Posts Tagged ‘Florida’

Never too old to fly

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Ted Brother’s Success Story is just a little bit different than our usual wonderful solo and checkride photos that turn up on our Facebook wall. For one thing, Ted is in his 70s. For another, he started out learning to fly in a taildragger. Here’s Ted’s story in its entirety.—Ed.

“I’ve taught 10- and 12-year-olds to fly, so yes, I can teach you.”

With these words Paul Santopietro started my odyssey on Aug. 14, 2012, when he took me on as a student at Katama Airfield (1B2) at Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. I was not 10 or 12; I was 76 years and two months old when I started my dream—to learn to fly.

Katama is a National Heritage grass field, and Paul’s 1975 Model 7KCAB Citabria N8680V was the airplane. The eight to 10 hours normally reserved to learn how to taxi and maneuver a taildragger on the ground soon turned into 12 to 15 hours. Learning to get my septuagenarian body into and out of this tandem two-seater proved to be equally as challenging.

My introduction to flying lasted until the end of September when Nancy and I headed to Naples, Fla., for the winter. With 18 hours of dual under my belt

student pilot solos Cessna 172 at age 77

Ted Brother (left) with CFI Skip Bentley after soloing the Cessna 172 in Fort Myers.

I joined the Fort Myers Flying Club at Page Field (KFMY) as a student pilot and transitioned to a Cessna 172S. Skip Bentley now had the oldest student he ever taught, and the flying club had its oldest student member ever.On May 15, 2013, just 23 days before celebrating my seventy-seventh birthday, I soloed N3512Q at La Belle Municipal (X14) in La
Belle, Fla. After eight months of Class D airspace, with tower, ATIS ,
ground, and jet traffic to contend with, I looked forward to my return to the
grass at Katama and the stick and rudder of Paul’s taildragger.

On July 31, 2013, I soloed N8080V and received my tailwheel endorsement.

Student pilot solos Citabria at age 77.

Brother soloed this Citabria in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. He’s shown with CFI Paul Santopietro.

In November 2013 I passed the FAA knowledge exam. After six days of patient instruction by David Abramson at Pompano Airpark in Pompano Beach Florida (KPMP), and just 70 days before my seventy-eighth birthday, he scheduled my checkride.The oral went well, but the check ride was discontinued because of weather. After two agonizing weeks of waiting I returned to KPMP, passed the checkride, and received my certificate, 57 days before my seventy-eighth birthday. As I approach my seventy-ninth year having fulfilled a lifelong dream, I am thankful for my wife Nancy’s support, for the great instructors I have had, and for the wonderful new and interesting acquaintances and friends I have made through this flying experience. I have no dream of getting my ATP; I just want to fly in clear skies and have the opportunity to buy a few $100 hamburgers—well, maybe an SES endorsement might be next.—Ted Brother

Are you interested in learning to fly? As Ted knows, it’s never too late to start! Sign up for a free student trial membership in the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and receive six issues of Flight Training magazine plus lots of training tools and resources for student pilots. Click here for more information.

Photo of the Day: AirCam

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

The first time you see an AirCam, you do a double-take. The small twin engines and open cockpit are eye-catching, to say the least. Every pilot I’ve known who’s flown this unusual multiengine Experimental has fallen in love with it. AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Dave Hirschman has made a couple of ferry flights in them, and even when the temps require him to wear a flight suit, he can’t say enough about the perspective one gets from the front seat of the AirCam. Here’s a report he wrote up after ferrying one to Florida with Pilot Getaways co-founder John Kounis. and if you click this link you can watch a video of Hirschman flying the AirCam on another trek—this time from Florida to Minneapolis.—Jill W. Tallman

 Air Cam

Photo of the Day: AOPA’s Sweeps Debonair at Sun ‘n Fun

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Sweepstakes airplaneLongtime AOPA members know this, but sometimes our Flight Training readers are shocked to learn that, yes, AOPA does give away airplanes from time to time. The airplane in this photo (shot by Mike Collins) is our 1963 Beechcraft Debonair B33. Sometimes called a “Baby Bonanza,” the Debonair is a great airplane all by itself, but once we’re finished the top-to-bottom refurbishment, the winner of this airplane will have a spectacular ride.

Editor at Large Tom Horne is in charge of the AOPA Debonair Sweeps project, and he has posted numerous updates on the work done so far on the Sweepstakes Blog, which you can read here. He also writes updates in AOPA Pilot; even if you don’t receive that magazine as part of your membership, you can still read those updates by selecting back issues on in the members-only section of AOPA Online.

Go to the Sweepstakes Home page for complete rules. If you’re a full AOPA member, you’re automatically entered to win.—Jill W. Tallman

Going to Sun ‘n’ Fun?

Friday, April 5th, 2013

Sun_n_funIf you’re headed to Sun ‘n’ Fun next week, we invite you to join AOPA staff who will be talking about a variety of topics close to your heart—namely flying, how to fly a little cheaper, and how to get started learning to fly.

 

 

  • Wednesday, April 10, 9-11 a.m. Flying Clubs Meet-up and Information Sharing—Forum Room #1

The Flying Club meet-up and information sharing session will be an opportunity for startups and clubs to discuss ways to improve their clubs.  Coffee and snacks will be served, and we plan to run a series of short breakout sessions on topics like insurance, marketing, financing, maintenance and starting a new flying club.  Adam Smith, Woody Cahall, and Chris Lawler will be moderating the event.   

  • Thursday, April 11, 10-11 a.m.: Adventures Beyond the Pattern—Room #4

You’ve earned your pilot certificate… now what? Join AOPA’s Shannon Yeager for a discussion on creating flying adventures beyond the flight training environment. Learn about things to consider, where to go, and what to do next now that you’re officially the pilot in command.

  •  Thursday, April 11, 11 a.m. to 12 noon: Reduce Your Cost of Flying… the “New” News.—Room #7. Speaker: Woody Cahall

Over the years you have no doubt heard about or attended a seminar about how to reduce the cost of flying. I’ve conducted many of those seminars over the years and those techniques to save a few dollars here and there still work. But, this is a new era and the ability for every pilot to dramatically decrease their cost of flying is at hand. Stop over to the “Reduce Your cost of Flying… the “New” News” Forum and learn what AOPA and individuals are doing to reduce the cost of flying throughout the country.

  •  Saturday, April 13,  11 a.m. to 12 noon: Your Path to Pilothood  Learn to Fly!—Room #1. Speaker: Brittney Miculka

Don’t miss this opportunity to get answers to prospective pilots’ most frequently asked questions. Find out how to save time and money, overcome common obstacles, and get access to free student support resources.

Hope to see you there!—AOPA staff

Photo of the Day: A sea of Swifts

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

The group photo of Swift pilots you see here was taken on November 4 to commemorate “World Domination: The Day of the Swift.” This friendly Facebook event was started by a Fort Myers, Fla.-based Swift owner who got to wondering one day how many Swifts were flying at the same time. He decided to see if he could get international interest among Swift owners to fly on the same day; thus the name “World Domination.” Perry Sisson asked participating pilots to email photos and updates; he estimates that 100 Swifts were flown on that one day in the United States, Canada, Brazil, and France.—Jill W. Tallman

Photo of the Day: Flight of three

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

This formation flight of three Van’s RV8ss was shot along the Florida coast.

Photo of the Day: Remos GX

Friday, September 14th, 2012

 

AOPA’s 2010 Fun to Fly Sweepstakes was unlike any other sweepstakes airplane that preceded it. For one thing, it was  brand new. For another, it was a Light Sport aircraft. The German-made Remos GX is unique in several other respects. You can remove the doors and fly it without them, exactly as you can in a Piper J-3 Cub. But the Remos can also do something you can’t do with a Cub. Its wings can be folded so that it can share a smaller hangar space or even trailered to an off-airport location, as AOPA did when we put it on display in downtown Frederick, Maryland. (Don’t believe it? Click the link and watch the video.) While AOPA was promoting the Fun to Fly Remos, it participated in a rally to Florida against a SMART car and even flew across the country so that it could go on display at AOPA Summit in Long Beach, Calif. In this shot, Chris Rose photographed Dave Hirschman flying the Remos over the Eastern Shore of Maryland.—Jill W. Tallman

Training showcased at Sun ‘n Fun

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Usually airshows such as Sun ‘n Fun and EAA Airventure in Oshkosh are dominated by news from aircraft manufacturers, GPS makers, and headset companies. Rarely is flight training ever discussed or featured. This year’s Sun ‘n Fun was different. There were a number of exciting announcements, including some from AOPA. Here’s a wrap-up:

Redbird

When a simulator company announces the biggest nonairplane order of any company at Sun ‘n Fun, you take notice. Redbird is growing at a breakneck pace, and the company’s $1 million sale to a Brazilian customer was some of the top news of the show. With the simulated ATC program Parrot now shipping, look for more to come.

King Schools

You probably know King Schools from the company’s video training. Now they are getting into the business of requalifying flight instructors. A new Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic will be aimed not at traditional content, such as FARs and aerodynamics, but rather on soft subjects, such as how to make sure your students pass the checkride, and how to get better at teaching risk management. I couldn’t be more excited about this. Flight instructors treat FIRCs much like students treat the written test. It’s a hurdle with little applicability to the real world. I’m hoping the King Schools course is a good step toward changing that.

AOPA

Of course I had to throw in AOPA’s news. The association is doubling down on its efforts to grow the pilot population. We’re creating a center within the organization dedicated to the flight training initiative, and strengthening the pilot community. It’s a sign of the association’s commitment to fixing the problems we face.

As another part of the press conference, we announced the latest winners to the flight training scholarship program. There are some great stories here, so make sure you take a look and apply again later this year if you didn’t win this time.

Piper

Every pilot in the world, and many people who aren’t pilots, recognize the Piper J-3 Cub. Finally, someone who leads Piper Aircraft recognizes them as well. For far too long the company has ignored its flight training heritage and has not embraced its roots. People have a deep love and affection for the Cub, and while Piper has known enough to sell a few hats and T-shirts around the iconic  brand, it’s done nothing to further capitalize on the good feelings the Cub brings about. For the first time in some years, Piper displayed a Cub at the show. No, don’t get too excited because it will be a cold day in product liability litigation before the company will manufacturer them again, but at least they are telling us they get it. And to top it off, new President Simon Caldecott said, “I want to get Piper heavy back into the training business.”

Sennheiser

Didn’t win a flight training scholarship from AOPA? Try again with Sennheiser. The headset company is launching its Live Your Dream campaign, which provides eight $1,500 scholarships. Applications will open in May.

Did you go to Sun ‘n Fun this year? What did you think about the show? What was your impression for those who went for the first time?—Ian J. Twombly