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                    A complete index to columns of Buz Witherington

                        By Buz Witherington, CFII





Stump the Buz

There Got a question for Buz?  So do several other fellow FatBoyz.  It all started when Scott Peters sent a question about flying that he thought Buz could not answer.   Buz responded and arrogantly asked him some obscure, esoteric question. Scott proceeded to send his answer (along with a cc to others).....and the rest is history.  Each week, several questions / answers / opinions get emailed back and forth.

Go There Now...


A Tale of Two Departures

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…….”   Right out of Charles Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities, there we stood on the tarmac of the airport at Pueblo, Colorado, in light blowing snow, temperature 34o F., ceiling at 1700 overcast and dropping, airplanes loaded with fuel, bags, and family. We looked at each other and searched for the strength of a decision.

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Why Two Fans

The good Lord saw fit to place a breast on either side of a woman’s chest instead of a single large one centrally positioned.  And every one knows that airplanes and ships are feminine. So, airplanes should have two engines.

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Advanced Flight Planning 201

If you have your Private Pilot’s License, then you have taken and passed the Basic Flight Planning 101 course with a local Designated Pilot Examiner near you.  Congratulations. Now, let’s talk about the real world.

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Island Time, A Fact Finding Trip to the Out Islands

Mary and I have sailed extensively in the Florida Keys back in an earlier life.  And, we made the trip to the Bimini Islands on a couple of occasions.  So we knew that the water of the Bahamas was shallow, warm, and of the most wonderful pastel colors.  The sand was like powdered sugar, the reefs were filled with stunningly beautiful tropical fish and succulent lobster, and the sound the sea breeze made in the pines would put you right into what they call “Island Time.”

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Approach ABCs

There must be a zillion checklists in aviation.  They include GUMP, CHADS, CRAFTT, 5 T’s.  I was not exposed to a good Instrument Approach Checklist until I tried to teach IFR to a couple of friends of mine.

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Aviation Speak -  Part 4                                                                             

Clearance would say, “Baron 62PK is cleared to Crossville as filed.  Fly heading 080.  Maintain 3000, expect 6000 in 10 minutes.  Departure frequency is 123.9.  Squawk 5144.”  Your abbreviated read back of your clearance would be, “62PK, Crossville as filed, 080, 3000, 6000 in 10, 123.9, 5144.”  You will be rewarded with, “62PK read back is correct.  Contact Ground for taxi.”  To which you respond, “Papa Kilo.  Good day.”

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Aviation Speak -  Part 3                                                                               

A detailed analysis of how to communicate with the Air Traffic Control System that encompasses everything from Clearance Delivery to En Route Traffic Control Center.

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Aviation Speak -  Part 2                                                                             

When the airport is busy with three 172’s doing touch and go landings on runway 8, the sheriff’s helicopter repositioning to the north sod, a glider on base for landing in the grass, and a King Air at the outer marker for 26, I cringe when I hear, “ Downtown Island traffic, this is Skyhawk 649TC.  I am about 8.76 nautical miles to the north-northwest on a heading of 140.  I am at somewhere around 3760 feet descending to pattern altitude of 1800 feet and will maneuver to make a 45-degree entry into the downwind for runway 8.  All traffic please advise, Downtown Island traffic on 126.6.  Skyhawk 649TC.”

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Aviation Speak -  Part 1                                                                               

The FAA has very little to say about how to use the airplane communication radio.  The AIM covers some aspects and the Pilot and Controller Glossary has a long list of definitions, but most advances in fluency come from pilots, CFI’s, controllers, briefers and other experienced users. This personal yet professional opinion on aviation radio etiquette and usage comes from experiences as a pilot, a CFI, a traveler, a student of the human language, and a long-term ham radio operator.

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The Colorado Interlude

When the thought of a long distance flight initially surfaces in a pilot’s mind, most often the response is:  “I can’t do that.  It’s too far.”  At least for me, after I got my license, I had a bit of trouble thinking past CSV or GCY.  I learned to think of a long trip as a series of short trips.  Each segment was an adventure in itself because the terrain, destination, fuel requirement and availability, and possible lodging were all different from any other segment.

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He Taught Me How to Fly

I never saw John excited.  Perhaps it would be fairer to say that on the surface, he did not appear excited even when I pulled some stupid boner that came close to bending metal.  His calm voice echoed, “Buz, you might want to consider putting the landing gear down a little earlier next time.”  And then he would end with that low chuckle, “Heh, heh.”

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Push to Talk Syndrome

A friend who shall remain anonymous except that he is an OB/Gyn doc and goes by the moniker of “Pretty Boy,” was in the early portion of his flight training where he was to encounter the dreaded ATC.  As he stared straight ahead, I noticed his brow furl with concentration as he found the time and courage to push the transmit button.  Out came his transmission:  “Good Morning, Knoxville Approach!”  And nothing else.

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Aviation Lessons Learned

I’m sure that I read about it in one of the magazines or newsletters that I was receiving at the time, and I thought it was a great idea.  Now that I am several years down the road of flying experience, I look back at those lessons with a smile and a nodding head.

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The Keys Sojourn

Nowadays, in the Baron, we can be there in less than four hours.  We can once again mix the odors of salt water, Mangrove swamps, and sun tan lotion.  To us, the Keys are laid back America with great food and reasonable expenses.

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Rational Strategy for Flight Near Icing Conditions

If you use an airplane enough, you will encounter the decision-making strategy for flight near conditions that might result in airframe icing. It is a simple fact of life that if you fly often enough, and you fly in the winter months, you will encounter some situation whereby you will need to decide how to plan your flight near conditions that might produce ice. Of course, that decision may include not going at all.

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The Dreaded Northeast Corridor - Episode 2

Ground told me to follow the Cessna Skylane out of the FBO to runway 24 by way of Alpha and Golf, hold short of taxiway Juliet. I had the airport diagram on my lap properly oriented, but I didn’t need it because here comes the Skylane right in front of me. As I power up to turn in behind him, he suddenly stops and I hear him call Ground. He explains to Ground that there is a danged King Air parked in the taxiway of the FBO blocking our exit.

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The Dreaded Northeast Corridor - Episode 1

Flying into and out of Teterboro, NJ (TEB) presents many challenges to a general aviation pilot flying a normally aspirated airplane. Even with the addition of a second engine, weather radar, known ice certification, GPS with moving map, three axis autopilot with altitude pre-select, and TCAS the trip can still be a real challenge.

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LIFR to Grandma’s House

Thanksgiving at Grandma’s house is important to us because Grandma will be 90 years old very soon.  She doesn’t get to travel any more, so if she gets to see her family, they must come to her.

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