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In this section you can find a variety of interesting articles about aviation. We are sure you are going to enjoy them.
Which group do you fall into the flap crowd or the no-flap crowd? Do you know when it's best to use wing flaps for landing and when it's best to leave them stowed? This is one of general aviation's longest ongoing debates, especially with the lighter, smaller models in the fleet. After defusing an emotional "flap flap" in the local airport lounge, AVweb's Rick Durden takes readers on a detailed discussion of the pros and cons and the whys and why-nots of using those often misunderstood devices. Where do you stand?
The Pilot's Lounge #8: Flying for Conservation - (Articles - Apr 12 1999)
When you mention public benefit flying, most pilots immediately think about volunteer pilot groups flying medical missions. But there are other facets, too. AVweb's Rick Durden just returned from two weeks in Belize, flying for LightHawk, a volunteer organization supporting environmental conservation. Rick talks about what this and similar groups are doing and how you can get involved.
Did you know that you could face an enforcement action even if you readback a misunderstood clearance to the controller and he doesn't correct you? It's the brave new world of the FAA's interpretive rule on readback errors, and AVweb's Rick Durden who is also an aviation attorney believes it's a major step backward for pilots, controllers and the agency. Trust us: If you're a pilot, you need to read this!
The lounge is still abuzz about the FAA's bad-news "interpretive rule" on pilot readbacks and Atlanta Center's well-intentioned but seriously-flawed "Catch A Bad Altitude" program. About the only light AVweb's resident optimist Rick Durden can see for pilots at the end of this gloomy tunnel is that if you get nailed for an altitude bust or other deviation, you might be able to sweet-talk your way into the FAA's excellent but underused remedial training alternative to certificate action.
The Pilot's Lounge #11: LAHSO's Double Secret Probation - (Articles - Jul 5 1999)
The large print giveth but the small print taketh away. So it is with the FAA's policy on Land And Hold Short Operations, or LAHSO. AVweb's Rick Durden discovers an internal FAA bulletin saying that Part 91 operators cannot accept a LAHSO clearance unless they've received approved training. No, there is no new regulation, just an FAA internal pronouncement. As Joseph Heller wrote, "That's some catch, that Catch-22."
If you're like most pilots, it's probably been a while since your piloting skills were honed to "check-ride" standards or better. And, most of the time, that's fine. But, there are times that demand every bit of skill you can scrape up. To make sure the demand is not greater than the supply, a pilot should always be working to be the best possible, to have some skills in reserve. As AVweb's Rick Durden puts it, what have you got in your back pocket?
Crashing. It's not something pilots like to think about, much less experience. But surviving an abrupt, unplanned end to a flight is something for which a well-prepared pilot should consider and equip. A lot of research has been done over the years and the fruits of that work have been incorporated into modern aircraft. Still, as AVweb's Rick Durden explains, there's much that a pilot and aircraft owner can do to help improve the chances that he and his passengers will emerge unscathed from an unplanned landing.
Many newly-minted instrument pilots earn the rating without ever having seen the inside of a cloud or flown in "real" instrument conditions. While avoiding IMC during instrument training is completely legal according to the FAA's minimum standards, is it the best way to train? Do instructors have a moral obligation to expose their instrument students to actual IMC? AVweb's Rick Durden tackles these thorny questions and raises some others. What's your opinion?
During their primary training, pilots are often taught what marginal VFR weather looks like and why it's a hazard. Unfortunately, the lesson they often receive from that training is how to handle MVFR, not that they should avoid it. AVweb's Rick Durden takes a look at current research in this area and comes up with some tips for CFIs and students alike.
Too many pilots are reluctant to declare an emergency, sometimes waiting until it is too late for help to be given. AVweb's Rick Durden knows that lots of resources and options open up to a pilot who does call "Mayday," and there are almost never negative repurcussions when they do, other than stick-in-the-mud second-guessers on the ground.
It's no secret that the Global Positioning System (GPS) has made life much easier for pilots. What might be a secret is that it's made life much tougher for controllers, who now must spend more time than ever coordinating with other sectors and facilities. Don Brown, the Safety Representative For NATCA at the Atlanta Air Route Traffic Control Center, explains all.
To the controller trainee, ATC presents almost as many mysteries as it does to the average pilot. Two of these mysteries involve handoffs and VFR flight following, which can often arise at the same time. Believe it or not, there is method to the madness. Using some real-life examples and the Aeronautical Information Manual, Don Brown, the NATCA Safety Representative at the Atlanta Air Route Traffic Control Center, explains all.
You can't play the game unless you can get on base and, sometimes, even that task seems insurmountable. So it goes with instrument flying. AVweb's Don Brown examines what it takes to get your ducks on the pond in this month's "Say Again."
In the latest of his intermittent series of "courses" on ATC/pilot communication, AVweb's Don Brown addresses the issues we face during an instrument approach. What exactly are you required to do? How should you ask for what you want to do? Read on ...
AVweb's Michael Maya Charles asks why we focus so much on the last ten seconds of a flightthe landing. What is it about landing an airplane that commands so much attention? What is a good landing, anyway? Michael also questions whether the landing is any way to judge a pilot. His conclusions may surprise you.
Many pilots go to great lengths to ensure that they are and remain healthy and fit to fly for as long as possible. Still, unforeseen medical events can temporarily force a pilot to remain ground-bound. So it is with AVweb's Michael Maya Charles, who has a temporary "medical deficiency" in the aftermath of back surgery. While anxious to get back into the air and return to his day job, the downtime is affording MMC the opportunity to perform some long- deferred work on his airplanes and do some hangar flying. It's also given him time to think about what he's missing.
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