April 2017 Issue

All Of The Performance

No matter how many times we’ve taken off from a challenging strip, we always need some margin for error.

Most of us fly from nice, long, level and wide paved runways with minimal obstructions. Whether for fun, variety or vocation, others of us use less-developed runways and airports, most notably back-country airstrips. All of us know that whenever we’re off the beaten path—a term holding different meanings for different people—the risk of whatever flight operations we engage in goes up. While I’ve done my share of off-pavement operations, most of them were to or from well-maintained grass runways with clear approach and departure paths, or from sometimes-remote lakes using a seaplane. So I’m a little familiar with the “roll your own” style of flight operations in which many pilots engage.

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