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Area navigation using GPS has been around (for us) for about 30 years. Before that we did mostly the same thing using LORAN for a while. But, the National Airspace System was designed around VHF Omni- Range navigation stations, VORs, that long preceded GPS. Technically, there are three types: VORs that just provide azimuth information, […]
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Remember VORs?

Area navigation using GPS has been around (for us) for about 30 years. Before that we did mostly the same thing using LORAN for a while. But, the National Airspace System was designed around VHF Omni- Range navigation stations, VORs, that long preceded GPS. Technically, there are three types: VORs that just provide azimuth information, […]
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On The Air: December 2020

At the end of a five-hour final leg of a cross-country trip from the west coast to Michigan, I was very much ready to stop and stretch my legs. I was descending from 17,000 over Lake Michigan towards Traverse City. I broke out of clouds at the edge of Wisconsin and could see the other shore. […]
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Readback: December 2020

“X” Not Always the Spot Reference September’s article, “Do You Know ICAO?” It might be interesting to note that, while the FAA usually follows ICAO standards, particularly for navigation, the FAA’s computer navigation fixes (an “×” on our instrument charts) are neither adopted nor recognized by ICAO. Adam Vance Allston, MA Tow Bars: Ground Use […]
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Briefing: December 2020

NTSB INVESTIGATING REMOTELY The NTSB hasn’t sent staff to an accident scene since last March and it’s unlikely to start doing so anytime soon. The board issued a travel ban at the outset of the pandemic and it won’t be lifted until COVID-19 is under control. “The safety of NTSB staff is the Chairman’s and […]
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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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Download The Full December 2020 Issue PDF

  • KEEP UP THE GOOD FIGHT
  • Q&A FOR BETTER SA
  • REMEMBER VORs?
  • SAFEST WORD IN FLYING
  • QUIZ: LOW TEMP AIRPORTS
  • ONE AFTER ANOTHER
  • UNDERSTANDING FRONTS
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November 2020 Quiz

As surely as the sun rises, the FAA issued scheduled AIM changes in July. Many of these changes affect IFR operations. Last month we warned you about this quiz, so you surely reviewed those changes. Take our quiz and see how much you retained.
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Download The Full November 2020 Issue PDF

  • EMERGENCY RETURNS
  • PILOT DEVIATIONS
  • BASICMED LACKS ADMIN
  • AIM UPDATE QUIZ
  • DEAL WITH DISTRACTIONS
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Cobbling It Together

Last month’s Clinic took us to western Kentucky where we wrangled a circling-only VOR-A approach. In September, we untangled an ILS/GPS hybrid in upstate New York. For another take on a ground-based approach using GPS, plus a circle-to-land, we head to Alpena, Michigan on the shore of Lake Huron. The lake’s a frequent source of […]
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Accidents: Shear

Once again we delve into aviation accidents. The official 2019 numbers won’t be out until November, but the 2018 NTSB release showed there were 1347 accidents with 393 fatalities. The vast majority of these, as we might expect, were general-aviation accidents, with a sizable number of them due to weather. The airlines, charter operators, and […]
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Deal With Distractions

Many of life’s distractions are enjoyable, but cockpit distractions can have tragic consequences. For years, the NTSB has made “Eliminate Distractions” one of their Ten Most Wanted safety improvements.  In Ernest Gann’s Fate is the Hunter, he describes a night approach as a DC-2 First Officer while Captain Ross lit matches in front of Gann’s […]
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Emergency Returns

Aviation makes us mission-minded. The whole point of these flying machines is to go somewhere and do something, even if that’s just practice following little black lines on the iPad so we can make pretty pictures on FlightAware. That’s what makes practicing emergency returns so important and so frustrating. It’s not fair having something go […]
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