Flying June/July 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.

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the longest leg

The final en route minutes of a long cross-country flight stretch indeterminately at times—the closer you get to the destination, the harder it can be to fight your latent get-there-itis. I’m feeling a similar kind of anxiousness at the moment, and it’s only been two months since the stayat-home orders have affected most of the US and much of the world. While our team at Flying has managed to get airborne in limited amounts, there’s no escaping the knowledge that aviation is operating on a different level right now, and no one’s quite sure how long that will last. The good news? General aviation has risen to meet the challenges presented to us in so many ways. Our team stepped up to create the issue you’re holding now—doubled as a way…


PAPA’S PLACE Thank you for the Papa’s Place article. It was basic camping, and if you did not bring it with you, you did without. I went there several times by four-wheel-drive car with my father and grandfather. I got to fly only once—an hour flight from Calexico [California]. My father and grandfather remember the “development” of the place as you describe. They started going there in the mid-1950s. Each time was an approximately eight-hour drive each way. They always went with at least three other four-wheel-drive vehicles [because] the “roads” were really paths. If Peter landed in Calexico on a weekend in the 1960s, I probably refueled his aircraft; I worked most weekends at the airport. I earned my pilot’s license at Calexico in 1969. I have been flying since. Allen Yourman…

a new toolkit for pilots

While a lot of pilots have managed to hang on to currency during the period of stay-at-home protocols across the United States, many haven’t had the ability to get in the air. At Flying, we’ve taken advantage of a number of creative ways to keep the rust at bay until we can return to the skies. SIMULATION WITH A FOCUS Just keeping up with the Alpha releases of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 could be a ground-bound pilot’s full-time job. But the hotly anticipated sequel to the most popular home simulation program of all time has been crowdsourced in its development to a certain extent, with the Microsoft dev team engaging daily with the user groups that generate detailed feedback with each update. However, the most efficient use of a pilot’s time in front…

spend a few days in the clouds

The best flight instructors always seem to have the answer before a student even asks the question. Master instructor Doug Stewart, co-founder of the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators, worked with Community Aviation, a flight training network out of Alexandria, Virginia, to create what can only be called a training-video extravaganza—called the East Coast IFR Experience—that takes us along on a series of flights from Columbia County Airport in Hudson, New York, as far south as Titusville, Florida, and back north to Bangor, Maine, in Stewart’s Cessna Cardinal RG. Community Aviation’s Billy Winburn is the left-seater during the entire trip. While Winburn already possessed an instrument rating, he told Flying he “didn’t have any real-world IFR experiences under his belt” until he finished the course with Stewart. The ECIE’s…

opening up

The varying stay-at-home and social distancing orders associated with the COVID-19 outbreak have had a major impact on flight training providers, both short-term and potentially longterm. So, what is a training provider to do during this time—and how do we navigate the changes as the country opens up again? PERMANENT CLOSURES A SIGNIFICANT PROBABILITY A flight school in Florida had the police show up at its facility in March, saying it needed to terminate all operations, in spite of the fact that the school had enhanced cleaning methods in place, along with screening of staff and students. If it is forced to close for more than 30 days, the school may be closing its doors permanently. Two training providers in Maryland (both of which operate multiple aircraft) confirmed the same concern. In…

navigating currency

On April 30, the FAA released a special federal aviation regulation, SFAR 2020-09472, that documents the course pilots need to follow to retain currency and navigate through the consequences that several weeks of stay-at-home protocols have had on the aviation industry. Most relevant to active pilots and instructors are the sections covering recency of experience requirements, flight testing, flight reviews and medical certification requirements. Please reference the text of the SFAR for detailed guidance and areas of special operations, such as those for maintenance technicians. Flight reviews due during the period from March to June 2020 have up to a three-month extension. According to the SFAR: “The three-calendar-month extension applies to pilots who were current to act as PIC of an aircraft in March 2020 and whose flight review was due in…