Every pilot has been faced with a marginal go/no-go decision. Sometimes it’s marginal weather that, if it gets no worse, is a go. But, if it gets even a little worse, it’d be no-go. And, sometimes it’s a mechanical issue that might not quite rise to the level of being unairworthy. But it could. For […]
Recently my wife and I were musing about my checkrides, so I went through them. My private endured loneliness for about 15 years before I added SES (single-engine sea) to the certificate. Those two hung out together on my paper certificate for about another 15 years as I was mostly a dabbler, flying when time, […]
Perhaps you know of the FAA’s Wright Brothers Master Pilot award recognizing 50 years of safe flying. I looked into it but the documentation requirement put me off. But, my wife fulfilled the documentation requirement as a gift to me for a recent milestone birthday. We were visiting my 97-year-old mother with extended family and […]
Recently a reader wrote to ask me a question that’s been provoking a lot of thought here in the IFR virtual offices. This particular reader is an airline pilot for a foreign airline that operates into the U.S. and under FAA Part 121. Besides “flying the line” he’s also part of their Flight Standards, so […]
When you stop and think about it, autoland in GA was inevitable. We’ve had the technology for decades, so it was merely a matter of the practical application of that technology getting small enough in size and cost to find its way into our realm. Of course, that’s not to diminish the required massive engineering […]
The article “Deep Dive into Mins” on Page 16 mentions a change earlier this year by the FAA, allowing us to fly faster than the approach category of our aircraft. Recall that if we’re on approach flying faster than our aircraft approach category, we should use minimums from the faster category. That’s still the guidance, […]
Recently I had an e-mail conversation with a friend who’s also been a contributor to these pages. I’ll fictitiously call him “Hal.” Hal started flying early in life and was lucky enough to make it his life’s work. He flew heavy iron in the military, and then went to work for one of the major […]
Last September, my Remarks lamented my experiences with FlyThisSim, trying to get delivery of a simulator I’d paid for long ago. Readers of this page might note that I live and base my aircraft in Santa Fe, NM. Responding to that editorial, one reader (I’ll call Eric), sent me a note. Eric lived “nearby”—a relative […]
Those of you who regularly read my remarks have probably noticed that I don’t often take on global subjects, instead preferring to discuss narrow or even personal situations. After all, there are commentators out there who are far better informed than I bother to keep myself, so I’m happy to let them comment on things […]
Am I upset thinking the inspector unnecessarily picked nits? No. He was just extremely thorough and that's what I claim I want. I am a bit frustrated with the situation and that it wasn't caught before now, but the whole thought exercise has been enlightening, and a good test of my resolution to maintain my aircraft as thoroughly as possible.
Contributing Editor Fred Simonds sent me a brief There I Was story that he published elsewhere. Not being one to let a good idea slip by without exploiting it, Ive borrowed the topic and moral for these remarks. Heres my True Confessions story.
I used to fly out of an airport on the coast just south of the San Francisco Class B. While controllers tried to permit transit, there was no guarantee. If they also have a 91.131(a)(2) problem, that Miami solution would seem attractive to San Francisco. The result for VFR traffic on a trip headed north might be to add up to 100 miles or more to bypass the Class B to the east, or a deviation far out over the Pacific Ocean, neither of which is an attractive alternative.