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Articles written by Jim Zurales

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  • Taking Responsibility For Engine-Out Proficiency

    Jim Zurales, MN FAASTeam Representative|Jun 1, 2022

    Think back to the last time you practiced engine failure procedures. Was it your most recent FAA checkride or Flight Review? Then ask yourself how PROFICIENTLY you'd perform today if your engine suddenly stopped making that wonderful growling noise. As aviators, we have a responsibility to our passengers, the aircraft owner, and ourselves to be skilled in the art of handling an engine failure. Establishing this ability in training is one thing. MAINTAINING this ability requires regular...

  • Don't Bounce On Porpoise!

    Jim Zurales, FAASTeam Safety Representative|Feb 1, 2022

    Inappropriate bounced landing responses can lead to spectacular (and pricey) landings! You must avoid stalling and avoid a porpoise. (No, Flipper is not on the runway!) First, if you bounce EXCESSIVELY or you’re just not comfortable, execute an immediate go-around. Good pilot judgement is required when deciding whether or not to continue landing after bouncing. Porpoising can occur if you continue the landing and you relax back pressure after bouncing. The immediate loss of lift will rapidly plummet you toward the runway. You then counter...

  • Avoid 'Expectation Bias' In Critical Situations

    Jim Zurales, MN FAASTeam Safety Representative|Oct 1, 2021

    “Money is the the root of all evil.” Did you notice the extra “the” in that sentence? Expectation Bias led us to expect the same familiar phrase. This concept can apply in many aviation situations such as the following: Coming in from the south and landing east at Flying Cloud, you would expect to land on the long SOUTH parallel, 10R. However, tower clears you to land on 10L, the NORTH parallel. You read back “Cleared to land 10L” but then proceed to land on 10R. This has actually happened and the pilot was even aware of the...

  • 'The Perfect Pilot' Requires An Honest Appraisal

    Jim Zurales, MN FAASTeam Representative|Sep 1, 2021

    Although we can dream, there is no such animal as a perfect pilot. It’s a myth, much like strong tailwinds roundtrip! Consider this, though: if you STRIVE for perfection and fall short, you land in a very good, safe place making you a more competent, safe, and efficient aviator. Years ago, the Northwest Airlines training department promoted this Perfect Pilot concept to its pilot group. They strongly encouraged us to develop a mindset that sought perfection rather than adequacy. Think of a flight as a perfect square hunk of granite. If you...

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