The Problem with Juneau

The Problem with Juneau

I am sitting in the left seat of a King Air 300 simulator configured for the Runway 08 departure from the Juneau Airport (PAJN) in low IFR conditions. I have the power up and the airplane rolling only to find the simulator (unlike a real King Air) has more rudder pedal sensitivity than a Pitts Special Read More

Going Anyway

Going Anyway

It was the beginning of the Memorial Day weekend and the Midwest was experiencing an unprecedented level of convective weather with thunderstorms, tornadoes and flooding all urgently reported by the TV news. Unfortunately, a longstanding Lear client of the company I fly for had an unexpected death in the family and needed to attend the Read More

Check Ride

Check Ride

We are in a Lear 45 at 15,000 feet over the far northwestern corner of the continental United States, just on the edge of the Olympic mountain range near a VOR called Tatoosh (TOU). The weather is crummy, with cloud layers every 200 feet or so, making visual flight between them almost impossible. The purpose Read More

Imaginary Controls

Imaginary Controls

For some strange reason (perhaps my medical training), I have a particular fascination with horrific diseases. Over time, this interest has led me to faraway places such as Bergen, Norway where Dr. Hansen discovered the bacteria that causes leprosy, a disease that now bears his name. Leprosy itself is a ghastly condition that causes the Read More

Small Mistakes

Small Mistakes

Pilots are an odd group of people. They tend to be perfectionists who have an element of obsessive-compulsive behavior, and hate making mistakes, even very small ones. No matter how hard they try, most pilots rarely achieve a “perfect” flight where everything mechanically and performance-wise is flawless.  I suffer from this malady. So much so Read More