I don’t care how well you think you are ready for an emergency, nothing beats professional training to make sure.
It’s pretty common for the family and close friends of a pilot to consider that pilot “the only one I’d feel comfortable flying with.” It’s no different with my family and non-flying friends. (Those friends of mine who do fly know better!)
This is the first in a three-part series describing the problem with the writer’s currrent avionics package, the solution and his experience flying with the new avionics choices he made.
Light aircraft are trainers, check-runners, news gatherers, ambulances, taxis, tour guides, fire fighters, police patrollers and family haulers. That’s what general aviation is all about.
A first time buyer recently asked me to clear up some confusion about significant differences in cruise performance and range between a ’75 and ’76 model of an airplane he was considering. When reviewing some of the various web sites and basic information provided about the airplanes, he noted that the ’75 model could cruise at 150 mph for a range of 735 miles, but the ’76 only cruised at 130 mph for 535 miles. What had changed about the airplane? Nothing. In fact, the ’76 model was the preferred edition.
In the last issue, I addressed how many pilots are also SCUBA enthusiasts, and how flying to dive destinations can satisfy both interests in one trip. I also mentioned that I would soon be returning to the Bahamas to try out a new destination, once I figured out where that would be. The excellent response I received from that column only enforced my belief of the flying-diving connection.
As we take to the skies, one thing is certain: we will eventually hear some interesting stuff over the electronic airwaves.
For my wife, it had been one of those miserable weeks. By Friday, she was stressed to the max, being driven nuts by her job as a commercial property manager. In contrast, it was a pretty good week for me. It was day five of my seven-day-off cycle in my work as an EMS helicopter pilot. I spent the entire five days holed up in my video-editing suite completing an aviation safety video and I was ready for a change of pace. Time to go flying. I wanted to give my wife a mini-vacation to a surprise destination. But where?
As July rolled around this year, so did another chance to host a regional fly-in for Cardinal owners. The North Carolina event has taken on more of a training emphasis and it’s gratifying to see how many owners traveled great distances to partake. People came from as far away as Oakland, Calif., Tulsa, Okla., and the northeast this year for ground and/or flight recurrent training and safety seminars. A lot of training took place in the three days of the fly-in, meaning it took me another three days to catch up on all the paperwork.
After all of the “new” airplanes I have flown for evaluation since the mid ’90s, it sure is refreshing finally to report to you on one that really is new and exciting through and through, and not just updated with high-tech avionics or new leather trim. In fact, strip the panel clean of radios, replace the leather seats with mesh, and the Lancair Columbia 300 still would be worthy of being called really new.