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...

Threats and errors

Airlines, large corporate flight departments and the FAA all have a sufficiently vested interest in keeping aviation safe that they dump money into safety research. Because pilot error is one of the leading killers, it stands to reason that the biggest opportunity for improving safety comes from reducing pilot errors.

Hey buddy, got a light?

Paul Smith was boring through the dark of night in a Cessna 182, heading in to Shelton, Wash. He kept fumbling with his red-lensed flashlight to read his charts or write something on his kneeboard and, in that great entrepreneurial spirit, thought, There has to be a better way.

What drives Tower Nuts

Ive got a Cessna 172 rolling out on the runway, an American Eagle Embraer 145 on two-mile final, a Beechcraft Bonanza in the downwind with a pair of V-22 Osprey tiltrotors inbound to follow, a Lifeflight medical helicopter departing a hospital next door, and a pair of Navy T-45 Goshawk jet trainers calling me, ready at the hold short line.

Handling ILS anomalies

Our CRJ-200 was sliding down through an overcast layer, following the glideslope to Runway 28 at Chicago OHare. Everything was normal, just like it always is. My airline job means I make this approach a couple of times a week.

Maximizing Datalink

Maximizing DatalinkThere's plenty more to using datalink weather than, "Don't fly through the red stuff." By layering information, you can build a more complete...

Precautionary Diverts

Its probably happened to you: Something en route made you consider not continuing to your intended destination. Now youre faced with the myriad choices of why, when, where and how to divert.

Curved Course Nav

Contributing editor Joe Shelton recently wrote about his use of the "turn 10, twist 10" method of flying a DME arc. But with a...

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...