Best-laid plans…

Things don’t always go as planned – a universal truth in life and readily apparent in aviation.  I experienced this first-hand on a recent...

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.

5 steps to ensure a happy family flight

General aviation (GA) created two more days of vacation, relaxation and memories. In my opinion, the only option for making the 600+ mile journey feasible in a week’s time was by air. Yes, GA can be a realistic, cost-effective travel tool and I live it. It begins with a good plan and the right expectations.

Was this really the day?

  When I accomplished my solo, the wind was a direct crosswind at 10 knots - maybe a little much for my first solo. I...

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!

Giving Back to Aviation

You may know Sean D. Tucker as one of the best air show pilots in the business, but did you also know that he is the current Young Eagles Chairman? Sean has held this title since AirVenture 2013 when he took over from Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger and Jeff Skiles. Only a few people have held this title over the years and Sean is as hard working as they come.

First Solo, Again!

Here at Sporty’s Academy, we love to celebrate the achievements of our students. One of our biggest celebrations comes when a student successfully completes his or her first solo. We really think that this is a big deal and we want the student to understand this as well! It has been many years since my first solo in an airplane. In fact, I’ll be celebrating the 30th anniversary of that event in a couple of years. Even with the intervening years, I can still remember my takeoff from Runway 29 at the Flagler County Airport in Florida. I don’t really remember the landing but I remember the takeoff. I looked out the side window after liftoff, watched the left main spin to a stop, and thought to myself, “Well, now you have to land it!”

Flying mentor and friend

The room was crowded with hundreds of his family, friends, students, and business associates. It had been just over 3 weeks since many of us had lost our teacher, our mentor, our friend, to "complications" from a heart surgery. John Morgan Lane touched a lot of lives and we were all there to celebrate his life while mourning his passing.
Cub takeoff

An airplane’s re-birth

April 7th, 2012 9:40 AM– The Piper Cub lifted off Runway 22 into a nearly perfect VFR day. This was no ordinary takeoff; this aircraft had not flown in almost 60 years.

A cross-country gone awry

Contributor David Booth shares a story of an eventful cross-country flight in a Robinson R44 as a student pilot in Melbourne, Australia - Ed. -- It all started...