Main Menu


Rich Stowell - Aerobatics
Barry Schiff - Author
Rod Machado - Educator
David Wartofsky - KVKX Big Cheese


Great products from our friends:
Tuff 'Nuff - Headset Carry Case
IS-BAO Solutions - ADCAR Management Software
Making Up Amelia - by Marjorie Smith
Murdoch's - Ranch & Home Supply


Recent Updates

Montana Aircraft Crash Database (MADCAP) Updated

The site has been moved to a new database platform which permits easier search and filtering. When available, attachments of relevant documents are now included. With records reaching back to the 1909, this is the most extensive collection of aircraft crash histories in the state.

Check it out at

Please feel free to contact Paragon using the "Email Us" button in the top right yellow menu bar.

Forty Years In The Saddle

15 September 2017 - An anniversary almost slipped by unnoticed. While updating my logbook I realized today is 40 years to the day since my first flight lesson. It has been an interesting journey following that first adventure in a Cessna 150. To quote Rutger Hauer from Blade Runner, "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe."

Wonderful and sad memories of the decades. Incredible airplanes, fun destinations, glimpses of God's green earth so stunning that you might think you've already crossed over into Heaven. And, of course, the friends and students who have shared a common passion along the way. I thank the ones who offered kind compliments on my teaching or service or abilities. And a larger thanks to those able to overlook shortcomings in those same skills.

I miss the friends and acquaintances who never made it this far. Those who never had the second chance to learn from their mistakes. And the innocent passengers who accompanied them, whom I'll not have a chance to meet. These are pilots whose timelines might have been different had I the chance to work with them before their fateful flights. I hate waste - of time, of material, of opportunity. And I hate waste of human potential.

It's not fashionable to speak of "hate" nowadays, but it is a perfectly suitable word in context. Pilots are a passionate breed, with strong emotions that must be restrained while aloft. The same love of flying that drives pilots to excel can also morph into an equally strong hatred: of restraint, of discipline, of regulations, of process, and of procedures. It has been a privilege to serve my clients who voluntarily come to me for teaching and mentoring, and to help strike an emotional balance between passions.

How did a reflection on flying end up being about people and not airplanes? Oh yes, there have been memorable planes over the years. But ultimately, the conversations come back to the friendships. And that really is the best part of any experience, isn't it?

Happy (con)trails. See you upstairs.

AOPA Offers Free Survival Course

January 16, 2015 - AOPA's Air Safety Institute has produced a new video and a printed guide to help educate pilots and passengers about the skills they need to survive a forced landing in an aircraft. "The safest pilot is one who prepares for any eventuality," said George Perry, senior vice president at ASI. "That includes preparing for an off-airport landing. You need to take the right steps, have the right equipment and know the right techniques to ensure a successful outcome." The program, "Survive: Beyond the Forced Landing," was developed with funding from the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association. It's posted online and available free.

Among the topics covered in the program are survival communications, preferred gear, advice for detection from rescuers, and the importance of flight plans and flight following. Once on the ground, the program covers how to communicate with air traffic control and other authorities, first aid, and the use of basic survival equipment, such as emergency locators, strobes and space blankets. The 13-minute video is posted here, and the 16-page guide can be downloaded here (PDF).

Source: AVwebflash, Vol 22, No. 2b, 16 Jan 2015 (

Instrument flying tips for the business world.

16 March 2017 -A friend was preparing for his Instrument Rating flight test and asked for some last minute advice. Upon reflection, the list is also practical for navigating the everyday business world:

> Recognize that you will make mistakes and exceed limits. What is as important is how you recover from errors.

> Know your surroundings, know the protocol, and have a good mental image of your situation.

> In the instrument environment, if you are not doing anything, you are doing something wrong.

> Don't be seduced by advanced technology. Use all tools available, and appreciate the emergency preparedness such redundancy brings.

> Be religious about checklists, memory aids and procedures.

> Have a thorough and effective mission brief and review it, even if you are sure you know the task by memory.

> Plan ahead as far as practical - preparing and staging when you have free time. As the old saying goes, "If you want to pull a rabbit out of your hat, you first need to put one in

> “Sticky” notes are great for keeping important information within your scan.

 > Carry multiples of important tools so that if one goes down, another is readily available.

> Customize checklists for your specific needs. This organization will help you master your environment, improve efficiency, and promote good habits.

> Bigger is not always better. Sometimes a small smart phone is more useful than a larger tablet or laptop.

> Radar vectors from ATC (air traffic control) are efficient but can trap one into losing navigational awareness unless progress is closely monitored with in-aircraft resources. When you are in command, some responsibilities can not be surrendered to others, regardless of how much help they offer.

> Trim, trim, and trim again. The less you fight the airplane, the easier it will be to divide your attention. When possible, use stability to assist with challenging tasks.

> You are expected to be able to fly to minimums, yet must also have the wisdom to recognize the limitations of yourself and your aircraft. Just because you can fly an approach, doing so may not be the best answer when presented with a high risk scenario.

> Instrument Flying is Weather Flying. Originally, you learned to avoid foul conditions. Now, your responsibility is to address and safely navigate through these hazards.

Happy (con)trails. See you upstairs.
FAA: Cockpit Photos Are OK -- Or Maybe Not.

December 17, 2014 -- A widely cited story posted on the blog Quartz on Friday raises the question whether airline pilots who post aerial photos online are violating FAA rules against using "personal wireless devices" in the cockpit, but the FAA told AVweb picture-taking is OK with them -- as long as pilots use the proper equipment. "A pilot at the controls is permitted to take a picture with a non-wireless camera and not be in violation of this regulation," the FAA wrote in an email. "However, a pilot at the controls is not permitted to take a picture with a cell phone." Tablets and personal computers also are not permitted, and no photos of any kind are allowed during aircraft operations when the "sterile cockpit rule" is in effect, typically below 10,000 feet.

 ...The Quartz story notes that GoPro video cameras that are WiFi enabled also are apparently forbidden by the FAA rule.

Source: AVwebbiz, Vol 13, No. 49, 17 Dec 2014 (

<< Start < Prev 1 2 Next > End >>

Page 1 of 2


Should pilots be allowed to own land for hangars and businesses at public airports?

Who's Online

We have 1 guest online


Please support these organizations:
Society of Aviation & Flight Educators
International Aerobatic Club
Experimental Aircraft Assn.
Soaring Society of America
Aircraft Owners & Pilots Assn.
National Rifle Assn.