When I took my first flying lesson at age 18, I knew…nothing. I even thought a stall was killing the engine, like when I let the clutch out too fast in my car. But I learned, and after only a few hours I was performing aerodynamic stalls with aplomb, if not expertise. Years later, still a private pilot, a friend introduced me to a prolonged stall where you didnt recover and just keep the wings level with rudder. We called that the falling leaf after the swaying back and forth that occurred.
Technically advanced aircraft (TAA)-those with a primary flight display (PFD), multi-function display (MFD), and GPS-are sexy. Pilots are drawn to them like Pooh Bear to honey. Besides being eye-catching, TAA attempt to address some of the biggest problems in aviation by providing pilots with a lot of supplementary safety information. Moving maps designed to improve situational awareness make it almost impossible to get lost. Databases store more information at the touch of a button than…
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...
Three interesting news items came through my e-mail today. The first was the NTSBs findings that, while there were some contributing factors, the pilots of Asiana 214 simply screwed up, particularly in their use of the automation in their aircraft.
There are many tidbits of wisdom we learn during our lives. One of those I recall hearing a long time ago was, If you like sausage, never go to a sausage factory. Seeing the product being produced from the various raw ingredients might keep you from ever eating it again. But, what would happen if you had no choice but to eat sausage? Would you still stay away from the factory? Or would you want to learn all you could about sausage and sausage making?
With the dramatically increasing capabilities and decreasing prices for simulators, theyve become an essential tool for serious training. Is anyone not yet convinced?
When I first switched from a comfortable career in hi-tech to the uncertainty and low pay of a regional airline pilot, I was frequently asked for advice about a career in aviation. Its a common joke among airline pilots to tell those seeking advice about the career to run away. Thats still the flippant advice I initially offer when Im asked, as a reader recently did.