September 2018

Labor of Love

When I moved back to Wichita four years ago, I had no clue I would soon take part in one of the most incredible and rare of projects. A Boeing B-29 Superfortress named “Doc” was undergoing an extensive restoration not even 20 minutes from my house. It was (and still is) the last-known restorable/airworthy B-29 Read More


In Response to Kevin Ware’s “It’s All About the Ice” The excellent article in May about flying in the Northwest in a pressurized twin is right on point! I read the article and it sounded so familiar; I’ve been there twice in the past 15 years flying across the Cascades, Blue Mountains and the Salmon River Read More

So That We Remember

  On Sunday, July 22, I was one of the thousands of pilots with intent of reaching Oshkosh or one of its reliever airports. Marginal weather in Wisconsin prevailed, but with an IFR slot secured for Appleton we felt confident we’d be pounding tie-down stakes by mid-afternoon. As my husband and I hurriedly loaded our Read More

The Checklist

How and when the checklist should be used, and why single-pilot IFR demands a different approach. My aviation career began like many; learning to fly in a humble Cessna 172 with a nearly-starving CFI at a non-controlled, rural one-runway airport. For me, the airport was Just Plane Fun Airpark in Nacogdoches, Texas; a short grass Read More

EAA AirVenture 2018: Bigger & Better

Near-perfect weather and a robust economy helped annual airshow set new attendance record.   From ideal weather to record-setting attendance, AirVenture 2018 was as close to perfect as it could be. The annual Oshkosh, WI airshow, held July 23 through 29, attracted 601,000 attendees, nearly two percent above of 2017’s record total. “EAA members and Read More

Evaluating Weather & Exercising Options

I planned to fly up to Oshkosh from Wichita on Friday before AirVenture. My plan, following suggestions I included in “Are You Good Enough to Fly into Oshkosh?” (July issue), was to fly about 2.5 hours to Dubuque, Iowa (KDBQ), top off the fuel tanks, then make the roughly one-hour hop to Oshkosh following the Read More

Flying Back in Time

A flight in “Doc” – one of only two airworthy B-29 bombers in the world. “Ladders up; crew in position; 15-degree flaps; departure to the south. Superfortress Doc is ready for takeoff.”   I'm seated in the bombardier’s seat as Mark Novak, retired military pilot and today’s pilot-in command, completes his checklist just a few Read More

Five on the Fly: Mark Novak

WHO: Mark Novak POSITION: B-29 Doc Chief Pilot HOMEBASE: Dawson, NE RATINGS: Comm/Inst/SEL&MEL with types in LR-JET B-707 B-720 DC-B26 and Authorized Experimental Aircraft, B-29 HOURS: 5,200 Military 3,000 Civilian 350 in the B-29 1. Can you summarize your piloting background?  I was a military pilot for almost 24 years, flying great aircraft like the C-21 (military Read More

Review: Bose ProFlight Aviation Headset

  The bar has been raised for lightweight Active Noise Reduction (ANR) headsets. Bose made its first major public debut of their new ProFlight aviation headset at EAA AirVenture 2018. I stopped by for an in-booth demonstration and ultimately walked away impressed and with a headset in-hand to try in real world scenarios. I have Read More

CJP Convention 2018 Preview

  Cessna Citation owners, partners and exhibitors will soon gather at CJP’s annual convention, October 24-27, at the scenic Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio, Texas. It will be a particularly special year as the Citation Jet Pilots Owner Pilots Association (CJP) is celebrating its 10th anniversary.  Each year, the CJP Read More

Best Practices for Recurrent Training

Step I: Get a Progressive Check  One of the biggest single factors that can make the difference between a positive, efficient recurrent training experience, versus one that merely “checks the boxes” at a cost of high stress and minimal learning, is if the required pilot in command proficiency check (PPC) is done as a progressive Read More

Airport Day

Today is not a typical day of flying. We are nearly 6,000 pounds under maximum takeoff weight. In a Lear 40 with a basic empty weight of 13,232 pounds, that is really light. The airplane’s TFE 731-20 turbofan engines each put out 3,500 pounds of thrust, giving us a thrust-to-weight ratio of 1:2. Following the maximum Read More

Watch Your Mouth

Delivering a politically correct passenger briefing or PA Lest someone posts thine vile words or actions to The Kingdom of Social Media, lightens thine purse with litigation or washes thine mouth out with a bar of soap. When I transitioned from the Mad Dog to the Guppy, I had to restrict my gravelly-voiced public address Read More

Avidyne Receives STC Certification for IFD 550 in Select Citation 525s

The STC provides installation approval of Avidyne’s dual hybrid-touchscreen IFD550/540 Series FMS/GPS/NAV/COM systems in Cessna CitationJet 525/525A models with Collins Pro Line 21 and the FGC-3000 Digital Flight Control System. The upgrade also includes compliance with the ADS-B mandate. “Upgrading to the Avidyne IFD Series gives these CJ owners significant new capabilities that extend the Read More

Garmin Expands Aircraft Approvals for the GFC 600 and GFC 500

The Bonanza/Debonair (C33, E33, F33, G33), Cessna 210 and Grumman AA-5 series will soon be approved for the GFC 500 autopilot, while the Beechcraft Baron (58P, 58TC) and Cessna 208B will be eligible for the GFC 600. Between the two autopilots, Garmin has completed 10 STC’s in the last year, with more to follow.  The Read More

Left, Right or Straight Ahead

During thunderstorm season in the U.S., added considerations are required almost every flight. Such was the case in June as I departed with four passengers to Tampa, Florida. The flight down from ADS (Addison, Texas) was fairly routine as we deviated around several buildups along the Alabama and Florida coastlines. Arriving at KTPA (Tampa) however, Read More