Archive for July, 2012

Huskies to Wyoming

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

The Huskies arrived safely in Alpine, Wyoming.

On Monday, Dave Hirschman, flying the Tougher Than a Tornado Sweepstakes Husky, and I headed west en route to Wyoming. The scenery was spectacular. We flew along the Missouri River near Pierre, South Dakota, before stopping in Alpine, Wyoming.

This morning, we took the Sweeps Husky to the Afton, Wyoming, Aviat factory for its annual. Dave and I received a warm welcome as we brought the plane home one last time. The next stop for that beautiful aircraft will be AOPA’s Aviation Summit in Palm Springs, California, where we will give it away to one very lucky winner. I know it will be hard to part with, as every sweepstakes plane is. But this time the blow will be softened by knowing I have a Husky of my own waiting in the hangar.

 As for me and my Husky, we’ll be flying around this area for the next couple of days, enjoying the scenery and the company of other Husky enthusiasts.

A view of the Tougher Than a Tornado Husky as we fly along the Missouri River near Pierre, South Dakota.


Teens get their first taste of GA with AV8RS

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

Thousands of young people dream of taking to the skies, whether for fun or a career, and AOPA is supporting those dreams with our new AV8RS teen membership. We launched the new membership at AirVenture on Saturday, and it’s a program I’m really excited about.

The young people who joined us for the launch of AOPA’s AV8RS teen membership program were excited to have a new way to connect with the GA community.

Teens between the ages of 13 and 18 can join for free to receive a digital subscription to Flight Training magazine as well as access to members’ only content on and specialized information just for them. They’ll even get free admission to AOPA’s Aviation Summit in Palm Springs.

The young people I met as part of the launch event were not only enthusiastic about general aviation, but also remarkably well informed. Many had gone to considerable lengths to gather information about GA and were excited to have access to AOPA’s extensive and authoritative resources. If you know a teen who’s fascinated by flying and wants to become part of the GA community, encourage them to become an AV8RS member. You can learn more about the program and sign up online.

A Very Special Moment at AirVenture

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

Yesterday, several of us had an opportunity to have a working lunch with FAA Acting Administrator Michael Huerta.  It was a briefing of sorts where a few of the general aviation leaders could discuss issues of importance with the Administrator and his top staff.  In the middle of a discussion on avgas, the door opened and EAA Founder Paul Poberezny asked if he could join in the discussion.  Paul shared his perspective on what AirVenture has become for the GA community as well as a few other thoughts on government and the FAA.  It was a remarkable visit and saying he was almost 91, Paul announced, “…I’m not running for anything!”  It will be one of the great moments of what has already been a wonderful week for us here at AirVenture in Oshkosh.

Weather wins the day

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

They say it’s better to be on the ground, wishing you were in the air, than it is to be in the air and wishing you were on the ground. With that in mind, I landed the Husky and waited this one out.

No matter when or where you fly, you must obey the laws of nature. In light general aviation aircraft, that means watching the weather and knowing when it’s time to get on the ground.

The first part of my trip to Oshkosh in the Husky was beautiful, but a good look at the weather radar told me the last 150 miles would be considerably more challenging. I decided to hangar the Husky and get a good night’s sleep while I waited out the heavy rains and high wind.

This morning I was lucky enough to catch a window of pretty weather between storms.

I’ve just landed in Oshkosh and I’m looking forward to all this week holds.


A break in the weather this morning let me take off and resume my journey to Oshkosh for AirVenture.

N24HU to OSH…then, Wyoming

Monday, July 23rd, 2012


Husky ready for OSH

I’ve got the gear, now all I need are some clothes and weather window, and I’m headed to AirVenture.

It’s an ambitious trip, but that’s what July and August are for, right?

 Not only is EAA AirVenture starting in Oshkosh (KOSH), it’s time for AOPA’s Sweepstakes Husky to work it’s way West for the AOPA Summit in Palm Springs. Since Pilot senior editor Dave Hirschman and I have been flying the Huskies together all year, it just didn’t seem right to sit this trip out.

So, my Husky is getting loaded today to start a trip that will take me to EAA AirVenture for the week and then onto Wyoming and Montana. We’re taking the Tougher than a Tornado Husky through Afton, Wyoming where Aviat builds the Huskies to get it’s final scheduled service before we find that lucky winner and announce him or her from Palm Springs in October. Of course, a trip to Afton (KAFO) also allows for a tour of the Grand Tetons and Jackson, Wyoming. This is some of the most scenic country in the West. I will take time along the way to post a story or two in AOPA NOW….so, I hope you enjoy the adventure.

PS: In case you are wondering what all the stuff is…from left to right there is The Claw tiedown system; a Snap-on Tools bag; a great new survival bag from Prepared Pilot; a tall red bag with a chair; a red bag with extra clothing; my canvas flight bag for the Husky; the blue bag for the plane cover and the black bag with oil and stuff. All I need now are a few clothes!


Topping off the tanks before we launch for Oshkosh.