Have a DIY project in mind? Read these eight simple tips before you start.
As pilots, we have a responsibility to know our aircraft as well as we can, and...Read more
LightHawk volunteer pilots provide the powerful perspective of flight to help conservation experts make better decisions.
This month we’re diverting from our regular destination feature. Instead of focusing on one...Read more
If you’re not using an iPad in the cockpit, you could be missing out on one of the greatest and most cost-effective innovations for aviation in decades.
No question, the...Read more
Q: Dear Steve,I fly a Seneca II and so far it’s been a very dependable airplane. But I’m seeing something that I haven’t seen before and wonder if you...Read more
Preparing for a coast-to-coast trip in the summer of 2015.
Eleven years ago, in the debut of Left Coast Pilot, I wrote about my experiences flying from California to West...Read more
There was a time when I would leave work, drive straight to the airport and pull out my airplane. But after 35 years of using my old airplane for...Read more
A brief walk around Alaska’s online aviation weather camera program.
A few months ago, the FAA announced the deployment of its all-new Aviation Weather Camera program. I was curious, so...Read more
May 2015-Q: Hi Steve,I watched a gear-up landing at my local airport a week ago. Nobody in the Piper Arrow was hurt, so it was a good landing. But after...Read more
Alaska is a place where the small airplane still rules.
Last winter, a friend out of Fairbanks invited me to come work as a volunteer for the Yukon Quest sled...Read more
Decades ago when I was flying as copilot in a Convair 240, I made notes for a future use that I never got around to.
Here is the final installment...Read more
Existing Instructions for Continued Airworthiness (i.e., the appropriate Piper Maintenance Manual and associated Service Publications) include an inspection of all flight control pulleys, cables, fittings and turnbuckles on a recurring...Read more
We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Piper Aircraft, Inc. (type certificate previously held by The New Piper Aircraft Inc.) PA-28, PA-32, PA-34, and PA-44 airplanes. This...Read more
The following is a sample aircraft sales agreement form available in PDF or Microsoft Word formats.
Click the links below to download.Read more
The following is a list of title search companies and law firms.
Click the link below to download PDF.Read more
I recently managed to take care of one of the items on my wish list, and I did so at a significant discount.
Back in the day, all I wanted...Read more
It’s more than just a mile from Texarkana, and it’s more than just a relic from the steamboat days.
The surveyors were off—by a whole 30 miles—but the song is...Read more
Steady improvements are rewarding PFA website and forum users with a great membership experience.
This PFA website column is published in order to alert you to recent changes in and...Read more
Q: Hi Steve,I fly a Piper Cherokee 180 and want to install new stabilator tips and wingtips. Mine are original, and they are in pretty sorry shape.
My mechanic said...Read more
The Meridian M500 is not your typical turbine.
Sometimes, the more things change, the more they improve. This is certainly the case for Piper’s latest commodity, the Meridian M500. While...Read more
Widespread fog prompts a change of heart about personal minimums on departure.
I have never been a fan of personal minimums—the idea that you should set limits for yourself short...Read more
Door Handle Replacement
Cost: Two-door Piper: less than $100One-door Piper: Less than $50
Time Required: 15 minutes
Applicable Airplanes: PA-28, -32, -34
Before I take my Seneca in for painting, the exterior needs...Read more
Q: Hi Steve,I want to make another set of keys for my Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche. I’ve decided to let my son buy a half share in the airplane...Read more
We and our airplanes are just getting older.
For a lot of us there was surely that one moment when you caught a glimpse of yourself in the mirror one...Read more
Fragments of what I was seeing and hearing and thinking in those early days when I flew as a copilot in a Convair 240.
We are back again at my...Read more
After a medical leave of their own, John Ruley and his wife Kate have resumed their volunteer work for medical missions in northern Mexico.
From my notebook:Nov. 7, 2014, Hotel...Read more
Q: Hi Steve,I just bought a sweet little Piper Comanche. I can’t believe how much the prices have fallen in the last five years. This one is a 1964...Read more
Piper employees enjoy their work, and they also enjoy giving back.
The people who design and build Piper airplanes work for the largest private sector employer in Indian River County...Read more
In 1982, journalist Tracy Kidder won a Pulitzer Prize for “The Soul of a New Machine,” a book that described the development of a next-generation computer by Data General Corp...Read more
John Purner’s $100 Hamburger guide and website details all of the airport restaurants you absolutely must visit.
John Purner literally wrote the book on the hundred-dollar hamburger, and his guidebook...Read more
Three defects can show up on exhaust systems; read on to find out exactly what they are and how to find them.
Light airplane exhaust systems don’t garner as much...Read more
PFA member Scott Sherer reports on what’s new and of interest to Piper Flyers this month.
We recently upgraded our PFA website’s software. If you visit PiperFlyer.org and experience any...Read more
Click the links below to open the AD alerts.
General aviation (GA) pilots enjoy a level of flexibility and freedom unrivaled by their aeronautical contemporaries. Airline, corporate, and military flight operations are all strictly regulated, and each uses...Read more
PDF Instructional on the replacement of worn starter ring gears.
Click the link below to download PDF.Read more
This PDF describes the use of carburetor heat control on all Lycoming engines using float type carburetors.
Click link below to download PDF.Read more
I met Karl Finatzer in the arrivals hall at Johannesburg International and he promptly took me to an American-styled restaurant where I was expected to consume a T-bone steak...Read more
He’s not really my uncle and, matter of fact, we’re absolutely no blood relationship to each other at all. I started calling him Uncle Nelson when my kids were...Read more
Where did I begin? Where did I get my start as an aviation-oriented, crazy-about-everything-having-to-do-with-flying kind of guy?
Like many a romantic movie starring Ryan O’Neal, it all began at a...Read more
Here in California’s Central Valley, we’re blessed with good weather—most of the time. A lot of local pilots get along without an instrument rating. That works for about nine...Read more
That’s a Lot of Hamburgers . . . When Flyer publisher Jennifer Dellenbusch asked me to write about ten $100 hamburger destinations near where my wife Sara and I...Read more
Everybody has dreams in which they think they are dead or at least in another world. If not, then I’m crazy because those dreams happen to me all the...Read more
Astute readers of this column will notice that, effective this month, we’ve got a change at the very top. The new title for this section of the magazine has...Read more
When I was but barefoot boy with cheek, most of my contemporaries dreamed of becoming pilots. We cluttered our Big Chief tablets and the margins of our school books...Read more
Thirty-two years ago my start in the engine business was as chief pilot test flying, delivering engines, airplanes and customers. Since that was in the sun-drenched wonderland of eastern...Read more
I flew from my home base (Modesto, Calif.) to Santa Monica this past weekend, and encountered a situation I’d never quite run into before: trouble coming up with a...Read more
April 2005-“Life is what happens to you while you’re making other plans.” This little philosophical phrase is something that I’ve had in my personal lexicon for quite a number of...Read more
If properly maintained and operated, today’s Continental and Lycoming engines are exceedingly reliable. Having one actually stop is a long shot that most of us pilots don’t like to...Read more
Sooner or later, it happens to most of us: You may be able to spot traffic before your passengers, but you find it getting harder and harder to read...Read more
Spring is here for most of us. We are no longer thawing airplanes out in hangars before we can fly them. No frost on the windshields and soon mud...Read more
Few can deny that being a pilot has privileges. One such privilege is access to remote wilderness areas for all types of recreation, including hunting. Even if you aren’t...Read more
There are a lot of reasons you should consider finding a shop that will let you help with your aircraft’s annual inspection. And saving money isn’t one of them.
Recently, a friend and I were out in the Bounce Pattern (touch-and-goes) in an old beat-up rental hag attempting to make spot landings with six- to eight-knot crosswinds. This...Read more
January 20, 2005 was a watershed day in aviation if you happened to be a turbojet operator. On that day, domestic RVSM (Reduced Vertical Separation Minimums) went into effect.
Back when the idea was first born a good number of years ago, the concepts known collectively as “cockpit resource management”—CRM, for those of you who enjoy acronyms—was suddenly...Read more
There is no flying decision harder to make or more second-guessed than aborting a takeoff. It is the most time-critical choice you make in the pilot’s seat and it...Read more
It seems that everyone gets some kind of a deal when buying a big-ticket item like a new car or a used airplane. Well, everyone but me. In his...Read more
After receiving several phone calls regarding STCs I was selling and comments about their high costs, I decided to write this article. With the hope it will enlighten the...Read more
California has been our home since 1960. After high school and college in Michigan, the U.S. Navy sent me to San Diego for duty in 1959—in February. When I...Read more
If you're lucky enough to visit NASA's Dryden flight research center, located next to Edwards Air Force Base near Lancaster, CA; you can expect to see a lot of...Read more
There were seventeen direct, certificated descendants and scores of variants in two, three and four-place configurations on conventional or tricycle gear, skis or floats, powered by everything from a...Read more
I always look forward to trips to the Million Air FBO at St. Paul Downtown Airport, KSTP. Walking in from the ramp entrance thru the lobby near the front...Read more
My partner, Bob May and I are among the luckiest people on earth, we get to fly what is arguably the most fun-to-fly airplane ever built, a 1944 Piper...Read more
Okay, okay, what I'm about to relate to you doesn't rise anywhere near the level of accomplishment of the lady who just set a new record for sailing around...Read more
It must have been evident to William T. Piper that his company's popular line of affordable light aircraft was wearing a little thin at the marketplace in the mid-1950s...Read more
ACD CorporationTacoma Narrows AirportGig Harbor, WA 98335Installation of Truboplus/Electronics Int'l Gauges and switches.
Next Generation Radar, NEXRAD, displays bring near time weather information to general aviation aircraft. Single engine aircraft safe operation takes a quantum leap when the pilot can look ahead...Read more
On Sept.15, 2004, and again on Sept. 19, 2004, Captain H. James Poel—a 61-year-old retired American Airlines Boeing 777 captain—made the first flights in a reproduction of the 1911...Read more
Piper's ubiquitous Cub—from the humble J-2 through the PA-18 and all the variants in between—has always been known as a design that could be successful when equipped with virtually...Read more
In the years immediately after World War II, General Aviation was growing—but not very predictably. Manufacturers were constantly going from feast to famine, and several old, venerable airplane companies...Read more
My notes include observations on piloting in general, with lots about airline flying and the types of people involved in airline flying 50-plus years ago.
Like an archeological dig, I've...Read more
I am proud to say I am a child of the 1960's.
Who could have had a more exciting time to grow up? We had the Beatles; The Rolling Stones;...Read more
Q: Hi Steve,I am the proud owner of a 1967 PA-28-235 and I like to do real good preflight inspections, but I sometimes run into something that puzzles me.At...Read more
The new year is already full of airshows, conferences and opportunities for Piper Aircraft.
As we look forward to 2015, Piper plans another active year of events, which gives us...Read more
The raffle prizes given away at the Gathering at Waupaca are typically a tangible item, such as avionics and other aircraft products. But occasionally there is a different sort...Read more
Ugh. Here we go again. Every two years I ask myself the same question: What would my idol, the venerable Lyn Freeman, do about my upcoming flight review?
I've been...Read more
When I was a student pilot, I wasn't much of a Tomahawk fan. The aircraft had a reputation for being difficult to fly well. Years later, one of my...Read more
Q: Hi Steve,I'm just about to replace a damaged engine mount on my PA-22-150.Has anyone got a torque figure for the firewall attachment bolt (AN6-35 & AN6-24)? I would...Read more
Visiting pilots can go full-immersion at two of the area's best aviation-themed restaurants, plus so much more.
Unless you live in the loosely defined geographical area that includes the city...Read more
One of the great things about websites is they rarely stay frozen in time.Because we want members to have the best and most timely resources available to them,PiperFlyer.org...Read more
A ferry pilot uses this global satellite communicatorfor practical purposes—and also for fun.
Ferrying an aircraft is one of the most taxing activities a pilot can undertake. From checking weather...Read more
Wherein the great mountain flying expedition is saved.
We pilots fly for as many reasons as there are pilots and we use airplanes for manifold purposes—as many, I suppose, as...Read more
More often than not, these columns are built around a recent flight, and what I learned from it. That makes them pretty easy to write, as I usually...Read more
Piper Aircraft has been busy. Busy adding to the 130,000 airplanes the company has built since it began with the iconic Cub over 75 years ago—and busy supporting...Read more
Nothing else quite compares to nudging a throttlethat's connected to a big radial engine.
Q: Hi Steve, I noticed that last month you answered a question about preserving an engine when an owner isn't going to fly for a while. I wish I...Read more
Eddie taught me that it doesn't take a lot to be happy, even though you land a little left of centerline.
I have a box in my garage filled with...Read more
The Reno Air Races,"The World's Fastest Motorsport,"just completed its 51st year of racing.
Hartzell Engine Technologies Cabin Heater FAQ & Troubleshooting PDF.
Click link below to download.Read more
Almost everything you've ever wanted to know about PMA parts: What they are, and what they're not. Where they come from. And why they're good for everyone who owns...Read more
Though it is rare, it does happen. It happened to me just last week.
A desktop simulator may help you correct chronic problems in your flying.
Q: Hi Steve, I fly a 1972 Piper Cherokee 235. I've owned it for 17 years and it's been a spectacular airplane that has fulfilled every travel need for...Read more
A contrarian rescued from crotchetiness is still a contrarian.
I sometimes think I have a love–hate relationship with General Aviation. Eventually that may turn true about just about anything...Read more
The FAA is promoting the use of AOA-based systems to reduce GA accidents caused by loss-of-control (LOC). The General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC), including its Safety Assessment Team (SAT)...Read more
Engines in aircraft that are flown only occasionally may not achieve normal service life because of corrosion. This occurs when moisture from the air and products of combustion combine to...Read more
Dear Ms. MacPherson,
This letter responds to your request for legal interpretation sent to my office on May 19, 2014, on behalf of your client, AirPooler, Inc. As set forth in...Read more
September 2014- Aviation-themed restaurants are fairly common—the 94th Aero Squadron chain comes to mind—but in Los Angeles you'll find one that's in a class by itself: The Proud Bird, located...Read more
September 2014- If you haven't lined up and waited yet, you will. As most of you likely know, our ATC brethren recently retired the phrase "taxi into position and hold...Read more
September 2014- Q: Hi Steve,I have a 1968 Arrow 180 and I am trying to determine the proper routing for the fuel hose between the electric fuel pump and the...Read more
September 2014- I'm writing this at the very beginning of this year's thunderstorm season while I'm conducting a pseudo-class on that very subject for a young pilot acquaintance. Today, we...Read more
September 2014- Five-and-a-half years ago, Search and Rescue Satellite (SARSAT) monitoring of the 121.5 MHz and 243 MHz emergency frequencies ceased. Citing statistics that indicated many more false alarms than...Read more
In 1967, Piper Aircraft began marketing a six- to eight-seat cabin-class twin known as the PA-31 Navajo. Several variants were produced, including a T1000 series aimed at the commuter airline...Read more
I've been everywhere, man.I've been everywhere, man.Crossed the deserts bare, man.I've breathed the mountain air, man.Of travel I've had my share, man.I've been everywhere.—"I've Been Everywhere," adapted by Hank...Read more
August 2014- The new Insight Avionics GX-MFT offers three engine function displays in one easy-to-read, three-inch LED instrument. The instrument shows manifold pressure, fuel flow and a tachometer display, plus...Read more
August 2014- The most commonly performed operation worldwide is cataract surgery. By the time you reach the age 65, you most likely have the beginnings of cataracts in one or...Read more
August 2014- Interestingly enough, most of the times when we use our torque wrenches, it's not so much the torque we're interested in. It's the amount of tension or crushing...Read more
August 2014- I have lately been thinking about the future. The thoughts arise because my children are suddenly grown-up beings with independent lives of their own—and it is clear that...Read more
August 2014- A couple of months ago, my longtime flight instructor (and friend) Larry called to ask if I'd be available as copilot for a trip to Santa Ana, in...Read more
August 2014- For as long as I can remember, bleeding the brakes on the Cherokee family of aircraft (all PA-28, PA-32 and PA-34 models) has been a problem. For years...Read more
Q: Dear Steve,I own a 1966 Piper Cherokee 180. Another pilot on my airport owns a much newer Archer III with flat panel avionics. He asked if I wanted to...Read more
June 2004 – The Cessna Flyer Association is launched. We set up shop in Jennifer Dellenbusch's basement at "The Ranch" in Iola, Wis. Sawhorses and 4x8-foot boards fill in for...Read more
July 2014- I have one student who uses his plane to go from Palm Beach to Marsh Harbor every other week; another who goes to Asheville N.C., once a month...Read more
July 2014- This year will mark my 18th year attending the annual AirVenture fly-in in Oshkosh. It is also the 10th anniversary of the Piper Flyer Association (to be celebrated...Read more
July 2014- While I'm sitting at my desk and writing this, we are currently three weeks into the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 brouhaha. In case you've been in another star...Read more
July 2014- When I met Teddy, he'd just gotten out of jail. The barely five-foot-tall Montana rancher was deep into his eighties and had fought a lifelong cat-and-mouse game with...Read more
July 2014- I've always liked generators. Unlike alternators, they will provide electrical power even if the battery is dead since generators depend on residual magnetism to provide the lines of...Read more
Q: Hi Steve,I'm the proud owner of a 1949 Piper PA-11. The engine is a Continental C-90-8.I don't fly as often as I should. Due to some work obligations...Read more
June 2014- We all learned to do stalls (however reluctantly) in our primary flight training, and demonstrated them to the satisfaction of an examiner in order to get our licenses...Read more
June 2014- As I write this, with a glance at the calendar, I realize I have combined my interest in flying and putting words on paper for almost exactly 13...Read more
Q: Hi Steve,I fly my Piper Cherokee 235 a lot. I like to fly to remote strips to hike and fish. Sometimes I'm gone for up to a week.It...Read more
June 2014- Traditionally, a pilot has had one EGT gauge and one CHT gauge that he or she would use to keep track of the performance of an engine. The...Read more
June 2014- First off, let's get one Old Aviators Tale ("OAT") out of the way right now. It's safe to install retreaded aircraft tires on retractable gear airplanes.For decades a...Read more
December 2013- If you are a fan of “Antiques Roadshow” or a saver of things with the barely recognized thought that they might someday be worth enough that a grandchild...Read more
May 2014- Thanks to Hollywood, I grew up in a world filled with cowboys. They had great names like Chance and Colorado and Paladin. And these cowboys always had a...Read more
March 2014- Q: Dear Steve,
I own a Piper PA-28-180. It’s just the right airplane for me. I have a small ranch strip and I’m doing okay. I ran a dairy...Read more
May 2014- I was having dinner with Bob Welter, a friend of mine who has been a General Aviation pilot for many years and has owned and operated a number...Read more
May 2014- Last month, I discussed the history and maintenance of the PA-23 Apache. But as a longtime owner, I have some insights about flying and owning an Apache, too...Read more
May 2014- It was a rather long road to certification for the airplane which eventually became the Tomahawk, with lots of starts and stops along the way.
Piper began design of...Read more
May 2014- Cities large and small often have an event once a year that draws regional or even national attention. Cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles are such...Read more
April 2014- The PA-23 Apache was Piper’s first twin engine aircraft. In 1952 Piper began construction and testing of a prototype, but the original design—with 125 hp engines, a twin...Read more
April 2014- So you go to the airport on a Saturday morning where you share flying stories and tell outright lies with your friends. And during lulls in the conversation...Read more
April 2014- How high can you fly? That’s a question that’s bothered me for quite a while now. The San Francisco sectional I use regularly has some green in the...Read more
April 2014- It is good to be reminded—although the reminder is a tragic one—that mystery and the unknown exists in what is arguably humankind’s most technological endeavor: aviation.
As I...Read more
April 2014- In 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act were enacted. In 1995 the industry and the FAA started seriously searching for an unleaded 100 octane avgas. In the...Read more
Q: Any chance of a stick for measuring fuel when the outboard-most tank has fuel, but is not yet full to brim?
The wing gauge is okay for the inboard...Read more
Almost 50 years after it was designed, the Aerostar remains both an enigma and the hottest GA piston twin in the world. Its reputation for performance comes hand in hand...Read more
As most of you have undoubtedly already heard, it has often been alleged that life is a journey, not a destination. Traveling that journey, I recently took a turn up...Read more
Q: Hi Steve,
My mechanic just called me to say that the exhaust nuts are stuck on the studs on my Lycoming engine. He said the nuts are very eroded and...Read more
It was July 21, 1969. A warm summer evening in Norwalk, Calif. My dad had our telescope set up in the backyard and we were all taking turns looking up...Read more
The rising cost of flying, coupled with shrinking discretionary income, combined with a weak economy and an unfriendly political environment has taken its toll on the industry. I read in...Read more
Recently King Mswatii III of Swaziland announced he might like to take a wife, and immediately more than 50,000 women showed up to parade in front of him—most of them...Read more
March 2014- When I looked up at the all-glass attitude indicator, for a moment I wasn’t quite sure what I was staring at. Instead of a nice horizon line separating...Read more
December 2005- It was the last of the old-time bush and utility planes. It was in production longer than it takes for a human to go from birth to embarrassing...Read more
December 2005- Many pilots dream about adding an Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) to their flight equipment and throwing away 40 pounds of paper. You will see many advertised for $2,500...Read more
December 2005- Some years ago I was listening to a conversation among a few pilots and happened to overhear the statement, “How do they find out?” This was in reference...Read more
November 2005- Let me say up front that this isn’t one of those broken-heart stories that country singers like to warble about. Nothing like that. The breakup between me and my...Read more
I felt like a kid at Christmas time—and the UPS man was Santa. The email I had received said that the Garmin 396 I had ordered had shipped and should...Read more
With the increasing use of single-engine aircraft for actual IFR flight, it is important to understand and properly maintain the pneumatic system that operates the gyroscopic instruments.
Reliable aircraft operations...Read more
December 2005- In the February 2005 issue of Piper Flyer, we did a feature story on a particular historic aviation event that occurred nearly a century earlier in Upstate New...Read more
December 2005- One of the more overlooked and certainly misunderstood areas of aircraft maintenance may be prop balancing. While most aircraft owners would never drive their car with the tires...Read more
November 2005- After a long week of work and the first day of beautiful skies, I was able to go flying. When I took off and the tower cleared me for...Read more
November 2005- In October of 1958, Piper proposed a twin-engine version of the successful Comanche single. This was not the PA-30 Twin Comanche, planning of which had begun two years...Read more
November 2005- Our charter company operated a 1970 model PA-31-310 Navajo for several years. We purchased it out in California, took the insurance-required flight training and flew it home to...Read more
November 2005- If you operate your aircraft into large busy airports, this comment from the tower controller has almost become a cliché. “Caution wake turbulence,” your trusty government employee will...Read more
March 2014- Short of sitting in the front row of a Metallica concert for a few hours, there are few things that compare with the hearing damage a piston engine-powered...Read more
October 2005- AirVenture is not one show, but a hub of many activities going on simultaneously. The EAA group now attracts warbirds, major General Aviation manufacturers, aircraft modifiers, aircraft kit...Read more
October 2005- I had spent hours in the 1976 Warrior II (PA-28-151) working on my instrument rating. It was 1989, I was 19 years old and was going to college...Read more
October 2005- Penn Yan Aero in Penn Yan, N.Y. has been in the aviation engine overhaul business for a long time now—60 years—and they’ve maintained an excellent reputation for good...Read more
October 2005- Few airplanes qualify as icons: Say the name, and everyone (within reason) will know what you mean, though this can sometimes be misleading.
Say “Cessna,” and everyone will...Read more
October 2005- I dream in color. Azure blue, coral pink, sunset orange. The silver of clouds when seen with the sun hitting them from above. Tropical fish colors and sea...Read more
September 2005- General Aviation aircraft standard instrumentation includes an ammeter or current load meter to monitor your electrical system. Electrical power is a combination of Volts x Amps = Watts...Read more
September 2005- The design must have been perfect, because every Piper built until 1948 used exactly the same wing. Of course, that made for good manufacturing economies, which was one...Read more
September 2005- The federal requirement for ELTs started out as a Congressional amendment to the OSHA act of 1970. A group of Senators were lost in an aircraft accident in...Read more
September 2005- You can find it at almost every General Aviation airport. A little sign on the bulletin board, or a business card taped to the self-serve gas pump, advertising...Read more
As an airplane owner, you have a substantial investment in the engine of your aircraft. In some instances, the value of the engine (or engines) may exceed the value of...Read more
“…with a rising shriek, the speed began to rise rapidly and large patches of red heat became visible. The engine was obviously out of control. All the personnel went down...Read more
It’s been said everyone has a story. It’s also been said that everyone has a dream. My story has its beginning in the 1930s when my grandfather took his first...Read more
September 2005- Take 26 General Aviation aircraft, 26 “Type A” personality pilots, 35 high-intensity guests, eight international and Canadian journalists… and what do you have?
The Canadian International Air Rally!
July 2005- When you take flying lessons, you learn the basics of moving an airplane on the ground. At first, you’ll help your instructor, then you’ll do the moving under...Read more
July 2005- When I recently changed aeronautical directions by selling my light twin and moving into a two-seat sport airplane, I knew that I needed to also change my entire...Read more
July 2005- One time-tested way to create a light twin is to take a single, remove the engine, and replace it with two engines on the wings. Sometimes the engines...Read more
Oshkosh! It is said that all pilots should visit EAA AirVenture at Wittman Regional Airport (OSH) in Oshkosh, Wis. at least once in their lives.
For me, the idea of...Read more
While it may seem early to write about the coming winter, fall is the season to prepare. Preparing your aircraft will make operating during winter much easier, safer and...Read more
It is the mildest of weather conditions facing pilots, and yet it can be the most deadly. It creeps in on "little cat's feet" but can make even the...Read more
You might think that this season of the year is an unusual time to have a discussion about aircraft icing. Not really. All you have to do is climb...Read more
Sentimental Journey is an old-fashioned sort of fly-in. It is a gathering of the like-minded more than an exhibition, a sharing of things rather than simply a selling of...Read more
Two flights over the final two months of 2013 illustrate issues that have been bothering me for some time. First, a disconnect between the thinking of ATC and pilots; second...Read more
Q: Hi Steve,
I’m thinking about buying a tube and fabric taildragger and I’ve heard a lot about the Piper Super Cub. But when I look at a Super Cub...Read more
Since its first event in 1972, the Copperstate Fly-in has been bringing together aviation enthusiasts in the southwest United States.
Copperstate is the largest fly-in of its type in the western...Read more
Q: Hi Steve,
One of the other Comanche owners stopped by as I was working on the engine of my 1960 Comanche 180 and asked if I knew where he could...Read more
There you are, sitting in your airplane, in the dark, in the middle of nowhere—maybe even miles from nowhere—it’s raining, and you’re reading back your clearance to the controller.
As if...Read more
There are a number of ways to provide some assurance that airplanes won't run into each other while airborne, and nearly all of them have been put to use at...Read more
Have you ever traveled through a town in a hurry and thought to yourself, I ought to come back here sometime when I can stop and smell the roses…?
During my...Read more
The issue of medical certification for private pilots is a deeply personal one for me, which makes the creating of this column even more self-reflective than most of the writing...Read more
“Roooaarr!............ Whuump!............ Crap!
It was Feb. 11, 1996. I had been in Durham, N.C. on business the last two days. I was a little ahead of schedule so I took...Read more
If you are a fan of "Antiques Roadshow" or a saver of things with the barely recognized thought that they might someday be worth enough that a grandchild will remember...Read more
As an authorized inspector I see a lot of neglected aircraft. Many suffer from corrosion and other damage associated with not keeping the aircraft clean or using improper chemicals and...Read more
The weather’s still pretty good as I write—though we’ve had a few cloudy days, and winter rain, fog and ice are just a couple of months away. Nonetheless, I’ve been...Read more
The 2013 California Pilots Association (CalPilots) annual meeting, “California Dreamin’,” was much bigger and better attended than past CalPilots get-togethers. Jolie Lucas and Mitch Latting are recognized for their inspired...Read more
Whether it’s a sports car or an electronic device, a from-the-factory restoration can be a major selling point. It was no different for Ariel Quintela, a Florida-based pilot who was...Read more
Q: Hi Steve,
I am planning to buy a nice Piper PA-31-310 Navajo. I’ve got my eye on one that’s based locally and I really like this airplane. It does burn...Read more
March 2014- For those of us that are Piper Flyer Association (PFA) members, we get it. For the cost of several gallons of Avgas each year, we’re members of this...Read more
Over the years I have relished the challenge of the efficiencies of packing. Early in my life, I owned a Corvair, notably short of space when packing for a 10-day...Read more
When you take flying lessons, you learn the basics of moving an airplane on the ground. At first, you’ll help your instructor, then you’ll do the moving under his...Read more
Jacob Eiting is an innovator and a broad thinker. He works as a software engineer by day, creating learning games in Spanish and other languages, and at night, he...Read more
Piper had success with its twin-engine Seneca, but complaints of poor handling had plagued the early models and Piper had been on a quest for more power and better...Read more
Q: Hi Steve,
I’d like your recommendations for a Piper airplane that I can use to haul building supplies, gear, and people back and forth from a paved airport to...Read more
“There are two Diwys in my life,” said Barry Colvin with a wry grin, “but only one of them is temperamental.”
He didn’t volunteer any further information, and since I...Read more
When Noel Allen surveyed aircraft damaged in windstorms he found a pattern. The tiedown rings on most of the PA-28 Cherokee series had broken.
He noticed something else, too: the...Read more
Regular readers of this column will know that my wife and copilot, Kate Bolton, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer last fall. I am happy to report that after surgery...Read more
Before you begin reading this column I feel that I should warn you that it does not have a happy ending. But maybe the ending has not yet been...Read more
If at first you don’t succeed, don’t “tri” again. But Piper’s trimotor testing wasn’t all for naught.
What do you do when you’ve completed initial testing of a new version...Read more
Q: Hi Steve,
I am a member of a flying club and a Sunday flyer. One thing our club does on a monthly basis is fly-outs. We usually get 15...Read more
In 1893, the Dalton Gang attempted to rob two banks at the same time in Coffeyville, Kan. All the members were gunned down by armed citizens and died in...Read more
Texas Hill Country lies roughly in the geographic center of the state. It’s an area of rolling hills dotted with oak and cypress that includes of all or part...Read more
Avionics is where the action is (and has been!) for some time in aviation. It seems as if each month brings a new, relatively low-cost gadget or app designed...Read more
Every year in April, I set off to go to the annual EAA event in Lakeland, Fla., commonly known as Sun ‘n Fun.
Armed only with a press pass and...Read more
Being employed in a position where several hundred as-removed aircraft oil coolers pass within my view each and every month, year after year, very likely means that I’ve seen...Read more
Last month I spoke about my hunt for a navigation system to go into my new sport airplane and, after investigating the possibilities, I settled on a portable GPS...Read more
Have you ever wondered where those, one-eyed brown gremlins, commonly referred to as rust or oxidation come from? These growing creatures can destroy an aircraft faster than a student...Read more
Over 275 exhibitors come to Alaska, the “flyingest” state in the union.
It was cold when we arrived in Anchorage for the Great Alaska Aviation Gathering—unseasonably so, we were told...Read more
I had wrangled myself an invitation to see and fly a particularly historic C-47A…
(Note: The parenthetical passages are from Ernest K. Gann’s novel, “Island in the Sky.”)
Last time...Read more
Piper compares today’s normally aspirated Saratoga II HP and turbocharged Saratoga II TC to SUVs. A friend who owned a 1981 fixed-gear Saratoga called his airplane a flying pickup...Read more
In the wake of 9/11 and the massive government reorganization that followed, it was inevitable that some government agencies would have different rules and guidelines for defining specific operations...Read more
The Piper Pawnee is a working airplane, an employee that is paid by the hour and usually does hot, dirty jobs, often seven days a week.
It’s not likely that...Read more
What a great day! It is warm without being hot. There is a slight breeze and even the mosquitoes are only buzzing and not biting. You are at the...Read more
One day I was out shooting approaches from Long Beach, Calif. airport. Judging from the blimp on the ground, the winds were not strong.
However, by the time I was...Read more
If you are an airplane owner, you undoubtedly already know what an AD is. Airworthiness Directives are issued by the FAA to address mechanical safety of flight issues that...Read more
Longtime friends Kendyl and Barbara Monroe finally decided to retire, leave New York City and move back home to the family ranch near Clayton, N.M. 10 years ago.
All this...Read more
Originally organized in 1974 as a weekend-long event, the annual EAA fly-in at Lakeland, Fla. has continued to grow in size and stature each year since.
Known in the industry...Read more
I’d really like to have more aviation art hanging about. As a group, aviation artists have matured immensely over the past three decades to the point where it’s not...Read more
If you had to pick the single most misunderstood aspect of aircraft ownership, logbooks would certainly be at or near the top of the list. All owners know they...Read more
Philadelphia Eagles in Superbowl XXXVIX, which was played for the first time in Jacksonville, Fla. I was there. Not at the game, at Jacksonville. This is what charter pilots...Read more
Nestled under the San Francisco Class B airspace, 20 miles south of the downtown area, San Carlos airport of Santa Clara county (SQL) is the closest General Aviation airport...Read more
Q: I am thinking of buying a 1959 PA-24-180 and am interested in knowing of any maintenance issues of which I need to be aware. The airplane is current...Read more
Take a good look at the clouds in the picture on the facing page. Notice the sharp edges, and how they look stacked up, almost like pancakes? Trust me...Read more
Brothers and Sisters, can we all come together for this article on peace and harmony between and betwixt our little airplane and big airplane families? Must we always have...Read more
I was recently on a flight with a friend of mine in his light twin, and something occurred that made me realize I should have been more prepared.
While it’s...Read more
I have long felt that the most significant dangers GA pilots face are related to their own judgment rather than their skill at the mechanics of flying. I’m sure...Read more
I have a decision to make, which is keeping me from sleep at the moment. For the past six months, I’ve been trying to find a partner for N16460—or...Read more
Jay Taffet is a new member of the Piper Flyer Association. He lives in Montgomery, Ala. and, like many of you, flies his Piper Arrow recreationally every weekend and...Read more
If you have been wondering where I have been the last few months, the answer is, “out flying.”
In the last 60 days I have logged just under 150 flight...Read more
Aviation has a very short history when you compare it to something like sailing or horseback riding. Only a little over a hundred years of experience and look how...Read more
Unless you’ve previously owned or flown something very much like the new airplane you’ve just acquired, getting a new airplane means you now need to get yourself up to...Read more
Doing some of the maintenance and refurbishing to your own airplane will give you a great deal of satisfaction, give you greater confidence in the reliability of your airplane...Read more
“Making an airport outta a golf course was about the fairest thing I ever heard of.”
Our friend L.G. Poteet, South Texas rancher, pilot and part-time oil millionaire, finally found...Read more
Let’s get the top-line item out of the way first: The Archer III is a very expensive airplane. New Piper Aircraft, Inc., doesn’t list a standard price on the...Read more
Imagine a supersonic jet fighter that takes off and lands on water skis. Sounds insane, doesn’t it? You might think so, but the U.S. Navy built and flew four...Read more
Garmin D2 Pilot Watch-Move over, Dick Tracy: a new era in nifty watches has arrived. The new Garmin D2 Pilot does everything but catch the bad guys. GPS enabled with...Read more
July 2013 -
"I don't go that high," came the reply to my question asking why a pilot had never had hypoxia training. After asking how high the pilot typically flew...Read more
2009 articles will be available soon. Read more
Poplar Grove Airmotive outlines two types of overhauls, and clarifies what constitutes a rebuilt engine.
Although the terms “overhaul” and “rebuild” are sometimes used interchangeably, there really is a difference—and...Read more
Sticking valves are a relatively common problem on aircraft piston engines. Lycoming Service Bulletin 388 addresses the need to regularly check clearance and provides a procedure to clean carbon...Read more
It’s 1967 and you want to buy a new single-engine retractable. What are your options? Beech, Cessna, Mooney and Piper all have offerings, but you’re a loyal Piper flyer...Read more
A directory of Piper Flyer supporters
Many of these companies offer multiple products and services but for the sake of this guide we are listing only specific categories. Please visit...Read more
In general the aviation community has always seen research and study of such tragedies as tools for learning to keep the rest of safe.
Twice this past month friends of...Read more
Useful tips for understanding your airplane’s turbocharger.
We get calls every week from someone across the country regarding bearing play. During pre-buy, annual inspections and routine maintenance, the common practice...Read more
Insider’s guide to getting the best bang for your engine overhaul buck.
Life’s funny that way. One day you’re flying your Cherokee 180 along without a care in the world...Read more
PFA’s assistant director visits one of the biggest aviation celebrations in the world.
Well, this year, I had the privilege to visit Lakeland, Fla. for the very first time to...Read more
STC packages for your Cherokee
If the engine on your PA-28-140 or PA-28-151 is getting tired and it’s time to do something about it, you have a few options to...Read more
I have been a faithful member of Piper Flyer Association ever since my first issue arrived in our mailbox almost a decade ago.
I can vividly recall a recent issue in...Read more
Flying Mr. Piper’s 1930s classic off water may seem straightforward to tailwheel pilots, but has some novel hazards.
Photos: Keith Wilson
The J-3 is an amazingly versatile little airplane that taught thousands...Read more
Here you are happily flying along, getting ready to land when you realize the carpet is bunched up under the rudder pedals. Yikes! This could be bad. It’s happened enough...Read more
With some simple tools and a steady hand, you’ll leave no trace of your work—except what you’ve documented in the log.
Oil in the wrong place is the gift that...Read more
It’s a cool Saturday in March when we arrive in Cambria, Calif. for a weekend visit. We are greeted warmly at the front desk of the Cambria Pines Lodge, but...Read more
Several months ago (“Heading Bug,” June 2012) columnist David Hipschman weighed in with his ideas about what to carry in your Piper for emergencies, and he shared what he...Read more
Redheaded Copilot asked me where we should take our 2013 winter vacation. The last couple of years, we’d taken cruises.
I suggested it would be adventurous to take our PA-22/20 tube...Read more
“Wow!” That’s what I said after just over an hour in the left seat of N290ND, a 1998 PA-44-180 Seminole. While I already had 10 hours of multi-engine dual (mainly...Read more
Piper began work on a lower cost replacement for the PA-39 Twin Comanche in 1974. The “Twin Arrow”—Project 10—was headed by Grahame Gates at Piper Aircraft’s Lakeland plant.
Original specs called...Read more
In part one of my Insight engine monitor pirep (Piper Flyer, January 2013), I described the G3 engine monitor’s operation and its diagnostic and data logging capabilities.
This month, I’ll focus...Read more
After five to six months of planning a special edition of Piper Flyer with its ever-so-cool genealogy pullout chart, Jen and I were on a plane to corporate headquarters of...Read more
Nothing improves the looks of a plane more than paint and interior.
Many of us have wanted to change the look of our airplane’s interior plastic by either replacing it or...Read more
I’ve been a Flight Guide user for longer than I can remember. For many years one of the iconic little brown loose-leaf binders covering the Western States had a place...Read more
By the time the Piper Cherokee Archer came to market in 1974 the Cherokee line had been in production for 13 years and had yielded many variations.
The Archer was the...Read more
Use the phrase “grand hotel” in a sentence and your listener is likely to conjure up an image of the alabaster structure located on Michigan’s Mackinac Island.
The term “grand hotel”...Read more
I ended my February column by saying that I expected to be flying a lot less, given my wife's cancer diagnosis. In fact, I'm delighted (and more than a...Read more
1925-1926 North Star Aerial Corp. founded at Rochester, N.Y. by Clarence Gilbert and Gordon Taylor using a restored Curtiss Jenny
1928 Moved to Bradford, Penn. and formed the Taylor...Read more
Recently I flew with my friend Dean in his single engine aircraft. I was photographing our friend’s newest airplane, so I opened the window. This rather large opening created...Read more
Q: Hi Steve,
Are all airplane batteries bad, or am I the only one that’s getting bad batteries? I don’t fly often, but lately it seems like every time I...Read more
I know I’m a bad person, an erudite of nothing, untutored in all but onomatopoeia and iambic pentameter, exuberant with righteous selfdom, disarranged from all scholarly consonance, heretical of...Read more
It started back in the mid-1920s when brothers Gilbert and Gordon Taylor (along with their father, Arthur) purchased a surplus Curtiss JN-4 aircraft and learned to fly. The Taylors...Read more
In “Lost in Oscar Hotel,” J-3 pilot and author Gordon Murray chronicles “the first, longest, slowest and most peculiar flight to Wright Brothers Airport ever made in an antique...Read more
As I mentioned the last time we met on these pages, several months ago my latest aviation-themed novel—“Captain”—was released in a print edition and also in all e-book formats...Read more
Improper fuel management, contamination and poor preflight planning cause far too many GA accidents; statistics reveal nearly two accidents per week on average. Whether the result of fuel...Read more
PF: What areas at Piper need strengthening right now?
SC: I took over as CEO last October; the first thing I did was stabilize the business. I had already been...Read more
October 2010 -
EAA has a winner with its Young Eagles program. Besides being a fun, feel-good activity for everyone involved, the program is making strides in growing the population...Read more
Piper Flyer Association member Jim Von Lorenz called the PFA office and asked that I call him. He had read a Q&A column in a previous issue of Piper...Read more
Having had the luxury of flying up in my friend’s Archer, my experience to Oshkosh started off amazingly. Henry Graeber, Greg Kelsoe and I piled into Henry’s Archer and...Read more
With 150 hp (the original had just 108 hp) Piper’s rag-and-tube nosewheel classic is a “no-worries airplane”
Frank Rothera would be the first to admit that his Piper Colt has...Read more
Four years ago, I flew right seat with my friend Leroy Nygaard on an Angel Flight charitable patient transport mission, picking up a cancer patient in Lincoln, Calif. (KLHM)...Read more
A thesis by a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) graduate student on why we are flying less, and a move by the largest aviation “alphabet” group appointing a new...Read more
At the end of the last episode Bob Berg, the owner of the 1939 Piper J-3 Cub and I had just driven to Lompoc, Calif. to attend the West...Read more
When I was living in Vero Beach in 1965, I got a summer job at the Piper plant. I was able to take lessons in a brand-new Cherokee 140...Read more
Q: Dear Steve,
The steering on my Piper Arrow III (PA-28R-201) seems loose. I have had this particular Piper for seven years and it seems like it’s getting more difficult...Read more
I was walking through all the airplanes at this great little fly-in I attended. There were several classic birds there including a cabin-class Waco, a tricked-out Luscombe 8 and...Read more
With 150 hp (the original had just 108 hp) Piper’s rag-and-tube nosewheel classic is a “no-worries airplane”
The M-Class series of aircraft first began as a glimmer in Piper’s eye...Read more
While I’ve been an aviation magazine writer for the past 40-plus years, some members are probably also familiar with my aviation-themed novels: there have been seven of them since...Read more
Europe is always a popular travel destination. Here’s a unique way to see the sights, including waterfront properties visited by Julius Caesar!
We were flying through a high mountain pass...Read more
Here are a few of the things I’ve learned during the restoration of my neighbor’s 1939 Piper J-3 Cub. There weren’t any self-locking nuts in 1939; every bolt in...Read more
Batteries, like many things in aviation, are unexciting unless they malfunction. Then, they can be annoying, perplexing, or even dangerous. A few tips passed on to the people who...Read more
There are many weight and balance applications to wade through, and you need to be careful. I recently discovered AeroW&B, an aircraft weight and balance application available at the...Read more
Real-time, in-flight weather is not a new concept. Sirius XM and WSI have been providing it to pilots for years.
ADS-B, the key element in the United States government’s plan...Read more
Q: Hi Steve,
I need some advice on how to preserve my airplane. I own a nice Piper Comanche 250 that I have put a lot of money into over...Read more
The pre-buy inspection is incredibly important, yet one expensive component that is largely overlooked is right out front: the propeller. What should a prospective buyer look for, and what...Read more
Six years ago, I opened my column with these words:
When I started flying actively about 10 years ago, I was warned that if I stuck with it, eventually I’d...Read more
Your magazine was created in the world of monthly print publications and says August on the cover. Meanwhile, I write over Memorial Day weekend as a tropical storm named...Read more
Considering that Piper produced this quick-and-cheap two-seater after going bankrupt, it is surprisingly good. When the American economy went into reverse in 1947, Piper could not...Read more
A flood at the Piper’s Lock Haven facility destroyed the tooling for the Comanche, and Piper Aircraft developed the Seneca as a replacement aircraft for its popular Twin Comanche...Read more
This month, we’ve compiled some of the most useful tips from Q&As published in Piper Flyer over the last year. The questions and answers you’ll see here are abridged;...Read more
The early days of flying were the toughest. In the early 20th century, people began taking to the skies at a time when humanity was still in the learning...Read more
My column in the May issue of Piper Flyer had been prompted by a copy of a letter I’d received from a fellow who had flown with me as...Read more
Returning to Waltanna (SN65) after a long trip, I noticed that my airplane, Bill, didn’t seem to be his normal bubbly self. I asked him why he was so...Read more
In the seventh aviation novel by Thomas Block, an airline company whose owners shield a hidden agenda, an airliner with some fancy technical upgrades and a cast of characters...Read more
I ordered an Ashby fiberglass glareshield from Aircraft Spruce along with right and left windshields halves from Great Lakes Aero Products. (Yes, I decided to replace the right side...Read more
The Niagara Falls region of western New York offers some breathtaking scenery including one of the seven natural wonders of North America, Niagara Falls. Recently my wife expressed a...Read more
WHAT MAKES A PERFECT FLY-IN DESTINATION? Of course, a good on-field restaurant is a great starting point, but going beyond the average hundred-dollar hamburger, it’s nice to have...Read more
This spring was a whirlwind of activity as the intrepid PFA staff attended aviation shows as far-flung as Germany and Alaska. Shows are a great way for us to...Read more
Challenge Air inspires its passengers using the wonder and beauty of flight
At 5:30 a.m. on one particular Saturday last January, our alarm went off—something that doesn’t normally happen on...Read more
Q: Dear Steve,
I own a Piper PA-28-181 and I have a vacuum system problem. From what I understand, the vacuum system in my Cherokee is similar to a lot...Read more
Some years back, I was with a group of other pilots on a houseboat trip. After a few days on (and sometimes in) the water, I called flight service...Read more
“Ditch kits” are part of good flight planning, risk management
Anyone who has spent any time at all flying around in small airplanes has looked down and realized the immense...Read more
As aviators, it seems we are perpetually seeking out new destinations. These achievements—so fastidiously recorded in our logbook—leave us with fond memories. For many of us, navigating to (and...Read more
If you think synthetic vision is a gimmick, or one of those nice-to-have features that’s not worth the money, you don’t understand the technology. To be honest, I...Read more
For well over a year I had been looking for a true four seat, single engine, fixed gear aircraft that was airworthy and would fit my budget. My budget...Read more
Fasteners keep our machines together. They’re simple, strong—and often neglected, overlooked and misunderstood. They’re also critical to our machines’ condition, and ultimately to our own longevity. It’s worth looking...Read more
Are the side windows of your Piper airplane getting hard to see through?
Have you polished and rubbed with this and that cleaner to little or no avail?
If you’ve been...Read more
Q: Hi Steve,
I am pretty new to airplane ownership and I have a question about a test my mechanic told me my airplane needed. He said that the pitot...Read more
It’s right about this time that I begin to have traces of nausea over the volume of political speeches I’ve been subjected to since we started all this presidential...Read more
Nothing jogs my memory about stories from the old days like getting a thoughtful letter from a copilot that I had once shared the cockpit with. While I’ve had...Read more
Flying Wild Alaska on the Discovery Channel and Alaska Wing Men on National Geographic Channel have raised bush flying awareness. This article is to help pilots get started learning...Read more
THE REVOLUTION IS COMING – GET READY
NextGen is going to cause an aviation revolution, and all pilots need to prepare for Jan. 1, 2020. If you are unfamiliar (or...Read more
Q: Dear Steve,
I have a tire problem. Actually, it’s more of a pilot error problem. I am the proud and happy owner of an Archer III. This is a...Read more
Last year, I was appointed to the Modesto City-County Airport Advisory Committee, a group chartered jointly by the city and county to give advice to the airport manager. We...Read more
Getting what you pay for isn’t always a good bargain
You can find it at almost every General Aviation airport. A little sign on the bulletin board, or a business...Read more
The United States Congress, back in February, passed and sent the Federal Aviation Administration Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 to President Obama, who signed it into...Read more
I am the kind of person to whom anything can happen, and usually does.
My brother Mike calls to ask a simple question. “Do you want to go south for...Read more
“I like the Cherokee a lot,” Steve Flock told me... but he wasn’t looking even looking for an airplane, let alone a Cherokee, when he bought his 1966 Piper...Read more
The Avionics Bucket List series is written to provide Piper Flyer readers with information from my observations and research about some of what is available in avionics. My hope...Read more
Q: Hi Steve,
My 1960 Piper Comanche 250 has safely and comfortably carried my wife, my daughter and me to some of our most memorable adventures for the past 20...Read more
It is a little-known fact that in 1913, bedouin shepherd boys playing outside EAA headquarters in Oshkosh discovered an ancient manuscript wrapped in a white linen scarf dating from...Read more
Pilots and airplane owners always need new stuff. Flying’s like that. The stuff could be a new headset, a bigger flight bag, or flight simulation software. Unlike other hobbies...Read more
Over the past 50-plus years of being involved with airplanes, I’ve had a number of memorable bouts with turbulence. When I count the episodes that come to mind, you...Read more
How Do You Eat an Elephant?
How do you eat an elephant? You do it—one bite at a time. That’s the way replacement avionics get into most panels—one item at...Read more
Aircraft maintenance records can be a source of confusion for many aircraft owners and pilots. What information is necessary, what inspections are required, and determining whether an aircraft is...Read more
Q: Hi Steve,
I haven’t been flying my Piper Pacer very much lately. Money is tight, and Avgas is expensive right now. I do tie my Pacer down outside.
I was...Read more
I will start right off and tell you that I really like the Pilot Bag manufactured by BrightLine Bags. The bag is built well, performs as advertised, and after...Read more
Piper, once synonymous with the Cub that most non-aviators think is the archetypical little airplane, hasn’t made that aircraft or any of its variants since 1981.
The company left Lock...Read more
Late last year, I found myself planning a flight to Fullerton (KFUL), in Southern California. Typical West Coast winter conditions were in full force: morning fog here in the...Read more
Every human endeavor, whether blacksmithing, computer science, boating or aviation, has its unique nomenclature. The anthropologists will tell you—with a nervous glance at the higher apes and aquatic mammals—that...Read more
I perked up last October when Audrey said she was headed to Rhinebeck, N.Y. Rhinebeck! That’s the only place I know of where World War I-vintage airplanes as well...Read more
Most pilots have a favorite destination, either because it is in a beautiful part of the country, or because of the friends who gather there with you. My preference...Read more
There are many scenic locations along the Northern California coast. One of the most picturesque happens to be an ideal fly-in destination, weather permitting: Half Moon Bay (KHAF). It’s...Read more
Our son and his family typically head south during their vacations, and the trips include places that interest their children—our grandchildren—ages 10 and six. Our daughter-in-law Alison suggested Legoland...Read more
The sun was up but the day still pleasant when we made our way onto the Casa Grande Airport ((KCGZ) Casa Grande, Ariz.) grounds for the opening day of...Read more
As we were flying along one day, my wife, who was PIC that day, said, “We need to do something with this shoulder harness. It’s ugly and crunchy.”
Well, our...Read more
I have an early model 1973 Cherokee Six 260. The fuel tank selector valve is located under the rear seat. I noticed that I was using more fuel...Read more
My father died a little more than a year ago and it is just now that I’ve found it in me to parse through his belongings. There were accolades...Read more
Paul Saurenman, owner of Pacific Oil Cooler Service (POCS) and Aero-Classics Heat Transfer Products Inc., stood in front of Jen and Kent Dellenbusch, publishers of Piper Flyer, and me...Read more
I’m writing this on a cloudy, windy, rainy day at home, and I’m doing what’s most suitable for a day like this: I’m sitting at my desktop computer and...Read more
I am convinced that airplanes have personalities. When we get to really know our planes, we know when they are happy and when they are grumpy, when they are...Read more
How many times have you heard the expression “working in the salt mines”? In reality, probably not that many, but you have likely heard it one time or another...Read more
I have seen the future. I have seen the future and it was installed in a 1976 Cherokee Six. As I sat in the cockpit of N4300F, it dawned...Read more
Dr. Gary Schorr is a great aviation success story. I met the doctor several years back when he and I got involved with a fractional ownership of a King...Read more
The Piper name is perhaps the most famous in all of aviation, but the fact that William T. Piper was even in the airplane business was a fluke. When...Read more
NO, you should NEVER jump start an airplane that was certified with a battery as original equipment, unless that aircraft was certified with a dead battery and I’m not aware...Read more
This portion of the article about the application process for Supplemental Type Certificates was generated by listening to aircraft owners, A&Ps and A&P/IAs across the United States complaining about...Read more
For as long as I can recall, I’ve been quite fond of using the adage that “it is much better to be down here wishing you were up...Read more
If you have a midair collision it isn’t going to happen like it does in the movies. It won’t be a head-on, high-speed thing like those dogfight passes in...Read more
Spark plug replacement and cleaning is a task that aircraft owners and pilots can easily do to maintain engine efficiency. I encourage aircraft owners to get involved in the maintenance...Read more
December 2012 -
Remember that an aircraft wing always stalls at one angle of attack, but can stall at any airspeed.
Q: Dear Steve,
I’m in the fourth quarter of the game, age-wise...Read more
Mexico, Presidential TFRs and Personal Limits
Last month my wife and I made our last trip to Mexico for the year. The trip down was long but routine. The trip...Read more
If you’re a pilot who says you’ve never even dreamed of flying a jet fighter… maybe your nose is growing?
The end of the Cold War in the 1990s brought...Read more
Wishes for Your Flying Year
The fact is that the future is unknowable.
Despite ancient tradition of spiritual endeavor, or the most modern advances in particle physics, none of us has...Read more
When Continental Motors became part of Teledyne in 1971, engineers had already been at work for several years on the first all-new General Aviation engine to be developed in...Read more
Q: Dear Steve,
I received an email today and I am suspicious about opening it. The subject matter refers to the airplane I own, but this does not look like the...Read more
I thought about adding a full-featured engine monitor to my panel for a long time, but I didn’t make the decision to commit until Insight Instrument Corp.’s G Series graphic...Read more
Piloting Aspects inside the novel “Captain,” Part Three
Here is the promised ending chapter to our ongoing discussion of the piloting aspects lurking inside my latest aviation-themed novel “Captain,” which is...Read more
AOPA Aviation Summit 2012 in wonderful Palm Springs, Calif. crept up on us like Santa slithering down the chimney. Jen and I packed up the truck with booth supplies, did...Read more
I remember the year 1967 as one of conflict and contradiction. At once both troubled and optimistic. Every night the news broadcast images of the Vietnam War, where young men...Read more
Traveling on Interstate 10 to Casa Grande on my way to the 40th anniversary of the Copperstate Fly-in, I can’t help but wonder what it must have been like 40...Read more
“Hey pilots, we have something really swell for you! It’s a new technology called ADS-B that we can all have installed in our airplanes and update the aging air traffic...Read more
“What’s that on the windshield?” asked Kate, my copilot and wife. I looked up from the instruments I had been concentrating on—trying to understand why the engine sounds had...Read more
People involved in aviation are a friendly lot. At least we think we are. All you have to do is go to a pancake breakfast at a fly-in or...Read more
For as long as I can recall, I’ve been quite fond of using the adage that “it is much better to be down here wishing you were up there...Read more
The National Park Service (NPS) is raising awareness of soundscapes, the sounds of nature that provide the backdrop for those beautiful panoramas and the solitude enjoyed by thousands every...Read more
While 31,258 of my closest friends and I were in Las Vegas during mid-October at the National Business Aircraft Association (NBAA) Convention, we got a glimpse of the future...Read more
You can’t get there from here? Yes you can… if you fly your own airplane!
I’ve been a fan of flying since I was a little kid—and I’m going...Read more
IN A TOUGH ECONOMY, AIRSHOWS ARE STILL RIDING A WAVE OF POPULARITY.
There are now more than 325 airshows held each year across North America drawing millions of spectators. This year...Read more
Of the many variants of the basic PA-28 Cherokee airframe produced over the last 40 years, one stands out as a unique success: The PA-28R Arrow is today...Read more
The bugs near Anderson, Ind. are what I remember the most, along with more actual IFR (two solid hours) in one week than I've had in the entire year...Read more
In August, Hurricane Charley blew through Florida and into the Carolinas. That fast-moving Category Four storm cut a compact swatch of destruction across the state, effectively bringing aviation operations...Read more
I finally got myself IFR current again, almost six months after my last hood work. That has a tendency to happen around here in the summer, as there's little...Read more
The saga of the Insight Instrument Corporation began in the winter of 1980. Engineer John Youngquist was flying a Bonanza on a night flight when the airplane's engine began...Read more
A couple of weeks ago, I got tapped for jury duty.
Most people try to get excused, but I actually relish the opportunity to aid in the judicial process and...Read more
By now most people are familiar with the term FADEC (Full-Authority Digital Engine Control). Mountain High Equipment & Supply has modified that acronym with their proprietary FADOC™, or the...Read more
I was 17 years old and having the time of my life. I had been a line boy in Lakeland since I was 15 and was cashing in on...Read more
Well here comes summer once again. If you are based east of the Mississippi, that means high temperatures and low flight visibilities, thunderstorms and high density altitudes. Here in...Read more
When I make my semi-annual pilgrimage to my dentist's office, I always notice the small sign on the wall that says "If you ignore your teeth, your problems will...Read more
After years of work, the FAA has finally issued a new rating category, targeted at lowering the cost of flying. Called the Sport Pilot Certificate, this new rating is...Read more
No doubt you have read a multitude of editorial on the subject of the Go/No Go decision. In reality, it should probably be called the Go On/Not Go On...Read more
About one year ago, Sporty's Pilot Shop (www.sportys.com) announced an updated version of an audio tape program they had originally put out nearly 25 years earlier.
The press release from Sporty's...Read more
With my new partner Jim Corley walking beside me, we finally headed across the ramp and toward the airplane to do some actual flying ("Partnership, Part One & Two;...Read more
Without a doubt, they're the hardest-working, most under-appreciated part of your airplane. Of course, I'm talking about your propeller.
Most of us just think of a propeller as a chunk...Read more
There are natural limits on how well flight schools can operate.
On the civilian side of the equation, flight schools are limited in what they can teach their students by...Read more
October 2004 -
For many people, a weekend visit to a bed-and-breakfast inn provides a wonderful opportunity to decompress from everyday life. And for pilots, an opportunity to combine...Read more
Nestled into the soft rolling hills of Upstate New York about halfway between Albany and Binghamton lies the small town of Cooperstown. Settled in the late 18th century, Cooperstown...Read more
Fifteen years ago I was in Germany on a business trip. My client took me to a small town outside of Bonn named Bad Munster Eiffel. This tiny Bavarian...Read more
Flying is based on seeing. You use your eyesight to gather and use your knowledge. Even though Luke Skywalker could close his eyes, use The Force and fly a...Read more
How high can you fly? That's a question that's bothered me for quite a while now. The San Francisco sectional I use regularly has some green in the middle...Read more
September 2004 -
Here's an airplane that has been literally turning heads for more than 40 years, and for good reason. When Piper launched the first PA-30 Twin Comanche in 1963...Read more
November 2004 -
Seventy percent of runway incursions happen to General Aviation pilots. Getting lost at an airport when you are trying to taxi is not limited to GA aircraft, it...Read more
November 2004 -
Have you ever wondered why we refer to some airplanes by name while sticking to the numbers for others? For one thing, it's sometimes simpler. I mean, it's...Read more
October 2004 -
If you tell someone you fly a Piper PA-28, you should be a little more specific. There is a choice of 12 separate types with a dozen different...Read more
October 2004 -
When I bought 1176X four years ago, I really did not plan to restore or modify the aircraft in any way, but as I got into the project...Read more
October 2004 -
It's 7:30 a.m. and, for the second time this week, I am out at the field on my way to the office. Cabin clean: check. Oil level: check...Read more
September 2004 -
Only big airplanes with jet engines have to worry about replacing things on a calendar or time in service basis. None of that applies to my airplane, or...Read more
When I took my friend Jim Corley as a partner in my light twin, we already knew that we’d be spending the first few flights doing a comprehensive checkout—that...Read more
In the early 1930s businessman William T. Piper became involved with the Taylor Aircraft Company. C.G. Taylor designed a light aircraft with steel framework, tubular struts, rubber shock cord landing...Read more
The object of an annual inspection is to determine that the aircraft is in condition for safe operation and complies with the type certificate. Here are some practical suggestions from...Read more
I came to own piper(Papa), a 1960 PA-24 in a roundabout way. I had been screening ads in Trade-A-Plane and on the Internet for another airplane. I had studied Mooney...Read more
According to FAR Part 43 Appendix A, “Major Alterations, Major Repairs, and Preventive Maintenance,” aircraft owners are permitted to service the spark plugs in their engine. The following should help...Read more
“Pilot Report: Gorgeous!” That’s what I said when closing my flight plan after a two hour air tour during a flying vacation in (and over) Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons...Read more
In October of 1958, Piper proposed a twin-engine version of the successful Comanche single. This was not the PA-30 Twin Comanche, the planning of which had begun two years earlier...Read more
My First Airplane: What Mike Taught Me About Flyingby Steve Ells
I had been bitten by the aviation bug as soon as I joined the U.S. Navy and started sending away...Read more
I was first bitten by the flying bug at an airshow in Dayton, Ohio when I was five years old. The noise from the jets was incredible. My dad took...Read more
I learned to fly in Cessna 150 rental airplanes out of Colts Neck, N.J., a half-mile dirt strip. When the pressure from real estate developers outweighed the interests of a...Read more
Most aircraft profiles start out with a long dissertation on the history of the aircraft’s type and its lineage—blah, blah, blah—okay, so here’s what you need to know to set...Read more
Talkeetna, Alaska is located north of Anchorage and south of Denali National Park. The town was established in 1919 to be the Engineering Commission Headquarters during the construction of the...Read more