Balancing Flying with Family
If you are a family man or woman, you need to balance your flying activities with your home-life.
Certainly every situation is different so many of these points won’t apply. If your whole family is into flying, you are probably in the best possible position and the envy of many aviators. For the rest of us, pay careful attention.
I find myself in an interesting scenario; neither my wife or my kids like to fly. This is the opposite end of the spectrum. Continue reading
photo courtesy of Dan O’Leary
(Update) Fellow pilot and friend Mike Wojcik contributed to this piece. See his work below regarding a checklist he developed for the Tecnam.
Ever thought about your checklist? I mean really thought about it? It is much more than a faded and tattered occupier of precious cockpit real estate. It is one of your key weapons on the war against pilot error.
Every time you reach for that checklist you are potentially trapping errors. Conversely not being disciplined in how you use the checklist can negate all those benefits.
The Self-Righteous Aviator
One of the phenomena that I have observed in the wild is the self-righteous aviator (SRA). You know the one; they think they know it all and everyone else is beneath them.
This curious species usually migrates to local airports where they can work the lobby making sure everyone knows they are ‘the real deal.’
When engaged in discussion, the SRA will offer opinions as facts and dismiss other’s input as sheer nonsense. Their bedside manner doesn’t improve in the cockpit either; they usually can’t be bothered with help from another pilot. CRM is definitely not in their vocabulary. Their responses usually come in the form of high pitch chirps that resemble, “yes, yes, yes” or “I know, I know, I know.” This is usually followed by a rationalization for the mistake that takes them completely off the hook. Training these people is a nightmare that should garner hazardous duty pay for their instructors. Continue reading
Dreaming of Flight: Flying as a second career
There is an often asked question that is batted around in real and virtual hangars across the land – should I chase my dream of flying for a living? In a related article I asked, “Is the romance gone from professional flying?”, but as I stated then it doesn’t mean it’s not a great career for some folks.
The idea of making a living flying airplanes has lured many away from their perfectly good first careers and down the rabbit hole of the professional aviator. Compared to someone just out of school, this is a much harder decision to make as someone in their 30s or 40s with a real life and real responsibilities. If you have a family, you just multiplied the difficulty quotient by an order of magnitude. Continue reading
Always learning: a pilot can never learn too much
Learning is defined by Webster as: the process of acquiring modifications in existing knowledge, skills, habits, or tendencies through experience, practice, or exercise.
As pilots we always have to strive to get better and never stop learning. It is impossible to know everything there is to know about flying – no excuses, right?
Everyone is a teacher
In your flying life you will encounter a wide range of pilots. You should endeavor to learn something from every one of them. As a flight instructor, I may have learned more from my students than I did from the folks who taught me. Sometimes I learned ‘what not to do’, but that’s ok, learning still occurred. Continue reading
Old Flight Bag: A glimpse into a flying life
My aunt was good friends with a Doctor in Alaska during her days living up there. He passed away a few years ago and the family wanted me to have his old flight bag.
It was in storage at my parent’s house for a year and this summer my parents brought it up to Ohio.
The large Jeppessen flight bag was in great condition; a rugged article from an era when quality was more important than quantity. It has the pilot’s name embossed on the top. Continue reading
We need more aviation heroes
Ever since Neil Armstrong passed away, I have lamented on the status of our aviation heroes.
The number of people who have risen to hero status in the aviation world continues to shrink – we just aren’t making them anymore. The days of the military or NASA pilots going Mach 4 in an airplane or blasting off into space in an unproven rocket just don’t exist. Most of our heroes were from the first half of the last century, guys like Charles Lindbergh, Wiley Post, and Roscoe Turner – to name a few. These guys were worshiped in their day. Continue reading
Why do people live near airports and then complain?
Help me out. Why do people move in next to an airport and then complain about the airplanes?
This completely blows my mind. Are they so compulsive that they go through the arduous process of purchasing a home and miss the fact that there are airplanes regularly flying overhead? Continue reading
Thanksgiving means something different to everyone. I think for pilots it has a special meaning.
As aviators we get to experience something few mortals will ever know; the patchwork of our fragile Earth from above, the beauty of a sunrise from altitude, the playfulness of fair-weather cumulus clouds - all from our lofty heights.
The speed and agility of our machines are unmatched by earthbound conveyances.
The feeling you get when you break the surly bonds of the planet are only shared by our brotherhood. That bond that brings us together is as powerful as blood.
For all these things I am thankful.
Happy Thanksgiving brothers and sisters of the ether!
What are you thankful for?
Reflections of a flight
Short Flight from iflyblog.com on Vimeo.
For fun I mounted my camera under the wing of the RV-8 and shot this footage on a short flight from Buckeye Executive airport to The Ohio State Airport last week.
Most of the flight is sped up 800x to shorten the video. The interesting part is how the reflection in the bottom of the wing gives an interesting visual effect.
Now if I could just figure out how to stay on the centerline…