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Deal With Distractions

Many of life’s distractions are enjoyable, but cockpit distractions can have tragic consequences. For years, the NTSB has made “Eliminate Distractions” one of their Ten Most Wanted safety improvements.  In Ernest Gann’s Fate is the Hunter, he describes a night approach as a DC-2 First Officer while Captain Ross lit matches in front of Gann’s […]

BasicMed Lacks Admin

While BasicMed was mistakenly called third-class medical reform, it didn’t replace the third-class medical, but it did give pilots another option to fly. It has been popular with pilots who only need a third-class medical, but BasicMed does have some restrictions compared to a third-class medical. Since April 2020, more than 55,000 pilots are flying […]

Pilot Deviations

Simply fly long enough and you’ll eventually make a boneheaded or innocent mistake that gets in ATC’s way. Those may say a Pilot Deviation (PD) is where they “screwed up” or “ATC is blaming me for…” I’ve personally heard it put in many different—often creative—ways; I should keep a list.  Here is how the FAA […]

Most Capable, Best Served

For years, aviation adhered to the service principle, “first come, first served.” This easily implemented, inherently fair doctrine is officially enshrined in the controller’s...

Keeping the Lights On

While the COVID-19 pandemic raged around us, I was standing in our approach control’s radar room and my supervisor had just taken a call...

Tech Talk: Stall-Warning Systems

Aerodynamic wing stall accidents have been a concern since the canard was removed around 1910. Approximately 40 percent of General Aviation fatal accidents are...

What’s Your Profile?

Let’s discuss profiles—for flight, not social media—that provide whatto- do-at-each-point guidelines that govern how you fly your airplane. During an IFR lesson, I often get...

Got GPS?

Our IFR avionics are getting evermore capable, allowing us single-pilot fliers to shoot RNAV approaches once reserved for the big iron. While most standard...

Do You Know ICAO?

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) dwells in the deep recesses of general aviation operations. We now file ICAO flight plans, only vaguely aware...

Vmc Analyzed

Training for my multi-engine rating years ago was in a Piper Apache. It was a good, inexpensive training aircraft, but it lulled me into...

Between The Cracks

During my high school years, I got a lift home from a friend. Approaching my neighborhood, I said, “Turn left here.” I expected my...

You Could Fly a Cat II ILS

Category I ILS approaches, long our low-weather mainstay, offer us minimums as low as 200 feet above the touchdown zone with RVR 1800 feet...