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TECHNIQUE

Around the “Hood”

Over the past months, some of us decided that flying was essential and a social distance of 6000 feet was a thousand times better than six. They got a rare treat: The Class Bravos were their playground. We heard stories of near silence on the frequency in NorCal/SoCal and Boston controllers giving full-length low passes […]
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Dude! You’re Busted!

AIRMET Tango for turbulence was spot on. You’re given “climb and maintain six thousand,” but with the bumps you accidentally enter 7000 in the altitude preselect. Passing through 6,300 feet, you hear your call sign and, “verify level at six.” You stop the climb and head back down. All seems good until 10 minutes later […]
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Catch GPS Errors Early

In our previous episode, we shared seventeen of the most common pilot avionics errors identified in FAA and NASA studies. If 80 percent of consequences come from 20 percent of the causes, knowing even this little goes a long way. Now, using the classic learn-fromour- mistakes reasoning, the FAA then swaps its perspective from reactive […]
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Cutting You Loose

Believe it or not, air traffic controllers don’t issue radar vectors for amusement. I know it might seem like it when you’re getting strung out for a sequence or for traffic, watching the time-equals-money clock ticking away, increasing the costs of your flight. My goal as a controller is to get you on your own […]
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Weather Deconstructed

There’s an old Buddhist saying that the fool sees only the form, while the enlightened person sees the essence. It’s strange to think that religion could give us any insight into aviation weather. But in the same way that gods tend to be elusive, many of the important details in the atmosphere are unseeable and […]
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Avoid the Overrun

Part 91, gives us lots of discretion when it comes to choosing an approach, deciding if it’s legal (and safe) to continue, and then if it’s legal and safe to land. The caveat is that personal judgment, often in the heat of the moment, becomes the catchall for critical phases of flight. This makes us […]
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Advanced Avionics Errors

The FAA and NASA have identified errors commonly made by pilots using advanced avionics. Each of the errors discussed below were unearthed during research in which pilots and flight instructors took part. If we can exorcise these mistakes, our advanced avionics can deliver on their promises of increased safety and utility. Let’s walk through these […]
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Towered Field Ops

It’s Saturday morning at 0730. Weather is VFR and a million, and most of the flight schools and weekend warriors are calling up Ground with the ATIS, ready to go. Add student pilots, crosswinds, a runway closure and more. What are the chances of pilots missing something critical or letting expectation bias hit? That risk […]
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How We Die, Part 2

Too many pilots have died because they attempted instrument flight without a thorough working knowledge of their GPS navigators. Do you need to know all 2000-odd G1000 commands? No, but you need the essentials that apply to any GPS FMS. Preflight Check Your Gear What’s in your GPS? Mainly, is it WAAS equipped? WAAS offers […]
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Near-Miss Understandings

Sequences don’t come much easier. A VFR Mooney and a VFR Cherokee both requested a practice RNAV approach. They were the same distance from the same initial approach fix (IAF), and the Mooney was 50 knots faster than the Cherokee. I gave the Mooney direct to the IAF. The slower Cherokee got a few vectors […]
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No Two Alike

Maybe it’s because the long Midwestern winter is not yet over, but the idea that approach procedures are like snowflakes comes to mind. From a broad view, they’re all the same with minimum weather requirements, descents, altitude restrictions, and missed approaches. But, up close, no two are alike. Such is the case during a short […]
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Airspace Review

The first thing that might be on your mind is; “Aren’t there fewer rules if you are IFR?” Well, kind of. The main example is if you are IFR, you need not worry about weather requirements for entering certain airspace. An IFR clearance in itself provides separation from other aircraft and obstacle clearance in all […]
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