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Thinking Id found a loophole, I told him the G500 was only about six years old. But your airplane is over 30 years old, he countered. But, I continued, the airplane isnt broken. Its the six-year-old G500. As youve already guessed, this fell on deaf ears. He walked away, seemingly glad to be rid of me, and simply added, Sorry. Its company policy.
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Download the Full January 2019 Issue PDF

Thinking Id found a loophole, I told him the G500 was only about six years old. But your airplane is over 30 years old, he countered. But, I continued, the airplane isnt broken. Its the six-year-old G500. As youve already guessed, this fell on deaf ears. He walked away, seemingly glad to be rid of me, and simply added, Sorry. Its company policy.
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Download The Full December 2018 Issue PDF

My motivation to write this right now is that my Cessna 340 is at the shop getting its annual. This year I chose what is arguably the best Twin Cessna maintenance facility in the world, TAS Aviation in Defiance, Ohio. Yes, Defiance is a long way from my Santa Fe, New Mexico home base-about 1100 NM and two legs, in each direction-but, I chose this shop for good reasons having far more to do with safe than just legal.
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Download The Full November 2018 Issue PDF

But, if you are going VFR, deciding if you want flight following should definitely be on your list. If youre going to pass through Class Bravo airspace you might as well; its virtually a requirement. Otherwise, if the weather is clear and a million, youre not going through any airspace requiring you to talk to ATC, and youve decided to go VFR, should you consider flight following? Long story short, and after all factors are considered, the answer is Yes.
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Download The Full October 2018 Issue PDF

The normal path for a fledgling airline pilot is to build his/her hours-traditionally as a CFI for pitifully low pay-and get a job with a regional carrier. That new first officer had an average starting pay in the mid-$20/hour range just a few years ago, before the hype of the pilot shortage. Second-year pay jumped nicely, sometimes as much as 50%, but then it stagnated at a few percent a year. A fifth-year first officer might have been making into $40-some/hour.
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Download The Full September 2018 Issue PDF

I had this exchange on a flight back to a rural Arkansas airport from Florida. I usually fly IFR even in VFR conditions. I was at 6000 feet, with a broken layer below me. I usually cancel about 20 miles in advance, as Memphis Center cannot see me on radar, or communicate with me once I descend below 3000 feet.
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Download The Full August 2018 Issue PDF

An approach to safety of dont have an accident and always effectively weight risks doesnt work because we dont take actions we think will cause accidents. Tom Turner recently presented a Wings seminar, Stop Teaching About Safety, covering this. Safetys an integral outcome, not a separate goal. Instead, he suggested approaching flying as its master and commander: The result will be safety. While being master and commander will work for all pilots, the instrument environment presents unique challenges to achieving that goal.
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Download the Full July 2018 Issue PDF

The Saratoga suddenly requested a climb. He was getting knocked around by turbulence in the cloud bases. Unfortunately, there was nothing I could do at that moment. Passing 1000 feet directly over him-my minimum vertical separation-were a string of climbing airliners. I couldnt bend the jets away from him, as I had another line of descending jets ten miles west of them. It would be an impromptu air show.
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Download the Full June 2018 Issue PDF

Getting weather info in flight has gotten cheaper due to FIS-B (ADS-B In). However, years before the FAAs eventual roll out of FIS-B and its array of free weather-information products, the dominant player in that industry was Baron Services though XM Radio. Sirius radio offered a competitive product from WSI. Eventually, Sirius and XM merged. The leading hardware was probably Garmins GDL 69 and 69A receivers getting XMs Baron offering.
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Download the Full May 2018 Issue PDF

Remember when complex transport-category aircraft had a flight engineer (FE) to manage systems? I imagine there was quite an uproar when automation progressed to the point where the FE became unnecessary and airliners were certified for two-person crews.
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Download the Full April 2018 Issue PDF

With each new budget impasse, it seems theres a concerted effort to pass a law divesting ATC from the FAA to turn it over to a private Congressionally-chartered nonprofit corporation. Congressman Bill Shuster (D-PA), the powerful chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee offered two bills, HR 4441 in 2016 and HR 2997 in 2017. Fortunately, neither bill came to a vote because there was insufficient support.
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Download the Full March 2018 Issue PDF

A good friend of mine is a physician and a pilot. (No, there isnt a Bonanza in his hangar; he happily flies a Mooney Ovation.) Ive always found him to be a very safety-conscious pilot. He gets an IPC every six months and does other periodic training. When he wanted to do something different, I suggested he get an airline transport pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating. (ATP-SEL) Why? was his first reaction. I dont need it for the kind of flying I do.
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Download the Full February 2018 Issue PDF

Recently I had lunch with my friend and colleague Jeff Van West, Jenny Van West, a talented musician and Jeffs delightful wife, and 14-year-old Baxter, their youngest son. Baxter is an uncommonly bright and interesting young man with the not-uncommon black-and-white simplistic view of the world that is the purview of youth.
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