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By Brian Nicklas

While many credit Igor Sikorsky for paving the way to the successful helicopter, Sikorsky's products and progeny are not the only craft capable of making VTOL flight and indeed another had its beginnings this week in 1942.  Continue»

By J.C. Boylls

The responsibilities of being pilot in command are great - and some are not so obvious.  Continue»

By Jeff Pardo

OK, which is it: Burned valves and detonation -- or better economy, lower maintenance costs, and greater range?  Continue»

By Editor Staff

The National Business Aviation Association’s annual conference kicked off in Orlando this week with major announcements from several general aviation manufacturers. A packed press briefing from Hawker Beechcraft lasted an hour, giving new details on what the new company, Beechcraft Corp., might look like after bankruptcy. The company is exploring what to do with its line of jets, and has not produced any jets in several months. Options include selling the jet production lines, or just the type certificates, to another company. Hawker is also talking with a group of jet owners who are interested in taking over the jet division, similar to what happened at Eclipse Aerospace. If the bankruptcy court approves its plans, Beechcraft would develop new models in its Baron twin-engine piston line and in its King Air turboprop line. It may even explore a single-engine turboprop that would compete with aircraft like the Pilatus PC-12 and Socata’s TBM line.

http://www.kansas.com/2012/10/29/2549354/hawker-briefs-nbaa-crowd-on-post.html

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By Reader Submission

One of the most successful twin-engine airplanes in the history of aviation, there are still a large number of Beech 18's working for a living around the world today.  Continue»

By Chad Austin

If your airplane has an electric starter, you have a battery on board and, over time, a number of factors can help to rob the capacity from your battery, making it too weak to start your airplane.  Continue»

By Chad Austin

Corrosion of your battery terminals can cause real problems in flight, and even on the ground.  Continue»

By Thomas Turner

The Skyhawk's directional gyro died during vectors for the Instrument Landing System (ILS) approach -- while I was 250 miles from home...  Continue»

By Jeff Pardo

If there is any one aspect of aeronautical knowledge that has great potential to either expand one’s understanding of flight, or take us out of the game altogether, it is the relationship between bank angle and stall speed.  Continue»

By Thomas Turner

'ATIS Information Bravo, 1150Z: Sky condition 300 overcast, visibility one and one-half miles, light rain and mist...'  Continue»

By Jeff Pardo

We’ve all been warned to watch out whenever our airspeed enters the yellow arc, and we’ve learned to absolutely stay away from never-exceed speed, VNE.  Continue»

By Chad Austin

While talking once with avionics professionals at the Aircraft Electronics Association show I learned some problems they found over the course of the years -- one of which was so serious I nearly dropped my flight bag.  The issue involved “paper” altimeter static checks, or the routine check that allows ATC to be sure that your plane is at the altitude it says it is.  Continue»

By Thomas Turner

One of the “rites of passage” of learning to fly is learning to compute the center of gravity -- but how many pilots keep plotting c.g. after their checkride and just how important and how useful is it? You may be surprised...  Continue»

By Paul A. Craig

Having an AWOS at an uncontrolled airport makes getting local weather information easy -- but when this machine reports the weather, does that report become the 'official' and 'legal' report or is the information simply an advisory?  Continue»

By Chad Austin

When I was young, I enjoyed watching Bugs Bunny and, on occasion, Bugs matched wits with Marvin the Martian ... who was usually working on blowing up the Earth. Bugs managed to foil Marvin, who had the usual line of the foiled nemesis: "Where's the big Kaboom?"  Continue»

By Paul A. Craig

Getting too close to an obstruction can make for a really bad day.  Continue»

By Reader Submission

The easiest way to fly for your country? -- a guest editorial written by Wayne Spivak, ADSO-CS 1SR of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary.  Continue»

By Jeff Pardo

The PRICE: At 11:09 AM on Sunday, December 1, 1974, TWA 514 was IMC and inbound to Virginia's Dulles Airport and due to an ambiguous approach procedure and a misunderstood clearance, the crew descended prematurely to their final approach altitude.  Continue»

By Editor Staff

Fractional turboprop operator Avantair grounded its entire fleet of Piaggo Avantis this week for voluntary safety checks following a July incident. The company’s fleet of about 60 of the canard-wing pusher turboprops flies business travelers across the U.S. But for several days this week, the company said it voluntarily stopped all its flights to inspect its fleet, though it provided few details about what it was looking for. The grounding apparently stems from a July incident in which an Avantair flight landed in Henderson, Nev., after which the flight crew noticed the aircraft was missing its left elevator. Three days later, airport officials found the elevator near a runway in Camarillo, Calif., where the aircraft had first departed before making its way to Henderson. There were no injuries in that incident. Avantair said it was reviewing maintenance records and inspecting its aircraft and that it was cooperating with the FAA.

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2012/10/25/avantair-update-on-voluntary-stand-down-of-operati/

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By Jeff Pardo

Every year, pilots continue to allow their aircraft to suffer at the nonexistent mercy of storms.  Continue»

By Paul A. Craig

At airports with an operating control tower it is vital that we protect ourselves after being given “position and hold” instructions.  Continue»

By Chad Austin

Just about every General Aviation airplane flying today does so with the assistance of specifically loaded cables -- when was the last time that yours were checked?  Continue»

By Paul A. Craig

It does seem logical that a 10-knot tailwind on the way back will 'pay you back' for the 10-knot headwind you had on the way out.  Continue»

By Thomas Turner

It's that time of year again -- know what the dangers are, know your defenses...  Continue»

By John Dale

This month I am reviewing four of the very best ANR headsets and only missing a couple from the line up.  Continue»

By Chad Austin

Since about 1980, aircraft have enjoyed certain changes that allow pilots to fly more safely.  Continue»

By Greg Brown

'Pick any table you like,' said the waiter with a flourish. 'This is a special occasion.' Radiant, my wife made her way through two huge dining rooms, assessing mountain views through the chalet's A-framed windows. 'This one,' she beamed, making her choice. 'From here we can watch sunset illuminate Engineer's Peak.'  Continue»

By Laurel Lippert

It was clear and still, a beautiful day to fly. After three weeks, we were pointed toward home, and I couldn't have been more ready. The Black Hills looked green and peaceful, and we decided that Newcastle, Wyoming, on the west side, where dense forests are replaced by high desert, was a good choice for a fuel stop.  Continue»

By Editor Staff

 

Are sales at major jet manufacturers Boeing and Airbus too hot to be sustainable? That’s what some analysts are asking as both companies show off lengthy order books pointing to a possible record-setting year for sales in 2012. The two companies booked more than 2,500 orders last year, slightly less than 2007’s peak. And while a handful of airlines have pared back their orders recently, both companies remain bullish on prospects for the next 20 years, as airlines in China and India continue to expand rapidly.  But as the companies ramp up production to meet their order commitments – as much as a 57 percent increase by 2014 – that could expose them to risk from swings in fuel prices if airlines renege on orders they can’t afford, experts cautioned. Boeing thinks the airlines will order $4 trillion worth of new aircraft by 2030, or more than 33,000 new planes in the skies. Both companies are betting that many of those planes will be updated narrowbody variants of the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320.

http://www.canoe.ca/Travel/TipsTrends/Trends/2012/05/23/19790186.html

 

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By Paul A. Craig

Today, Air Traffic Controllers use what they call 'flow control' in an attempt to prevent in-flight holding patterns.  Continue»

By Jeff Pardo

What is all this DME jazz, anyway? Make no mistake, there are some special tricks to getting the most out of your DME -- VFR and IFR.  Continue»

By Editor Staff

American Airlines is inspecting eight of its Boeing 757s after a row of seats on one of its planes came loose during flight from Boston to Miami on Saturday. That plane made an emergency landing in New York, and there were no injuries. The company said it believed there was an issue with the design of the new seats and how they fit into tracks in the floor of the aircraft. After the incident, American found another 757 with a loose row of seats; both planes had recently had their rows of seats adjusted to change the amount of legroom between rows. During the inspection, mechanics found additional rows of seats on both planes that weren’t properly secured to the floor.

http://blogs.star-telegram.com/sky_talk/2012/10/american-to-reinspect-eight-757s-after-loose-seats-found-midflight-on-an-aircraft-on-saturday.html

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By Editor Staff

To commemorate his 70 years on the job, American Airlines mechanic Al Blackman recently got a tour of New York City from the cockpit of a restored DC-3 that once flew for the airline. Blackman is American’s most senior employee, and at 86 isn’t quite ready to retire, either. Blackman has maintained more than a dozen different aircraft models for the airline and currently supervises a crew of mechanics at the airline’s maintenance facility at JFK Airport. Last month’s tour of Manhattan from 1,500 feet above was coordinated with a Detroit aviation foundation that has maintained the DC-3, which is the oldest flying example of the model. At a ceremony recognizing Blackman’s years of service, his fellow mechanics also unveiled a mural across one wall of the maintenance hangar with Blackman’s face at the center of a constellation of aircraft that he’s worked on.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/19/nyregion/american-airlines-celebrates-mechanics-70-years-of-service.html

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By Editor Staff

The bankrupt American Airlines notified about 11,000 of its employees that they could be laid off as the company sheds costs. Most of those facing layoffs are mechanics and ground handling crews, though the company said only about 4,400 people were likely to see their positions eliminated. The bankruptcy court recently voided the contract between American and its pilots, leading many pilots to call in sick and report maintenance issues on aircraft. That has resulted in hundreds of delayed and cancelled flights in recent days. The airline trimmed its flight schedules through October in response to the growing number of cancelled and delayed flights. The pilots union denied that there is an organized work action on the part of its pilots, instead blaming the airline for keeping a fleet of aging, maintenance-prone aircraft in the air. While the company is acquiring new Boeing 737s to replace its MD-80 fleet, many of the older Super 80s are still flying, as are numerous aging Boeing 767s.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-american-airlines-20120921,0,6912397.story

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By Reader Submission

I always was interested in flying. From the early days of my childhood, I'd watch on TV shows like Flash Gordon and Buck Rodgers (the original series; in re-runs - I'm not that old!). I'd also watch shows like the Thunderbirds and Fireball XL5 (those marionettes of the future) or war movies like 12 O'Clock High or Wings of Eagles.  Continue»

By Jeff Pardo

FAA regulations require that you have a Mode C transponder on when flying in all Class A, B and C airspace, when flying within 30 miles of primary Class B airports, and whenever you're above 10,000 feet, though not if that's below 2,500 AGL.  Continue»

By Paul A. Craig

The most important back-up plan you may ever have involves the IFR Alternate airport.  Continue»

By Editor Staff

When Piper Aircraft suspended its single-engine jet program last fall, it also faced having to slash dozens of engineering and other jobs. That could have jeopardized tax breaks the company nabbed before the recession for creating and keeping jobs in Vero Beach, Fla. But instead of cutting jobs, Piper is now putting those people to work building plastic prototypes and precision machined parts for a local submersible company. The contract with Triton Submarines is small, valued at $90,000, but is proving Piper’s ability to adapt its workforce and equipment to non-aviation projects, company officials said. Triton said it may expand its contract with Piper, to include making hatch assemblies and battery pods. And that, Piper hopes, could lead to more contracts from other companies, helping Piper sustain itself as long as sales of new general aviation aircraft remain sluggish.

http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2012/jun/07/piper-triton-partnership-keeps-jobs-in-vero/

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By Chad Austin

LIFE CAN BE HARD AS A PILOT. Take Bob for example -- he had a problem. It was a minor problem, but one that comes up from time to time and just slaps the living crap out of an unsuspecting pilot. Basically, it sucked ... or didn't really, as the case may be.  Continue»

By Reader Submission

Regular proficiency training is essential to the safety of all pilots and their passengers.  Continue»

By Paul A. Craig

Unfortunately many books, training manuals, and even FAA documents give a false image of the Victor Airways.  Continue»

By Paul A. Craig

Airspace regulations and boundaries are hard enough to get straight under normal conditions -- but when the sun goes down everything changes.  Continue»

By Paul A. Craig

Navigating complex airspace takes preparation and understanding of the system -- it also helps to have a pathway cleared for you ahead of time.  Continue»

By Paul A. Craig

There are many airports that have control towers that do not operate 24 hours a day.  Continue»

By Paul A. Craig

There may be no better example of overlapping airspace than Chicago; the Chicago airspace has it all -- Class B, Class C, Class D, Class E, and yes even Class G airspace -- all under one roof.  Continue»

By Paul A. Craig

When airports and their associated airspace are in close proximity to each other, there can be congestion, confusion and conflict.  Continue»

By Paul A. Craig

Often when airports are located close together, their overlying airspace can conflict, and the resultant airspace overlap can be more than a little confusing.  Continue»

By Paul A. Craig

I flew for years with the metal image of the "up-side-down wedding cake" as the shape of Class B and Class C airspace -- and the perception I had in my head was completely wrong!  Continue»

By Editor Staff

General aviation pilots in Portland, Oregon, and Anchorage, Alaska, have airspace changes coming their way that could affect how they fly. In Portland, starting on Nov. 1, the FAA is creating Class Delta airspace around Pearson Field, a popular GA airport very close to Portland International Airport. Pilots arriving or departing from Pearson will first have to get approval over the radio from PDX’s control tower. Once approved to arrive or depart, pilots will then self-announce on Pearson’s CTAF frequency, which controllers at PDX will monitor. In Anchorage, the FAA wants to create Class Delta airspace around Bryant Army Air Field, which is currently uncontrolled. The change would restrict VFR corridors in Anchorage, where three controlled airports – Anchorage International, Merrill Field and Elmendorf Air Force Base – and high terrain to the east already limit the routes GA pilots can take through and around the area. Pilots have until Oct. 9 to comment on the proposed changes to Bryant Field.

http://www.aopa.org/advocacy/articles/2012/120927airspace-change-near-merrill-field.html

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By Chad Austin

Frankly, when I hear all the hubbub about airport security, I have to laugh...  Continue»

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