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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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Bite the Bullet

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.

CHECK NOTAMS

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.
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Bigger Class B?

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.

LostMySim

As my simulator was nearing completion in July 2018, Carl left his company because of some conflict with their new investor, Meiya Group, chaired by Roland Pinto. I wont go into specifics, but after paying in full for my simulator about 18 months ago, Mr. Pinto ultimately ignored all my attempts to get my sim. The Cirrus Owners & Pilots Association, another big proponent of FlyThisSim (FTS), has now advised their members, Any dealing with FTS is at high risk of non-delivery and potential loss of funds exchanged.

Living is Risky

Anyway, once we accept that GA flying is dangerous, we can focus on making it less so. Look at maintenance. Tony Saxton of TAS Aviation, a Twin-Cessna specialist, reports that the total number of annuals they can do in a year has decreased by a whopping 28 percent simply because theres more to inspect (from ADs, service bulletins, or just from experience) and more discrepancies to fix; their comprehensive annual merely takes longer.
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(Always) Learning

Clearly, this was a humbling experience. Im left wondering how many of us who are more than a few decades and a few thousand hours past flying trainers at 60 knots would do better. Your takeaway from this self-deprecating story is that no matter what you fly, youve got to play well with all the others, be they fast or slow, pro or student. Im glad I relearned that lesson with no worse than some personal embarrassment. And, the students probably learned to watch out for fast twins with inattentive pilots.

Too Old…For What?

Like many of you, I also ride motorcycles. I have two Hondas, one of which is 25 years old but still suits me quite well. Due to a confluence of some logistical and health challenges, now past, I hadnt ridden in a few years. Late this past summer I again undertook two-wheeled transportation.

Maintenance: Legal vs. Safe

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.