Your connection with the sky

Flying Fancy

, April 27th, 2010

Since receiving my private pilot's licence last September, I haven't done much purpose flying.  I would make a point to stay current but I really hadn't done any serious flying.  Gazing over the logbook, I had put in a whopping 2.9 hours.  Looking back, my primary distraction was high school.  Not the worst distraction but still, it kept me from my passion.  The other week, a friend and I were discussing date ideas for him and his girlfriend.  At this point, I was really itching to get flying again so I made a half-selfish suggestion to take her to a nice dinner; in an airplane.  It must not have been horrible since he liked the idea.

We set up the date with enough time for me to secure both night and dayAerial photo of C02 (Grand Geneva Resort Airport) currency.  Three days before our proposed trip, I spent some time re-familiarizing myself in our flying club's 172.  Not only did I practice landings and general flying skills, I made sure I knew how to operate the GPS.  I haven't had much time using the Garmin GPS 150.  The flight went fairly well in my opinion.  In the week before, I searched the internet for aviation-friendly fine dining.  AdventurePilot.com directed me to  the Grand Geneva Resort (C02).  I had heard about the resort on the radio but was unfamiliar it had publicly open restaurants and a runway.  After deeming the airport worthy of a fantastic night, I made reservations.

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Passion for Flying

, February 1st, 2010

Basically, isn't that what brings YOU here too? We are all passionate about flying, aviation and/or airplanes in one way or other. I have been away for awhile. I guess that happens to many of us from time to time. Life is difficult on many and it takes more time these days to scrape a living together. But that just leaves even a larger NEED for a passion.

And that's why I think you will just LOVE the short video about the Tiger Boys and Girl that's available from the WhyFly.aero website that was recently opened. Check out the Tiger Boys and Girl article here and DO run that video. There are lots more interesting stories by interesting people there and I think a subscription is more than worth it. Give them a try and click here for more information.

The people writing on that site can REALLY tell you what flying is about and especially WHY we... and YOU!?.... do it and so it is a great complement to the Let's go Flying initiative and this blog here!

Reaching Outside the Airport Fence

, January 7th, 2010

Bob-Star 04-Small

This is to tell the man in the red plane that he has a fan.

I've been watching you from the ground. Well, from my farm pastures and yard actually. More often than you know. I am in awe of your skill and the performance you give is wonderful and joyous.

Who are you? Are you a man or a woman? A professional stunt pilot or a pleasure flyer of that pretty red plane? Do you perform for others besides me, or is what I'm seeing just an expression of your own preferences? Read More >>

Music and Aviation

, December 10th, 2009

AaronTippin01

My piece of Let’s Go Flying is about exploring the envelope of aviation.  And this is a little reminder that that envelope isn’t strictly limited to stall speeds and G tolerance.  Sometimes it’s about demonstrating that other instrument rating.

And, by instrument, I mean musical instrument.

I just returned from the convention of the International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) in las Vegas.  Hundreds of men and women who spend the summer flying upside down for the crowds gather in December each year to talk about safety, marketing, organization, and where they’ll fly next summer. Read More >>

Learning about life – from flying

, November 30th, 2009

As I look back on over 20 years of flying, I realize how much I've learned - not just about flying itself, but about taking on new challenges, making risk acceptable, and pushing away the fears and anxieties which hold us back from what we’d really like to do. One of the things I've learned is that you need to be Pilot-In-Command. You should listen to experts, but then you need to rely on your own judgement and make your own decisions. Read More >>

Sharing Aviation

, October 29th, 2009

Share Aviation

Sharing aviation with someone, now that's a rewarding experience! I recently had the opportunity to design and lead an after school aviation program for middle school age kids appropriately called "The Future Pilot Flight Academy."

I've always had a huge passion for aviation and try to be an ambassador wherever I go. Seeing a group of kids at this age get so excited about flying and what happens "behind the scenes" to make each flight a success was powerful to experience.

You don't have to create programs to enjoy sharing your talents and fervor with everyone. They're programs already out there. The Young Eagles is a prime example, in-fact my first flight was thanks to a Young Eagles pilot.

As an instructor I get to share my passion with a student, watch them grow, and become a positive light to show others the joy of aviation, it's a wonderful cycle.

You don't even have to be a pilot to take your loved ones flying. I take up many of my students family members on a regular basis. You'd be surprised at how carefully the airplane is preflighted and how delicately they fly it when they have family on board. "Now only if you flew that way everyday!" I usually say to them. Read More >>

Glad To Be On Board

, October 16th, 2009

Hello, pilots and those who are exploring flying! I’m delighted to play a part in AOPA’s Lets Go Flying program. In this Blog I want to share the lessons I’ve learned through flying. I especially want to encourage you to “live out loud” — to push your boundaries, and explore new possibilities … to soar even if you never leave the ground.

A bit about me: I’ve been flying ultralights and Experimental Light Sport Aircraft for twenty years. I soloed in a Sunburst ultralight in May, 1989. That sweet bird had a five gallon gas tank, 40 foot wings with spoilerons, a 28 hp Cuyuna engine, and a cruise speed of 32 mph. I flew it happily, often pushing it to its 40 mph limit since everyone I flew with flew much faster than I could. They were the “big boys” flying CGS Hawks, Flightstars, Quicksilvers, and other ultralight types. Read More >>

CBS News Airport Story Misses the Mark

, July 15th, 2009

Airports are like gardens. If you don't water the plants, clean out the weeds, and avoid walking on the tulips, they will die. Airports need care, and that means they need money to keep them running and safe. There is evidence of this as one airport after another closes. Here is the basic pattern: The airport is neglected, the runways crack, the land becomes an eyesore and the community says "let's build a mall instead." That is why the recent CBS Evening News report that cast a critical eye on stimulus money going to small, general aviation airports was off the mark. Read More >>

“A Pilot’s Story” discovers the Magical World of Lighter than Air Flight

, July 6th, 2009

I recently had the great pleasure of meeting Kevin Knapp, the Mayflower Transit hot air ballon corporate pilot.  I was introduced to Kevin through our good friends Col. Joe Kittinger and his lovely wife Sherry.

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Fingers in the Airport Fence Entwined

, March 12th, 2009

Cole at the Airport Fence

Toward the end of 1996 or so, I was listening to WDET’s Folks Like Us show while cleaning my basement. I heard a spoken word piece by Mike Agranoff, a New Jersey -based folk musician and bard (in every sense of the word).

The piece was called The Ballad of the Sandman and it told the story of an apocryphal radio DJ on New Year’s Eve of 1969.  Oppressed by the new programming director and the encroachment of the mundane on the previously glorious landscape of early FM radio, the protagonist, Paul Sandman, barricades himself in the studio and weaves his magic until they break down the door.

Over the course of Sandman’s civil disobedience, his brother and sister DJs pass along his signal across the nation and the overnight hardcore radio listeners are treated to the swansong of this hero of radio. It’s some of the best spoken-word stuff I’ve ever heard. Read More >>