Personal stories

Personal stories

The first and last time I skipped the preflight checklist

"Lunken tower, this is Cessna Eight Eight Uniform, our windshield is covered with oil, we're returning for immediate landing." I'll never forget making that radio call 14 years ago, and today I can still visualize the oil-soaked windshield as vividly as the day it happened. Even more memorable is how one small, easily-preventable oversight led to this in-flight emergency.

The art of cross country travel by light airplane

As student pilots and newly-minted private pilots, we spend most of our time in the traffic pattern or the practice area. It's all about the process, not enjoying the ride or the destination. But once you earn your license, it's critical to throw off those shackles, get out and travel!

FAA Ramp Checks – Know Your Rights

Earlier this week I witnessed something not all that common in general aviation – an FAA Ramp Check.  If you've never heard of a...

My unexpected bush pilot adventure

Want to do some bush flying in Alaska? “Yes, yes I do.” It took all of 1.3 seconds for me to reply when an opportunity arose to fly the backcountry of Alaska for a couple days. Flying a taildragger in the remote wilderness should be on every pilot’s bucket list.

Top 5 mistakes you WILL make during your first 250 hours

None of us are perfect. I’m probably less perfect than most, but by the grace of God, good training and procedures, I’ve been fortunate...

Fly until the map turns blue…and then some – Part II

"Take the Aztec to Nevis,” Sporty’s Founder/Chairman, Hal Shevers, stated last fall. We took this statement seriously because it is fully in line with...

How I hit my flight training budget within $50

Following the checkride, I totaled all the money I spent on training to discover it was $50 less than what the flight school manager had estimated at the beginning. When pilots talk about hitting the numbers, it usually refers to spot landings, but this was equally impressive.

720 Miles at 1,000 Feet

And the winner is... I belonged to a motorcycle club called the RATS (Rambunctious, Adventuresome, Two-Wheeled Scalawags) which bestows various awards to their members.  One...
pilot

I’m a student pilot who forgot what the most important thing was

I think sometimes the pressure I put on myself works against me. I am the type of person who wants to get it done right the first time, every time. Other competitive people understand you can’t turn that off most times. But I would caution against this type of mentality when it comes to flight training and here’s why.

My first passenger flight experience

After you earn your license, there’s a feeling of freedom. You’re officially allowed to soar the skies without the permission of your CFI.  With...