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 […]

Closure Conundrums

Night had fallen outside my approach control. I was settling into my chair in the radar room when Center handed me a Cessna 172. Remarks showed it was an IFR training flight to one of our Class D satellite airports. I checked the time. That airport’s tower was closing momentarily. We routinely ran non-towered ops […]

Stupid Pilot Tricks

This maze of hallways is the archives of aviation’s greats—not the Stupid Pilot Tricks Repository. We’re awed by images of the Montgolfier brothers and their good sense to launch the world’s first flyable aircraft with a sheep, rooster and duck before stocking its basket with humans (who weren’t themselves). While they were brilliant, Jacques-Etienne Montgolfier […]

ATC Versus Pilot Regs

You might have heard the old adage, “The flight cannot be cleared for departure until the gross weight of the paperwork exceeds that of the aircraft.” While cynical, this reference to all the required processes, rules, and regulations makes a good point. Regulations and procedures for pilots largely mirror those of ATC, but these might […]