Tag Archives: tips

Icing and sublimation

On Friday, when I was flying back from Fredericton to Ottawa, I picked up a splash of clear ice in a cloud top over Maine. I use my Outside Air Temperature (OAT) probe as an early ice detector, since thinner … Continue reading

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Why checkpoints matter

Let’s say that you’re going on a 300 nm (550 km) flight — a typical distance for a cross-country trip in a small plane — VFR, without radar coverage.  You file a flight plan, take off on time, but don’t … Continue reading

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The fuel and weight dilemma

Last week I wrote about the summer flying dilemma, the challenge of balancing passenger comfort, speed, and the rising summer cumulus clouds. Pilots face a whole series of dilemmas like that with every flight — in fact, it’s probably fair … Continue reading

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The summer flying dilemma

On a typical VFR summer day in southern Canada or the northern US — the kind that the weather(wo)men call “a mixture of sun and cloud” with a decent amount of humidity — swirling columns of heated air, called thermals, … Continue reading

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Talking to ATC: "you, me, where, what"

Talking to ATC makes some pilots nervous — especially if they trained at an uncontrolled airport — but it’s actually pretty simple as long as you take a second to think before you push the PTT button, and compose your … Continue reading

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(Unofficial) Canadian NOTAMs via RSS

I have added an experimental, alpha-quality feature to OurAirports: local Canadian Airport NOTAMs via RSS (scraped from the Nav Canada web site). If anyone is interested in trying this out, you need to visit a Canadian airport’s page on the … Continue reading

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Dead airspeed indicator

The incident I flew through some light snow showers on my way to Kingston with my daughter this morning, so I turned on the pitot heat just before joining the circuit to make sure the pitot blade was clear. At … Continue reading

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Unintended consequences

In the U.S., in an attempt to avoid user fees for general aviation, AOPA (the main G.A. advocacy group) worked with the FAA to outsource flight services (briefings, VFR flight plans, etc.) to Lockheed-Martin. AOPA didn’t realize that they were … Continue reading

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Some French aviation terms

Novelist Hugh MacLennan referred to the English and French in Canada as Two Solitudes, but that’s not a great working model for aviation. In eastern Canada, we do have to deal with both languages on the radio; I’ve developed an … Continue reading

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Assault by battery

Recently, in the cold weather, my Warrior’s battery has barely managed one try starting the plane — any more, and it goes flat. Most recently, it happened after I’d just been flying 1.7 hours and tried to restart after a … Continue reading

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