Currency, Competence and Confidence

Currency, Competence and Confidence

In my area of the country at least (Pacific Northwest), the COVID pandemic has resulted in a serious reduction in the amount of business and personal flying being conducted. This has been particularly noticeable to pilots like me who fly professionally on a fill-in or contract basis. Even the full-time guys are just barely getting Read More

Under Pressure: Lessons in Piston Cabin Pressurization

Under Pressure: Lessons in Piston Cabin Pressurization

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a paradoxical effect on aviation: flying hours are way down while maintenance shops are way busier. I think this is largely due to the reduction in flight hours producing downtime that owners then use to have their airplanes worked on. This has certainly been the case with my own Cessna Read More

To Trade or Not to Trade

To Trade or Not to Trade

For the past 20 years, I have owned the same airplane: a 1979 RTSOL RAM VII Cessna 340A. From time to time, there is a maintenance event, artful advertising from a manufacturer or colorful photos in one of the aircraft sales magazines that makes me wonder, “Maybe I should change to a different airplane.” This Read More

Lucky People

Over the past several months, the COVID-19 problem dramatically reduced the number of executives flying business jets around the country to meet with customers. But, that doesn’t mean all flying has come to a standstill. Much of the piston and propeller fleet has been flying just fine, and quite fortunately, so have I – though Read More

Stuff Happens

Stuff Happens

As much as we try to personalize them, airplanes are above all mindless mechanical devices that wear down and break at regular intervals, in spite of our mechanic’s best efforts. When this occurs, the pilots involved (and I am definitely one of them) invariably tend to blame themselves and lie awake at night thinking about Read More