Building a Kit Plane – Part 9

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve caught myself telling a student pilot “the checkride really isn’t that bad.” I was nervous when I took mine, but I didn’t let anyone know before I got in the plane. I had no idea the anticipation leading up to flying a plane that’s built by… Read more »

Building a Kit Plane – Part 8

It’s time for me to fess up. I’ve now built an airplane and had my pilot’s license for about two years, but I’ve never been to Oshkosh until this year. The downtime between building and filling out paperwork as well as beginning phase one flight testing has allowed me to escape for a few days.… Read more »

Building a Kit Plane – Part 7

The only thing that makes me realize when an entire month has passed by is when Joel Pierce sends the “Hangar Talk article deadline” email. Writing the articles help keep me grounded and reminds me of the progress since last month. Here are the latest developments:The ground adjustable propeller was installed, and the blade pitch… Read more »

Building a Kit Plane – Part 6

When you first think about tackling any project, the end result motivates you to get started. As you progress, you might diminish your motivation by wondering what you’ve gotten yourself into. Next time you see me, ask me about gutting the plaster out of a room and drywalling. After I roll my eyes about that… Read more »


Spring is here, which means it’s time to start thinking about quick warm-weather getaways. A favorite around here is Put-in-Bay (3w2 is the identifier). The best route from Smith Field is KSMD KPCW 3w2. As you look at your charts, you’ll notice this route will keep you safely clear of the restricted airspace near the… Read more »

Medications and the FAA

Now that spring is upon us and it’s allergy season, have you given much thought to what medications you are going to take to combat pollen — especially if you plan to fly in the next few days? This might be a good time to take a look at the FAA’s medical web site. You… Read more »

Exercising Safety at a Controlled Airport

Controlled airports are busy. Whether or nor we often fly into controlled airports, we tend to rely on the controller to provide step-by-step directions. While it is important to listen to the controller, it is also important to know your airport environment and to verify the controller’s instructions. Let’s look at a few ways we… Read more »

Night Flying

Flying on a clear summer night is awesome. No turbulence, not a whole lot of traffic. Night flying is as good as it gets. I’m sure most of us have great memories of flying at night. I know I do. However, flying at night also presents its unique challenges, primarily because we can’t see stuff.… Read more »

Young Eagles

Have you been at SMD on a Saturday during the summer and saw a lot of kids and parents milling around the ramp by Hangar 2? Did you wonder what was going on? It was a Young Eagles Rally, but what is a Young Eagles Rally? Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) developed the Young Eagles Program… Read more »

Missing the Forest for the Trees

With my takeoff checklist complete, I lined up on runway 14 at Dove Airstrip (MO81) in Christian Wings for the World‘s C150 with my instructor, Lionel Smith. I applied the brakes while pushing the throttle full forward, then released the brakes and began accelerating down the narrow, short, and tree-lined airstrip. As the little airplane… Read more »