February 2020

Graduating from the Academy

My airspeed is decreasing below 90 knots and the airplane is climbing even though we are in level flight,” I yelled to Larry Barna, my sim instructor. “I am going to switch the ADC (air data computer) to number two.”  “Dave, remember when you flew a Baron,” replied Larry. “You don’t have an ADC problem. Your Read More

Straight from the Heart

Straight from the Heart

You see this guy, this guy’s in love with…flying. – Herb Alpert, 1968 For some that are compensated monetarily for flying airplanes over and over (and over and over), it’s easy to forget that being around airplanes once elicited very joyful emotions. Many have forgotten the epiphany when our curiosity, courage and checkbook overcame anxiety Read More

Turning Professional

Turning Professional

Every month I receive a surprising number of reader emails from pilots on the subject of turning professional. Almost all have a couple of thousand hours of flying time, a commercial license and are in their 50s or early 60s. Many are professionals in other fields such as doctors, lawyers or accountants, or have been Read More

The Compliance Spectrum

The Compliance Spectrum

It’s a phrase found frequently in NTSB reports: “The pilot’s failure to….” An (admittedly old) NTSB survey of accidents from 1978 through 1990 revealed that procedural noncompliance was a factor in 78 percent of all crashes. It’s one thing to say the pilot failed to comply with a procedure. It’s another thing entirely to understand Read More

Five on the Fly: Major Rudy J. Belew

Five on the Fly: Major Rudy J. Belew

WHO: Major Rudy J. Belew COMPANY: Kansas Air National Guard POSITION: KC-135R Pilot and OST Chief of Aircrew Training HOMEBASE: Topeka Regional Airport (KFOE) RATINGS: FAA – Commercial, Multi-Engine and Instrument;  Military – Instructor/Evaluator Pilot HOURS: 2500 1. What led you to pursue a career in aviation? I grew up in an aviation family and began Read More