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Staying Concise, Staying Solvent

Flight instruction has been a bit SLOw for me over the last month, but the good news is that gave me time to get to some neglected writing projects. Loyal readers may recall that when I released my first iBook a little over two years ago, I mentioned plans to do a whole concise series. Show More Summary

10 years...

I've just realized that on 5 June 2014, I've officially been flying for 10 years.Some brief recollections over the past 10 years and 230+ hours. This comes straight from my memory and I have not gone back and read old posts, but I am glad there is a record of my flying which gives so much more detail than a few words written in my logbook. Show More Summary

Flight Training At Its Best: Al Waterloo

It seems every aviation site and magazine continues to discuss how Flight Training is broken. Travis Ammon of Simple Flight wrote an interesting post, "Lets Quit the Blame Game" earlier this year about how the industry needs to stop focusing...

Is Unknown Ingestion A Valid Defense To A Positive Drug Test Result.?

What happens if you take a drug test and end up with a positive result, but you never took any drugs? Can you convince the FAA not to revoke all of your certificates if you tell them you don't know how the drug metabolites ended up in...Show More Summary

Trust Us — We’re Professionals

The FAA has seen fit to ban all personal electronic devices from the airline cockpit, as well as strongly recommend a similar prohibition for Part 135 and 91K operators. As one who flies a fair number of overnight, long-haul flights,...Show More Summary

A Stab in the Back

We put a lot of time and effort into taking care of our flying machines. On a recent trip, I got a rude reminder that our biological machinery needs the same attention. A pulled back muscle turned into a major pain in the neck just as...Show More Summary

End of an Era: Orange County Soaring Association merging into Cypress Soaring Inc.

As many of you know, Orange County Soaring Association declined significantly in membership and operations after the closure of Hemet to gliding and again after the grounding of the Blanik fleet. I have not written much about this decline in my blog, but frequent readers have probably figured it out by reading between the lines. Show More Summary

Sorry, been awol

I left you all hanging for the second part of my trip to Warbirds over Wanaka.I apologise profusely, but there are some mitigating circumstances. My photos of the event came out pretty damn poorly. This is partly my fault for havingShow More Summary

No news is ...

Greeting from the California Central Coast!The dust is beginning to settle from our recent move and rumor are that I'll begin instructing at the San Luis Obispo Airport later today. Any airplane flies the same way regardless of your location, but the environment is different here. Show More Summary

Climbing the Sky

It was about 90 degrees F at Crystal today. I launched the in PW5 about 1:30 and we encountered some strong lift on tow before reaching the Second Ridge. I don't often let off tow before getting over the ridge, but this was pretty strong, so I did at 6,300' MSL. Show More Summary

The Hacked Airplane

For better or worse, the relentless march of technology means we're more connected than ever, in more places than ever. For the most part that's good. We benefit from improving communication, situational awareness, and reduced pilot workload in the cockpit. Show More Summary

Back to the (Supersonic) Future

While supersonic airliners were all the rage in the 1960s, they never panned out economically because commercial airliners have to turn a profit. But business aircraft do not. They're simply tools for allowing business to be conducted. Show More Summary

User Fees for All

User fees for general aviation have been proposed -- and rejected -- over and over again for nearly two decades. Today something new is in the works: the Federal government has decided to start with the highways instead. It makes meShow More Summary

May 2014 Photos

Expect fewer than average posts over the next few weeks as I prepare to move to the CA central coast. For now, here are some recent photos... Departing Ukiah Mt. Diablo at Sunset Flying the Eastern Sierra En route San Diego Heading South Hold at KACBY Lee Vining Mono Lake Approaching Mono Lake Near Lake Mendocino Over US 395 Eastern Sierra Turbulence Over Truckee

Learning to Fly — Without An Instructor?

Just how important is the instructor when it comes to learning to fly? That might be a surprising question for an CFI to ask, but the longer I teach, the more cognizant I become of the many ways in which an instructor can function as a barrier to the student's progress. Show More Summary

The Contract Pilot

As much as one may love flying, it can be a tough career choice. Many pilots struggle through the food chain only to end up discouraged, if not downright hating their job. We're all aware of the reasons: low pay, long days, little respect,...Show More Summary

April Showers and other Photos

Approaching Long Beach Awaiting IFR release Over Castro Valley Y Unusual, late April storm, dodging the yellow stuff Left Base RWY 34, Yolo County Santa Rosa Seven departure Right downwind, somewhere near Lake Merritt Resume direct OAK...Show More Summary

What's An Aircraft Bailment?

If you are a maintenance facility and you work on other people's aircraft, it is a good bet that a bailment relationship is created with the owners of the aircraft you maintain. For more information on how a bailment relationship isShow More Summary

Our Flying Family

People instinctively looking skyward when they hear the whine of a jet engine passing overhead; it’s in our nature to long for a place in the sky, and even though some airspace in the world may be contested, aviation can bring human beings together in impossible ways. Show More Summary

Breaking the Rules: Teaching Snap Rolls

Efficient aerobatic instruction is challenging enough when you're doing a loop, hammerhead, or Cuban. Those figures last ten or fifteen seconds. A snap roll is over in about one second, and what's happening is far more involved. So how...Show More Summary

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