Dangerous Rudder

Dangerous Rudder

Traditional oral exams begin with a cavalcade of numbers. The multitude of airspeeds, weights and operating restrictions that are regurgitated inevitably succumb to mist within a week (humans are horrible at remembering arbitrary numbers). Fortunately, most of the important stuff is depicted by color-coding on gauges. Everyone knows that red represents a restriction, yellow indicates Read More

Lessons in Leadership

Lessons in Leadership

Exactly one month into the new millennium, Alaska Air flight 261 crashed into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Los Angeles. It was a scheduled international flight from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to Seattle-Tacoma Airport in Washington. There were two pilots, three cabin crew members and 83 passengers on board. There were no survivors. The Read More

Magenta Sky: Know Your Radar

Magenta Sky: Know Your Radar

In addressing thunderstorm flying, the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) begins with this gem: “Never regard any thunderstorm lightly, even when radar echoes are of light intensity. Avoiding thunderstorms is the best policy.” It sounds like sage advice. One of those things that are great in theory, but rapidly becomes muddled in the grey shades of Read More