Revisiting RAIM

Receiver Autonomous Integrity Monitoring is a mouthful, but it’s descriptive. RAIM independently assesses the integrity of positions reported by a GPS receiver. RAIM is essential because half a dozen error sources can result in position errors ranging from negligible to unsafe. RAIM detects and, in some cases, corrects these errors. Only then can a pilot know […]

Threading Needles

It’s not fun trying to make a left turn out of my neighborhood. It exits onto a busy, six-lane road. There’s no traffic light, just a gap in the median. Cutting across steady traffic demands patience, timing, and good judgment. Mistakes can be costly. The asphalt is littered with shrapnel from cars whose owners tried […]

When Ya Gotta Circle

It’s a cloudy, breezy day, and you’re flying the family from northern Iowa to Chanute in southeastern Kansas. Other than a headwind and a Convective SIGMET covering part of the way, there’s no significant weather occurring, and the forecast is steady. So the concern at hand is the approach: Which one? There are two choices, […]

Increased Workload

Since starting in 1984, I’ve logged over 1800 hours in more than 45 aircraft types. As much of this has been in the past four years under the employ of a major avionics shop, the recent experience factor provides a bit of confidence, especially since I’m quite familiar with most avionics offered today. A trip […]

Too Old To Fly?

For most of us, flying is a passion we absolutely do not want to give up. This article will discuss clues on when it is time to reconsider your flying status. Even in our prime, we humans are not good at self-assessment. To be a pilot requires self-confidence, but when might that become self-delusion? During […]

Extending the Glide

Few of us will never need a 180-degree turn back to a runway following a power failure. But, if you ever do, here is a trick for you to consider. Recently, a Beechcraft B36TC Bonanza was cleared for takeoff from Runway 10L at North Perry Airport (KHWO), located six miles southwest of Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International […]

Unpleasant Surprises

When I was learning to fly, my instructor would say, “A good flight comes from good information.” Surprises in the cockpit aren’t generally good things. To avoid them, you absorb data, whether it’s a preflightweather brief, the information on the ATIS, or what your instruments are telling you. You take these disparate pieces and assemble […]

In The Zone

Thanks to some typical spring weather in the air, it’s cloudy, hazy, and breezy at Chadron Muni, Nebraska. But you’re well briefed on what to expect while flying the RNAV (GPS) RWY 21 approach procedure. Given the conditions and this being a new destination for you, it turned out to be a smart move to […]


On average, aviators know what a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is. However, do they know that depending on the TFR, there are exceptions to the “No Fly” edict? But wait. “Depending on the TFR?” Okay, so there is obviously more than one type, but just how many different TFRs are there? Enough for you to […]


You’re feeling pretty good as you descend towards your destination airport. Under Center’s watch, you’ve just checked the latest ATIS, briefed the advertised approach to Runway 27, and you’ve got your avionics all set accordingly. Center switches you to Approach. Your check in with Approach ends with, “…and I’ve got information Charlie.” Approach responds, “Expect […]


Circadian rhythm is the daily alteration in a person’s behavior and physiology controlled by an internal biological clock in the brain. Body temperature, melatonin levels, cognitive performance, alertness levels, and sleep patterns are all subject to our circadian rhythm. A circadian challenge refers to the difficulty of operating in opposition to an individual’s normal circadian […]

Code of Conduct

The word “Model” is in the title because it articulates ways to achieve flying excellence without a canned set of rules. Tailor the code to help you become the best, safest aviator possible. Prerequisites The first prerequisite is a clear understanding of the fundamentals of flight. The code is not specific, but those four fundamentals […]