Vern's Lessons

Please read, study these short lessons.  They are some of my insights acquired during 50 years of flying, Your questions, comments are strongly encouraged. 

We will share  (with permission) your experiences and lessons learned, so others may learn


A smart man learns from his experiences,
 BUT a wise man learns from the experiences of others

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Glassy water, Perhaps

My personal physician was killed a couple months ago in a Super Cub accident.His death makes it five close personal friends whom I really cared for who I've lost to aircraft accidents - all due to pilot error and improper decision-making. I taught Lee to fly about 30 years ago and still remember the day he soloed.



Look, Think, Choose & Apply

Lately, it's come to my attention that there is a disproportionate number of airplane crashes among older private pilots. 

Experts agree that about three-quarters of all aviation accidents are caused by pilot error.

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Why Didn't I Die, Know Thy Emergency Procedures by Heart

There is an old aviation axiom:  “There are those that have and there are those that are going to.”  

On September 21, 2007, I was flying back to Moose Pass in my Cessna 206 on floats from hunting charters in Kotzebue, AK. 



Back to the Basics

Back to the Basics: Pitch, Power and Trim,A Philosophy to Fly By, A Philosophy to Survive By 

Many of the pilots that come to our school say, "Vern, you should write a book". Well, "that ain't going to happen." But, in these next few newsletters,...



Back to the Basics cont'd

Energy Management

Back to the Basics: Pitch, Power and Trim
A Philosophy to Fly By, a Philosophy to Survive By


Lesson Four ended with, "If you want to develop the skill required to put your airplane down exactly on the 'spot' you must understand the 'stabilized approach' and energy management."



"On August 9, 2010, about 1445 Alaska daylight time (ADT), a single engine, turbine-powered, amphibious float-equipped de Havilland DHC-3T (Otter) airplane, N455A, sustained substantial damage when it impacted mountainous tree-covered terrain, about 10 miles northeast of Aleknagik, Alaska"



Tune for the Step

Tune Up Your Rusty Float Skills: The Step --- Where It All Happens  The Gunsight Method of Step Identification If you live in Alaska or other northern climes it means it's been a while since you've flown floats. You will spring to proficiency with this excellent exercise that will help you Identify and Tune for the Step. You will quickly get your float flying skills up to speed for the upcoming summer season.



PA-18 Weight and Balance Mystery Solved

Another Back to the Basics Lesson: PA -18 Weight and Balance Mystery Solved 


Note: Before attempting to work a weight and balance on a PA-18 you need to refresh your memory with the following basic terms.



Secret of the Perfect Step Turn

Of all the maneuvers required of the student float plane pilot to learn and demonstrate during the few hours spent earning his SES rating, the step turn is one of the most uncomfortable and difficult. We could call this lesson “Step Turns Made Simple.”