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Stupid Pilot Tricks

Yes, we’d done as we were told. The hushed voice on the phone had promised a copy the 2019 Golden File from the Official Office of Plane Safety (OOPS)—the nearly magical file that contained that august organization’s conclusions as to which nonfatal aircraft accidents were the result of the most boneheaded moves by people who […]

GPS Nav Problems

These pages often contain encouragement to pilots not to become so completely reliant on GPS that its loss constitutes no less than an emergency. GPS, both panel-mount and portable, can fail for external and internal reasons. Read about these GPS-failure events culled from ASRS reports. We hope this article will lead you to get some […]

You Can’t Rush Things

Flying in the system is about, well, flying, and not so much about checking the boxes of 14 CFR Part 91-fill-in-the-blank. Yet the rules are always in the background, directing your tasks. You (usually) don’t check the regulations; moreover, they’re in different places in the rulebook, or in a different book altogether. And, they’re in […]

On the Air: January 2023

One day when flying from Iqaluit, Canada (CYFB) to Sault Ste. Marie in Michigan (KANJ) at Flight Level 360 we heard the following exchange on Guard, 121.5: “Bonjour Montreal, C1243, Flight Level 290.” Someone came back and said, “You’re on guard.” Quickly, the other pilot said, “Well, you are on Guard.” And the other pilot […]

Briefing: January 2023

Pilots and Emotional Intelligence Pilots tend to have lower emotional intelligence scores than the rest of the population and researchers are looking at what that means for training and culture at aircraft operations. “Overall, the findings show that pilots tend to have lower trait EI scores, indicating less confidence and reliance on their emotional world, […]

Readback: January 2023

Go? Or No-Go? I read with interest your “Go? Or No-Go?” Remarks in the September 2022 issue, where you analyzed that choice in light of a failed aux-tank fuel pump, without which you could complete your trip. If you can test the system, as you’re doing, without solely relying on it in such a way […]

Download The Full December 2022 Issue PDF

  • Unreliable Airspeed
  • Electronic ATIS and clearance
  • Find your practical balance
  • Useful surface charts
  • Flight Plans
  • PDC: File, Read, Fly
  • Build Your Own Sim, Pt. 3
  • How Your Senses Lie to You
  • Don’t Cancel Yet
  • Reading Surface Charts

Sim Inadequacy

Often I’ve railed against the inability of approved aviation training devices (sims) to mimic the aircraft we fly. If your panel has had any upgrades, you’ll generally not find a sim that comes close. This limits the value of sim training in maintaining proficiency for your aircraft. So, why not train in your airplane? Training […]

Unreliable Airspeed

With “steam gauge” round dials, the airspeed reading was mechanically determined inside the airspeed indicator. Likewise, the altimeter had its own independent mechanical movement, and the vertical speed indicator had a similar arrangement. In today’s digitally integrated cockpits, the altitude, airspeed, and vertical speed are developed from solid state sensors inside an air data computer […]

Don’t Cancel Yet

The flight to your vacation destination ended a few miles short with an unplanned overnight in Virginia. The trip started from home base in Minnesota and included an unexpected icing encounter followed by a closed runway that required a diversion. By contrast, it’s an uneventful start early the next day to fly VFR with your […]

Build Your Own Sim, Pt. 3

Last time in this series on building a home simulator we said that Part Three would discuss adding third-party extensions to your basic sim. We’re going to keep that topic as “next time” and instead jump into a debate about how far you should, or need, to take your project. An argument is made that […]