What should have been a routine flight gets an unexpected twist: Tower clears you to land on a runway you don’t feel is safe but won’t clear you to land on one that looks much better. Will you go with the clearance, insist on your preference, or make an impromptu change at night and in […]
You’re cleared to land following a stop-and-go training airplane. That airplane does its “stop” when you turn final, but appears unhurried about conducting the “go.” Now you’re on short final, and it seems you’re the only one concerned that there could soon be two airplanes on the same runway. Is this a problem you need […]
The plan was for a relaxing day and a bit of celebration. The reality was a melee of light airplanes, all converging on an island airport with less than 3000 feet of runway. Is there a safe way to join the fray and keep your schedule, or should you divert even though it means disappointing […]
It’s a simple fact about aviation that what seems like a dangerous action to one pilot is a routine operation to another. Part of expanding your experience, and the tools in your kit, is learning new techniques from experts. Is hand propping a piston twin one of those situations or just excessively risky?
It’s been a storybook flight home with your new airplane. You even got a clearance into Class Bravo airspace to see your favorite baseball team from above. Then an electrical issue forces you to turn off the master. How will you balance safety, compliance with the regulations, and following the last instructions you received from […]
It’s a checkride, so you took a long time in the runup area making sure you didn’t miss a thing. Now, it’s time to depart but you can’t see the other end of the runway. The winds are calm. Is there a chance someone else is down there or is that less likely than winning […]
What started as a favor for a friend has turned into a confusing mess of ATC instructions and attempts at landing. How much PIC authority will it take to straighten this out? And more importantly: Which choice gets you down and safe without causing a pilot deviation—or turning you into a 737 hood ornament?
What looks like a perfect partnership in a Cessna Cardinal gets a bit rough over unforgiving swampland. How will you resolve an engine issue and personality conflict when it’s not your airplane—even though your backside will be in just as much trouble if the motor quits completely? The alligators below await your choice.
The winds are favoring one runway, but the other pilots are using a different runway and a crosswind one at that. Will you forgo the normal traffic pattern entry and fly a straight-in, attempt a normal traffic pattern entry, or go against the flow of traffic and land on the runway no one else is […]
It’s the perfect sunny day to take your new airplane and three friends for a day off the coast of California. The only catch is a bank of fog lingering just off your destination airport. The ASOS calls it IFR, but you see the runway in the clear. Will you still try and land?