Posts Tagged ‘flying’

Strange but true general aviation news

Friday, October 4th, 2013

The student learned a real lesson. A student pilot and instructor were forced to make an emergency belly landing at Buffalo Niagara International Airport after the landing gear on the Cessna Cutlass 172 they were flying locked, reports the Buffalo News.

What are those F-16 fighter jets doing there? a Diamond DA40 was one of three aircraft that were intercepted by F-16 fighter jets after enter a no-fly zone over the United Nations in New York City, reports the Asbury Park Press. The aircraft eventually landed at New Jersey’s  Monmouth Executive Airport.

Is it a ghost aircraft if you can see it? Officials in North Carolina are investigating how an aircraft ended up in the bottom of Lake Norman, reports the New York Daily News.

It did say “No Parking.” Business Insider  reports on a Boulder, Colo., police officer and jokester who issued a parking ticket to an Army National Guard Blackhawk helicopter parked on the street in between work rescuing stranded victims of the Colorado flood. The pilot of the helicopter was cited for “facing the wrong way” and “parking in a no parking zone.”

Captain Kirk afraid to fly? Sir Richard Branson, the man behind Virgin Galactic, says that actor William Shatner, who portrayed Capt. James Kirk in the iconic television series “Star Trek,” declined an offer to fly into space on Virgin Galactic because of his fear of flying, reports the Daily Mail.

Now taking off — Air Turtle.  A juvenile loggerhead turtle was flown on a Cessna Citation II from Brigantine, N.J., y to the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program in Charleston, reports the French Tribune. The turtle was missing the major part of its right rear flipper and will be in physical therapy.

Now landing — on Lake Shore Drive. Pilot John Pedersen was forced to make an emergency landing on Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. He told investigators that his aircraft developed mechanical problems.


The one aircraft I’d love to fly: AOPA Facebook page fans weigh in

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

On Wednesdays, I occasionally like to post a fill-in-the-blank statement on the AOPA Facebook fan page. We currently have 35,864 likes, and those who visit never hesitate to comment on the content I post in there.

Two weeks ago, I had the chance to fly in one of EAA’s Ford Trimotorswhen it came to Frederick Municipal Airport and did a story about it for AOPA Live This Week (my first video piece!). Plus I did a story about how Fort Worth, Texas-based Greatest Generation Aircraft will offer visitors at the upcoming AOPA Aviation Summit’s Airportfest the chance to ride in or even fly a Douglas C-47.

So I must have had airplanes on the brain when I posted this — The one aircraft I’d love to fly is __________________. You can see the results, below.  We had a record response, so I thought I’d share 10 of my favorite from the 354 responses. You can also see photos of more of the named aircraft over on our Pinterest board.



  1. Kevin Pannebakker Gulfstream G650
  2. Stephen Langkau Curtiss Jenny
  3. Scott Rodenbeck P-51 Mustang

  4. Heather J. Chandler F/A – 18 SuperHornet

  5. Greg D. Baker Lake Renegade

  6. Ankit Chauhan MIG 21 Bison

  7. Steven Bradshaw The Space Shuttle!

  8. Michael Kevin Sibille BD-5J

  9. Bradley Johnson Super Cub Amphib out of Lake Spinard/Hood AK

  10. Derek Grier Vought F4U-D

  11. John Vincent McGuire Beechcraft Starship

Bonus – Marty Gasper A newly refurbished Debonair!

Strange but true general aviation news

Friday, September 27th, 2013

Amazing rescue! 85 fifth-grade students and their 14 adult chaperons from Fireside Elementary School in  Louisville, Colo., were rescued by seven Colorado National Guard helicopters from flooding after being stranded during a trip to the Cal-Wood Education Center, reports Flying magazine.

Drugs and airplanes don’t mix. A Falcon 50 jet based in France was stopped in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, after local police found 1,500 pounds of cocaine, valued at approximately $26 million packed in 26 suitcases, reports Aviation International News. The jet’s three pilots and one passenger were arrested and jailed.

Step away from the tower. Four teens were arrested by the FBI after allegedly damaging the VOR tower in Flagstaff, Ariz., reports KPHO-TV. Charges against the youths are pending.

The airplane crash that wasn’t. North Dakota’s Williams County Emergency Services recently did a training exercise based on an aircraft crash at Minot International Airport, reports KMOT-TV. was practicing what they would do if a plane crashed at the airport.

Do the crime, do the time. Steven French was sentenced to 30 days in jail after pleading guilty to pointing a laser into the cockpit of a Lexington Police helicopter because he was “bored,” reports WKYT-TV. He will also be on probation for a year.

Good landings. A pilot with three passengers onboard made an emergency landing in a cornfield shortly after taking off from Michigan’s Tiny Zehnder Airport in Frankenmuth Township, reports The pilot said the engine malfunctioned. A pilot walked away after landing his Piper PA-24 into a corn field after taking off from Canada’s Woodstock Airport, reports the Norwich Bulletin.

A commercial flight was just fine with him. U.S. Open Tennis champion Rafael Nadal declined an offer by the Spanish government to fly him by private jet to a Davis Cup match, reports He said he didn’t feel right making the state pay for private travel.

We’ll end the week with this video from the Alaska Dispatch that shows how to land your private plane in a gorge, in a blizzard.

Strange but true general aviation news

Friday, September 20th, 2013

A series of interesting uses for drones. The clerk for Colorado’s Deer Trail Town has received a flood of more than 1,000 applications for hunting licenses to shoot down unmanned aircraft flying over the twonafter a measure allowing the practice will be on the ballot next month, reports AvWeb. On the other side of the world, Shenzhen, China-based SF Express is testing drones to help the company deliver packages to remote locations where trucks can’t, reports Gizmodo.

How did this miss sequestration? The government is shelling out nearly $7,000 a month on the lease for Aero Marti, an old Gulfstream G-1 used by the Office of Cuba Broadcasting to beam in uncensored Spanish news into the country, reports AvWeb.

Pentagon cuts Google fuel discount. The Pentagon has ended a deal it signed with Google in 2007 that allowed the company to buy fuel for its seven jets and two helicopters at a discount, reports Cnet. The Pentagon allegedly found out the company was using the fuel for non-government flights.

What is it with gliders? A teen member of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets spent a brief time in the hospital with minor injuries after an emergency landing of his Schweizer SGS 2-33A glider on the roof of a convenience store near Vancouver, reports AvWeb.

Good landings. William Booth made an emergency landing of his vintage Lake Renegade aircraft in a field near Saratoga County Airport, reports the Saratogian. The FAA and NTSB are investigating how a Piper PA-18 Super Cub was found upside down on a beach in California’s Ranchos Palos Verdes, reports the LA Times.


Old? Who’s old? Tom Lackey, 93, has broken his own Guinness World Records feat of being the world’s oldest wing walker, reports the Guardian. he was tied to the  top of a 1943 Boeing Stearman during the one hour, 21-minute flight from Scotland’s Castle Kennedy to the City of Derry Airport

How much for the vase, the beanbag chair and the vintage 1946 Cessna 140? Robbie and Pam Love decided to have a garage sale — and included their vintage 1946 Cessna 140 among the items available for purchase, reports WJFA. The couple got $17,500 for the aircraft.

We’ll end the week with this YouTube video of two men making an emergency landing in the Alaksa wilderness.


Strange but true general aviation news

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Helicopter salvages airplane. A Sikorsky helicopter was used to pull a sunken Cessna 172 out of New York’s Marion Lake, located in the Adiroindacks, reports the Albany Democrat-Herald. All four of the aircraft’s passengers made it out uninjured.

Emergency landing. A Beechcraft 1900D with 10 people aboard made a belly landing at Telluride Regional Airport after the left landing gear collapsed, reports the LA Times. Among those aboard were people coming to the ski town to screen the new documentary “Salinger.”

For safety’s sake. Pilots for Australia’s Ambulance Victoria are refusing to land at the local hospital until the facility cuts down some trees, reports the Herald Sun. Instead, pilots are dropping patients off  at Dela­combe Park, where they are transferred by road ambulance.

Now landing: Blair Force One. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was recently seen at New York’s Adirondack Regional Airport, reports the Adiroindack Daily Enterprise.

Emergency helicopter landing. A helicopter operated by California’s Fresno County Sherrif’s Office was forced to make an emergency landing  on a baseball field at Washington Union High School, reports FOX 26. The pilot said he felt a vibration in the helicopter’s tail rotor.

NOT an emergency helicopter landing. The police chief of Salisbury, Mass., was called to the parking lot of the Kitten’s Gentlemen’s Club. Why? Residents saw a helicopter parked in the lot and wondered if there was an emergency, reports the Newburyport News. It turns out the helicopter had flown in a well-known dancer who performs under the stage name of “Bridget the Midget.”

Don’t ask what meal they had on the flight. More than 1,000 chickens rescued from an egg-laying farm were airlifted to new homes to live a cage-free life, reports the Today show. The animals were rescued by California-based shelter and sanctuary Animal Place.

Strange but true general aviation news

Friday, September 6th, 2013

Caught on video tape. A 17-year-old student pilot flying in the mountains near Meeteetse, Wyo., was forced to make an emergency landing after becoming disoriented, reports Flying magazine. The teen, fearing the worst, videotapped the flight, which is being used in the investigation.

Interesting drone stories. First, a drone fell from the sky and crashed into onlookers at a running of the bulls event at the Virginia Motorsports Park, reports the Verge. Five spectators had minor injuries. The whole thing was videotaped.  Second,  the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District has begun testing drones to battle an infestation of black salt marsh mosquito, reports the Miami Herald. An attached camera will survey hard-to-reach mangroves to track the mosquitos.

Emergency landings. A pilot trying to land at made an emergency landing at Vernon Airport in Vernon, British Columbia, Canada, instead ended up in a pasture near the Allan Brooks Nature Centre in the Commonage, reports the Vernon Morning Star. A 60-year-old pilot flying a homebuilt aircraft made an emergency landing in a field near Green Bay, Wisc., after taking off from a private airstrip, reports the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

The end of an era. British stunt pilot Doug Gregory has reluctantly decided to end his aerobatics career now that he’s turned 90 years old, reports the Daily Mail. The World War II pilot says he will continue to fly.


Strange but true general aviation news

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Let’s go to the video tape! A pilot with GoPro cameras on the exterior of his Bradley BA100 light sport aircraft had no idea what he was about to film his own emergency landing, reports Flying magazine. The engine of his BA100 lost power after taking off from Skylark Airport in Killeen, Texas, hitting a tree 20 feet in the air, but the pilot was not injured.

I’ll take a runway and a jumbo Coke, please. Jerome Orlando was forced to make an emergency landing next to a Wawa convenience store in Fredericksburg, Va., after his piston aircraft ran low on fuel, reports WTVR-TV. He landed about a half a mile away from Shannon Airport.

It was a sea plane rescue. A pilot was rescued by two seaplane pilots headed to Miami after being forced to ditch his Cessna 150 into the Atlantic Ocean due to engine trouble, reports

Survived a lake landing. Four people aboard a Cessna 172B managed to swim away after their engine lost power and the pilot made an emergency landing into Oregon’s Marion Lake in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness, reports KVAL-TV.

It was a wheels-up landing. A Beechcraft Bonanza carrying a pilot and a passenger was forced to make an emergency landing at  Pennsylvania’s Bedford County Airport after having trouble with the nose gear, reports the Tribune-Democrat.

A simple skydive just wasn’t enough. Daredevil Anthony Martin’s latest stunt was to free himself from shackles and a locked casket — as he was dropped from an aircraft, reports Houston’s ABC13. He escaped and landed in a field in Northern Illinois.

Strange but true aviation news

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

A human photographer might have been the better choice. This Gizmodo video shows what happens when a bridal couple chose a quadcopter and a GoPro video camera to shoot a scene at their wedding.

Speaking of drones… The Washington Post offers this story about how drones have become part of the movie making process. Films including “Skyfall,” “Oblivion,” “Man of Steel,” “Star Trek: Into Darkness,” and “The Hunger Games” have used footage filmed by drones.

Interesting stunt. WGN9 News took footage of a stuntman who jumped from an aircraft — while locked in a coffin.  The full story is here.

This is a test. This is only a test. Comux, British Columbia’s fire department recently did a training exercise that simulated a small aircraft crash, reports The exercise was done in advance of the Comux Air Show, which happened Aug. 17.

Helicopter rescue. Two women were rescued by a U.S. Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and a Cannon Beach Fire and Rescue crew from a cliff after getting stuck on a cliff at Oregon’s Chapman Point, reports the Daily Astorian.

Hard landings. Two people aboard a Beechcraft BE76 walked away after the nose gear of their aircraft collapsed when landing at San Diego’s Gillespie Field, reports UT San Diego. An 85-year-old man from Bay City. Mich., walked away after making an emergency landing in a cornfield near Zehnder Airfield, reports

Strange but true general aviation news

Friday, August 16th, 2013

That was close. An RAF fighter pilot flying a Tornado missed hitting a glider by a mere 100 feet only after executing an inverted loop at 500 mph, reports the Independent. The pilot was doing refueling and weaponry exercises.

Do we pay for the fuel too? Russian billionaire Gennady Timchenko plans to ask the U.S. Export-Import Bank for financing to buy 11 business jets, reports Reuters. He reportedly wants to place the jets in his Finland-based luxury jet charterer, Airfix Aviation Oy.

Amazing landings. Pilot  Fred Newman Jr. was able to walk away from an emergency landing 900 feet short of the runway at Tupelo Airport, reports the Lee County Courier. John Principe landed his Cessna Skyhawk on New Hampshire’s Interstate 89 after experiencing engine problems.

Up in smoke. Two gentlemen building an ultralight aircraft in his Jefferson, La., garage saw their work completely destroyed after their garage caught fire, reports WGNO-TV. The fire department is investigating the cause of the blaze.

You play, you pay. Gary Bojczak will have to pay an FCC fine of $32,000 fine after the agency determined he used an illegal GPS jamming device in his pickup truck that interfered with Newark Liberty International Airport’s satellite-based tracking system, reports The man was allegedly using the device to hide from his employer.

Hooray! An airport wedding! After facing several hurdles from the city, Karen Engle and Kevin Holcomb were finally able to get married at Bay City’s James Clements Airport, reports WNEM.


Strange but true general aviation news

Friday, August 9th, 2013

Drone delivery! Some dry cleaning customers in Philadelphia are having their garments delivered in an unusual way — via a drone, reports NBC 10 Philadelphia. Harry Vartanian, owner of the Manayunk Cleaners owner is using the drone to avoid city traffic.

No target practice, please. A helicopter pilot called Iowa’s Boone County Sheriff’s Office after he claimed he was shot at while crop dusting a corn field, reports the Des Moines Register. A suspect questioned at the scene denied firing the shots.

Look away from the light! A general aviation pilot flying out of Denver International Airport reported that a green laser light hit his cockpit twice, reports

Emergency landings. Pilot Fred Newman Jr. was forced to make an emergency landing at Tupelo Regional Airport after falling short of the runway, reports WTVA-TV. Northeast Philadelphia Airport was closed for a short time after an aircraft skidded off the runway and into the grass, reports Finally, pilot William DeNike landed his Cessna Skylane, carrying three passengers, safely at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport despite not being able to put down his landing gear, reports