Howard's Great Adventure »

Many pilots — if not their spouses — want to combine flying with recreation when they plan a vacation. Often, the result is simply flying to a location and parking the plane. But what if you want to use an aircraft to go places and see things otherwise impossible? AVweb's Howard Fried just returned from such a journey — traveling entirely by Cessna on the Great Outback Australian Navigation adventure. Some guys get all the cushy assignments. More

The Sky Is Blue »

You're about to launch on the last leg of a long cross-country trip, and it won't be long before you reach your final destination. Then something unforeseen happens that threatens to mess up your best-laid plans. What do you do? Go or abort? Veteran airline pilot and instructor George E. Nolly recalls a time early in his flying career — as a fighter pilot in Vietnam — when he learned a valuable lesson about "get-home-itis" and how to combat it. More

Mad About Mooneys »

Mooney pilots are a special breed — who else would fly an airplane with its tail on backward? To prove it, AVweb's Publisher Carl Marbach and News Writer Liz Swaine made the pilgrimage to Kerrville, Texas, for last year's Mooney Homecoming. In addition to hobnobbing with the Mooney faithful, they flew the factory's two newest offerings: the low-end Eagle and its top-of-the-line sibling, the Ovation. Carl also had the unique opportunity to fly a fully aerobatic, two-place, stick-controlled, 300-hp Mooney muscle machine prototype, aptly dubbed "Predator," which Mooney would love to put in production if it can book 100 firm orders for the beast. More

FADEC Fantasies »

Why are our piston aircraft still flying around with 40-year-old tractor mags and a fistful of engine controls, instead of modern digital single-lever systems? A decade ago, Mooney tried to change this with the Porche-powered PFM, but sold only 41 of the airplanes. Three years ago, Unison introduced the Slick LASAR, but it too went over like a lead balloon. Now, both TCM and Lycoming are readying their own digital engine control systems slated to appear in a year or two. Here's an update on TCM's Aerosance and Lycoming/Unison's EPiC from the staff of Aviation Consumer . More

The Cloud »

Sometimes we forget how much knowledge we've acquired over the years and hours in the air. What's obvious to us can be pretty bewildering to a newbie pilot just starting out. But Linda Pendleton, a 10,000-hour ATP type-rated in Citations and Lears, recalls one stressful moment from her first solo cross-country flight 25 years ago as vividly as the day it happened. Whether you've logged 30 hours or 30,000, we're sure you'll get as big a kick out of reading this delightful reminiscence as we did. More

A Bittersweet Father's Day: Barry Schiff's Retirement Flight »

GUEST COMMENTARY. Noted aviation writer and author Barry Schiff has turned 60, and in accordance with the FAA's age 60 rule, was forced out of the left seat at TWA after 34 years. Barry's son Paul gives us a poignant firsthand account of his very special Father's Day retirement flight. We've included photos and a copy of the unique approach chart produced by Jeppesen (where Paul works) to commemorate the occasion. More

The Full Circle »

Whether they fly a Skylane, a Boeing or the Space Shuttle, all airmen are bound inextricably together by a common love of flight, a fact brought home ever so touchingly by this short, anonymous essay that we found wafting about the Internet. More

The Old Aviator Speaks »

"There are two kinds of fliers in this world: pilots and aviators," says the arthritic old instructor to his 19-year-old protégé who is about to take his CFI checkride. And in this beautifully written story, the wise old man goes on to explain to the youngster what it really means to be a professional flight instructor. [If reading this article doesn't bring a tear to your eye, you're not an aviator. — Ed.] 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