Plane & Pilot March 2021

Plane & Pilot is the ultimate resource for active pilots who desire an information-rich magazine with timely and entertaining content. Get Plane & Pilot digital magazine subscription today for pilot reports on the newest LSA, certified piston-engine and light-turbine aircraft, expert tips on flying techniques, product reviews of the latest gear and seasoned aviator stories from the sky.

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11 Números

en este número

5 min.
future flight will be a utopia, right?

With the passing of Chuck Yeager late last year, the era of the World War II aviator is symbolically gone. Along with it, the living memory of the war is fading, as well. Which is a direct challenge to all of us in aviation, not so much to remember—we will—but to adjust to a future none of us had imagined. The twilight of World War II is upon us. When I started flying in the mid-1970s, the U.S. aviation scene seemed a direct outgrowth of the Second World War. I think younger me was right. It’s not hard to trace the lines from Gemini and Soyuz back to the development of rocket planes and jets immediately post-war by the world’s surviving major powers. And the migration of GIs back home following…

2 min.
weather hazards

When the subject of in-flight hazards comes up, non-pilots think of the kinds of things that one might see in a 1970s Hollywood blockbuster—explosions and hijackings and volcanoes. The truth is far less dramatic and far more insidious. For small planes, anyway, the things that cause flights to come to harm are usually associated with acts of nature, things like thunderstorms and thick clouds. And almost always, it takes a pilot not paying attention, not giving nature proper respect or flying into weather they’re not trained for, sometimes in planes not outfitted to fly in the conditions. That said, the most dangerous hazard to the safety of flight is the one packing the least punch, cloud cover. The most lethal hazards, such as microbursts and hail, are ones associated only…

5 min.
ghost blimp

MYSTERY In August of 1942, a U.S. Navy L-8 blimp crash-landed in Daly City, California. What makes this a mystery, you may wonder? Its crew was nowhere to be found. BACKSTORY It had been nine months since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and the dust was far from settled. Now in the throes of World War II, the United States military sought to locate and destroy every enemy sub it could find off the American West Coast. On Aug. 16, 1942, the U.S. Navy deployed an L-8 blimp to carry out such a mission. Onboard were two Mark 17 depth bombs, a .30 caliber machine gun, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and two well-regarded Lighter-Than-Air (LTA) pilots: Lieutenant Ernest Dewitt Cody and Ensign Charles Ellis Adams. Adams had more than 20 years and…

6 min.
news of note

CHUCK YEAGER FLIES WEST One of aviation’s most celebrated pilots, General Chuck Yeager, passed away on Dec. 8 in Los Angeles at the age of 97. In addition to breaking the sound barrier in 1947, the aviation giant was a World War II fighter ace, a long-time Air Force base commander and the head of the United States’ first astronaut training program. See our tribute to Chuck Yeager in this issue. NTSB REPORT REVEALS HARROWING B-17 CRASH The National Transportation Safety Board has released its public docket on the investigation into the 2019 crash of the Collings Foundation’s B-17, known as Nine-O-Nine. The airplane was one of less than a dozen airworthy B-17s at the time of the crash, and the accident left seven dead and six injured. The crash occurred shortly after takeoff…

5 min.
help your airplane fly better

In the days before the arrival of the Boeing 757 and Airbus A 320, with their glass cockpits, full-feature autopilots and autothrottles, most airline pilots flew their aircraft by hand from takeoff until reaching the flight levels and then all the way back down again. Even though we’re talking big and complicated systems, they could do it with great precision. How? They knew their configuration settings down cold. A few years back, a good friend and experienced former B-52 instructor returned to the cockpit after a four-year absence while he was busy flying a desk. During his first takeoff, flap retraction, and climb to FL 310, the airspeed was never more than plus or minus 5 knots, the altitude plus or minus 25 feet, and the heading right on the mark.…

3 min.

FlyGirl Pajamas This pajama set from flyGIRL is a great go-to for lounging around after a long day of flying. Made of a cotton/polyester blend, the set features a royal blue V-neck shirt with the flyGirl logo and a pair of drawstring shorts covered with swirling airplanes. The set, priced at $39.95, is available in sizes XS-XL. On top of providing great flying attire, flyGirl strives to help more women realize their aviation goals. A portion of every flyGirl purchase goes to the organization’s scholarship fund, which awards several thousand dollars each year to help a woman pursue pilot training. Learn more at Fisher Space Pen If you’re trying to jot down frequencies or other important info while in the cockpit, you need a writing tool you can rely on. That’s where the Fisher…