Practicing for emergencies is core to aviation training. Creating realistic preparation for a potentially deadly event sounds like a great idea. But is it worth it when the risk of the event may be lower than the risk of an insurance claim from the practice itself? Maybe sticking with more conventional training is better?
Practicing for emergencies is core to aviation training. Creating realistic preparation for a potentially deadly event sounds like a great idea. But is it worth it when the risk of the event may be lower than the risk of an insurance claim from the practice itself? Maybe sticking with more conventional training is better? To […]
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 a beautiful day and a routine flight over the open fields of Kansas. A minor instrument glitch seems to have resolved itself, leaving you to contemplate the scenery. That’s until “fire in flight” changes from a POH procedure into an immediate reality. You must get much closer to that scenery right away … but […]
Everyone knows that wake turbulence can upset small airplanes. LSAs can get tossed around by even a turboprop taxiing past. But does the pilot of a 3800-pound airplane need to leave extra room just because a jet is taxiing by? What if he must ask the jet to stop and wait while he repositions?
Things were going well: You flew your airplane to an airport few GA pilots will ever see, you rocked a two-day demo for an important work project, and you got a tailwind whisking you toward a steak dinner with family. Then your only engine failed, over unfamiliar territory and at night.
This power-off landing is just for bragging rights at a local spot landing contest. You could win it if you adjust for the headwinds, yet an early error makes the target seem just out of reach. But maybe there’s a way if you can make the right correction.
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 […]
Flying a floatplane has inherent risks, one of which is your landing site might be impossible to use if the winds are wrong or the water is low. Amphibious gear gives you the best of both worlds—until it fails and leaves you searching for the least bad solution to a multi-headed problem.
Your destination airport is just on the other side of a broken cloud deck, and there’s at least one big hole right below you, right over a lake that’s obviously free of obstructions. Is there a safe way to get in from above? How about from the valley on either side? Or, is this just […]
Seconds after rotation, the airplane has a mind of its own: It climbs; it descends; the controls seem all wrong. You get a moment of stability and have to decide what’s worse: Turning away from airlines approaching O’Hare—and risking renewed loss of control—or busting through the final approach of one of the world’s busiest Bravos.
The LSA you’re flying isn’t equipped for legal flight in the clouds, but its autopilot doesn’t know that. That’s why you trained yourself to turn it on and do a 180, if you ever went IMC accidentally. But that’s not working out as planned, so what’s the best way to get back to visual conditions?
There are few emergencies in aviation that require immediate action without time to think. One of them is an engine failure at low altitude. What will you do when faced with four options, given your actual view out the window? Or, will you use the airplane’s parachute—even though you’re so low it might make things […]