May 2020

GA Assembles Coronavirus Aid

The general aviation industry has long served as a lifeline to people and communities in crisis. Previously, that spirit of service predominantly showed itself during natural disaster relief missions. But today, faced with the novel coronavirus crisis, aviation leaders and businesses have been quick to step up once again. Some of the biggest examples can Read More

Make the Most of Your Moments

I don’t know about you, but it’s been a long month.  When the quarantine started, I had big plans. If I couldn’t fly, I would dig in and improve my knowledge on a wide range of aviation topics. Perhaps begin the bookwork on a new rating or start an article I’ve been meaning to tackle. If Read More

Piston Power Series: Cessna 310 and Beechcraft Baron

Two special people entered my work life about three years ago, also bringing along two special airplanes: Gerald West with his Cessna 310Q, and Deanna Wallace with a Beechcraft Baron 58. I would have enjoyed life with these two even without the airplanes, but they make the relationship all the more sweeter.  For decades, Gerald Read More

Five on the Fly: Mark Baker

WHO: Mark Baker COMPANY: Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA) Position: President and CEO Home base: Florida Keys Marathon International Airport  (KMTH) RATINGS: Commercial pilot with single and multiengine land and seaplane ratings, rotorcraft rating, and type ratings in the Cessna Citation 500 and 525s and DC-3 HOURS: 15,000 1. What are the top issues Read More

Citation Training at LOFT

I recently added an FAA Part 135 Citation 525-series Captain position with Jet Methods (based at Palomar, California) to my aviation experiences. The process required an interesting combination of ground, online and flight training. Each charter certificate holder has a set of FAA-approved operating specifications known as “OpSpecs.” They detail everything from dispatching the airplane, maintenance, Read More

A Guide to the Citation 560XL Series (Part 3): The Art of Painting Your Airplane

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably shocked by the price of an aircraft paint job these days. Just 10 years ago, I remember getting paint quotes from a reputable shop on a mid-size jet for around $60,000 to $70,000. Those days are long gone, unfortunately. This got me wondering, “Why is painting an aircraft Read More

The Virus

A seemingly simple Lear 31 trip turned into a journey fraught with frustration, inconveniences and unexpected risks. We were to pick up two of our regular passengers, one of them a teenager, the other his mother in her 40s. They were going to Palm Desert for three to four days to get some sun and Read More

1.21 Gigawatts! Airplanes and electricity: the best of friends; the worst of friends.

Who can forget Dickens’ primer from “The Tale of Two Cities” (modified here for relevance), or the iconic line from the 1985 blockbuster film “Back To The Future”? Christopher Lloyd, as Dr. Emmet Brown, delivers the classic 1.21 gigawatts line and its follow-on: “How could I have been so careless? 1.21 gigawatts; Tom, how am Read More

First Solo–Again

"November seven three zero Juliet Alpha, will you need a runup at the end?”  I was ready for the question from Love ground control (KDAL) but anxious about the flight. It wasn’t the weather. But after 14 years of exclusively flying jets, this would be my first solo flight in a King Air. “Negative, zero Read More