Entries by John Mahany

More stick time for pilots?

It is being reported in the Feb. 7 edition of AvWeb, that the FAA is concerned about a lack of ‘stick time’ for pilots. According to the pending Advisory Circular (AC) 120-FPM, which is in ‘draft form’, with the subject being ‘Flightpath Management’(FPM), this AC addresses “manual flight operations, termed ‘MFO’, including managing automated systems, […]

Crosswind Landings

Challenging Crosswind Conditions We recently had ‘Santa Ana’ conditions here in SoCal. What causes this? Typically, it’s due to a high-pressure system over Utah or Nevada, with its clockwise flow, which funnels hot dry air southwesterly through the mountains surrounding the LA basin. When that happens, there is a strong northeasterly flow in parts of […]

Looking forward in 2022

Guinness World Record Zara Rutherford, only 19, recently completed her ‘RTW’ (‘round the world) flight, with many stops, in Wevelgem, Belgium, on Thursday, January 20, 2022. She was flying SOLO and has set a Guinness World Record in the process!! Congratulations, Zara!! She flew a Shark Ultra-Light, a small single engine aircraft built by Shark.aeros.r.o., […]

Looking back at 2021

As is reported in the Safety Trends story in the December 2021 issue of Plane & Pilot Magazine, looking back, what can be learned from the accident record? The good news, GA flying is getting safer. Is there any bad news? Well, the accident rate has not changed or improved much lately. Is that bad? […]

Air Traffic Control Mike Fright

Do you have Air Traffic Control Mike Fright? Are you unsure about what to say, or how to talk to ATC? Want to get over Air Traffic Control Mike Fright? You are not alone. Many are unsure of what to say. As an experienced CFI (Certified Flight Instructor), I’ve seen this with students and heard […]

Cross-Country Flight Planning, Common Mistakes

How long since you’ve done any cross-country flight planning? Maybe your flying is local in nature, less than 50 miles from your home airport for the $100 burger, so it’s been a while. Well, there are common problems that some pilots encounter with cross-country flight planning, among them, basically; not understanding weather well enough; inadequate […]

Turning wrenches on my Cessna 150… fun!

I recently had the experience of working on my Cessna 150. It was fun to get out my wrenches and do some airplane maintenance on this vintage airplane. Let me tell you how this happened. About two weeks ago, I had flown my Cessna 150 to nearby Torrance Airport, KTOA, on Sunday, June 27, for […]

Flying a DC-3, ‘Flabob Express’, almost…

After a yummy breakfast at the Airport Café, with my training Captain and Instructor, Bob, and his brother Tim, both of whom are retired airline captains and are now DC-3 pilots, flying Flabob Express, we went out and inspected the airplane. We did a ‘preflight’ or ‘walkaround’ as we call it. They actually kidded me […]

Do you know the difference between the FAR’s and AC’s?

Do you know the difference? This is area of confusion among some pilots. The rules, that is, the Federal Aviation Regulations, aka the ‘F-A-Rs’ or ‘regs’, for short, spell out the many requirements that we follow, as pilots, mechanics, and air traffic controllers, to operate an aircraft safely, in the National Airspace System (NAS), and […]

The PHAK and the AFH

Someone asked this recently on a FB page for student pilots; what’s the difference between “The Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge”, or PHAK, and “The Airplane Flying Handbook”, or AFH? It’s a good question. Do you know? These books are complimentary. Each alone is not sufficient. Generally speaking, the PHAK is ‘the big picture’. It […]