guide from a 12,000-hour veteran test pilot. More

Invisible Ice »

A 20,000-hour Boeing 747 captain nearly prangs his Bonanza on takeoff due to a tiny bit of wing ice that he couldn't even see. If it can happen to him, there's a lesson here for all of us. More

Out of Control »

During the winter, flying an ILS to minimums is the easy part. Once you break out of the crud, finding and landing on a snowbound runway holds more hazard than most pilots realize. More

My Great Biplane Adventure »

In a moment of temporary insanity, the author bought a vintage Fleet 16B open-cockpit biplane. The Fleet was on Long Island, New York, and the author lives in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Here's the story of his tortured ferry flight home. More