Zero/Zero, Charles D. Svovoda

“At last I understood what true professionalism is. Being a pilot isn’t all seat-of-the-pants flying and glory. It’s self-discipline, practice, study, analysis and preparation. It’s precision. If you can’t keep the gauges where you want them with everything free and easy, how can you keep them there when everything goes wrong?” Charles D. Svoboda Flying magazine, November 1976. Old editions of Flying magazine are archived by Google books. This amazing article is online for free in the November 1976 edition, and certainly deserves a new audience. It’s about making a foggy zero/zero landing in a huge prop plane. Lots of good … Continue reading Zero/Zero, Charles D. Svovoda

It remains a puzzle

How to land? Last night, in the dark of 16L, everything looked perfect. I gently bought the A320 into a nice flare, and was rewarded with an OK, but harder than I wanted, landing. It was safe. Many would say it was good. But I was disgruntled. I can do better. Often the final touch-down remains a puzzle to me. Today I watched some early 1970’s US TV. Strongly influenced by Bruce Lee, the show Kung Fu featured a fictional monk trained at the Shaolin Temple in China who wandered around the American Wild West kicking bad guy butt. This … Continue reading It remains a puzzle

The Secrets of the Wave Pilots

There is a wonderful long-read article in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine titled The Secrets of the Wave Pilots. It never mentions flying or airmanship, but it’s thought-provoking contemplative stuff for any aviator concerned about visual flying skills. And it’s an in-depth romp through animal navigation, GPS, modern brain science and almost lost ancient knowledge. The glue of the story is Alson Kelen, “potentially the world’s last-ever apprentice in the ancient art of wave-piloting”. That’s the science and art of navigating among the Marshall Islands with no modern tools. Once thought impossible, we know now that somehow it is possible, but … Continue reading The Secrets of the Wave Pilots