Flying January/February 2021


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


the safety partnership

A new year, a new you—pilotwise, that is. The change of the calendar refreshes us and gives us license to start anew. The turn of the page into 2021 marks a particularly poignant desire to strike out and make a redoubled effort to do all of those things we had perhaps put off in 2020. As I mentioned in my December editor’s letter, we want to be part of that reset for you, as you continue to fly or return to the skies. Our legacy at Flying began with Popular Aviation, which in 1927 brought to readers the nascent and exciting world of human-powered flight in all of its glory and drama. Along the 94 years now that we’ve flown together, we have evolved and strived to deliver ways for you…

inbox jan+feb 2021

On Floats I read [Rob Mark’s November 2020] article [“ Wipaire at 60: A Family on Floats”] and the sidebar on seaplane flying. The sidebar lamented the forgotten wheels and the wheels-down water landing. I fly a SeaRey I built, and the SeaRey community has a mantra that it repeats often and loudly: WUFF. This means “wheels up for flying.” The wheels are put up the minute you leave land on takeoff. If you don’t use WUFF, you may become distracted and forget where your wheels are while you look for that perfect water or talk to that passenger. Rick Schuch via email Space Coast The November 2020 article by Sam Weigel [”Snowbirds on the Space Coast”] caught me by a bit of surprise as he described my home airport, KCOI [in Merritt Island,…

flying eyes sunglasses

Like most pilots over 40, I struggle with reading the text on the crispest flight display unless I have my contacts, sunglasses and readers close at hand. When I related my woes to Dean Siracusa, founder of Flying Eyes Optics (a brand created by Summer Hawk Optics in Austin, Texas), he had a solution for me to try: their latest bifocal sunglasses, the Kestrel series. Flying Eyes makes a line of sunglasses, clear readers and bifocals of both types—with the frames optimized for use with a headset. Pulling the first pair out of the unique zippered case, I registered how light it was. The thin temples also boded well. Clearly, this product line was made by pilots for other pilots, just as advertised. Two factors went into the design: the need…

mooney under new ownership

When the good news came in September 2020 that Mooney Aircraft had survived yet another downturn, and it would be resurrected under new ownership, pilots and owners of the speedy piston singles remained skeptical as to whether this time the company could rise above its entrenched issues. While the evolution of models has incorporated significant improvements in flight technology and interior comfort, persistent problems in manufacturing the aircraft in a competitive way—and getting beyond their useful-load limitations—remain to be solved. New CEO Jonny Pollack knows these issues well. He’s a “Mooniac” just like the company’s customer base. He’s owned more than one over his 20-plus-year aviation career—a 201 for 15 years and now an Acclaim (an M20TN). Pollack, an entertainment attorney based in New York, is backed by Wyoming-based ownership group…

appareo stratus insight

Appareo’s latest update (5.17.0) to their Stratus Insight includes a new “Relevant Traffic” feature, which allows a user to filter ADS-B traffic based on range and altitude in relation to the user’s aircraft. “Prior to Relevant Traffic, pilots had two options for the amount of aircraft traffic they could see: display all traffic or hide very distant traffic—essentially the airliners,” says Kristofer Garberg, president of Appareo Aviation. “Pilots had to go into their app settings to turn this on and off. In Stratus Insight…we placed an overlay icon called ‘targets’ right on the map screen to make it very easy to toggle between [the] three settings.” Those settings first show all traffic unrestricted, then with one tap display only the traffic within 20 nm of you at 15,000 feet, and with…

what’s really in an airline pilot’s flight bag?

In my career, the most-prominent label used when referring to the piece of airline-pilot luggage that, at one time, kept chiropractors in business was either “brain bag” or “kit bag.” Distinguished by stickers and decals, the outside of the bag reflected a pilot’s personality and told a story. The good-quality bags were leather, and real pilots schlepped them by hand; wheels were for sissies. We stuffed them with Jepp binders, high and low en route charts, company manuals, airplane manuals, minimum equipment lists, emergency checklists, E6Bs, plotters, pens, highlighters, headsets, and cannon-size flashlights. Any first officer worth their salt would carry both a bottle of Caribbeanquality hot sauce for the in-flight omelet and reading material for the wait at the gate. My Dad asked that I carry a small laminated…