Archive for May, 2013
- He doesn’t consider Flight of Passage an aviation book. “I consider it a memoir in the truer sense. It’s about life.”
- He was surprised when people wrote to tell him the book inspired them. “The biggest surprise of the book was getting emails from people saying ‘I’m so inspired by this, I’m going to learn to fly, I’m going to go take a flight.'” Many current pilots told him the book inspired them to make a coast-to-coast trip–and several did, including a pilot from Rhode Island who conducted the trip in an L-19.
- He and his brother are still flying, but not as much. Buck has been busy working on his latest book, which chronicles a trip by horse-drawn wagon over the Oregon Trail, but says that he still enjoys flying with friends. Kernahan is an attorney whose Boston practice keeps him busy.
- When researching Flight of Passage, he re-flew most of the routes in a Cessna 182. “It was amazing that I just remembered our old routes, that’s why the book could be so accurate in terms of landscapes.” The brothers landed at 30 airports. “Twenty-seven of them are still there and they look exactly the same.”
- He thinks you need to read Stick and Rudder, if you haven’t already. “The principles have not changed. You might be flying along in a Cirrus with a glass cockpit but it’s all still subject to all the same laws that [Wolfgang] Langewiesche wrote about.”
Detail one: the carbon-fiber airplane has 100,000 simulated rivets and screw heads in its molds, meaning the airplane appears to be made of metal. Detail two: when the pilot starts the aircraft, a sound system is automatically triggered playing a recording of the Merlin engine used by the real Mustang. The speaker is on the lower cowl disguised as a cooling vent. Detail three: puffs of smoke emerge from the fake exhaust stacks to add to the impression that this is almost the real thing.
Its aerobatic as heck, capable of plus 8 Gs and minus 4 Gs. Here are some details from the FK Web site. So when can you buy this $130,000 aircraft? You can’t yet. In July final testing and approval will be done in Europe, with deliveries in late summer. Then FK Lightplanes, headquartered in Poland with a branch in Germany, will go to work making the airplane with fixed gear to comply with the American light sport rules, getting rid of the adjustable prop because it also isn’t allowed on light sport aircraft, and getting ASTM approval so it can be sold as a S-LSA light sport aircraft.
Dan Johnson, head of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association and owner of the bydanjohnson Web site, reports on this and other models displayed at Aero, the main airshow in Europe for lightweight aircraft. Check his May 8 story.
Flying car didn’t live up to its name. Two pilots sustained minor injuries after crashing a Maverick, a powered parachute/car built in Florida, reports AvWeb. AvWeb Editor Russ Niles was scheduled to fly the craft next.
Wasn’t the accident enough? It was bad enough when pilot Kelly Thompson had to make an emergency landing on a road adjacent to Cottonwood Municipal Airport. But now, after a joint investigation by the FAA and the Cottonwood Police Department, Thompson is being charged with operating an airplane without a proper license, operating a not-airworthy aircraft, and reckless aircraft operations, reports the Verde Independent.
He’s taking on the FAA. Pilot Keith George has decided to challenge the FAA’s proposed 180-day suspension to his commercial pilot’s certificate because of an emergency landing he did on Wisconsin’s Interstate 94, reports the Journal Times. The FAA charged George with four counts related to the incident, including operating his aircraft in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger life or property of another after he allegedly overshot the runway on a normal landing, turning the event into an emergency.
What was he hiding? Singer/actor Marc Anthony’s private jet was delayed from leaving Mexico’s Veracruz International Airport after he tried to avoid a customs check, reports Latino Daily News. The singer was asked to deplane and go through the airport security checkpoint and refused. His jet was held until he complied.
Eye in the sky. The West Vancouver Police Department and the Squamish Royal Canadian Mounted Police have a new weapon in catching speeders — the RCMP’s regional traffic patrol helicopter, Air One. The two departments recently teamed together to catch eight speeders posted speed limit on the Sea to Sky Highway, reports the Province.
Justice scales and a helicopter? A statue of Lady Liberty sitting atop Ohio’s Marion County Courthouse was holding more than a set of scales. In addition to the scales, Lady Justice is also holding a 9-inch, remote-control helicopter, reports FOX News. The owner, video producer Terry Cline, has been trying to get the helicopter back, to no avail.
It’s a highway, it’s a runway! A pilot was forced to make an emergency landing on highway U.S. 50 in Delta, Colo., reports the Montrose Press. The pilot told local police that his single engine aircraft experienced a power failure.
- Award grants of up to $10,000 to 10 nonprofit groups that perform charitable work through GA;
- Award flight training scholarships to individuals who want to learn to fly or pursue aviation careers;
- Provide free memberships to armed forces personnel who want to be part of the GA community; and
- Provide memberships through our AOPA AV8RS program that gives teens an opportunity to learn about and explore the world of aviation.
The one that intrigued me was the the first one. I know of so many general aviation nonprofits out there doing work, so below is my list of organizations, in no particular order, I think should apply for a grant.
- Wings of Grace Ministries — I recently had the pleasure of writing about this Melbourne, Fla.-based nonprofit, which offers free flight training to youths age 13 to 18. $10,000 would allow founder Dwight Bell to bring more youths — who are all members of AOPA’s AV8RS program — into the fold.
- Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum — In May 2012, CNN profiled this Compton, Calif.-based program that provides flight training for inner city youth out of Compton Airport. As a minority myself, I believe strongly in the power of aviation to put — and keep — these youths on the right path. And I applaud any program that brings more diversity to the industry.
- Girls With Wings — I first learned about pilot Lynda Meeks’ efforts to inspire young girls to fly when she appeared on the Airplane Geeks podcast on Nov. 8, 2011. She offers scholarships, female role models, and events across the country designed for women and girls. A foundation grant would help Meeks give away more scholarshps.
- Candler Field Museum — Last month, I interviewed Ron Alexander, a retired Air Force and Delta Air Lines pilot, after he was inducted into the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame. One of his claims to fame is this museum, created to document the history of the original Atlanta airport, originally named Candler Field. Part of the effort includes a partnership with the Candler Field Flying Club, which has youths work in the museum in return for scholarships to learn to fly.
- Tuskegee Airmen Scholarship Foundation — this Los Angeles-based organization provides scholarships to deserving young men and women based on the criteria of responsible citizenship are character and achievement, rather than ethnic origin.
- Professional Women Controllers — I met officers of this organization that promotes careers in air traffic control at this year’s Women In Aviation conference and did a profile on their efforts. I’m sure a foundation grant would help fund their education and career development programs.
- Air Race Classic — among the things this organization is dedicated to are encouraging and educating current
and future women pilots and increase
public awareness, two causes that fit well with the foundation’ mission. Read my story on this organization here.
- Pilots N Paws — I’m a dog lover, so I know first hand how much people love their pets. This nonprofit serves as a facilitator for people and organizations who rescue, shelter or foster animals, and volunteer pilots and aircraft owners willing to assist with the transportation of animals.
- Recreational Aviation Foundation — this organization, a friend to AOPA, protects recreational air strips across the country, making them available for general aviation pilots to use. Read here about the organization’s latest advocacy efforts.
- Youth Aviation Adventure — I’m in favor of anything that helps show kids and teens all the joys of being involved with aviation, which is why I like this program. In a single day youths go to participating airports to learn all about aviation, with the goal of inspiring them.