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TRAINING & SIMS

Staying Engaged

Recently I attended a Rusty Pilot session and learned (or re-learned as the case may be) several aspects of our aviating world that laid dormant in my little gray cells for far too long. Although I have been an active presenter of this constructive AOPA educational series for three years, it has been on hold […]

Creative Climb

Low IMC approaches are often the highest-workload procedure for single-pilot, single-engine flights. But departures can be a handful, especially when the weather is between VMC and IMC. Counterintuitive, yes. That’s because there’s more than one option in addition to flying an IFR published procedure. Visual departures followed by IFR routing, obstacle departure procedures (ODPs) that […]

What’s the Vis?

Just one day is all it took for the weather at Dalton, Georgia, KDNN, to go from sunny skies to cloudy and grey. But with higher freezing levels still allowing for cross-countries of modest length, you decided to stick with your plan to fly 211 miles from Louisville, Kentucky, to Dalton. There, you’ll visit a […]

Zooming to Zero-Zero

The weather tanked. Fuel is low. Your right arm even aches in homage to Jimmy Stewart’s plight from Strategic Air Command. The 1955 Hollywood controller stares into the scope and reports the field is 100-¼. He offers a hold at the marker, but you say, “I can’t hold. I’m committed. I don’t have enough fuel […]

Return of Skew-T

Two years have passed since we discussed the Skew-T diagram, and it’s time to re-acquaint ourselves with this tool. This is no easy subject, but we’ll avoid the overly technical talk and focus on the important stuff. Perhaps you resist the Skew-T due to its complexity, figuring you could just grab the upper-level winds and […]

High-altitude Training

Last year I got my multi-engine rating as I consider transitioning to a pressured twin. One of my instructors reminded me that I’d need a high-altitude endorsement to fly something capable of topping 25,000 feet. I probably read that somewhere, but it didn’t register. It’s true—I need the endorsement so I went about getting it. […]

Tight On Fuel

That typical one-hour fuel reserve most of us use for personal flying works great, mainly ’cause we rarely need it. In most cases, there’s...

Go Speed Racer

Today’s sim challenge is a race from Riverside, CA (KRAL) to Santa Monica, CA (KSMO), with stops along the way at Hawthorne (KHHR) and Fullerton (KFUL). It’s a quick trip—and you’re going to make it even shorter. The goal is to fly it as fast as possible, without getting a call from the virtual FAA […]

RTC In Florida

Since I’ve turned more pages in my personal calendar, my insurance required recurrent training increased from once in two years to every year. As much as I hate to admit it, the performance I demonstrated this year—although I was legally current and felt somewhat proficient—suggests that is a reasonable demand. This year, I chose Recurrent […]

Tem-Work In Tampa

The Lear 35 medical-transport flight on which I was the captain had just departed Tampa International (KTPA) for Portland, ME (KPWM) carrying an elderly patient and his wife. It was a busy departure as we were already looking for deviations around the typical Florida summertime thunderstorms. The “pop”—accompanied by the sound of rushing air—came just […]

Roll the Trucks

Some time ago, I wrote about what happens during an emergency in the tower. But wait. There’s more. Of course, few pilots have declared an emergency, and even fewer have actually had an incident or accident. Crashing an airplane is on nobody’s bucket list (I hope), however the probability of surviving a plane crash varies […]

ADS-B TO REPLACE RADAR

Capstone, the first large-scale ADSB prototype, was deployed in Alaska in 1999 because Alaska had (and still has) the highest of any state’s aviation...