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Gettin’ Down

Having departed from Pompano Beach, Florida, we’re going to Greensboro, North Carolina, to visit family. The winds at Greensboro’s Piedmont-Triad International (KGSO) are northerly and the ATIS says we should expect the ILS 5R approach. All else being equal, we prefer GPS and LPV to localizer and glideslope. We ask for the RNAV approach to […]

Anchorage (PANC)

Runway 7R approaches at Ted Stevens Anchorage International airport (including the missed approach portions) [A] overfly Cook Inlet. The inlet stretches about 180 miles from the Gulf of Alaska to Anchorage and was named after explorer James Cook searching for the Northwest Passage. Today the airport is a refueling stop for flights between North America […]

Readback: June 2022

More Logging vs. Acting PIC I’ve been a subscriber to your excellent magazine for about 20 years now, and I always enjoy the care with which you treat regulations, which is why I was surprised to read the text at the top of Bill Dolson’s story “High Altitude Training” in the Jan 2022 issue. The […]

On The Air: June 2022

I was flying an airliner a very short distance in the Los Angeles basin. I was under the Class B and the controller asked, “Give me max forward speed. What’ll that be?” I replied, “Well, since we’re under the Class Bravo, it’ll be 200 knots.” ATC: “I don’t see the administrator around here anywhere. Now, […]

5G vs Rad Alt Politics

Airlines and other operators have been using rad alts in safety-critical and supplemental applications for decades without having to worry about data corruption from cell phone towers. Conversely, the telecommunications industry has paid billions of dollars to acquire the rights to transmit on the assigned frequencies. In this article, we’ll discuss use of the radio-frequency […]

Briefing: June 2022

Pilot Fatigue Flagged Pilot and flight attendant unions warn that the biggest airline safety risk is fatigue caused by personnel shortages and the lingering effects of the COVID-19 epidemic. The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association sent an open letter to executives asking them to fix scheduling problems that compound the health impacts of the return to […]

Download The Full May 2022 Issue PDF

  • That Illusive Proficiency
  • Instrument Currency
  • Going Below Minimums
  • Traffic and Winds
  • Night Fright
  • Controller Training
  • Go? Or No Go?
  • Take your Time
  • Forecast Models


IFR vs. VFR Right Of Way

Non-towered Longmont Airport (KLMO) had one RNAV 28 instrument approach. It’s not unusual to have five airplanes in the pattern. On this particular VFR day, one was lifting off from a touch-and-go, another was on crosswind, the third neared midfield downwind, another turned from downwind to base, and another airplane was on short final. In […]

Night Fright

Today’s Sim Challenge is just an out-and-back. You’ll start on the ramp at Santa Maria, California, (KSMX) and hop over the hills a scant 76 NM to Bakersfield Muni (L45). Leg Two is just the reverse. Simple … except you’ll set the outside visuals to deep nighttime with ceilings of 1000 feet at KSMX and […]

Instrument Currency

Instrument pilots know that IMC is challenging and far less forgiving than flying visually. Proficient flying by instruments is a must for us lest we enter the NTSB annals. When the ink on our instrument tickets was still wet, our skills were ultra-sharp. But as time passed, without continued practice those instrument skills slowly atrophied. […]

Take Your Time

Scenic trips over the mountains out west often require creative flight planning. The smaller the aircraft, the more “scenic” the trip. That’s the whole point, so not worrying about how long it takes to make the final destination goes a long way to lighten the risk burden. Then, go in good weather to enjoy the […]

On the Air: May 2022

Star Wars Episode 2 In March 2021, we delved into Star Wars Episode 1 in the JJEDI TWO ARRIVAL (RNAV) into Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International airport. In the tradition of the Star Wars series of movies, there is more to this arrival in Star Wars Episode 2: LLNDO (Lando Calrissian) was a smuggler and gambler who […]