Entries by Zach Hamilton

THE PERILS OF MULTITASKING

Multitasking is accepted as a given in our modern, technology driven society. Anyone with a teenager has shaken their heads at the sight of their child doing homework while listening to music at a loud volume through earplugs, and at the same time carrying on multiple texting conversations and surfing the internet. While a multi-core […]

WHEN TERROR STRIKES

©Jay Hopkins – All rights reserved Originally published in Flying July, 1997 Every pilot who has been flying for any length of time knows the feeling. Your mouth suddenly gets incredibly dry. A cold, clammy sweat coats your skin. Your mind seems frozen even as it races through a dwindling list of ways to get […]

TAXI TIME

©Jay Hopkins – All rights reserved Originally published in Flying October, 1996 Pilots like to tell their friends who are afraid to fly that the most dangerous part of the flight is the drive to the airport. However, the danger doesn’t end there. Recent collisions between taxiing aircraft and others in the process of taking […]

STRUGGLING TO FLY

©Jay Hopkins – All rights reserved Originally published in Flying July, 2002 Some people seem to have a natural ability in certain areas. Whether in music, math or mechanics, these people just seem to be programmed for success. Show them something once and they have it. Other people seem to struggle to accomplish what most […]

SADDLE SORES

©Jay Hopkins – All rights reserved Originally published in Flying January, 2000 Now that I have been back in the saddle for a couple of months, I thought I would share what it has been like to be an aviation Rip Van Winkle. In some ways I have been amazed at how things have improved […]

RECONSTRUCTING THE FLIGHT

©Jay Hopkins – All rights reserved Originally published in Flying April, 2008   There are a number of reasons why around 700 people die each year in aircraft operating under Part 91 and Part 135, while Part 121 operations sometimes go an entire year without any fatalities. Airlines have stricter regulations, and operations manuals spell […]

PERSONAL CHECKLIST

©Jay Hopkins – All rights reserved Originally published in Flying February, 1993 Maintaining good “Situational Awareness” is of the utmost importance for a pilot.  Running out of fuel, encountering “inadvertent” instrument conditions, and colliding with terrain or another aircraft often are the result of at least a partial loss of situational awareness.  And of course […]

OPERATIONAL DISTRACTIONS

©Jay Hopkins – All rights reserved Originally published in Flying September, 1993 The commuter airline crew was very experienced in the Beech 99, with over 7,000 hours (captain) and 3,000 hours (copilot) in that type aircraft.  Yet as they flew the approach into Spokane they descended below the MDA and hit a hill 4.5 miles […]

NEVER RELAX

©Jay Hopkins – All rights reserved Originally published in Flying September, 2007 It is one of the dreams that pilots dream. An airplane, a full tank of gas, a clear sky, no where in particular to go and no schedule to get there. Head out to the airport, “kick the tires and light the fire.” […]

MASTER OF ILLUSIONS

©Jay Hopkins – All rights reserved Originally published in Flying September, 2002 Everyone loves a magic show. For some reason, the idea that things aren’t really as they seem, that we can be fooled by our senses, is exciting to most people. However, for a pilot an illusion can be serious business. With at least […]