“Step on the ball!” You probably remember your flight instructor drilling this into you during initial flight training as a student pilot. When making a turn, we know that the ball (or white triangle if we’re flying a modern glass cockpit) of the turn coordinator is supposed to stay centered. If it’s off to the right or left, we are flying an uncoordinated turn and need to adjust our control inputs.
What do you remember about how to communicate with ATC if you lose radio comms or need to fly an aircraft without a radio? We all learned about light gun signals as student pilots, but we seldom quiz ourselves to check our retention.
Sunny summer days look inviting, and it’s true that you can enjoy a cross-country excursion on a warm day, but hot weather flying takes a little extra forethought and preparation. A plane that’s sitting out on the tarmac baking in the sun can quickly become swelteringly hot. The same is true in the air for a low-wing aircraft with lots of windows.
Learning from the fatal mistakes of others is unfortunately a reality in the aviation world. The more we study and review what went wrong on other flights, the better prepared we will be to manage or avoid similar dangers on our own flights.
Long gone are the wild west days of purchasing a drone online and immediately taking to the skies with no training, no license, no registration, and not so much as even a glance at the owner’s manual.
Imagine personal hover cars and other small flying transports navigating the skies just above major cities. It may sound like the backdrop for a science fiction movie or an episode of Star Trek, but as aircraft designs and technology continue to evolve, we are moving ever closer to that reality.
“One becomes indifferent. One thinks neither of the perilous situation nor of any danger,” French balloon pilot Gaston Tissandier wrote after narrowly surviving the first documented aviation-related hypoxia event at 28,000 feet.