Category: Learning to Fly

Night Flying (PPL)

I’ll be in Switzerland all week, hoping that the weather is good enough for the AXALP 2023 airshow. To tide you over, I thought it might be fun to revisit an old piece that I wrote about learning to fly at night. Maybe it will shed some light on the recent night-flying posts. This was…

Read more… 15 Oct 23

Flight Instructor Stories That Will Make (Most) Student Pilots Feel Better

I have been sitting on this collection for some time now but I feel like we could use a bit of light humour today. I share these stories not to dissuade anyone from learning to fly but instead (I hope!) to encourage students; no matter how poorly you reacted to your first stall, I bet…

Read more… 30 Jun 23

Tell Me A(n Aviation) Story

As those of you who follow my personal newsletter already know, I’ve been taking part in a theatre event in Tallinn called Tell Me A Story. Every month, six storytellers get on stage and tell a story …but there’s a twist. Five stories are absolutely true and one story is a lie. There’s a question…

Read more… 14 Apr 23

Wheel Falls Off For Student Cross-Country Solo

This was initially brought to my attention by Tom Podolec Aviation on Twitter who posted about a Piper PA-28 in distress. The student pilot, a 17-year-old woman named Maggie Taraska, had just taken off when the right main gear fell off the aircraft on departure. Piper PA-28 in distress. Reported as the right main gear…

Read more… 14 Sep 18

Fourteen Lessons Every Pilot Must Learn

The posts have been very in-depth lately and I’ve not got the next one quite ready yet. However, I did find this great video by instructor Judy Robus. She’s taken YouTube clips and compiled them into a video lessons on the pitfalls of becoming complacent. It’s twelve minutes long and well worth watching, even if…

Read more… 2 Feb 18

Learning Finesse: Pitch vs Power

Today I leave you with a piece from the archives; an ah hah! moment for me as the relationship between pitch and power on landing really came clear (yes, I’m a slow learner). I wrote this in 2009 but rereading it brought it all back… Flying is hours of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer…

Read more… 24 Jul 15

Accident Reports

Madness on the Runway at Manchester

The Manchester Airport Group Plc owns and operates three airports: Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands. Manchester Airport is the third busiest airport in Britain. Their website says Manchester Airport…

Mid-air Collision of Wingsuit Flyer and Pilatus PC-6

On the 27th of July 2018, an experienced pilot departed with ten parachutists on board for a routine drop mission. It was the pilot’s fourth flight of the day in…

Demystifying

The Missing Bolts from Alaska Airlines flight 1282

On the 5th of January 2024, Alaska Airlines flight 1282 had just taken off when it lost a door plug, leaving a gaping hole on the left side of row…

Descending into Illusion: The Black Hole Effect

With no moon or city lights to guide you, the runway lights up ahead should be a beacon of safety. However, it might be a trap known as the black…

History

A Brief Word About Icelandic Aviation

Aviation in Iceland started with an airline, not an aircraft. Flugfélag Íslands, the first Icelandic airline, was founded in Reykjavík on the 22nd of March 1919. They did not (yet)…

The Wright brothers and the dream of flying

I’ve lost most of the day to unexpected research and one of the fascinating items that I discovered was the Air Force Historical Research Agency and their amazing photo collection.…

Fun Stuff

A Few Good Stories

I’m in Dresden at the moment and I’m afraid I haven’t had a free moment to write you a new article. Luckily, lots of other people are on the internet…

Flying Fails and Airshow Considerations

Long-term readings of Fear of Landing know that my favourite aerobatics show of all time is Kyle Franklin’s Ben Whabnoski Comedy act. Just in case some of you haven’t seen…