Your connection with the sky

Flying it Forward

, March 28th, 2013

March was a fun aviation month for me! I did a lot of flying, attended the Women in Aviation Conference in Nashville and even better, I got to introduce quite a few women in my local area to general aviation. Women of Aviation Worldwide Week was held March 4 through March 10 and my home airport, Frederick Airport, participated in a contest called Women Fly it Forward. The goal was to earn the title of “Most Female Friendly Airport” by flying the largest number of women and girls during the week. Tallies are still being made to see who has won, but I can tell you that just being a part of the international event was a blast and really helped to solidify why I love to fly and why I love to instruct.   Read More >>

Flying to Byron past Mt Diablo

, March 28th, 2013


I'm not going to make you read. It was a spectacular morning.


Mt Diablo looking South East

Mrs. Alaska U.S. All World Beauties 2012 & Aviation Community Involvement

, May 29th, 2012

Being a community leader and a role model for others is an important part of being a state title-holder.  As my year as Mrs. Alaska U.S. All World Beauties is coming canadian meds viagra to a close and I am preparing for mexico viagra no prescription the national pageant, being active in my community and in my aviation community has played a vital role for my platform GirlsFlyToo.   My two community service projects this year include being a Senior Advocate at the Chugiak/Eagle-River Senior Center and as a Peer Mentor at the Covenant House Alaska, a local shelter for teens.  In my aviation community I have worked with my local chapter of Ninety-Nines, local EAA Chapter 42, and the Alaska Aviation Museum.  Reaching out to our younger generation through being a community service role model speaks volumes.  After all, the purpose of being a title-holder is to be a leader and a catalyst for community.  This applies to our aviation community as well - encouraging and educating our younger generation to be involved in aviation. 

As my national pageant approaches next month, I am ready to compete and bring home the national crown to Alaska!  Thanks to all for your ongoing support of GirlsFlyToo!   Blue skies and propellers.


Mrs. Alaska U.S. All World Beauties 2012 takes flight with 'GirlsFlyToo' platform

, February 29th, 2012

My name is Ariel Talen-Keller and I am the reigning Mrs. Alaska U.S. All World Beauties pageant winner.  My platform is called ‘GirlsFlyToo’ – a project to encourage and educate women to be a part of aviation.  I grew up on an airfield and my parents are pilots. My father is one of the few people in the nation that restores antique airplanes for a living.  His passion and love for aviation inspired me to share that same passion.  I attended flight school after college and as a pilot myself, I understand the importance of teaching and encouraging our youth to get involved in aviation.  Read More >>

Plan Now for Summer Adventure

, April 11th, 2011

As North America gradually becomes warmer and greener, it’s time to start thinking in earnest about the upcoming flying season.  Not that flying stops when the landscape gets white.  In fact, some of the very best flying weather happens in the middle of winter.  Want to know what it feels like to be at pattern altitude before you turn downwind?  Go fly on a cold, clear day!

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But flying is a much more reliable proposition in the summer.  I live in Michigan, so I never completely discount the possibility of a blizzard in April, but you have a much better chance of getting to fly when you plan to fly. Read More >>

A Simguy goes to Alaska

, March 14th, 2011
Flying the Misty Fjords, Alaska

By François A. ‘Navman’ Dumas
Owner, publisher and photographer
Silver Cloud Publishing

I think it doesn’t happen often to us; dreams coming true. Once in awhile you get lucky though. I know I did, on our recent trip to the US. And as is often the case in such situations, a few wonderful people were instrumental in making things happen.

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Let me start right off with mentioning them by name, because that’s the least they deserve!

First of all there’s Barry Copeland, Sr. Captain at Alaska Airlines, a good friend since 2007 and just a wonderful person in so many respects! And let’s not forget his understanding and equally kind wife, our friend Della! Nina and I met Della and Barry 3 years ago in Seattle and it was as if we’d known each other for ever. That hasn’t changed. On the contrary, that feeling has only been reinforced during our subsequent reciprocal visits. Read More >>

Keep the Fire Burning

, February 15th, 2011

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The Let’s Go Flying website is, among other things, designed to appeal to those thinking about flying but who need that last bit of information or inspiration to get them down to the local airport and behind the controls of an aircraft.

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But it probably comes as no surprise that many of the visitors to the site are already head-over-heels in love with aviation and would be student pilots in a heartbeat, but the magic circumstances simply haven’t come together yet to allow them to initiate or complete flight training.  This post is for them. Read More >>

The REST of the Story

, September 20th, 2010

I lasted posted to this blog the end of January, 2010. A lot has kept me away since then – both external events and internal. My husband was seriously injured in a car accident in October, 2009; his surgeries didn’t begin until January 2010. As you can imagine, I cleared the decks and focused on him. By May, after the last of his surgeries, I began trying to catch up with other parts of my life. I had a big note on my desk that just said “BLOG” ; but there were so many other things that needed my attention that soon I didn’t really see it.

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In the past few weeks I’ve had two people e-mail me, saying they’d read my Jan. 27 post and wanted to know “the rest of the story”…did I ever buy a new ultralight, and if so, what was it?” I still put off writing, feeling embarrassed that I had failed to keep my commitment to AOPA and Let’s Go Flying. A third e-mail this morning caused me to say “Enough’s enough! Stop procrastinating and sit down and write!” So, I’m back, and — here’s the rest of the story! Read More >>

A Twist on the Sunday Drive: Fly!

, June 17th, 2010

by Chris Findley, CFI

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One of the greatest gifts of flying is flying for the sheer joy of it.

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The “Sunday Drive” holds an iconic place in American life.  Like front porch swings, sidewalks, and town squares, a family drive in the country on Sunday was a mini-getaway for the family.  There was no rush, no elaborate plans, no particular agenda.  It was using the car for more than the normal weekday commute.   It was about using the car for leisure, for recreation.

The notion of the Sunday Drive has all but disappeared from the American consciousness.  As the pace and pressure of modern society has increased, our intentional use of leisure has diminished.  It is pretty rare to see people simply taking a walk in a park, or chatting with neighbors across their back fences, or just getting away together for a little while.  But today’s Private Pilot can renew this age-old and forgotten tradition of the Sunday drive, but with a twist–the Sunday flight. Read More >>

What’s in your Flight Bag?

, May 4th, 2010

The Boy Scout motto Be Prepared has stuck with the organization for countless years.  And for a good reason too.  While pilot supplies is not the most important aspect of flying, it plays a very important role.  Have you ever flown a cross country trip without planning for it beforehand?  I hope no one has answered yes.  Proper planning and preparation is important for any flight; even the quick trip around the patch.  Having the right tools at your disposal helps you handle any unexpected situations.  I decided to throw together a list of this things I keep in my flight bag to compare with others.  What do you have in yours?

Flight Bag

Since I don't lug my entire flight library with me, I use a fairly small flight bag.  Some spend hundreds of dollars on a flight bag; I find it unnecessary.  In fact, I use the free one AOPA sent me for renewing my membership (kind of looks like the one pictured left).  It looks cool and holds everything I need.  I'm not saying don't buy a nice flight bag, just don't buy space you can't or don't need to fill.