When Smoke Causes a Fire

Knowing an airplane’s flying characteristics


AN OPERATING CONTROL TOWER provides many benefits to pilots. Controllers, of course, separate airplanes on the runway and direct taxiing airplanes to avoid conflicts. The controllers also provide you with IFR clearances, or handoffs for radar advisories. The people in the tower also can pass along pilot reports warning of us of wind shear on final that other pilots experienced, or to be alert for poor braking conditions or other runway hazards.

And tower controllers also keep an eye on airplanes departing and arriving and are in the best position to

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Warbirds & Warriors.

World War II was a singular happening in the world’s history and, although it is fading in history’s stream, its men and machines live on in film and pixels.

Aces All.

Captains Obie O’Brien and Bud Anderson listen to Don Bochkay describe his latest aerial encounter. All three were aces and belonged to the 363rd FS, 357th FG. During WW II, the public relations machine worked overtime putting photos like this in papers across the U.S. to aid in bond drives. Today they are invaluable historical documents. O’Brien finished the War with seven victories, Anderson 16.25 and Bochkay 13.83.


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The Distraction Monkey

Don’t let him get to you

SOME PILOTS ARE METHODICAL and thorough when doing a preflight inspection. Some are not.

And some, like me, find it difficult to stay focused and are always feeling the urge to get the preflight over with and get into the air. It’s like a monkey on your back. He appears when I’m first moving the airplane out of the hangar, jabbering away and urging me to just hurry up and get flying.

Usually, he confines himself to, “There’s never anything wrong with that,” or “Look! Everybody else is gonna take off now.” Although I’ve

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WHEN YOU ASK an experienced martial artist if he has ever used his training, don’t be surprised if he says, “I use it every day.” He’s not talking about kung-fuing intruders or bad drivers. He’s speaking about how he uses the hidden value of his training—self-discipline and aware-ness—in his daily life.

Most of the basic flight maneuvers students are required to learn also have hidden values. Your job is to make sure your student sees and understands those hidden values. Take, for instance, steep turns. Yes, the FAA says that the objective of the steep turn is to “develop the




Most weather-related accidents occur when pilots don’t realize they are heading into danger or won’t admit to themselves they are flying into conditions that they and their airplane aren’t equipped to handle. This isn’t a problem with hurricanes. They are so fierce and hard to miss that any pilot who hadn’t heard the news that a hurricane is nearby would almost surely recognize the danger in plenty of time to avoid it.

Hurricanes are born over oceans with surface water warmer than about 80 degrees. They begin weakening when they move over cooler water

Continue reading PLAYING THE ODDS.


UNITED KINGDOM PILOT ROB DAVIES bailed out of his P-51 Mustang Big Beautiful Doll at Duxford’s Flying Legends air show last July 10. He had little choice.

During a break-to-landing maneuver, the right wing of a Douglas Skyraider from Rob’s formation slammed into the underside of the rear fuselage of his Mustang. The midair collision damaged the control cables, so after what he described as a violent crashing sound,

Rob suddenly found himself slewing side to side without pitch control. The airplane was 500 feet above the ground when he decided to get out, jettisoned the canopy, unfastened his harnesses,




I always try to fly at least once a week, but this can be difficult to accomplish when traveling away from home. The idea of renting an airplane on the road has often crossed my mind, but the truth is I’ve never actually done it. As much as I love flying, and would love to explore new parts of the country by air, it has always seemed just too much hassle to find a local rental provider and go through their insurance checkout process.

So, the new venture OpenAirplane grabbed my attention when it talks about

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On a Friday morning in August, my wife, my dog, and I took off from Princeton, New Jersey, in my Cessna 172M. We were headed 50 minutes north to Cherry Ridge Airport in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, from which we would have a short drive to our vacation home in the Poconos. I added a quart of oil; did a thorough preflight, found nothing out of the ordinary; and runup was normal. We took off, requested flight following from New York Approach, and looked forward to the weekend.

About two-thirds of the way to our destination, the engine sound suddenly

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Association in 1925 and ODVF Dobrohima changed the status of a holiday — in 1925 and 1926. He became known as the Day of Soviet aviation and chemistry (Aviakhim). The list of celebrations at the Central Airport name Trotsky (Khodynka), in addition to traditional flight entered and «pollinate» viewers from the air, land and «fights» in gas masks.

In 1927 there was another escalation, and Aviakhim merged Society of assistance to defense (CCA). Giant Osoaviakhim and demanded a grand celebration and in July instead of one public holiday, a whole week — Week of Defense. Unfortunately, in this week’s

Continue reading HOLIDAY IN HEAVEN. (Continued)

DIY Reupholstering

A new interior might be cheaper than you think

WE ALL WANT OUR airplanes to fly faster, go farther, and, for some of us, navigate safely through more challenging weather conditions.

But we also like the innards to look sharp. After all, it’s the part of the airplane that we spend the most time looking at. And we surely want the seat of our pants to be comfortable along the way. Still, I admit, in the overall mental checklist of priorities, redoing the interior of my vintage Bonanza has lingered pretty low on the list.

But a shoddy interior is

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