Category: Excerpts –  Page 2

Cross Country Solo – Part 2

The cross country navigation exercise is required to complete the JAR private pilot’s licence. It is effectively the first time the pilot is left alone with the plane, dependent on the new skills learned over the past few weeks. It is now not simply a case of handling the plane but also juggling the full…

Read more… 9 Apr 10

Cross Country Solo (Part One)

Now that the weather has started to show some semblance of Spring, a number of students are posting with excitement having finally completed their cross country solo. This is a flight that I think every pilot remembers, regardless of how long ago it was. I put off going solo for as long as I could,…

Read more… 2 Apr 10

Stick in the Mud

Shobdon Airfield started as Pembridge Landing Ground, a long strip in an isolated area used to support Army manoeuvres. In 1942 it was upgraded to “a proper airfield” by the military. Shaun McGuire has made a website dedicated to the Hereford Parachute Club at Shobdon and has reprinted an article found in Action Stations 3,…

Read more… 27 Nov 09

Mother Told Me Not to Come

This three-part story was originally published in the November 2007 issue of Piper Flyer magazine. Part One: If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother Part Two: Sylvia’s Mother Said After spending over two hours filling out paperwork at the Rome Urbe airfield, I asked the one friendly person in the place for details about…

Read more… 26 Jun 09

If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother

This three-part story was originally published in the November 2007 issue of Piper Flyer magazine. As a result, I received my first ever piece of fan mail – a reader asked if I could possibly put him in touch with my mother regarding a conference that he thought she might be interested in. As an…

Read more… 12 Jun 09

Just Like A Woman

Ask a CFI has done a post on Checkride Butterflies and it reminded me of my first time. “You fly just like a woman.” I blink. I am sitting in the left seat of a Piper, somewhere over the beautiful English countryside known as the Cotswolds. On my right is Bob, an experienced pilot and…

Read more… 20 Feb 09

Accident Reports

Fatal Seaplane Crash at Oshkosh

The flight crew is often the last safety net when things go wrong, making their failures an easy target for us to point at. After all, if the pilot can…

Never Just One Thing: Air Midwest flight 5481 part 2

Last week, we looked at the weight and balance of Air Midwest 5481, which had been underestimated for a number of different reasons. However, although the aircraft was overweight and…

Demystifying

Maintaining the Stores

We don’t often talk about parked aircraft because it is not very common for them to be involved in crashes. However, one of the side-effects of these pandemic times is…

How Many Successful Ditchings of Commercial Airliners?

When I was learning to fly, I remember someone in the pilots’ bar insisting that all that talk about life jackets under your seat was a waste of time; if…

History

The Last Known Whereabouts of the White Bird

The disappearance of L’Oiseau Blanc in 1927 is one of the enduring mysteries of aviation history. The pilots eventually achieved their goal of changing aviation history, but certainly not in…

The History Listen

I was on the radio on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, in a show called The History Listen. They asked me to tell them about a famous story in Australian and…

Fun Stuff

The Tetris Challenge

When the Kantonspolizei Zürich (the police department of the Swiss canton of Zurich) posted a photograph on Facebook showing the contents of a standard patrol car, they had no idea…

The History Listen

I was on the radio on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, in a show called The History Listen. They asked me to tell them about a famous story in Australian and…