Cross Country Traffic Pattern – Redux

The topic of this month’s rant is the constantly annoying, logically unexplainable, incredibly expensive, sometimes dangerous, often unsafe, and bloody frkn stupid cross country traffic pattern. The 2016 version of the Airplane Flying Handbook, FAA-H-8083-3B, recommends flying a normal airport

Posted in Rants


I’ve been actively involved in aviation since 1975, but I’ve been passionately engaged in aviation my entire life – or at least since my first airplane ride in a United DC-6 from Idlewild to San Francisco in 1952. That would

Posted in Rants

Christmas Gift Flying Movies

It is our habit – Laurel’s and mine – on Thanksgiving Day to start watching all of the 25 or so Christmas movies we own. Our Thanksgiving tradition begins in the morning with pumpkin pie for breakfast – face it,

Posted in Whimsy


Up until now, in the long, forlorn, misbegotten history of FAA, the agency has done exactly one good thing: ATIS. I mean, before whatever FAA genius (insert chuckle, guffaw or cackle, as appropriate to your own level of sarcasm/cynicism) decided

Posted in Training Topics


Fall (such as it is) has arrived here in SoCal and a wise pilot might ponder a flight training plan for the upcoming winter weather. (Realize that “winter” here under SoCal Skies means four months of the spring-like conditions you’d

Posted in Training Topics

September Blog – ATC and Pilot Communications

My very good friend, Jeff Acord, has started a blog and anyone who cares about aviation ought-a start reading it. The URL is as follows: His first entry involves ATC-pilot communications and all of us can learn from it.

Posted in Training Topics


Monsoon. Conjures up images of rice paddies whipped by gales and slashing rain, don’t it? Clipper ships in South Pacific seas battening hatches and furling sail, riding out the storm. By odd chance, the version we get under SoCal Skies

Posted in Rants, Training Topics

Why We Fly

@sgdalyskyho #HeresWhyWeFly Why we fly. A statement. Or is it a question: why do we fly? Could it be a disease: “I’m sorry, Maam, but your boy has flyingitis. I’m afraid it’s incurable.” Maybe it’s an addiction as habit-forming as

Posted in Whimsy

How I Became a Flight Instructor – Part II

A funny thing happened on my way to the instrument rating which segues quite nicely into Part II of how I became a flight instructor. That’s a dumb opening, isn’t it? Sheez, who is this guy? Hokay, back to the

Posted in Aviation Stories

How I Became a Flight Instructor – Part I

This rather long, two-part journey begins with how I first met Martha and John King. I was at a restaurant, Thee Bungalow, for a party of some sort back in 1995. I ran into Ron James at the party. Ron

Posted in Personalities