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Aircraft

Posts about aircraft maintenance and handling

"Cessna 377, cleared to land runway 31 left number 2 behind a Citabria turning base," said the tower controller as I joined the downwind leg from the 45. It was a pleasant Saturday morning and I'd decided to do some pattern work in my club's Cessna 172 at nearby Reid Hillview airport. It had a been a very short hop from San Jose International.

More on Flaps, Schmaps

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We were climbing on course in my club's A36 Bonanza at the start of our family's week-long vacation to the Pacific Northwest. My parents were in the back, my wife Janet was in the right seat, and Eddie Pippin, Canine Aviator, was in her lap. We'd just departed Ukiah, California, and I had circled to climb up through a hole in the scattered cloud layer before crossing the six and seven thousand foot peaks to the East. As we turned on course, I kept climbing.

More on Flying with George

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A large group had gathered for dinner at a favorite restaurant to honor our friend Bob, one of the earliest members of our flying club, who had recently sold his share after more than 40 years of membership. The room was packed. Large quantities of pizza, salad, and wine were consumed, and the hangar talk flowed. As physical appetites were sated, the time was ripe for some more formal storytelling—well, as formal as we get. Anders, our club president, assumed the role of master of ceremonies, laying out the rough plan for the after-dinner activities. He then yielded the floor to our Bonanza's crew chief Hal, who introduced one of the club's epic stories and the pilot, Paul, who in the early 1990's was at the center of it.

More on The Through Bolt Award

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"Whoa!" I exclaimed as the A36 Bonanza began pulling hard to the left during the takeoff roll. I shoved in more right rudder than I'd ever used before and it straightened out. Things didn't get any easier once we broke ground. "Where's Vy?" I rhetorically asked my buddy Hal as we began our initial climb.

More on A Totally Different Airplane

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"How many pilots do we have here tonight?" I asked an after-dinner breakout session at the CAFE Foundation's Fourth Annual Electric Aircraft Symposium. Nearly every hand went up.

"OK, not surprising," I chuckled and continued. "Now how many of you decided to learn to fly because you wanted a form of transportation—to get from point A to point B?" Only one person raised his hand. "And how many of you learned to fly because you were bitten by the flying bug and you absolutely had to do it come hell or high water?" Every pilot but one raised a hand.

More on There's My Electric Airplane!

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