Features

March 2013 Issue

No Electrics? No Problem!

It’s legal, but is it safe? Yes, with a little planning and a healthy understanding of airspace limitations.

A pilot can learn a great deal by stripping his or her flying down to its fundamental roots. Flying an aircraft without an electrical system puts you in touch with the basics of flying by altimeter, whiskey compass, pilotage and pure stick-and-rudder skills. On the mechanical side, it’s a chance to commune with the engine using only the minimum required instruments. There’s also a certain romance to flying a vintage plane, especially one lacking an electrical system. It harkens back to the barnstorming days when men were real men, women were real women and there was no TSA to verify the difference via pat down. Even in this era of modern instruments, glass panels and gadgets, there’s still room in the skies for a basic plane with minimal systems. Here’s how.

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