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TECHNIQUE

Which Way to Turn?

Every seasoned pilot occasionally finds a stubborn thunderstorm blocking the path like a bully in the schoolyard. We wonder not only where to deviate but whats on the other side. If you have a weather display, youve got a better idea of what lies ahead, but theres always uncertainty about how safe it is to cross the area. An understanding of thunderstorm patterns and ingredients, and considering the basic meteorology pattern of the day is…

The GPS/ILS Approach

A flying friend of mine likes to say that you know you're into something interesting when you have to sign a waiver beforehand. In...

The Vis

Visual approaches have been in the news a lot recently. On July 6, Asiana Airlines Flight 214 hit a seawall short of San Francisco's...

Obstacle Clearance

When we think of GPS-based instrument approaches, we usually lump all the approach minima into a single "GPS approach" bucket. We tend to mentally...

Crashing Sucks

Years ago I was briefly involved in motorcycle road racing. T-shirts with the slogan, Crashing Sucks and a suitable graphic were quite popular. Even then, I thought how appropriate that slogan also was for aviation. Now we find ourselves with back-to-back airliner crashes while landing in visual conditions and Im reminded of just how appropriate that slogan is to aviation. Crashing sucks for all the obvious reasons, but we must also remember that aviation is a…

IFR with Reduced ATC

Just as we put this issue to bed, the US legislature passed a bill funding ATC by allowing the FAA to raid our airport...

Simplified Circling

The circle to land has proven throughout aviation history to be one of the least understood, least practiced and most feared maneuvers. Add the...

Flying Fatigued

Most of us know that the F in IM SAFE stands for fatigue. Now, fatigue isnt cited as a significant factor in many general aviation accidents, so we must be doing a pretty good job of being properly rested, right?

Stupid Pilot Tricks

Why do holiday newsletters begin with, "It's hard to believe another year has passed"? Have we not yet accepted the earth's orbit around the...

Readback: February 2014

Fly the SimThanks very much for the October 2013 "Simplified Circling" article by Dog Brenneman. He mentioned that "we just don't get a lot...

Planning for a Letdown

Cruise through aviation forums on the Internet and you'll find descent planning is a popular topic. Ask how people plan their descent and answers...

Good Old Dive-n-Drive

Everyone seems to be on the constant descent final approach (CDFA) bandwagon these days, telling us to avoid the trusted and long-used dive-n-drive technique on non-precision approaches. To be clear, I am not arguing against using a CDFA technique. Indeed, CDFA is a valuable tool. Add the availability of an advisory glideslope from modern navigators-although not required for a CDFA-and CDFA becomes as simple as an ILS. So, why use dive-n-drive at all? Im glad you asked.