A young upwardly mobile first officer for a major airline says the math doesn't support the notion of a pilot shortage anytime soon. Brant Harrison naturally has a vested interest in the pilots ahead of him on the seniority list moving on and when he heard about studies like one from Boeing suggesting the looming need for 460,000 pilots over the next 20 years he was encouraged. But when Harrison couldn't see any real-world evidence of that shortage he decided to put his college minor in math and business to work and see where all these jobs were supposed to be coming from. In a podcast interview with AVweb, Harrison said the airline-by-airline analysis he's recently released doesn't envision any significant change in the job market until at least the end of this decade. "There are so many pilots for a limited amount of jobs," he said.
The IMC Club, a nonprofit project based in Norwood, Mass., to help instrument pilots maintain their efficiency, continues to grow and develop, co-founder Radek Wyrzykowski told AVweb at EAA AirVenture this week. "Our motto is essentially that currency is not enough," said Wyrzykowski. "You might be legal, but that doesn't mean you're proficient." The clubs bring instrument pilots together to share their experiences and learn from each other. Local chapters are found across the country, and each group can decide for itself how often it wants to meet and in what format, Wyrzykowski said. A side benefit of these groups is that they help to create friendships and grow more powerful local aviation communities.
Stabilized approaches aren't just for the Jet-A club. AVweb's Thomas P. Turner suggests ways to make them work for piston-pounders.
Tired of touch-and-goes in the pattern and begging friends to go for a $100 hamburger? Need a challenge to re-energize your flying? Even private pilots can tow gliders, although a commercial certificate will let you do it for money. AVweb's Rick Durden lays out what it takes to help those engine-less soaring birds.
AVweb's John Deakin has logged PIC time in everything from Beech V35s to Boeing 747s and Grumman Bearcats to Gulfstream IVs. But the Pelican's favorite airplane of all time is the Curtiss-Wright C-46 "Commando" - a WWII-vintage twin-radial-engined taildragger that looks a lot like a DC-3 on steroids, but in truth is a different beast altogether. John's column this month discusses the idiosyncrasies of this unique airplane and his memories of flying it, first 40 years ago in Southeast Asia and more recently on the airshow circuit. Lots of lovely photos, too.
If you fly behind a piston engine with a controllable-pitch propeller, the manifold pressure gauge plays an important part in the power settings you use. Few pilots, however, have any real understanding of what the instrument actually measures or what its readings truly signify. Pelican to the rescue! Read this column by AVweb's John Deakin and you'll be able to teach your CFI and A&P a thing or three about MP.