The greatest threat to aviation

What appears as a dot of light on the ground can illuminate an entire cockpit, 
disorienting a pilot or causing temporary blindness

I was once blinded by my best friend while flying at night. He was trying to help me read a map. We were out of KDAL, heading to KSMO.

Inbound to KSMO, at night, over California’s high desert, the earth below looked black as pitch, the sky above a planetarium ceiling’s worth of stars. I’d purposely kept cockpit lighting low to preserve my night vision.

When ATC descended us from12,000 to 8,000, I dropped my sectional. Thinking he was being helpful, my non-pilot friend saw this as an opportunity to show off the new, high-intensity headband flashlight he’d brought along, the kind intended for caves, not cockpits.

“Check this out!” he said. I turned toward him just as he flicked on the flashlight.

“AHHH!” I screamed and jerked away, but not before being blinded completely. [Read more…]

Video: Flying for food

Flying for Food

Smitty Smith from FunPlacestoFly.com recently posted this video of a recent flight to The Taxiway Café at the Lancaster Airport in Lancaster, Texas. He notes: “We flew out of McKinney National Airport, flying over Mesquite and then direct to Lancaster. The Taxiway Café has some of the best food around. Be sure and give them a visit. You won’t be sorry!”