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AOPA Never Again

Nov 23, 2009

The worst flight I ever made was an attempt to do a favor for a friend. My friend’s grandfather had recently passed away, and his family thought spreading his ashes over his ranch in Oklahoma would be a memorable and fitting tribute. I had been flying for almost 20 years and was honored to be able to fulfill this...

Nov 10, 2009

On a clear winter day, I departed Burlington, North Carolina, for Jackson County Airport at the western edge of the state for a visit with my fiancé. I had just reached cruising altitude at 6,500 feet, established flight following with Greensboro Approach and engaged the autopilot for what I thought would be a smooth,...

Oct 22, 2009

I’m a knowledgeable, careful, cautious pilot, right? Unfortunately, no, I’m not. And here’s why: A few years ago I took a cross-country trip during which I made so many mistakes and errors of judgment it’s a wonder I am still here to write about it.

Oct 13, 2009

The air was smooth as glass, and I had the traffic pattern to myself. It couldn’t have been better—right up until the time I retracted the landing gear. As soon as the gear was up, the Baron began to violently shake and shudder. I noticed that it wasn’t just the aircraft that was shaking; the control yoke itself...

Sep 18, 2009

Suddenly I could see a light spray of fuel pouring a mist of avgas on my leg. As I was looking for the grass strips, I spotted what looked like a hard-surface runway. … A guy drove up … walked up to me, sort of got in my face, and said, “Do you know you just landed inside a prison?” Yikes!