Just one pilot's attempt at taking an interesting picture every trip, often with a story to go with it. Come along for the ride.

For more recent posts, go to my site www.kentwien.com

Friday, May 30, 2008

Plane Answers: Is "Free Flight" the answer to ATC delays?


Map Display
Originally uploaded by Fly For Fun
Kent:
 
I know a lot has been written lately about airport delays, I have also read something about "Free Flying." With TCAS is ATC obsolete? Should ATC be more focused on ground operations, to get planes in the air? I know from most recent articles the ATC system is operating on antiquated systems and in need of a massive overhaul. I am interested to hear your opinion, is "Free Flying" in our future?
 
-Justin

Read my take on Justin's question in the latest Plane Answers.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Cockpit Chronicles: Our easiest trip: the two-day San Juan

One leg down and one leg back the next day. It doesn't get nicer than this!


We came upon a cell that needed to be dealt with (yeah, as in GO AROUND-not vaporize) and yet we still managed to arrive in San Juan 30 minutes early. 

It was great to visit with Captain Hank and hang out near the beach in San Juan. Just the ticket for my Paris marathon of trips coming up. 

Monday, May 26, 2008

Cockpit Chronicles: Bombed in Paris

The danger in this Chronicles title is the possible association with drinking the night away in Paris. Trust me, that's not what happened. Read all about my first Paris trip of the season here.

There's more Paris to come this summer, since I managed to get a whole month of it for June! I'm going to try to find something different for each trip. Let's see how that works, given the very expensive Euro/Dollar exchange rate.

Plane Answers: Overcoming the fear of flying


Another sunset view
Originally uploaded by Fly For Fun
By far the most popular question I've been getting for Gadling's Plane Answers is how to overcome a fear of flying. I did my best to tackle it this week, answering questions about tailskid strikes, turbulence and the 10,000 foot sudden drop.

I wonder what percentage of passengers is genuinely afraid of flying. If I had to guess, I'd say 10% of the airplane is made up of nervous flyers. I included a few links to some resources in the post that may help people overcome their fear.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Plane Answers: Takeoff speeds, weights and lavatory drains

This Friday's Plane Answers covered a few topics that were short enough to combine into one post. Ever wonder what happens to the water from a lav's sink? Take a look at the latest questions and answers here. If you're curious about anything related to the pointy-end of an airplane, ask away!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Plane Answers: When are pilots afraid of turbulence?


White Knuckle Flyer?
Originally uploaded by Fly For Fun
Kyle writes:

First of all, thanks for taking the time to respond to people's questions. There's something I've always wanted to know. Do pilots ever get scared of turbulence? If so, what makes them bad enough to actually be scary. Is there a way a passenger can know when to be concerned and when it's just normal bumps and shakes?

Read the follow up answer with video here.

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Airline industry's newest business model: Desperate Housewives


Sunrise in Barbados
Originally uploaded by Fly For Fun
Two trips in one blog post this time! A Miami turn and a three-day with Barbados and Miami layovers.

The talk of the cockpit revolves around what's going on with the latest merger rumors. I think we only need to look at a typical episode of Desperate Housewives to see where the industry is heading.

After these two trips, I'm off for the next couple of weeks. Time to visit my mother-in-law in Germany with my wife and two kids.

I'll still put out a couple of Plane Answers every Friday, though.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Plane Answers: When do pilots use the autopilot?


Left turn on course
Originally uploaded by Fly For Fun
This week's Plane Answers covers the when and how often we use the autopilot on the 757.

Justin asks:

My question concerns the autopilot. During the course of a flight how often is it used? Are there times where it can not be used because of heavy turbulence and other weather phenomenon?

Read the answer here.

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Exeter, New Hampshire, United States
Grew up in Alaska, went to high school and college in Washington State. Commercial pilot since 1990.

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