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

Cessna 172M forced landing after go-around in New South Wales

On the 15th of October 2023, a private pilot rented a Cessna 172M from Air Gold Coast for a private flight from Gold Coast Airport, Queensland, to Murwilumbah, New South…

Continental flight 11

Sixty-two years ago, on the 22nd of May 1962, Continental Airlines flight 11 broke up at 39,000 feet. Flight 11 was the last flight of the day: a one-hour commuter…

Demystifying

Extreme Turbulence in Singapore Airlines flight 321

A few days ago (21st of May 2024), Singapore Airlines flight SQ321 encountered heavy turbulence on a passenger flight from London-Heathrow to Singapore. There were 229 on board, including eighteen…

Training an AI Copilot To Spot Gliders

My friend Maria at Daedalean wrote this article about how they are using AI to help pilots detect gliders. I thought it was fascinating and Daedalean gave me permission to…

History

Gladys Ingle Inflight Wheel Change: Emergency Action or Stunt?

This video of a mid-air wheel exchange goes viral once a year or so, but I never get tired of watching it. Last week, it showed up on Reddit and…

The Disappearance of the Hawaii Clipper May Not Be as Mysterious as Was Thought

This week, we have a guest post by J.B. Rivard who wrote an article for the American Aviation Historical Society (AAHS) and used one of my articles as a reference.…

Fun Stuff

Terminally Early: The Berlin Viewing Platform

Mistakes were made. All of them were mine. Before I left for Dresden, I planned out my full itinerary. Berlin is a much busier airport than Tallinn, so I needed…

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…