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 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? To […]
It’s just a short hop in a plane you’ve logged hundreds of hours flying. However, it’s not until rotation that you realize how poorly the airplane is performing. Now there’s not enough runway to put it back down, but barely enough climb to keep it in the air. Where will you go?
Lowering ceilings and patchy showers have you pushing the limits of VFR along the shore of Lake Erie. The weather is much better along the north shore, but that’s Canada, and you don’t have a passport or permission from Customs and Border protection. Will you press on, turn around, or cross the fence in clear—but […]
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.
You’ve got the whole family on board for a great weekend by the ocean. However, the landing attempt on a runway that’s short and obstructed didn’t go so well. Now you have only a second to decide if an attempted go-around will safely clear the trees—or result in a catastrophe.
You’re almost home, but a thunderstorm will make that last dash tricky. Can you make the run to your destination safely, or do you take one of the longer routes which present their own challenges? Or do you land at the airport nearly below you, but into the maw of a second storm rapidly heading […]
After a great day at the beach, it’s only a 40-minute flight home. But the sun has long since set, and an uncooperative alternator makes even a short VFR flight complicated when you consider navigation, communication, and regulations. Even the simplest choice isn’t so simple when you look at the big picture, and the destination […]
It’s a perfect day for a flight to Yellowstone National Park, but the choice of route is anything but clear. Will you go high or low? Will you go direct or take one of the long ways around? How will you weigh the risks and benefits for a flight out and back in the high […]
One risk of retractable-gear aircraft is that the wheels might not come down no matter what you do. Now you’re faced with picking the kind of gear-up landing you prefer: two wheels or none, grass or pavement? Don’t think this one is just for retract pilots. Gear issues happen in all airplanes.
Bang: You have no engine and no hope of getting it back. In the next 30 seconds, you must decide where to put this airplane down with your daughter, your dog, and all your gear aboard. Ditch it in the lake or fly it into the trees? Think fast, you get lower with each passing […]
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 […]
Fire might be the most terrifying thing a pilot can face. Even the possibility of a fire is enough to warrant an immediate diversion. But what if the nearest place has no assurance of landing, and the surest one is practically your destination anyway? And what if it’s not fire but just the smell of […]