Category: Learning to Fly –  Page 2

The Reluctant Pilot: Emergency Landings

This is another excerpt from my essays about learning to fly at Velez-Malaga airfield in Axarquía, Spain. The events took place shortly before I did my first solo flight away from the airfield. The cross country navigation exercise is required to get your private pilot’s licence. It is effectively the first time the pilot is…

Read more… 4 Feb 11

Sitting and Waiting

After my first solo, that wondrous moment of suddenly feeling in control of the plane and realising that I could fly, dammit! I kicked into high gear. There was only one week of the course left. Desperate to catch up, I got up earlier and earlier, leaving my seven-year-old son fast asleep for the childminder…

Read more… 17 Dec 10

Pushing Past the Fear: First Solo

Although I’ve never had an issue with flying or even heights, I found myself terrified of the plane. I was deeply afraid of being in control … or specifically of losing control of the aircraft and plunging to my death. Fortunately, my instructor and my partner were both very patient and their support was unwavering.…

Read more… 12 Nov 10

In the Cockpit

I have been collecting my essays, articles and blog-posts into a single volume to see if it would read well as a book. This is part of the introduction: how I ended up studying for my Private Pilot’s Licence out of a grudge rather than actual interest. It didn’t take long before I was hooked!…

Read more… 8 Oct 10

The Reluctant Pilot

I have been collecting my essays, articles and blog-posts into a single volume to see if it would read well as a book. This is the introduction: how I ended up studying for my Private Pilot’s Licence out of a grudge rather than actual interest. It didn’t take long before I was hooked! The next…

Read more… 10 Sep 10

“You don’t need a real licence”

I have been collecting my essays, articles and blog-posts into a single volume to see if it would read well as a book. This is the introduction: how I ended up studying for my Private Pilot’s Licence out of a grudge rather than actual interest. It didn’t take long before I was hooked! “You don’t…

Read more… 20 Aug 10

Accident Reports

ATC and the Pilot Who Turned Back

Last week we looked at a general aviation crash in which the pilot reported a Mayday as a result of an engine failure. Eight minutes later, the pilot crashed into…

The Pilot Turned Back: Engine Failure Leads to Fatal Crash

On the 26th of July a single-engine light aircraft crashed in the woods near Colbert, Oklahoma while attempting a forced landing. The pilot had reported his emergency ten minutes earlier…

Demystifying

Thirty Years Since Air France Flight 296

Thirty years ago, on the 26th of June 1988, a brand new Airbus A320 crashed during a demonstration of its fly-by-wire capabilities, killing three passengers and demolishing the plane as…

Drone Killer

When I’m not obsessing about aviation, I write speculative fiction, including science fiction featuring near-future technology. So you can imagine I was pretty excited when I saw a headline last…

History

Building a B-29 Piece by Piece

I’m in Austria this week, giving a presentation about the representation of old women in science fiction. So it seemed only right to celebrate a woman in aviation who might…

The Odd Story of Richard Floyd McCoy Jr

I’ve been working hard on volume two of Without a Trace and, of course, I can’t resist a chapter on Dan Cooper, who successfully hijacked a Northwest Orient aircraft and…

Fun Stuff

For your amusement: weird and interesting NOTAMS

I was browsing around looking for interesting news when I saw that Reddit user justachamelion had posted a great question for /r/AskReddit: Pilots of Reddit, what are the weirdest or…

In case you were wondering what to get me for Christmas

There are lots of private jets up for sale but this one is special… It is a 1962 Lockheed JetStar 1329. The JetStar was a private project at Lockheed, originally…