Flying Through the “Cascades”

One System Failure Can Trigger Other Systems to Fail System failures can trigger further system failures depending on how something is engineered. This is known as a cascading failure and it can lead to catastrophic results. Non-aviation examples include both the Fukushima Daiichi and Chernobyl nuclear power plant failures. A few seemingly manageable failures caused… Read more »

Snow Covered Ramp

Relaxing Winter’s Grip

Contaminated Airport Surfaces Winter 2016 – 2017 While Seattle’s experience with snow and ice is very limited in comparison to many other U.S. cities, one can easily find themselves in the thick of it within an hour’s flight time. For instance, you can depart Boeing Field on a 45 degree January day in the sun… Read more »

When Night Flight Becomes Fright Night

Don’t Let Night Flying Scare You Away This Fall October 2016 In night flying there exists a combination of things that culminate to create a difficult and sometimes uncomfortable experience for many of us. As a result, we tend to let fear of the unknown steer us clear of night flying. Let’s look at some… Read more »

Fall 2016 Safety Corner

Fall is that time of year where everything seems to turn into a pumpkin – our lattes, our beer, even the weather and our planes. The latter two are figurative of course, but fog and frost can bring our flying to a momentary halt. Frustrated by this, many will give up and hit the pause… Read more »

Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should

When Challenges Can Become Failures August 2016 I have an irrational fear about attaching HD cameras to my plane, motorcycle, or even myself for that matter. The logic being that as soon as I do I will have an accident and it will inevitably end up online as the first thing you find when you… Read more »

Techno Without The Glowsticks

When Common Sense Suffers At The Hands Of Technology July 2016 There’s a great scene in the 2012 film, The Avengers, in which Samuel L. Jackson’s character, Nick Fury, is trying to command their crashing helicarrier away from a populated area. When the ship’s pilot states their navigation system is down and doesn’t know which… Read more »

In Dodgeball, Everyone Gets Hit

Are Bird Strikes Inevitable? June 2016 There were two sports that formed the rock-solid foundation of a good physical education in the state of Kentucky’s elementary school system: basketball and dodgeball. Kentucky was, and still remains, one of the few states without a professional sports team in any of the big leagues (MLB, NHL, NBA,… Read more »

Off-Airport Landings

It’s a common question typically asked only during training and testing: “If you lose your engine, where are you going to land?” As a result, we only reinforce the common belief that we are the safest pilots we’ll ever be the moment after training and testing has been completed. News travels fast and just as… Read more »

Dancing Queen!

ABBA: The Universal Mnemonic Sweden has produced some impressive things to leave their mark on this world: Saab automobiles and aircraft, IKEA furniture and household goods, and legendary pop music group ABBA just to name a few. I realize the Saab Gripen fighter jet might seem the logical segue here, but I am actually more… Read more »

Push Your Right Foot In, Put Your Left Hand Down

Crosswind landing techniques March 2016 Technically speaking, you are 34 times more likely to have a crosswind landing than not. That number may sound like it was derived from a complex formula, but it’s quite simple. For example, if you are landing on a runway configured as 36/18, the prevailing winds would have to be… Read more »