The Hudson River Hero speaking out on pilot recruitment and Training

Captain Sully Sullenberger has after his masterpiece on Hudson river become a true hero and is using his unique standing in aviation history to promote safety through good airmanship. The masterpiece he performed was not a miracle or «gods hand». It was a master of the art of operating an aircraft who did his job! This was only possible due to his training and experience which made him do the right thing at the right place at the right time! It was excellent airmanship of the first degree!
Now the master has spoken out to the US senate, and they better listen as the rest of the World should, because he is right, so right!
He recommends that airline pilots should have sufficient flight experience, i.e. a minimum of 1500 hours and that copilots on regional airlines shall have a living wage, and much more. Read his whole statement here:

Follow captain sully on his website: Links to other social media i.e. Facebook is found there.

Why 1500 hours? This is simply because the skills a pilot needs to perform at an acceptable level needs this amount of hours. The copilot is not only onboard as a trainee and an assistant to the captain. He should be able to handle an emergency like the Hudson river in case the captain is incapacitated. This requires at least 1500 hours, it´s that simple, it´s all about safety.

Lukla, the World´s Most Dangerous Airport

We are still working on a project to improve videos from the 1985-1987 operations on the STOL ports in Nepal. As mentioned earlier Lukla, which is declared as the «Worlds most Dangerous Airport by National Geographic magazine 2014, is one of them. I don´t know if I agree on that statement, as the experience from Widerøe of Norway had taught me enough to survive Lukla the 3 years I flew there. The main part of the videos will be from a mission where we on behalf of ICAO certified flights with Twin-Otters on these airports

Capt. Stein Arne Fossum

31.01.16: The Nepal STOL mission video is out, see the below Link:


Man Cannot Fly! – He / She can Only Learn to Operate an Aircraft

Human beings are not born to fly. We have no inherent “systems” of being and to perform in, a 3 dimensional environment. Sometimes we may hear that someone acted instinctively to a situation in the air. That is not possible as every behavior on how to operate an aircraft has to be learned.

The partnership between man and flying-machine, is simply:
1. Man cannot fly! Hence he needs artificial assistance, i.e. a machine which can fly.
2. A flying machine can fly, but it cannot navigate without help of man!
3. The human and the aircraft is detrimental to safe performance in the air.

-To understand this man and machine relationship, it´s potential and limitations, is detrimental to master the art of operating an aircraft.

It is of vital importance to understand the fact that man has no instincts to fly as we are «designed» for a two dimensional environment. Hence some dangers and inherent undesired behavior must be observed in the process of learning to master the art of operating the aircraft. One should always keep in mind that: «man can not learn to fly, he can only learn to operate an aircraft.

“Flying through rocks is later in the program” – Jonathan Livingston Seagull – Even birds have their limitations.


STOL Operations in the Himalayas, Nepal, VIDEOS

We are working on a series of videos showing Twin Otter flying in Nepal in the mid eighties. I had the privilege to fly the UN Twin Otter on an ICAO mission. It was indeed «Stick and Rudder» flying involved which is the basics of Airmanship.
The first video is already launched on the front page as a teaser. It is showing the first Twin Otter Flights on Manang Airport at 11,000 feet ASL (Above Sea Level). We were heartily welcomed by the King of the Manang, who insisted that I should ride his horse, which I gladly accepted albeit I was a better pilot than a horseman, as the video shows.

Captain Stein Arne Fossum

31.01.16: The Nepal STOL mission video is out, see the below Link:

The Best Man for the job might be a Woman!

The heading illustrates an important truth as well as the interpretation of the word man on this website The words man/ men and he is including woman / women on this website, ref. mankind.

Women’s contribution to aviation and aviation safety will be covered and discussed in this forum. We firmly believe that women are significant contributors to the high standards of safety on the aviation communities. See proverbs below:

«The biggest threat to aviation safety is the male ego!» – Donita Holland, hang glider pioneer.
This proverb is used in my lectures on Airmanship / Air Safety. If anybody knows how to contact Donita I would like to get in touch.

Another good proverb is:
«Men are so afraid of loosing face that they loose their head and break their neck!» (This time we are talking about the Male part of Mankind).

A discussion on the above issues which address if there are different learning patterns between males and females when learning to fly and when flying would be interesting. Especially with regard to airmanship, especially attitudes towards and handling risks.

31.01.16: The Nepal STOL mission video is out, see the below Link:

Capt. Stein Arne Fossum

Aviation Quotes

«Aviation in itself is not inherently dangerous. But to an even greater degree than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect.»
— Captain A. G. Lamplugh, British Aviation Insurance Group, London. c. early 1930’s.

«Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication»
– Leonardo Da Vinci

The above proverb might have been the inspiration for the following:
«Perfection is achieved, not when there is more to ad,
but when there is nothing left to remove!»
– Aviator and writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery (known for the book The Little Prince)

«Any runway gets to short if you land in the wrong end!»
– Captain Tor Rød, Widerøe of Norway
He was one of the Captains who taught me to fly Twin Otter on the STOL ports of Norway!
Captain Rød is no longer with us, but will always be remembered as a colleague, mentor, friend and a great aviator, one of the best!

«The biggest threat to aviation safety is the male ego!»
– Donita Holland, hang glider pioneer.
This proverb is repeated in the next blog about men, as well. It cannot be repeated often enough!

“Flying through rocks is later in the program” – Jonathan Livingston Seagull

«Men are so afraid of losing face that they lose their head and break their neck!»
(This time we are talking about the Male part of Mankind). Also repeated in the blog below!
– Captain Stein Arne Fossum

«Airmanship, the Art of Operating an Aircraft» 

There are many different definitions of Airmanship, most points in the same direction. I prefer: «The Art of Operating an Aircraft». So what is art? Let´s look at the following definition: «An art is mastering something out of the ordinary». To bring the dream of Leonardo DaVinci, the master of all masters, to reality, must be an art. It does not however fit in the category of finer arts, like creating paintings, sculptures, music, literature, etc.. It is related to performance based arts, where the creators work is presented by actors, dancers or athletes, who all do things not commonly mastered.
Performance based behavior is the essence of Airmanship because it is the result that counts, it is simply doing the right things, in the right order at the right time which matters. This to ensure the desired outcome of the event, each and every time. – Seamanship is it´s counterpart on the sea, which might help understanding what airmanship is. There is however an essential difference between the two which needs to be understood, which is: Man can learn to swim, but never learn to fly.

Airmanship has normally a foreword, which describes the quality of the art. It is either «good», «poor», «excellent» or even «piss poor». It is a pretty obvious ranking from the worst to the best of performance. However, it might have a different meaning according to the objectives or mission of the flight. A mission in a war might be so crucial that the pilot might suffer a high risk of a damaged aircraft and injury or death. Many of our war heroes has demonstrated excellent airmanship while sacrificing their life. In civil commercial aviation safety is always the first priority, as it also should be in non commercial civil aviation.

Another and shorter definition of Airmanship is: The Will and Skill to Operate an Aircraft. These 2 parameters are the visible parts and are based on knowledge and insight which is gained through proper training and experience. It is still what you do that matters. Airmanship is simply measured by “doing the right things, all the time, every time»!