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The Real Problem with LAX

A Los Angeles-based news outlet asked for my thoughts on how to "fix LAX". Many Angelinos are probably wondering how to do that, too. Unfortunately, the real problem with the airport isn't the airport at all. It's much larger and has...Show More Summary

Simple Things

Whether it's wrist watches, iPads, flash lights, kneeboards, or ADS-B receivers, pilots love gadgets. We love the features our smart phones, tables, and GPS units have to offer, but complexity comes at a cost and at the end of the day, simple things often serve us best. Show More Summary

As the silly season descends

Just a quick catch up.Three things I want to talk about.On November the 20th 2014, at 9am, I walked out and strapped on WAM for a trip around the circuit. Oh great you think, just another circuit trip, but this was no ordinary flight. Show More Summary

A Self-Evident Solution

While the FAA employs many quality individuals, as a whole, the agency seems to be falling apart on us. Here are several examples of how FAA policies are hurting GA and how the trend can be reversed. Related posts: The Journey of a Thousand...Show More Summary

Teaching a Homeless Man to Fly

A fellow pilot recently wrote about teaching a homeless man to fly. His post reminded me that I once did the same thing, and in the process learned a valuable lesson about how we can be our own worst enemy when it comes to achievingShow More Summary

Should You Buy Replacement Aircraft Identification Plates on the Internet?

These days, when I want to buy something, aviation related or otherwise, usually the first place I look is the internet. It is amazing what you can find and buy from the convenience of your computer. However, what happens is you need...Show More Summary

November 2014 Photos

Night approach, Hayward Beneath a Tupperware sky Between layers, near Healdsburg CFI's lunch, Crixa Style! Cruising on a whole different level Night approach over the East Bay During egine out practice, smiling is optional AdjustingShow More Summary

Back in the (small) saddle

Due to the transition into the new club, I had not flown the PW5 since June. First I needed to get checked out in the club's "A1" level ship, the Krosno. Then I needed a ground checkout with an instructor to be able to fly the "A2" level (single-seat) gliders. Show More Summary

First flight in PW6

The club has a PW6, the two-seat version of the PW5 I have flown for many years. The club ships are categorized by performance and complexity, and the PW6 is in a higher category than the Krosno I recently got checked out in, so in order to fly it I need to go through another pair of instructor flights. Show More Summary

Upset Recovery Training: Not Just a Fad

Upset recovery training is a big industry buzzword. Is it really a worthwhile investment of a pilot's time and money, or is this just the latest safety fad? And what's the difference between "upset recovery" and "aerobatics" anyway? Related posts: Will This Thing Roll? You know you've thought about it. Show More Summary

A Ball of Blue

NATS, the British ATC entity, recently published a video modeling a day's air traffic over southern England. It's an impressive technical achievement, but it left me feeling sad about what's missing from the skies over there. Related...Show More Summary

Frying without a Skillet

There has always been (and probably always will be) a group of less proficient pilots who key the mic and take up valuable air time as they natter on, collecting their thoughts as they go, talking to ATC in an oddly conversational style. Show More Summary

Who’s the Best?

You probably remember that scene from Top Gun where Tom Cruise scans a briefing room full of hot-shot pilots during his first day at the famous Naval Fighter Weapons School and wonders "who the best is". Top Gun was a fictional tale, of course... Show More Summary

Late October 2014 Photos

Direct Pomona Artsy Sunset First storm of Autumn Season Autopilot On, Nothing much to do... Dueling Winglets @ KACV Engine-out ILS: What a zero sideslip looks like on the G1000 On top, near Fortuna Right crosswind, Byron... Over Sears Point... er, I mean Infineon Raceway Vectors Oakland Descent into LA Basin Another long drive home...

ADS-B: Now or Later?

Whether you're flying a Cherokee or a Challenger, the ADS-B equipment mandate is looming larger with every passing month. The question aircraft owners are starting to ask is: should I bite the bullet now, or wait until closer to 2020?...Show More Summary

And not a moment too soon

I went up in a Tecnam P2008 to get current again. When I opened the door I was greeted with a placard on the instrument panel stating that Vfe had been changed from 68 knots to 80 knots. You may remember I made comments about this when I first flew one a couple of years ago. Show More Summary

Liability: The Price We Pay

Liability concerns are a major expense and motivator for many industries. That's why Superman costumes come with warnings that "the cape does not enable the wearer to fly", Zippo cautions the user not to ignite the lighter in your face, and irons are sold with tags advising against ironing clothes while they're being worn. Show More Summary

Gulfstream’s New G500 & G600

It's Christmas for airplane geeks: the wrapping has finally come off the shiny new multi-million dollar toys from those aerodynamic elves at Gulfstream! Here are my thoughts about today's big reveal of the G500 and G600 business jets. Related...Show More Summary

P42: The Mystery Ship

Something new is brewing on the eastern shore of Georgia, and it's going to make a big splash in the aerospace industry soon. Thousands of people on the inside know what it is, but for years the vault door has remained firmly -- and admirably -- closed. Show More Summary

Do You Know What "Pilot Performance" and "Professional Competence" Mean Under PRIA?

If you are an employer who receives Pilot Records Improvement Act ("PRIA") requests, you know that it can sometimes be hard to determine exactly which records do and do not need to be disclosed. If you are pilot, not only do you want...Show More Summary

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