If you've ever been asked to describe the electrical system on an airplane, then you know that aircraft systems like these can be complicated to explain, even with a detailed schematic!
I learned a good technique for explaining systems during my multi-engine training years ago, and although it might be oversimplified, it's also a really good method for organizing systems knowledge into one well thought-out and thorough explanation. Check it out in my article 4 Easy Steps to Explaining Aircraft Systems.
Photo © Aaron Foster/Getty
When it comes to nonprofit organizations in the aviation industry, Women in Aviation, International is one of the best accidental success stories there is. The organization will celebrate its 25th Annual International Women in Aviation Conference in Orlando next week, a milestone that countless people in the aviation industry are thankful for.
In 1990, WAI founder Peggy Chabrian conducted the first Women in Aviation Conference in Prescott, Arizona with the idea that it would be a one-time event.
The first conference had 140 attendees. These days, a few thousand people and over 100 exhibitors attend the conference each year for a chance to network, win scholarships, talk to recruiters and otherwise enjoy the company of fellow aviation enthusiasts.
This year's conference includes tours of Read More...
Photo © Fly With Amelia Foundation
When pilot and news anchor Amelia Earhart agreed to an interview with me this past week, I was pretty excited. I mean, with a name like Amelia Earhart, she's obviously destined to do something amazing, and I was eager to know what it was.
I went into the interview with the late Amelia Earhart on my mind. After all, this Amelia has a lot in common with the late Amelia Earhart: They share a name, of course, but they also share a sense of adventure and the desire to fly around the world.
So I was surprised that by the end of the interview I had all but forgotten about the infamous Amelia Mary Earhart and her ill-fated flight around the world. I had gotten to know a new Amelia, and this modern-day Amelia Earhart was her clearly her own person.Read More...
Photo © Tim Boyle/Getty
For the most part, we remember our flight instructors with fondness. Who else can we hold responsible for introducing us to the beauty of flight during private pilot training while getting us through those pesky written exams and check rides?
But have you ever been stuck with a bad flight instructor? Like one that smelled funny or grumbled a lot?
Or maybe you're guilty of being an annoying flight instructor at one time or another. (After all, as much as we try, we can't be perfect!)
Photo Courtesy NYCAviation
You've seen them out there, standing around the perimeter fence in terrible weather with their binoculars and telescope lenses aimed at the sky. They come from different backgrounds but they all share one thing in common: Aviation is in their blood. Just like any other aviation enthusiast, they can't help but look overhead when they hear an airplane flying. The only difference is that they usually spot them before anyone else does.
For some, plane spotting is a decided hobby. For a few, it's a fun thing to do on a day off. For Phil Derner, Founder and President of NYCAviation, an aviation news and enthusiast website, it's something he grew up with.
"I grew up watching planes at LaGuardia Airport from my house in Queens. We had a group of people that got together to spot aircraft, and eventually Read More...
Photo Courtesy of IAE
If you're reading this, then you probably already know that the aviation industry is home to some of the best people.
I was reminded of this recently when I did an interview with Dr. Tim Smith, Founder and CEO of the Institute for Aerospace Education, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing opportunities for young people to excel in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) areas, and specifically in aviation and aerospace.
Not only is Dr. Smith a really nice guy, but he has a particularly remarkable thing going on with the Institute for Aerospace Education. You can read more about his story here.
You see, I'm a huge advocate for getting young people interested in Read More...
Photo © Sarina Houston
For pilots in the early stages of flight training, planning a cross-country flight can be an intimidating task. Broken down into steps, though, the flight planning process isn't all that difficult. The first few times you attempt it, you might feel like it's a lot to take it, and it is. But after you plan three or four flights, you'll be a pro!
Sometimes the hardest part is knowing where to go to find the information you need. So I put together a list of resources you might decide to use during the flight planning process:
- Start with this article: How to Plan a VFR Cross-Country Flight.
- Check out GlobalAir.com or Airnav for airport information. GlobalAir.com provides weather information and a kneeboard printout that includes airport information like runways, communication frequencies and the current weather on one small page that you can print and put in your kneeboard.
- Use a flight planning app like ForeFlight or AOPA FlyQ to plan your flight on your iPad or tablet.
Are you planning a cross-country flight? Have questions? Ask me on Twitter!
Photo © Scott Olson/Getty
When the FCC announced a proposal to allow cell phone use on board aircraft, the public was outraged. It would seem that nobody wants to sit next to passengers blabbing away on their cell phones.
I'm not sure what the chances are that this proposal will pass, but if there's truly no safety reason for the restriction to remain in place, than the restriction simply shouldn't exist.
The FCC claims that the restriction involving cell phone use on aircraft is outdated and the addition of new technology on aircraft would prevent any safety problems that arise from cell phone use. This means that it would be up to each air carrier to determine Read More...
Photo © John Raedle/Getty
If you're not sure what to expect from TSA this holiday season, you're not the only one.
This recently published article on the Seattle Times' website details the intricacies of modern-day airport security, including the many differences in security restrictions from airport to airport and person to person. It's always changing.
And these constant changes to the rules leave passengers wondering "who can bring what through security this time?" Then there's the new TSA pre-check program that allow some special travelers to go through the screening process with a new, separate set of rules.
Combine this with very recent and raw emotions stemming from the terrible incident at LAX, followed by a false report of a gunman just weeks later and people are overwhelmed, confused and maybe even a little Read More...
Photo © RT D'Onofrio/Plane Pieces, Inc.
Have you been on Etsy.com recently? If you haven't, you're missing out on some truly unique aviation finds. Did you know that you can get an iPhone dock made out of a piston from an WWII engine? Or a taxiway marker sign? Check out my 10 Fantastic Etsy Finds, which features 10 awesome aviation items that you'll enjoy for yourself or as a gift for an aviation friend. Etsy is great if you want unique, handcrafted items. It's also a god place to shop if you want to support small businesses and entrepreneurs. Plus, the sellers on Etsy just happen to make really cool things!
If you're still on the lookout for a holiday gift for the aviation nut in your life, check out my series of aviation gift ideas, which provides over 50 ideas for various types of avgeeks and covering all sorts of budget ranges.More Aviation Gift Ideas:
Top 12 Gift Ideas for the Aviation Enthusiast
Top 12 Gift Ideas for the Professional Pilot
Top 12 Gift Ideas for Flight Instructors
Top 12 Gift Ideas for Aircraft Owners