Welcome to the Stoenworks Aviation Page

Hal Stoen

Oxford, Mississippi USA

Last revised 18 September, 2015 (minor revisions)

Entire contents ©Hal Stoen, Stoenworks

"When once you have tasted flight you will always walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward; for there you have been and there you will always be."

Leonardo da Vinci

Dear friends and readers of this site. I have been diagnosed with a life-limiting medical condition, Multiple Myeloma, a fairly uncommon (6 out of every 100,000 folks) cancer of the bones. It is considered to be incurable, but treatable. Right now I'm looking at about two years but this could expand as I proceed with my chemo treatments. I'm saying this not looking for any sympathy, but undestanding if I am ever slow in responding to you.

I have had a good life, and as I often say "I've had the world by the ass with a downhill pull." :o) I still ship my CD's and the Kindle books are still available through Amazon.

For those of you that have contacted me since this page went up, so many years ago, I thank you.

Hal, 18 September, 2015

The Cessna 421B. A pressurized 8 passenger (including crew) corporate aircraft.

Service ceiling: 31,000 feet Maximum cruise airspeed: 245 knots (280mph) Maximum gross weight: 7,450 lbs.

I'm one of those lucky guys when it comes to aviation.

For almost 25 years I got paid to fly airplanes. During that time I was a flight instructor, flew charter, mail, commuter airline, and, for the last 18 years, I was a corporate pilot.

Was I lucky? Absolutely. Were there other pilots out there better qualified to hold the positions that I had? Absolutely. It's not that I was that good (I wasn't), I just happened to be in the right places at the right times. Timing. Sometimes in aviation it can be everything.

Do I have any regrets, now that I'm no longer active? No, not really. I had great jobs, met some terrific people, saw and did many wonderful things, and traveled to all of the "lower 48" States, plus Canada in the process.

Flying airplanes for a living was very good to me. This page is a small way of pay-back to the world of aviation that gave me such a wonderful life.

I hope that you will find items here that will entertain, and inform you.

Hal Stoen January, 2013

If you have any comments, suggestions or corrections, please contact me.


Where it all began. N1557G at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The monument to the Wright Brothers is on top of the hill.

Available as a CD or eBook:

All of the tutorials and writings on this site are available on a CD or as Kindle eBooks. For the CD link, click here.

For the Kindle link, click here.

After I retired from aviation- make that about 15 years after I retired from aviation- I decided to write down some of my experiences and pass on the things that still beat in my soul as an old flight instructor. This book is the result. Some of it humorous, some of it instructive and hopefully all of it enjoyable to the reader.

The last one third of the book is about how to fly airplanes, both real and simulated, wrapping up with what is involved in taking the Private Pilot Flight Test.
In most of these cases I have strived to put the reader in a "you are there" experience.

(NOTE: This eBook contains some of the information that is already available on this site. It is presented in this eBook format for the convieniance of the reader.)

Apple iPad For the Apple Book Store version click here

Kindle book For the Kindle version click here

Aircraft operations:

Corporate Flight Ops.: A description of a corporate flight operation, utilizing the Cessna 421B aircraft. An in-depth discussion of the aircraft's systems, operations and procedures.

Aircraft accidents:

The last flight of 76 Xray: A Cessna 421B goes on it's last flight, ending up with one more take-off than landing.

In Memory:

Airman Lost: When fate is against the flight crew.

Flying stories (all true experiences):

Doing turns with Stu: A ham-fisted student pilot gives the instructor a full windshield view of Mother Earth.

Uncle Charlie's last flight: A "How to not to" primer on last rites.

Fire in the sky: In which the author sights his first UFO.

Conga Lines, Skylines, and The Lady with a torch: Dealing with New York City cabbies...and trying to run down the Empire State Building.

Elvis, John Denver and me: The AWAC's, Lockheed Jetstar, Concorde, Elvis, John Denver and Hugh Heffner- what could these items have in common?

Flight of the "V" tail: A Beechcraft Bonanza makes a crash landing at an East Coast airport.

The bomb: Terrorism arrives at the Detroit City Airport, compliments of yours truly

Hills of granite: Never take your first flight with your new boss without the keys to the airplane.

Letdown: Arrogance on an approach can lead you to the wrong runway.

Treetops: "Southern style" tree trimmers.

American and the Virgin: A Boeing 727's sad discovery about short runways and island mountains.

Food catering at flight level 220: How to find a good restaurant when at high altitude.

Flying the four-engined Greyhound: Operating the 4-engined de Havilland Heron.

Riding the Parabolic Curve: Achieving weightlessness in a Cessna 150.

Please help support this page

The contents of this page are totally free. There are no commercial links, no advertisements, no pop-up ads, nothing. It is a free page for your use and enjoyment. However, having said that, nothing in life is free. I pay for the domain name, and the web host. If you enjoy this page and wish to show your support there are two ways that you can do so:

1. Order the Stoenworks Aviation CD. You will receive, postage-paid to any address in the United States, the "Stoenworks Aviation CD". (Due to costs and the "service" of the U.S. Postal Service I can ship to U.S. addresses only.) This CD contains everything that is on this site plus an additional 500+ pages of aviation-related content- over 900 pages total. The CD is made up in a professional manner, is fully indexed with active links, comes with a jewel case card, and is shipped in a special anti-static CD mailer. All orders are shipped via First Class Air Mail within 48 hours.

Click on the CD image below for complete ordering information and a list of the CD's contents.

You can order using cash, personal check, money order, or credit card by using PayPal's encrypted secure on-line service.

Satisfaction guarantee: If you are not satisfied with your purchase, for any reason, your money will be fully refunded. You keep the CD, you get your money back. It's that simple. CD reviewed by Magazine. Click here to read the review.

Dog lovers note: Click here ONLY if you have decided NOT` to order the CD.

2. Order a Kindle eBook version. For eBook information click here.

Flight instruction:

How to fly computer flight simulators:

An in-depth tutorial on flight simulators. Aircraft instruments: what they are, how they work, what they do. How to takeoff, do stalls, fly traffic patterns, and land airplanes.

How to land airplanes: Forces at work on an airplane when landing. How to configure your airplane for landing. How to figure out correct airspeeds and approach angles for landing.

Crosswind landing techniques: How to land your airplane when the wind is not directly down the runway.

Landing airplanes in simulators and peripheral vision: The importance of side vision when landing airplanes.


Step on it!: So, just why do you need to use rudder in a turn? And what's a slip? This provides some answers.

Runways and taxiways: All about what those markings mean.

A weighty issue: All about this weight and balance stuff. Can you take-off when the aircraft is overweight? How about carrying an elephant? This contains some answers.

The power curve: What is "The back-side of the Power Curve?" What's the "Coffin Corner?" Why you as a pilot need to know this.


Getting Off...............And On A discussion on the various techniques to use for short fields, icy or snowy runways, obstructions at the ends of runways, etc.

Cross-wind landings How to land when the wind is not directly down the runway.

Taking the Private Pilot Flight Exam How to take the Private Pilot flight exam on your computer. What's required. How to do the various maneuvers.

If there is a subject that you would like to see addressed, and it is not covered in these tutorials, please let me know. If the subject is within my knowledge base I will try to write a tutorial on it.

Instruments, Systems:

The HSI: The complete guide to this invaluable instrument. How it works, how to use it, how to set it up.

Flight Directors, what they are, what they do: How to use the Flight Director. What it looks like. How it operates.

Weather radar: How airborne weather radar works. How to use it. How to interpret what it shows.

Throttles, Mixtures and props: How these guys operate, how to use them, what they do.

Cowl flaps, and engine cooling: All about piston engine cooling, how to keep them cool, how cowling flaps operate.

Nose gear steering: How an airplane steers on the ground.

Understanding airspeed: What's the difference between "ground speed", "airspeed", and "true airspeed"?

Navigation & communications:

VFR Flight: What is "flying VFR"? How do you do it, and what are the implications? What's a flight plan?

Flight Planning, and How to navigate: How to get from here to there. How to fly VFR. How to lay out a flight plan. How to figure out fuel burn. A sample flight dispatch form, and how to use it.

Getting There (A Basic Primer On Flying An Airplane From "A" TO "B") Let's take an airline flight from one place to another. How it's done. Using weather radar. Ending in an instrument approach to IFR minimums.

Understanding VOR's, VORTAC's, and how to use them: How VOR's & VORTAC's operate. How the "TO/FROM" flag works. How to navigate using VOR's.

Aircraft radio communications: How to use the aircraft communications radio. Phraseology and techniques.

Instrument flying:

Introduction, understanding IFR, SIDs and STARs: What is IFR? Dictionary of terms, how to get into the IFR system, basic instruments for IFR

VOR Approaches: How to fly the VOR approach. How to fly the VOR approach with and without radar vectors.

VOR-DME Approaches, Flying DME Arcs: How to fly VOR-DME approaches. How to fly the approach with and without radar vectors. How to fly DME arcs.

NDB (ADF) Approaches: How to fly NDB (ADF) approaches. How to correct for wind drift. How to do Procedure Turns.

ILS Approaches: How to fly the ILS approach. What the various segments are. How to handle communications failures. Situational awareness.

Localizer Approaches: How they differ from the ILS. How to fly them.

Localizer Back-Course Approaches: What they are. How they differ from the conventional Localizer and ILS Approaches. All about this "Left is Right, and Right is Left" business. A simple way to fly them without confusion.

Flying the coupled approach- using the autopilot for approaches: How to use the autopilot when flying an instrument approach.

The Circle-To-Land Approach How to do it What to watch out for.

Hold It!: What "Holding" is. Why it is necessary. How to enter a Holding Pattern. How to fly a Holding Pattern. How to compensate for wind in the Hold.operations.

Unsolicited advice:

Whistles And Bells How steam gauges and practice fit into the grand scheme of things- with a minor tirade about "glass cockpits."

So, you want to be an airplane pilot? Just how do you go about becoming a pilot? What's required? How do I get a job flying airplanes for a living? This contains some answers.

I'm thinking about purchasing a flight simulator.... Things to consider before jumping into the "Flight Simulator Pool". A basic primer for the flight simulator neophyte.

Is there a pilot on board? What if you were on an airline flight and the crew became incapacitated? Could you save the day? Some speculation on the subject.

High-wing, Low-wing Why do some aircraft have their wing on the "top", and some have it on the "bottom"? Is there a good reason for this? And why do these two distinct designs keep running into one another?

Weather (revised, 2/9/2005) Some observations about aviation weather. Potential shortcomings in the weather observation system, alternate airports, and ice.

Density What "Density Altitude" is. How it can severely affect aircraft operations. The dangers of being "High, Hot and Humid."

The little black bag That unknown factor that comes into play when flying airplanes.

The State of The Pilot A look at the current situation for pilot employment in the industry, and some speculation as to where the flight simulator pilot may fit in the future.

Mind Pressure How this flying stuff can be hazardous to our health

Recommended Reading:

Some good books to get you started, or increase your knowledge and skills


The N1557G simulator: Mark Fisher has done a beautiful job in accurately creating my old corporate aircraft, Cessna 421 B N1557G for the X-Plane simulator. Thank you for all of your work Mark, it is truly appreciated. (Link updated 6/12/05.)

The content on this site is available as a CD or an eBook.

For CD information click here. For eBook information click here.

Entire contents ©Hal Stoen, Stoenworks

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