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Redbird Pro Early Look

When your instrument ticket was brand new your skills were ultra-sharp. But over time, winter doldrums, aircraft maintenance, etc. that proficiency atrophied. Indeed, research backs up the “use it or lose it” proficiency adage—see the sidebar. Flying in IMC is unforgiving, with the chance of an occupant perishing in an accident nine times higher than […]

Infamous Aspen

Aspen is home to the rich and famous—senators, movie stars, and industry titans all have second homes here. Aspen is the home of the $10 cup of coffee. And aside from the high prices, what’s not to like? Aspen is the ultimate cute little mountain town that progress has not spoiled. There is fresh air […]

Putting Pieces in Place

In the grand scheme of air traffic control, Ground Control sometimes seems to be a supporting position. Radar’s taking fast-moving arrival streams and forging them into precise, parallel finals. Tower’s launching aircraft in the tight gaps between arrivals. Meanwhile, GC’s airplanes are … lumbering across concrete. It may not be sexy, but Ground’s my favorite […]

Readback: October 2022

How’s That TAA Work Again? When looking at the KGSO GPS Rwy 5R approach in “Gettin Down” from June 2022, I thought the TAA in this case was the 30 NM arc from COSIS. So at 25 NM heading 052 toward COSIS I should be at 4100, at 13 NM 3000. Once cleared for the […]

Briefing: October 2022

COMMERCIAL ACCIDENT RATE DROPS The global accident rate for commercial flights dropped by 9.8 percent in 2021 over 2020 according to stats released by the International Civil Aviation Authority. The rate fell to 1.93 accidents per one million departures in 2021 down from 2.14 per million the previous year. The report covers all commercial fixed-wing […]

See and Avoid

Watsonville, California, is where my Cessna 340 and I used to be based. It’s also where, as I write this, just a few days ago another Cessna 340 and a Cessna 152 unsuccessfully attempted to occupy the same place in the pattern at the same time. The resulting destruction of two aircraft and death of […]

Download the Full September 2022 Issue PDF


Readback: September 2022

Cleared to Land. Again. It is always interesting to hear ATC’s side of the story—in particular Elim Hawkins’ response to Runway Separation in April’s “Questions Answered.” After 60 years of flying I’ve pretty much seen it all and this one was and is no different. I fly into OSH every year and enjoy the arrival […]

Tale of Two Approaches

According to recent FAA statistics, there are approximately 1292 “plain vanilla” ILS approaches that are designed to Cat I minimums—usually a DH of 200 feet AGL and visibility of ½ SM. This excludes Cat II and III and Cat I ILS approaches requiring Special Authorization. Most ILS Cat I approaches also provide minimums for a […]

On The Air: September 2022

As a CFI, I recently had the opportunity to attend a Mooney Pilot Proficiency Program at KSMX, Santa Maria airport, up the coast from Los Angeles. We were told that we could do approaches—but no landings or touch and goes—at nearby Vandenberg Space Force Base (KVBG). We thought this would be a great opportunity. Once […]

Weather Accidents

The United States. “What a country!” as comedian Yakov Smirnoff once said. It’s equipped with first-class observation systems, sophisticated forecast models, and a lively research community. It has what is undoubtedly the most extensive weather infrastructure of any country in the world, and this is in part due to North America’s notoriously temperamental weather. It’s […]