Flying March 2020


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



When I was working as a flight instructor, I got my flying itch scratched while earning my keep. Through a bit of luck and some good strategy, I also made this happen while employed in other parts of the aviation industry—as a training developer, a flight training manager and, yes, an aviation journalist. Not that this has always been the case for me; I’ve had my fair share of scraping together the funds to keep flying. And it takes a healthy percentage of any pilot’s budget to maintain flight—even as our wallets expand, our aircraft dreams tend to expand with them. We hear every day from readers who struggle to put hours in their logbooks each year, though the desire never wanes. When flying on a weekly or even monthly basis falls…


MORE ON THE MAX Peter Garrison [“Trouble to the Max,” Jan./Feb.], along with William Langewiesche [“What Really Brought Down the Boeing 727 Max?” The New York Times, September 2019], appear to be the only voices of reason when it comes to the Boeing 737 Max. One has to wonder why so little has been mentioned—in the press or the congressional and senatorial hearings—of the role the two airlines played in the crashes. Is political correctness more important than unearthing the truth? Needless to say, Boeing certainly is culpable in many respects, but to place all the blame on them is irresponsible. For openers, very little has been said about the low time of the copilot of the Ethiopian [Airlines] crash or the fact neither crew ever reduced thrust on the engines,…

2019 editors’ choice awards

This past year at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, we announced that Gulfstream’s G500 business jet secured the award, not just for the aircraft itself—which exemplifies style and performance—but also for the layers of innovation within Gulfstream’s development program, setting the bar high for aerospace manufacturers. For 2019, we applied the same criteria to the host of aircraft, products and enterprises around our industry: An innovation had to be certified, if applicable, and available as of the year’s end. Our choices reflect three new aircraft and two new products that each made an important mark in 2019. Which will score the ultimate prize? We’ll make the announcement at AirVenture 2020. Let us know what you think should win, and long may the innovative spirit continue to grow general aviation. EPIC E1000 To say it’s…

boise ils y 10r

With approximately one-third of its annual 128,200 operations traffic count consumed by airline operations and the rest split between air taxi, general aviation and military operations, Boise, Idaho (BOI), demands pilots be on their toes for traffic of all shapes and sizes when visiting. This month’s ILS Y 10 Right approach comes equipped with a number of potential step-down fixes along the way to SITSE, the FAF, as well as the potential for a little maneuvering to the landing runway near the end of the approach and a couple of noted items that might trip up a pilot not paying close attention to the plate. A. SIDESTEP MINIMUMS While they don’t appear all that often in IFR flying, sidestep minimums do exist, and they offer a switch from the primary approach runway…

it’s called the ctaf for a reason

Pop quiz. You’re in the pattern at a nontowered airport on a calm day, announcing your turn to base for Runway 35, which is right traffic. Just then, you hear two other pilots make their first calls on the common traffic advisory frequency—one of them announcing they’re 2 miles out on a straight-in downwind for Runway 17, which is left traffic, while the other says they’re on a 4-mile base for 17. Do you: 1) Key the mic and calmly inform the pilots that FAR 91.113 dictates that you have the right of way? 2) Ask in your best Chuck Yeager voice if either of them have heard you making pattern approach calls for 35 since you were 10 miles out? 3) Say a very bad word, throttle up, and get the hell out…


On a Saturday morning in April 2017, a swarm of airplanes—40 pilots attended the preflight briefing—took off from Spruce Creek Airport in Florida for a flight to nearby Titusville to attend an EAA pancake breakfast. The Saturday morning breakfast flight to various destinations is a tradition at the private airstrip, the centerpiece of a gated community with a population of several thousand residents and hundreds of airplanes. According to the National Transportation Safety Board’s report, one group of five airplanes made up a “wide, loose” V-formation, which one pilot said “was normal for en route.” In the lead was a Great Lakes biplane. Behind it to the right was a Cessna 170, and behind the Cessna was a Grumman Lynx, originally the Bede-designed two-seat American Yankee. On the left side of the…