Flying December 2019


The sharp wit and experienced judgment of Flying’s experts cover all the challenges and rewards that aviation offers to all flying enthusiasts. From industry news updates, regulations, trends, air shows and events to carefully researched reports on all categories of airplanes, helicopters, avionics, products, technology, accessories and equipment to pilot technique, flight training, safety, weather, operations and maintenance.

United States
Bonnier Corporation
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join the aviation family

Walking through airline terminals, a pilot and aviation journalist like me can’t help but be drawn to the newsstands. At Chicago O’Hare alone, there must be dozens of them. (Actually, 31. I checked.) Flying is often the only aviation-forward title among the choice of magazines, its distinctive aircraft-driven cover literally flying out of the rack. Those images can’t help but capture the eye and imagination of anyone with airplanes on the brain or the skies coursing through their soul—also like me. One recent trip marked the changeover on the newsstand between the waning of the September issue and October’s arrival; I saw both of those covers winking at me as I sought them out. I thought of the unique position that Flying takes, perfectly represented in those outposts of Hudson News.…


WE LOVE PAPER CHARTS When I read the title of Martha’s October [article], “A Love Affair With Paper Charts,” all I could say [was], “Amen, amen, amen!” I have to admit, I too have been guilty of heading for that chart on the wall in at least one airport to see where that string was centered. I was taught to rely, almost exclusively, on VORs for navigation, and early on, I depended on them—probably too much. It must have been about 1975 when I was asked to deliver an old Cessna 310 to Roswell, New Mexico, from Mena, Arkansas. After a quick trip around the field, I discovered none of the avionics were working. I was ready to scrub the mission when the 80-year-old FBO owner/manager (Hamp Edwards) asked me why a…


There was a time when over-the-ear headphones with those big, fat cables and plugs were rare. Today, they’re the standard. When the radios in an airplane become unusable for any reason, though, picking up a trusted handheld radio isn’t always the most practical solution because that means pulling off your noise-canceling headset. Making that situation worse, the tiny speaker on some handhelds is not always powerful enough to overcome cabin noise once you rip off your Lightspeed or Bose. Until now, the options to quickly solve this problem have been few. Sporty’s Pilot Shop thinks it has an answer with the recently released PJ2 comm radio. The PJ2 is light—three-quarters of a pound—and stands 7 inches tall, 2.4 inches wide and just 1.7 inches deep, perfect to stow in an empty…

four big failures

Steve Thorne didn’t have to fly all the way from Burlington, Ontario, to Atlanta to get a decent flight review, but he was compelled to by the potential for adventure and greater learning. He’s known to many as the founder of Flight Chops and the “weekend warrior” on YouTube who flies for his own satisfaction, representing for many pilots a reflection of themselves. He’s relatable, humble and genuinely interested in the Flight Chops motto: “Practice. Review. Improve.” Thorne teamed up with flight instructor and retired Delta captain Dan Gryder to take the flight review that could change Thorne’s approach to flying for good. In the subsequent video released on the Flight Chops YouTube channel, Gryder examines the four big failure areas general aviation pilots continue to suffer from—and that cause accidents. The…

uavionix purchase of aerovonics

It’s no secret that most instrument-rated pilots and those flying classic airplanes would love to rid their machines of the decades-old vacuum system that’s known to simply roll over and die with almost no notice. Of course, pressure from those classic vacuum systems are what keep many ancient attitude indicators operating. In the past five years, electronic alternatives to vacuum-operated attitude indicators have become more and more popular—except when it comes time to pay for them, a bill that includes installation. But electronic indicators aren’t nearly as prone to failure as the legacy systems. To some operators, however, even the new systems are pricier than they’d like. Enter uAvionix, already famous for low-cost, easily installed ADS-B Out solutions for general aviation aircraft, such as the skyBeacon and tailBeacon. In October, the…

gaithersburg, maryland (gai) rnav (gps)-a

Gaithersburg is the choice for many pilots who don’t want to fly into Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) or aren’t able to fly into Washington’s Reagan National Airport (DCA). The Montgomery County Airpark (GAI) sits roughly 25 miles north of the nation’s capital, making for a short drive to downtown Washington. The airpark’s single 4,202-foot Runway 14/32 offers the best of two worlds for GA pilots because, while the airport is subject to the Special Flight Rules Area around the capital, GAI sits just north of the Washington, D.C., Flight Restricted Zone that brings with it special operating restrictions for GA aircraft, such as a TSA authorization that includes submitting the pilot in command’s fingerprints. However, because GAI sits within a 30-nautical-mile radius of the DCA VOR/DME, all pilots must…