Why worry about knock in an aircraft engine?

My last several columns have been on the relationship between knock and unleaded fuels in aircraft engines. I have received several questions from people who have experienced knock in their car engines, especially in the 1970s and 1980s. They note that knock didn’t harm their auto engines, so why am I worried about a little knock in an aircraft engine?

There are a number of significant differences between auto and aircraft engines. The biggest is liquid vs. air cooling. [Read more…]

FAA to study pilot fitness

The FAA is working with the commercial aviation and medical communities to study the emotional and mental health of U.S. commercial pilots.

The joint FAA and industry group known as the Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST) recommended the study based on the recent Malaysia Flight 370 and Germanwings Flight 9525 accidents. [Read more…]

Garmin slates open house

Garmin will hold its first Aviation Open House Thursday, June 11, from 4-7 p.m. CDT. Pilots are invited to visit Garmin headquarters in Olathe, Kansas, to learn more about Garmin, tour the company’s product reliability lab, manufacturing and repair facilities and flight simulator lab.

Informational seminars tailored to Garmin avionics and industry-related topics also will be held. [Read more…]

Slow approach leads to fatal stall

The private pilot of the Cessna 170, 59, had logged 476.2 total flight hours, including 432.1 hours in the Cessna 170, including 3.75 hours in the previous 90 days.

A friend of the pilot said he saw the Cessna 170 enter the traffic pattern at the airport in Auburn, Calif., but didn’t watch the full approach and landing because he was busy putting his airplane back into his hangar. [Read more…]