March 2019

Great Getaways

Springtime is my favorite time of the year. Nature comes back to life, the birds are singing, and – if you listen carefully – you’ll hear the sound of Lycomings, Continentals and Pratts awakening from their cozy hangars to spool up for the year’s adventures. As we begin to thaw, it’s time to start thinking Read More


In Response to Kevin Ware’s “A Medical Look at Hypoxia” (December) I want to compliment you on the article you published on hypoxia. It is by far the best article that I have read on the subject, and I am much wiser on the topic as a result of your efforts. You make a great Read More

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

The Takeoff Briefing

Think for a moment about everything you need to know or watch out for as you take off. Begin to list everything, and you’ll soon find the list is very long. How many different things do you need to consider before taking off? How can you make certain you don’t miss anything? Everyone uses (or Read More

Great Getaways: Gaston’s White River Resort

 Gaston’s White River Resort, located in the picturesque Arkansas Ozarks, understands the value of an on-location runway. The popular pilot destination boasts a 3,200-foot grass strip and welcomes a wide range of aircraft including Piper Cubs, Beechcraft Barons, Quest Kodiaks and Pilatus PC-12s. Clint Gaston, the current owner and grandson of Gaston’s founder, claims guests Read More

An Unforgettable Journey

The first time I heard the Skyhawk check in on frequency, I was 30 miles off the coast of Georgetown, Guyana. From the sound of it, they appeared to be about 60 miles behind me and based on our mutual headwind, probably only doing about 90 knots. I had no idea who they were or Read More

B-29 “Doc” Finds Forever Home

When I first saw Doc in 2013, the B-29 was in a Boeing Quonset hut hangar unpolished with faded nose art and missing engines. Today, after more than 16 years of restoration, it is an active flying tribute to the Greatest Generation. As its third airshow season approaches, we received a private tour of the Read More

Engine Maintenance Programs: Are They Worth It?

If you want to start a lively discussion with turbine and turboprop aircraft owners, ask their opinion about engine maintenance programs. Some owners consider them cost-effective, while others believe it is financially advantageous to pay directly for repairs and inspections as required. I own turbine-powered airplanes as well as assist owners with acquiring or selling Read More

Five on the Fly: Susan Carastro

  WHO: Susan Carastro POSITION: Veterinary Ophthalmologist, Owner-Pilot HOMEBASE: West Palm Beach, FL (LNA) RATINGS: CFI, MEI, ATP FLIGHT HOURS: 2,300   1. Can you describe your introduction to general aviation?  Aviation is in my DNA. My father was a pilot in the Air Force while my mother got her private ticket in 1956 and Read More

Fly Cooler: The Story of Jet Shades

 Kevin Duggan, the founder of Jet Shades, loves flying but often found himself unbearably hot while in the cockpit on the ground in his home state of Florida. He faced the same dilemma above the clouds (even with air conditioning), struggling to shade his eyes from the bright sun. He tried the usual solutions like Read More

It’s All About the APU

It is 8 degrees Fahrenheit on the ground in Lincoln, Nebraska with ice and snow on the ramp, and a nasty wind blowing down from somewhere near the Arctic circle. Having just arrived by airline, fellow Lear pilot Tim and I are cautiously slipping and sliding our way across the icy ramp to the FBO Read More

Enfoque No Autorizado (Approach Not Authorized)

Trees, TERPS and Bilingual Lingo Perhaps our litigious, lawsuit-happy society is to blame for the migration of carefulness into all aspects of our lives. With the plethora of scattered notes and cautions, even our instrument procedures can seem as if they’re written in a foreign language. But threatening cautions, warnings and notes usually appear after Read More


I am not sure if you have noticed, but there has been a rash of landing accidents or “runway excursions” lately. Sometimes weather related, but often just plain poor planning. Mistakes so fundamental that the pilot could have predicted the result before he or she even took off. One fatal accident involving a Phenom 300 Read More