65

I get this question a lot from people who are apprehensive about flying with a private pilot. I'm afraid I won't be reducing these fears in any way. Let's review some general statistics during 2008. Note - these stats aren't specific to light or single engine aircraft: NTSB reported there were 1.21 fatalities per 100,000 flight hours for private aircraft ...


60

You should wait until clearing the runway before performing any non-essential checklist items because you are still in a critical phase of flight and at a relatively high risk while still on the runway. You should focus 100% of your attention to controlling the airplane (don't stop flying the airplane until you come to a complete stop) and watching for ...


46

Since Geoff took the devil's advocate position, I'll play cheerleader. If you look at the statistics another way, like AOPA does, you'll find that General Aviation has "about one-sixth as many accidents on a per-vehicle-mile basis" compared to driving. Or to put it another way I'm 6 times more likely to get in a car accident driving to the airport as I ...


35

Raise the flaps after leaving the runway. Consider: A light single doesn't weigh that much and in the short time slowing down from the speed you touchdown at and taxi speed, the difference in weight on wheels between flaps 0 and flaps X is not worth worrying about unless you are landing on a true short field. If the crosswind is that strong, you still need ...


31

Not storms, but there is a concept called "Pressure Pattern Flying" where you plan routing to stay in favourable circulation around Highs and Lows, to the extent that deviations to follow the circulation flow and stay in tailwinds can get you there sooner than going straight. To take advantage of this you need to be going fast enough and with the ...


26

I think this is more common than you might think in a C182. The 182 is much more nose-heavy than a 172 (which is particularly noticeable in the flare) and this seems to limit the amount of upward pitch authority the elevator has at low speeds. The only stalls I've done in a 182 are much as you described - you can hold full back-elevator and you just sort of ...


24

Raising the flaps right after touchdown. Good or Bad? -- The answer is an emphatic Yes. The major reason for not raising your flaps until you've cleared the runway and come to a stop is that it's one more thing for the pilot to do in an already workload-intensive period (landing). As others have pointed out you might hit the wrong control or otherwise mess ...


24

Here are some options for flying in an environmentally friendly way: Use an electric trainer: Since last year the all electric trainer aircraft Pipistrel Alpha Electro has FAA certification. Assuming the batteries are charged with renewable energy, this would mean no greenhouse gas emissions at all (excluding manufacturing). It will probably still take some ...


22

It could have been a flight instructor with a student that was becoming too reliant on the VASI's slope information for visual approaches to landing, and he wanted to force the student to do without.


21

Because I'm both a single engine pilot and motorcycle rider, the way I explain risk to new passengers is as follows: Daytime flight over non-mountainous terrain: Like riding a motorcycle with full gear. Daytime flight in instrument conditions or over mountainous terrain in clear air: Like riding a motorcycle with only a helmet. Night flight over non-...


18

The first and perhaps most important thing to do is NOT turn around. Generally speaking you won't have the airspeed/altitude to make a full 180 and return to the field. While it can be done, it's advised to continue forward and put the plane down as you would in any emergency. Trim for best glide and pick a landing spot (limited options in this case). In ...


17

Nobody mentioned the theory so far, so I'll try to fill in. Disclaimer: The below calculations and estimates are based on what I know about the physics involved. I don't know whether they are actually mentioned in pilot operating handbook of any aircraft. To successfully turn back, you after climbing at best climb rate, when the engine quits you push down, ...


16

It is "remotely feasible", you can watch this pilot story from AOPA about someone who did it. But, that doesn't mean that you or anyone else will be successful in attempting it because of the large number of variables that you mentioned. And one successful execution does not mean that it's a good idea in general. One suggestion I've read several times is to ...


16

It's remotely possible, assuming you can find a suitable UFO :-) If you drop an object from an aircraft it starts falling with the same airspeed that the aircraft has, until drag or other factors slow it down. If you've ever seen a flour bombing competition (or just watched some WW2 movies or documentaries) you may have noticed that you drop bombs before you ...


16

Diamond aircraft are very low drag and do not have particularly effective flaps, so sideslipping is certainly an effective way to approach the problem. However there are considerations you need to be aware of: A steeper approach can bring you down on top of another airplane on final approach. Maintaining a more common approach angle is safer as it is less ...


15

Been there, done that. USS Akron and USS Macon The airship would build up speed to somewhere around 40 miles per hour, which was just about the stall speed of the F9C-2, and the Sparrowhawk would slowly and carefully maneuver into a position that allowed them to hook up to the same bar that hoisted them out. Once hooked, the aircraft was hoisted ...


15

For getting in, the nose has to be physically raised before the pilot can board the aircraft: When the aircraft is parked, the NLG is retracted and the aircraft rests on the bumper at the front of the aircraft, in what is described as the 'kneeled' position. Extension of the NLG requires the front of the aircraft to be physically raised, after which the NLG ...


15

By using as much simulator time as possible.


14

In the light aircraft world there are a few trade-offs to consider. The short version: Single-Engine Pros: Simplicity One engine means fewer controls, a simpler fuel system, simpler vacuum system, simpler electrical system, etc. Operational cost Only one engine to feed, so you spend less on - fuel & oil per flight. Maintenance cost Only one engine ...


14

It's been done. David Thurston designed a system for the Lake LA-4 that was purported to allow it to land on 5ft waves. It may have been a bit of a handful (the Bucaneer is a demanding airplane on its normal hull) and was crashed by someone who took it for a spin without Thurston's authorization, and that was the end of that.


14

What size aircraft are we talking about? The FAA recommends staying at least 20 miles from any thunderstorm activity for GA aircraft. I can only imagine that they would double, triple, or quadruple that for something as bad as a hurricane. Convective activity a lot weaker than that would keep most GA pilots from flying. My CFI had an old saying when looking ...


13

There would not be much point in having two engines if a single engine failure would be unrecoverable. In fact, that would make the plane twice as likely to have an unrecoverable event! If one engine has a 1/1million chance of failure, then the chance of failure of at least one of 2 engines is 2-in-a-million.(technically, slightly less than 2-in-a-million.....


13

The HondaJet is type certified by the FAA. The type certificate says that it's certified in the normal category under 14 CFR 23, which includes the requirements to be able to take off and climb on a single engine. Simply put, the HondaJet has plenty of surplus thrust even on one engine and there should be no problem at all landing it after a single engine ...


12

There's a very good discussion of the "impossible turn" at the following link: http://www.nar-associates.com/technical-flying/impossible/possible.html It goes into an AIAA study using a flight simulator with new and experienced pilots and it shows that while it's technically feasible, pilots need to train for it and be very strict with their bank angle. ...


12

I had three days to burn so I took a look.) Comparative data was very difficult to find beyond accident counts, so determining relative safety is problematic. No one that I could find tracks or estimates the number of flights/hours for gliders, even the Soaring Society of America, so this is all interesting but essentially meaningless. Even if such data ...


12

Most likely an ERCO Ercoupe. BTW, this tail configuration is called H-tail. Note the similar-looking Max Holste MH.52, but with the noticeably smaller dihedral angle.


11

I say bad for some planes. Also other planes it will be bad in some conditions. So follow what the operations manual says for that plane. Using full flaps is a very high drag and very poor L/D ratio configuration for the plane to be in. By raising flaps the potential increase in tire grip (from reduced lift) for braking is offset partially or entirely by ...


11

If the engines quits right after the plane has lift off, you can easily set it back onto the runway. You will be amazed how short the distance is to stop a C152. I would rather leave the flaps untouched and focus on where I am going, unless you are a skilled bush pilot used to playing around with the flaps. Then again, if you are a skilled bush pilot, you ...


10

Yes, a hot air balloon would change class, if you are adding an engine and propeller to provide thrust. With powered flight comes the need to provide some form of flight control; at this point, you have an airship, albeit a thermal airship. According to the FAA's Airship Design Criteria, and much like @voretaq7's citation in another answer: An airship is ...


10

Well, a balloon already is an aircraft, specifically: A balloon is a lighter-than-air aircraft that is not engine driven, and that sustains flight through the use of either gas buoyancy or an airborne heater. So if you were to attach engine-driven propellers to your balloon it would no longer be a "balloon". It would start to sound a lot more like ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible