Patrick Smith is an airline pilot and the host of, where a version this column originally appeared. His new book is Cockpit Confidential: Everything You Need to Know About Air Travel. He lives near Boston


How could an airline crew land a giant plane at the wrong (and way too tiny) air field? It may not be as crazy—or uncommon—as you may think.

TSA has shelved its plan to allow small knives on planes, but this is a debate that requires confronting 9/11, writes Patrick Smith.

The men and women who fly commercial planes may have given up long ago on realistic portrayals of their profession in Hollywood, but ‘Flight’ takes the absurdity to a whole new level, writes Patrick Smith.

Enough with the misinformation campaign! Patrick Smith takes to task the novelists, journalists, and cranky letter-writers ignorantly complaining about U.S. airline failures.

Flying is now safer than at any time since the Wright Brothers, but noted pilot Patrick Smith says beware the looming threats: exploding laptops, runway chaos, and cockpit rookies.