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 […]
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