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Remarks: Conservatism

Back in the January issue, my Remarks outlined how I try to look at my flying choices through the lens of an accident report if the choices don’t work out. There is a corollary to that and it’s worth exploring; consider this an extension of my January Remarks. I got my private certificate when I […]
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Expectation Bias

Years ago when I moved into a new neighborhood, I was exploring different routes to drive to my new house. After only a short while, perhaps even just a few days, a stop sign showed up at an intersection with another residential street on one of the routes I was beginning to favor. I believed […]
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Remarks: How’s That Look?

Sometimes we stretch the regulations, or worse, common sense. Some examples include VFR weather minimums (scud running), night currency, or even logging. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not advocating that. But who among us hasn’t occasionally stretched the speed limit on a lonely country highway or even a busy urban commute, or committed some equally […]
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Go or No Go?

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 […]
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Remarks: Remembering Checkrides

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, […]
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Master Pilot

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 […]
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Circle From An ILS?

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 […]
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Autoland-No Thanks

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 […]
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Safe, or Not?

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, […]
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“Know When to Fold ‘Em”

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 […]
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You Meet The Nicest People

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 […]
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State of the Industry

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 […]
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