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Being both a pilot and air traffic controller, I enjoy learning the dos and don’ts from both sides of the mic. We’re all human and everybody makes mistakes—yes, even controllers as I’ve observed from the pilot seat. But, I’m hoping you’ll ride along with me as I share some observations from the tower cab about […]

ATC Pet Peeves

Being both a pilot and air traffic controller, I enjoy learning the dos and don’ts from both sides of the mic. We’re all human and everybody makes mistakes—yes, even controllers as I’ve observed from the pilot seat. But, I’m hoping you’ll ride along with me as I share some observations from the tower cab about […]

Which Way Is Up?

Remember when you were a student pilot prepping for the cross-country flights with a sectional chart, using your plotter to calculate the true course to the destination? Then using magnetic variation (east is least, west is best) to get magnetic course. GPS navigation and all our apps have changed that, but the basics remain. You […]

IFR Departures

You and two friends are flying to Nashville for a weekend of great music. It will be an IFR flight from Asheville, North Carolina (KAVL), to John C. Tune (KJWN). Your clearance is what you expect: “Cleared to the John C Tune Airport. Asheville Seven Departure, then as filed. Climb via the SID.” You depart […]

How GPS Works

Back in the bad old days of VOR navigation you could find your position by tuning in two different VOR’s. Each radial from a VOR was a “line of position” from that VOR. Your position could be anywhere on that line. Where the two lines from two different VORs intersected was your location. For accuracy […]

Readback: September 2021

Gimme More Vasquez Your May issue had “Surface Charts” by Tim Vasquez. This outstanding article has been long needed. I found it highly informative and I loved it. I am a former USAF pilot with 4500 hours total time, now mostly civilian. This is the type of information I find most helpful and valuable. Please […]

Briefing: September 2021

CFIS WARNED ABOUT “VOLUNTEER” FLIGHTS AOPA is warning CFIs to get their paperwork in order if they teach people to fly anything but standard category aircraft. Earlier this year, after legal wrangling over the prosecution of a Florida business for giving flying lessons on a P-40, the agency took a hard and very literal position […]

Getting Youth Involved

One failure of GA in the U.S. is the dearth of young aviators, creating a pilot shortage. While many colleges and flight schools attempt solutions, there’s just not a big demand. First, blame the media. Aviation is not as exciting as it was in the 1950s. In that era, every few months there was a […]

August 2021 Quiz

You accidentally bust a Class Charlie. After landing, the FBO hands you a note to call the TRACON. The manager is hopping mad and intends to violate you. Here’s a possible way to avoid or minimize FAA enforcement.

On the Air: August 2021

We were flying in our Cessna Cardinal RG from Poughkeepsie, NY, to Norwood, MA. On board were my wife, me, and our cat, Amie. The weather was clear but windy. The local forecast for the Boston (Norwood) area was winds 30 blowing to 60 mph. Approaching Norwood, I tuned in the tower and checked in. […]

Not-So-Gentle-T-Storms

On a warm summer afternoon, a two-ship flight consisting of a Beech A-36 Bonanza and a Piper PA-31 Navajo lifted off from Newport, Rhode Island. One made it through a looming storm; one didn’t. Short Trip The two airplanes made a gradual right turn to the southwest out over the grayish- blue waters of Rhode […]

Lake Crossing IFR

During the summer, many pilots in the Upper Midwest plan half-day flights for vacation, and it’s inevitable that we have to contend with theGreat Lakes. Whether we stop short, go around, or go across, there’s always added bulk to the flight planning. Want to overfly Lake Superior for both the view and the shortcut? There’s […]