After an unplanned overnight at a small Nebraska airport, you start a takeoff run for the remaining trip in clear skies and cold air. The airplane doesn’t seem to have its normal vigor at rotation speed and wallows into the air. Then it climbs normally—while the airspeed goes to zero. Is this a big deal […]
The weather is perfect and the flight is just a quick hop to pick up a friend. However, the destination airport is virtually surrounded by a fortress of Class C and D airspace. The communications and coordination could be a nightmare with two radios—and you only have one. Is there a simple and safe solution?
It’s another installment of “You are the controller.” In today’s episode, you’re the lifeline for a VFR pilot who is stuck in IMC. Do you provide guidance the pilot requested—direct to the nearest airport—when you’re certain that’s not the best solution? And if not, what will you offer to a pilot who’s barely holding it […]
You and a friend have made it nearly across the country in a recently purchased Tomahawk. Now scattered thunderstorms complicate the last leg home—where your friend needs to be by sundown. Is there a route that allows enough flexibility to weave your way home safely or should your friend find a rental car?
It’s on almost every pilot’s bucket list: Airventure at Oshkosh. Before you can land on the dot, however, you’ll have to fly a complex arrival procedure and avoid all the other aircraft doing the same. What will you do when the procedure says one thing but safety might dictate something else?
Your dreams of airplane ownership are about to come true. The only catch was that the machine is on the other side of the U.S., and you answered that challenge by planning a “true cross country” with a high-time instructor. Now that plan is kaput. Will you still do the coast-to-coast flight?
You want to practice crosswind takeoffs and landings and one of Belen’s runways is perfectly across the wind. However, two other pilots are set on landing into the wind on the crossing runway. Is there a safe way to fly cross-purposes, or must you simply go with the flow?
You made a series of reasonable decisions in the name of comfort and safety, only to create a situation where you’re tight on both fuel and options. Will you wager your last hour of fuel on making just one landing at the airport beneath you or take the chance on making it to an alternate?
It’s a short flight to a familiar airport you’ve done many times before. But, all of those were in the daytime when the hills on both sides were easy to see. Now a moonless night adds a substantial level of uncertainty. Will technology tempt you to make this approach in the dark?
You’ve read about stall/spin accidents where people try to cheat a turn. But aren’t you safe bending the rules a bit when you’re well above stall speed and descending? Especially in a spin-resistant airplane?
You’re approaching an airport with a student and think the airplane ahead of you is confused—and has misled the tower—and may enter a busy traffic pattern against the flow. Will you speak up?
Airframe icing in the winter months strikes fear into the hearts of IFR pilots, but you thought VFR meant this was a non-issue. Now circumstance has proved that wrong. What’s your choice for the best destination airport and landing technique given you’ll be a bit of a test pilot before this flight is over?