Coming Up in AOPA Pilot Archive

Potential student pilots are everywhere

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

I was in Telluride, Colorado, Sunday and walked into a nature photography store, Wilderness Wonders . There I found Tony Newlin, a photographer who would love to fly. He was introduced to general aviation by his brother during many rides in a Cessna. Now the brother flies an F-16 and Newlin stays close to aviation as a passenger aboard Alaskan floatplanes. Newlin rides into the wilderness to take photos of grizzly bears–about 30 miles from where a videographer and his girlfriend were killed by bears several years ago. Newlin says the bears have a mean season, and he leaves them alone at that time of year. He’s a trained computer engineer with a degree or two and experience at Intel, but as long as the photos keep selling at his three Colorado shops, he’ll keep shooting and let the (computer) chips fall where they may. Here’s one of his photos.

His true passion is panorama photography, but it was difficult to fit in this space. Look for more photos of Telluride in my story “America’s Airports: Telluride, Colorado” in the February issue of AOPA Pilot magazine.  

Top of the line

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

What goes 200 knots, has two engines, features a Garmin G1000 cockpit, is certified for flight into known ice, and comfortably seats six in luxury? If you said a Beechcraft G58 Baron, you’re right!

If you haven’t had a chance to fly a Baron yet, you need to do it. Sure, it’s not a fancy jet or a turboprop. But the Baron represents the top echelon of piston ownership for many pilots, and there are countless reasons why. You could start that list with all-weather capability, a large cabin, good useful load, and of course, the excellent flying characteristics of a Beechcraft.

There’s just something about the Baron. It’s hard to describe exactly what it is. On our test flight yesterday, I got a good glimpse, though. There’s the power. Apply brakes and full throttle on takeoff and be ready to go when you release the brakes. This beast moves. Then there’s the controllability. It’s not that the control is particularly responsive or quick. It’s just…right.

Pilots must agree because the Baron is sold out through June. In an economy where people are concerned about their portfolios, jobs, and financial security, that’s staggering.

Stay tuned to the magazine for an upcoming feature on the icon and learn what has made it so successful over the years.