Posts Tagged ‘Flight Training’

Five things you didn’t know about Rinker Buck and ‘Flight of Passage’

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Rinker Buck and his brother Kernahan flew from New Jersey to California in a Piper Cub in 1966. Kernahan, the pilot in command, was 17 and Rinker was 15—and the trip was done with their parents’ full consent. (And flown solely by pilotage and dead reckoning—Rinker’s job was to be the navigator.) Rinker Buck’s memoir, Flight of Passage, has become available in eBook format. I talked with him yesterday for an interview that will appear in the August issue of Flight Training magazine, but here are some extras from that very interesting conversation:

  • 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.”


Night Above Tahoe

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

If you were at Lake Tahoe Saturday night (9/27), perhaps among the thousands of people getting ready to run a marathon race today, you saw a Cherokee Six followed by a Diamond C1 above the lake at sunset. AOPA Pilot Chief Photographer Mike Fizer was in the Cherokee Six, and I had a great time flying formation behind him in the Diamond C1. We got some of the best photos and video Mike has ever captured. We staged out of Placerville at 2,500 feet, climbed to 9,800 to safely clear the mountains, descended down a valley to Lake Tahoe and entered the pattern at Lake Tahoe Airport at 7,500 feet. Look for Mike’s shots in future issues of Flight Training magazine, and check online for the video of the Diamond, still in weak sunlight at 300 feet, flying above a runway that was in the dark. Right place, right time.

An LSA experiment to watch

Friday, May 1st, 2009

The light sport aircraft community, admittedly off to a slow start these past four years, ought to watch an experiment by the flight department at the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) in Melbourne, Fla. Director of Flight Training Nick Frisch has purchased two Remos light sport aircraft to join his fleet of 41 trainers. He is challenging a “significant unknown,” in his words, and that unknown is the public’s general acceptance of light sport aircraft.

Frisch is betting that among the school’s 7,000 non-aeronautical students there are a number of pilot candidates who will jump at the chance for a $5,000 sport pilot certificate. To improve chances for success, he will offer the Remos aircraft to the Melbourne community as well in a flying club. Some of the 41 trainers are ready for retirement. Will serious FIT pilot candidates accept the Remos because of its lower rental cost?

He is starting with two aircraft, but additional Remos aircraft will be purchased if the experiment works. So watch FIT’s flight department at the end of this year. That is when Frisch’s “significant unknown” will be known, and when a new order is, or is not, made.

Scholarships…for a limited time only!

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

We get a lot of press releases about flight training scholarships, and we try to publish them in the magazines and our electronic newsletters. These days, every little bit helps.

From time to time, I’m going to highlight some deadlines for scholarships as well as showcase some others that may be somewhat narrow in scope but are nonetheless great opportunities–if you fall into the right category.

For example, the Oklahoma Chapter of The Ninety-Nines is offering a $5,000 “Wings of the Future” scholarship. The qualified applicant is female and presumably a resident of Oklahoma, so that kind of narrows the field a bit. But still, $5,000! So, Oklahoma pilots, if you know a lady who has been on the fence about flying because of the cost, this could be her ticket to ride. Get more information on the Web site–but hurry, because applications must be postmarked March 31.

Coming up in just a few days (March 15) is your last chance to apply for one of three scholarships (two for $500 each, one for $1,000) offered by the folks at Qualified applicants must be training for a sport or private pilot certificate, and you have to write an essay; see the Web site for the complete details. Five hundred dollars will buy you at least a couple more hours of dual with a rental airplane; $1,000 could get you through your checkride, depending on where you are in your training. So what are you waiting for? Good luck!