Would you hesitate to declare an emergency?

The fact that all three of my passengers were throwing up simultaneously left me three options: Tough it out and press on to our destination; join them in their nauseous state; or declare an emergency and get the hell on the ground.

My right seat passenger was a Horizon Air first officer. She thought she was used to bumpy rides. I was flying her to her domicile. She was supposed to report for work there within four hours of our scheduled arrival time.

To top it off, it was only the 11th month of her 12-month probation period. Missing her show time could be reason enough to fire her. I wanted to press on…believe me. I wanted to impress her with my weather flying skills in hard IMC. I wanted to be her hero. But mostly I wanted her to walk my resumé in to her chief pilot the next time a hiring window opened.

Everything in me said, “continue.” Even my front seatmate pleaded for me to gut it out, so I hesitated.
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Raisbeck unveils EPIC Performance Package for King Airs

SEATTLE — Raisbeck Engineering is unveiling a newly certified EPIC Performance Package for the in-service King Air C90GTx fleet of nearly 150 airplanes.

The improved performance comes from Raisbeck’s Swept Blade Turbofan Propellers, combined with Dual Aft Body Strakes, and takes advantage of the low-speed contribution of the factory installed winglets on that specific model, company officials explain.

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Pilot fails to switch tanks

Aircraft: Piper Cherokee. Injuries: None. Location: Beltzville, Pa. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: Before launching on the instructional flight, the flight instructor completed a preflight inspection and noted that each wing fuel tank contained about 18 gallons of fuel. At the conclusion of the flight, while returning to the airport, the engine experienced a total loss of power.

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Sharing your wings

For many frugal pilots, sharing their wings makes a lot of sense. Most private pilots fly less than 1% of the available hours in a year, often not enough time to keep their aircraft from suffering from inactivity. Add another pilot or two and the plane actually stays in better condition —and the costs go down.

But the big question isn’t so much should you share your wings, but how?

Obviously, it’s not a thorough analogy, but sharing wings is somewhat like sharing a life in marriage: The partnership can either be twice as good or twice as bad as going it alone.

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