Air Force One Go Around!

As my good friend Bob Martens is fond of saying, the Go Around is the least practiced maneuver in Aviation. During initial training as student pilots, the instructor teaches us the Go Around.  The Practical Test Standards (PTS) require us to demonstrate the Go Around/Rejected Landing maneuver.  The FAA objective for the task is “Makes […]

App Review: Notify NTSB for NTSB Part 830

NTSB Part 830 regulations cover reporting requirements for aircraft accidents and incidents. Every pilot has had to answer a few questions on a FAA written test about the various requirements and time frames. Studying these regulations can cause the same glassing over of the eyes as ADF relative bearings or calculating time to station by […]

Let’s fly like the Professionals

It is no secret that the airlines, corporate and military aviation have a much better safety record than general aviation. And it is also no secret how they do that. They fly by the book, use standard procedures, do gobs of training and have flight dispatchers to provide planning and enroute support. That’s great you […]

Photo Pilot Certificate Proposal

A lot of pilots I talked to recently seem excited to hear that they will soon get a pilot certificate that has their picture on it. I am sorry to hear this as getting a new pilot certificate with my picture on it is somewhere around the last thing I need. My certificate already has […]

Aviation Check List

GUMPS is not enough! Yesterday, I read about another general aviation inadvertent gear up landing. I wonder if the pilot used a written check list for landing? While doing flight tests or training in complex aircraft, I often see the pilot use the printed check list religiously for pre flight, starting and run up. Then […]

Should I Have Said Something?

World English Dictionary hindsight— noun “The ability to understand, after something has happened, what should have been done or what caused the event” Hindsight is great. 20-20 hindsight is even better. Have you ever had the feeling that you should have said something in a situation – any situation – and didn’t? Do we, as […]

Directional Gyro: Don’t Set It Here

How many of us have been told to always be sure and set the directional gyro (DG) when we are in position on the take off runway? Why there? Well, the instructor would say, because we are now on a known heading and therefore the DG will be accurate right after takeoff. This procedure worked […]

Emergencies and ATC (part 4)

OK, the emergency is over. Let’s assume, for this discussion, that everyone is on the ground and safe. What happens after the emergency? Well, FAR 91.3 doesn’t say much. It only says that we must submit a report to the Administrator but only if requested and only if we deviated from any rule (any FAR). […]

Practical Test Standards

As we continually build upon the foundation that supports our aviation activities, I fear that many of us are neglecting a very important cornerstone. The Practical Test Standards (PTS) are the basis for all training and evaluation in the US, yet few know where they are, what they say, or most importantly, how they can […]

Professionalism – On Being a Cockpit Skeptic

Professionalism in aviation has been in the news a lot recently. FAA Administrator Randy Babbit has spoken on the need in light of several recent high profile events such as the Colgan crash in Buffalo and the NWA overshoot of its destination. One of the hallmarks of a professional aviator is being a skeptic – […]

“Hold Short of Runway 23!”

How many times as a pilot, have we heard that phrase? Well, as of June 30th we will be hearing it a lot more. The FAA instituted a change to the Air Traffic Controller’s handbook (the 7110.65) that changes the way taxi instructions are issued. Previously, a taxi clearance (as we all know from the […]

Engine Failure

Last week, two of my Civil Air Patrol (CAP) comrades were out on a training mission in the vicinity of the Laconia, NH Airport in our CE 182. About five miles from the airport at 3000ft MSL they experience severe engine vibration and a loss in power. They had just reduced power to 19in manifold […]

Malfunction & Defect Reports

I think we all like stories with a happy ending, so here goes….. I received an email message recently from a very nice couple who attended my monthly FAA safety seminars in Danbury, CT. They owned their own single engine aircraft and flew it regularly. Several weeks back they experienced a very real inflight engine […]

Emergencies and ATC

Declaring an emergency is one of the easiest actions a pilot can take. FAR 91.3 spells it out very clearly. “The pilot-in-command of an aircraft is directly responsible for and is the final authority as to the operation of that aircraft. In an emergency requiring immediate action, the pilot-in-command may deviate from any rule in […]

Grounding and Bonding Your Airplane

In a perfect world, anytime we have an aviation related question or concern, we simply call up our friends at the Federal Aviation Administration to help us out. Well, we must be getting close, because that’s exactly how this issue worked itself out. We received an excellent question from a pilot and I knew exactly […]

Personal Aviation Stories and Lessons Learned

A few weeks ago we had our expert flight instructors in to record some new Pilot Tips. After we finished the recording session, they were sitting around telling some of their personal aviation stories. We decided to keep the microphones open, figuring we would capture some really good stuff. I asked their permission to share […]

Professionalism in the Cockpit

Professionalism in the cockpit is a big topic with the airline industry these days. Just this week, the FAA  reminded airline pilots to “evaluate their personal practices” regarding use of devices such as lap top computers and cell phones while on duty. In addition they said operators need to create a “safety culture” that reinforces […]