The top five skills a pilot must learn

Blogger Tori Williams at makes the case that there’s five essential skills a pilot must learn (besides all that airplane stuff): Good Study Habits; A Willingness to Make Mistakes; Quick Decision Making; Punctuality; and A Sense of Adventure. Check it out here, then comment below if you agree or are there are other skills essential to being a safe pilot she didn’t mention?

Parapalegic pilot earns wings — and the respect of his peers


Learning to fly is challenging for most people. You have to get the money together and put in the time, overcome learning plateaus, and weather, and equipment challenges. Scott Miller from Albia, Iowa, had an additional challenge on the path to getting his wings — he is in a wheelchair.

Miller’s journey began in 2006 while serving in the National Guard. He was riding his motorcycle home from a military drill in Des Moines, when he hit a pothole and crashed. The accident broke his back, paralyzing him from the waist down.

While the accident changed Miller’s life, he said it also made him appreciate life more. “I don’t take anything for granted,” the 25-year-old notes.

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FAA deputy administrator new pilot

FAA Deputy Administrator Michael Whitaker, who is responsible for helping to ensure the safe and efficient operation of the National Airspace System, recently took his private pilot checkride — and told officials with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association that he “felt the pressure,” noting it “wouldn’t be acceptable” not to pass. In a blog post at, Whitaker relates that he was motivated to learn to fly for his own edification and because of his job — so he could understand technologies beyond the intellectual level and so he could better understand general aviation issues. Read the full report here.

Looming pilot shortage threatens GA

What some describe as a coming pilot shortage is already here for others, notes Wichita Business Journal aviation writer Daniel McCoy in a recent blog. “Kansas State University Salina’s professional pilot program is having trouble finding flight instructors,” he writes. “Other flight schools are having trouble making a go of it. And over it all looms the problem of commercial airlines needing an increasing number of pilots, which aggravates the situation in general aviation.”