Position Report

Tornado Alley

Tornado Alley

Understanding how convective weather works can help you plan your flight with a higher likelihood of success, as well as safety. You may decide the airplane is better off left in the hangar, unless, of course, the tornado finds your hangar instead.  A low-pressure “bomb cyclone” was straddling the Midwest. A dry line extended through Read More

Avoiding the Strike

Avoiding the Strike

“It came out of nowhere.” If you have every experienced a bird strike or know someone who has, these words might sound familiar. I admit that I uttered them myself recently when a crow-sized bird smacked against my windscreen shortly after I rotated on takeoff. Thankfully, the size of the bird resulted in my plane Read More

How Sharp is Your  Airmanship Sword?

How Sharp is Your Airmanship Sword?

What piloting skill is the most perishable? When I’ve had a lapse in flying as I did recently following my hip surgery, I tend to focus on my instrument procedure skills. More specifically, I prioritize my ability to execute an instrument approach with zero errors and within commercial standards as a key benchmark of my Read More

Return to Service Checklist

Getting back in the saddle following an extended break. A few years ago, I began experiencing discomfort in my hips while running. I was training for a half-marathon – my favorite distance race – and was struggling through my weekly mileage goals. Thinking it was a pulled or overworked muscle, I treated it with heat/cold packs, Read More

What Does it Mean to Be a “Safe Pilot?”

Throughout the history of powered flight, humans attempted to balance safety while stretching to improve the performance and mechanical limitations of the machine. Some of the biggest feats and leaps in technological achievement came with a big dose of risk. Certainly, aviation’s safety record has progressively improved over the last 100 years. Today, we have Read More