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Browse Turner, Thomas P.

1-119 out of 119 article(s)
Title Type Date Words
Non-Precision Stability: Constant-angle non-precision approaches are all the rage, thanks to GPS. But there are times when an old school dive-and-drive approach can come in handy. Jan 1, 2021 2292
You're Not Authorized For That Approach: When considering instrument approaches, the large print giveth and the (very) small print taketh away. Oct 1, 2020 2520
The Emergency Mindset: When appropriate, declaring an emergency gives us priority and greater assistance from ATC. But there's a deeper benefit from using the "E" word. Aug 1, 2020 2371
Cleared For The MSA? When ATC dears you for an approach, but you re not on a published segment, how low can you go? The answer changes when it's an RNAV approach. Jul 1, 2020 1874
Decisions In The System: The hands-on part of flying an airplane, even single-pilot IFR, is easy. Managing your flight--making decisions in real time--is the hard part. May 1, 2020 2329
Handling In-Close Approach Changes: When ATC assigns an approach different from the one you've prepped, your cockpit workload can spike. To manage things, you'll need a plan. Excerpt Jan 1, 2020 2075
All Or Nothing? After decades of just say no' on turning back to the runway after an engine failure, the FAA is changing its tune to suggest training and practice. Oct 1, 2019 2282
I'll Be Missing You: Whether you expect them or not, missed approaches happen. Plan for and practice how you'll set up for them well before leaving the final approach fix. Sep 1, 2019 2329
Five Reasons Not To Fly A Coupled Approach: It's always tempting to let Otto do the work, but it takes us out of the loop at a time ivhen we really need to be in it. Jul 1, 2019 2121
Three IFR Curveballs: If it's fair game on your instrument check ride, it's fair game for an ATC clearance. Are you ready? May 1, 2019 2653
Common Threads In Weather Accidents: Unsurprisingly, weather-related accidents almost always involve poor decision-making by the pilot. Apr 1, 2019 2369
The Big Picture: Situational awareness is about more than finding yourself on a map. Done right, it can make everyone's life easier. Feb 1, 2019 2486
Truth In Icing: There are a lot of myths and rationalizations about airframe icing. Let's set some of them straight. Dec 1, 2018 1521
Return Strategies: What will we do if we have a problem during our IFR departure? How will we get back on the ground? Nov 1, 2018 2124
When To Go Visual: Combining the best features of VFR and IFR isn't without its drawbacks and limitations. Oct 1, 2018 1659
IMC Emergencies: One aspect of preparing for an emergency in IMC piolots sometimes forget is the need to remain in command of the situation. Sep 1, 2018 2313
Smarter Than Direct: You rarely get a direct routing to your destination in busy airspace, so you can either anticipate what ATC will throw at you or push buttons all the way. Aug 1, 2018 2217
Approach Gates: Approaches are a lot easier if you think of the various fixes on the way to the runway as points at which to manage speed, configuration and descent rate. Jul 1, 2018 2244
Keep Your Speed Up: ATC may make this request when you 're squeezing into a busy airport. Best to not try it without practicing first. Jun 1, 2018 2243
Sidestepping Storms: Coordinate your plan with ATC, stay in VMC and don't get too close. May 1, 2018 2544
Low-Viz Take offs: You'll need to exercise much more care and preparation than if the weather was better. Apr 1, 2018 2172
The Alternate Missed: The alternate holding fix is depicted on the approach plate but the procedure won't be in your GPS database. Instead, you'll find it in a Notam. Mar 1, 2018 2348
Into The Flight Levels: Even if the airplane you're flying doesn't require it, obtaining the FAA's high-altitude endorsement training can be a good idea for your operations. Nov 1, 2017 1700
Approach Vectors Checklist: While the controller is doing (some of) the navigating for you is a good time to set up for the approach. Oct 1, 2017 1813
A new column, please: flying IFR behind a glass panel is sufficiently different from using traditional steam gauges that you may want to add a new column to your logbook. Column Aug 1, 2016 1377
Proficiency on a budget: getting and staying proficient doesn't always mean throwing money at the problem, but it does mean actively seeking out new information and procedures. Jul 1, 2016 2139
Run it dry? If you need every last drop of fuel in that tank, you may be doing it wrong. Jun 1, 2016 2289
Finding the slot: it's hard to make a good landing out of a bad approach, and there's no single way to make a good approach. May 1, 2016 2092
Pitch trim principles: once we relieve any control pressures, the airplane is trimmed for that airspeed, which has implications for takeoff cruise and--especially--go-arounds. Apr 1, 2016 2429
VA, VB And Negative G: the speed you aim for in turbulence probably isn't adjusted for weight, making it too fast. That's not hard to fix. Dec 1, 2015 1793
Popping up: in the real world of ATC, flight plans and clearances go missing. What you do about it can determine the flight's outcome. Jan 1, 2015 2858
Hold me, thrill me: if you're doing them right, holds are anything but thrilling. but they can be useful at times. Dec 1, 2014 2465
Leaving elmira: your pre-flight planning should include looking at the terrain and considering normal, abnormal and emergency returns to an IFR runway. Nov 1, 2014 2290
Briefing the takeoff: when everything goes as it should, taking off is a nothingburger. when it doesn't, you need a plan. Oct 1, 2014 1878
Keeping me in suspense: by design, an IFR-certified GPS won't navigate you to a missed approach point without intervention. here's why, and how to fly the miss. Sep 1, 2014 2442
SIDuational awareness: in the land of direct anywhere, departure procedures can trip you up unless you take a moment to brief yourself before takeoff. Jul 1, 2014 2695
Post-flight debrief: Make a deliberate, honest assessment of your performance on the just-completed flight. Jun 1, 2014 2644
No way out: weather flying means having a Plan B and using it when Plan A won't work. Feb 1, 2014 2587
Departure difficulties: too many IMC departures go off the rails. It shouldn't be this hard to use smart pre-takeoff procedures and follow the clearance. Dec 1, 2013 2695
Stall recovery: ailerons or rudder? One likely will get you into a spin while the other will level the wings. Hint: Use your feet. Nov 1, 2013 2633
Flying defensive patterns: mid-airs usually happen in the traffic pattern. Be where you're expected, and expect the other guy to do it wrong. Oct 1, 2013 3131
Departure procedures: just as an airport has an approach procedure, it also has departures. Set them up the same way. Sep 1, 2013 2364
Master the rudder: minimizing drag and maximizing performance through superior footwork. Aug 1, 2013 2131
Becoming your own test pilot: most aircraft never make "book" performance. The only way to know how it will perform is to do some real-world testing. Jul 1, 2013 3259
IFR weather planning: a methodical approach to briefing an IFR flight can help you identify and organize information on en route and destination hazards. Jun 1, 2013 2227
From TOD, to MAP and beyond: getting to your destination is a major part of the battle, but you still have to descend and shoot an approach. Use these tips to manage the workload. May 1, 2013 2553
Approach configuration management: the airspeed at which you fly an approach should be the climb speed you'll use on the miss. If you configure the airplane the same way each time, you'll nail it. Apr 1, 2013 2657
The Alpha Principle: stall training should be less about airspeed and more about angle of attack, the difference between where the airplane's pointed and where it's going. Feb 1, 2013 2420
Know where to go: having a plan B in mind before the airplane soils the bed means you won't waste time or CPU cycles making decisions--you'll already know what to do. Jan 1, 2013 2996
Let yourself down: verify the altitude to which you can descend before pulling the plug. Even if you're off airways or being vectored, you'll find it on the chart. Dec 1, 2012 2656
The bold print: many emergency checklist items should be reflexive and committed to memory. On the ground, you can roll your own, but never forget flying the airplane is first. Nov 1, 2012 2312
Surviving the missed: plan for missing the approach before you leave the FAF. And remember: the first step on every miss is to initiate a climb before turning. Oct 1, 2012 2365
Is the LSA safe? Examining seven years of light sport accidents reveals many things can be improved but no smoking gun. Aug 1, 2012 3026
The long and short of landings: most runway over-and underruns can be cured the same way: pick and use an appropriate aiming point while properly managing airspeed. Jul 1, 2012 2280
The day the waypoints died: GPS is a great tool, but what if it was't available? Are you ready to use ground-based navaids again? Apr 1, 2012 3199
Finding a CFI: the best flight instructor for you may not be at the local FBO. Find the one you really need with some research and planning. Feb 1, 2012 2730
Slips ... who needs 'Em? According to an informal poll of CFIs, slips not only help pilots learn to control the airplane but they also can come in handy, even in flap-equipped planes. Dec 1, 2011 3147
When glass goes dark: it probably won't, at least in the near term, but partial failures and scenarios involving electrical system malfunctions still demand a backup plan. Nov 1, 2011 2451
Making the field: planning a dead-stick approach works a lot better, when you employ the "key position" concept for turns and other decisions. Oct 1, 2011 2841
Using a flight director: once reserved only for turbine-powered equipment, flight directors also can be found in most glass-panel installations. Learning to use it will improve your hand-flying accuracy. Aug 1, 2011 2225
Preflight lessons: avoid missing preflight items by using a checklist and considering the equipment and avionics you'll likely use on the upcoming flight. Jul 1, 2011 2764
Yanking and banking: rolling G forces--pitching and banking at the same time--can overstress the airframe. Instead, do one, then the other. Jun 1, 2011 2571
Ducking under: pressures leading us to bust minimums can include passenger expectations, cockpit confusion and low fuel but rarely produce a good outcome. Mar 1, 2011 2633
Prepping for the IPC: while getting through an instrument proficiency check doesn't require superhuman effort, you should take the opportunity to actually learn something. Feb 1, 2011 2233
Partial-panel prep tips: handling a partial-panel situation requires more than an hour or so of practice every year. Use these tips to stay ahead of problems and deal with any that occur. Dec 1, 2010 2468
Non-radar IFR: once you're off the beaten path, ATC can't see you or provide the services--like obstacle clearance--we've taken for granted. They're now your responsibility. Nov 1, 2010 2617
(Oh) no procedure turn: especially when using the new crop of RNAV (GPS) approaches, it pays to know when you'll need a procedure turn. When in doubt, ask ATC. Oct 1, 2010 2195
From denial to final, II: things to do once you shake of the initial shock of an engine failure include nailing the best-glide airspeed, configuring the airplane and finding a place to land. Sep 1, 2010 3001
Engine failure: from denial to final: shake off the shock, and fly the airplane. While you're at it, you'll want to verify the failure and try to fix it. Then think about where to land. Aug 1, 2010 3473
Five reasons to uncouple your approach: flying a coupled approach often is easier, but it does present other challenges. If you're not prepared for them, may want to do this yourself. Jul 1, 2010 2348
Five exercises for better crosswind landings: proper crosswind skills involve putting together a few specialized techniques. With these exercises, you'll handle the challenge with confidence. May 1, 2010 2284
Five airspeeds you've got to nail: pitch and power equals performance, hut when you need them most, you won't have time to look them up. Feb 1, 2010 3028
Top three icing myths busted: some real-world examples demonstrate in-flight icing is a problem no matter what airplane you fly. Jan 1, 2010 2372
Real-world steep turns: after the checkride, you still need to know how to fly in and out of a steep turn, and what's happening while you're there. Cover story Dec 1, 2009 2130
The forgotten maneuver: the early stages of a go-around or missed approach is when many stall/spin accidents occur. Why the most critical time during a go-around is the first 60 seconds. Nov 1, 2009 2624
Beyond the burble: once the airplane's wing exceeds its critical angle of attack, you've got to recover. It can be as simple as relaxing back pressure. Cover story Sep 1, 2009 3057
IFR GPS: good, bad or just ugly? In a few short years, GPS revolutionized light-plane IFR. Along with the added capability can come higher workload, though, along with greater complexity. Aug 1, 2009 2476
Max-range flying: sure, carry enough fuel and watch the weather. But fatigue and nutrition can play major roles, also. Cover story Jul 1, 2009 2943
Getting higher: flying in the mid-teens buys you several benefits, but it's not without a price. Before going that high, there are a few things you need to know. Jun 1, 2009 2612
Instrument rating: the first 100 hours: you'll never be more current than the day of your checkride, but getting and staying proficient requires developing a plan and sticking with it. May 1, 2009 2381
GPS Errors: getting the most from the magic in your panel without losing the "flick". Apr 1, 2009 2809
Find the runway: you just shot the best approach of your life, but you still have to pick out the runway from the visual clutter. Mar 1, 2009 2233
The first 400 feet: initiating a missed approach can be the busiest time you'll ever spend in an airplane. Feb 1, 2009 3072
Glass cockpit partial panel: sophisticated panels in otherwise simple airplanes have unique failure modes not all pilots are trained to handle. What you should look for in your training. Jan 1, 2009 2692
Takeoff aborts: the properly prepared takeoff is spring-loaded to turn into an abort. Here's how to decide when to call the whole thing off. Dec 1, 2008 2950
Departing non-towered airports: when there's no charted departure procedure and the weather's down the tubes, use these tips to do it on your own. Nov 1, 2008 2729
O2 realities: the FARs say one thing about when to use oxygen but the reality is quite different. You probably need it sooner and lower. Oct 1, 2008 2602
Forget the checklist: in an emergency, reaching for the checklist could be the worst thing to do. Know and perform your aircraft's memory items, then grab the checklist. Sep 1, 2008 1636
You are the backup: despite all the latest safety-enhancing innovations in modern aircraft, the pilot remains the final backup when all those systems fail. Aug 1, 2008 2333
High and hot how-to: use these tips to reliably go beyond the book and ensure adequate performance in high-density-altitude operations. Jul 1, 2008 2143
Are TAAs safer? After some well-publicized teething pains, it appears technologically advanced airplanes are racking up a better safety record than their less well-equipped brethren. Jun 1, 2008 2183
Flying aging aircraft: even though it might perform as well--or better than--a new one, you'll need to pay extra attention as your older airplane ages. May 1, 2008 2714
On a mission: thunderstorms: the best advice when dealing with thunderstorms is "don't." The pros offer their strategies on avoidance. Apr 1, 2008 2309
How not to get experience: for the new private pilot wanting to use an airplane for personal transportation, getting experience is critical. How to get it is even more important. Cover story Mar 1, 2008 2319
On a mission: LIFR departures: according to top operators, safe, regular departures in low IFR require devising a system to double-check everything and sticking to it. Feb 1, 2008 2769
Saving the Caravan: industry and the FAA recently took a close look at the Cessna Caravan's safety in icing conditions. All of us can use what they learned. Cover story Jan 1, 2008 2425
On a mission: managing ice: the techniques with which mission-oriented operators using smaller aircraft stay out of ice are the same ones you'll use this winter. Dec 1, 2007 2599
Cockpit traps: knowing more about how some of the things in your cockpit work and to what they're connected can help diagnose and resolve in-flight problems. Nov 1, 2007 2166
Someone to watch over you observations from air traffic controllers on what GA pilots do right, and wrong, in the ATC system. Oct 1, 2007 2349
Why it went wrong: why do pilots come to make blatantly bad decisions? Can we catch those bad choices before it's too late? Sep 1, 2007 3210

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