IFR proficiency Online

I recently endured the annual torment known as recurrent training for FAA FASTeam Rep status. The process is just a minor torment: two 45-minute, pre-recorded sessions of narrated PowerPoint with quizzes at the end. Its the kind of training thats more a checkbox on some bureaucratic tally sheet than any effective means of teaching.

Dont Fear The Red X

As a technician, I think of EFIS in terms of failures. While most pilots don't need to dig deep into system schematics, a little...

Automation Paradigm

Until just recently, the role for most pilots was pilot flying with manual control, occasionally supplemented with autoflight when the workload was high and...

Avidyne Ups the Ante

From my bench at the avionics shop, I see a lot of interest in Avidyne's new IFD-series navigators. Many potential buyers are intrigued by...

On The Visual

Instrument training is naturally geared towards technology-heavy procedures like ILS, VOR and RNAV approaches. In poor weather these instrument procedures are the only way to land, but when the weathers good, theres another option.

You Landed-Now What?

I love GPS. It's absolutely great the way you can program the most complex route from anywhere to anywhere else. With a little help...

Everywhere but There

Finally, youve arrived at your destination. What a flight… As you complete your shutdown checklist, you happen to glance down at your kneeboard. Frustration wells up at what you see: your flight log.

Good Habits Gone Bad

Good habits are an important part of being a safe pilot. Habits encourage consistency, which helps a pilot do the right things at the right times. But there are dark sides to habits. Even if we do the right thing at the right time, its easy to miss something if were distracted while mindlessly performing our habit. Or, a normally good habit can be absolutely the wrong thing if invoked at the wrong time. Plus, any habit done by rote without recognition or thought can be dangerous. Perhaps worst, if were performing these habits without monitoring them we can slip into bad habits.

Train the System

When I was 10 years old, my father took me on a driving vacation from Chicago into central Canada. On the lonely back roads we would switch places and hed let me drive. It was easy. When we reached civilization, though, we always switched back-just because I could steer and operate the pedals didnt mean I could drive in town, with its right-of-way rules, stop signs, pedestrians, and so on.

Fly Into BigCity IntL

If none of your vast experience involves a major international airport, it is incomplete. There are times when flying into a big airport is...


Fly IFR in busy airspace and eventually youll have one of those much ado about nothing experiences. It starts with a clearance you dutifully put in your navigator-and then repeatedly change or completely ignore until you get a clearance to resume the plan you were given at the start.

Real bird vs. RedBird

The physical world is full of inverse proportions and one I've noticed is that when winter temperatures dip to, say, 20 degrees, my northern...