Your connection with the sky

So Many Choices…Which Should I Buy?

, January 28th, 2010

Drifter on the beachWith great regret, I’ve decided to sell my Maxair Drifter and get another E-LSA. Fellow pilots have been urging me to “upgrade” for years. Many of them are frankly astonished that I’ve continued to fly my venerable Drifter, especially on such long distance flights. (Since 2000, I’ve made a long-distance flight each year; the shortest was two weeks and 2800 miles; the longest was seven weeks and 7500 miles.). Read More >>

What Type of Certificate? It depends on your flying choices.Maybe Even None At All

, January 21st, 2010

Remos - high end Light SportI was standing in line at a hot dog booth at the Arlington, WA fly-in, a wonderful 5-day event full of airplanes, airplane lovers, vendors, educational sessions, and mostly junk food. I couldn’t help overhearing the two people in front of me.

Person #1: “I’ve GOT to start flying! It looks like so much fun, and I’ve put it off too long. There’s an instructor here who can give me lessons in a Light Sport airplane, and I’ve decided to work on a Light Sport pilot license [certificate].”

Person #2: “Why in the world would you want to go for a Light Sport License [certificate] when you can work on a Private license [certificate]? You don’t want an LS license [certificate] – you really ought to get a Private.” Read More >>

Overcoming Stalls

, January 15th, 2010

Practicing stalls can either be a walk in the park for students or for some fears arise at the mention of the word. The fact of the matter is we must learn to practice stalls so we can practice recoveries not getting into a stall!

First off what is a stall?

Many new pilots first think of a stall as something to do with the engine. Nothing could be further from the truth. When we perform stalls in the airplane we're creating an "aerodynamic stall" In other words: The smooth air that was flowing over our wing generating lift has now been disturbed thus creating a sudden loss of lift and cause the airplane to temporally fall a few feet. Read More >>

Falling in Love With Ultralights

, January 15th, 2010

IMGI’ve been flying my my Maxair Drifter – an ultralight-type Experimental Light Sport aircraft – for 18 years. It’s my second “ultralight”. My first, a true ultralight, was an Airmass Sunburst – 240 lbs., two 2.5 gal. gas tanks, 40 foot tube and fabric wings, and spoilerons instead of ailerons. It had an inverted V-tail. The seat was low in a cage of aluminum tubing, and I used my feet for brakes. With a 25 horse Cuyuna engine, it cruised at 32 mph and top speed was 38 mph. The only instrument was a tube & bubble airspeed indicator.

How I loved that ultralight! I bought it soon after I began taking flight lessons in 1989 (in a two-seat Quicksilver ultralight,) and was so elated when my instructor allowed me to taxi my own Sunburst up and down the grass airstrip. Of course, the long wing meant it was very susceptible to wind, and since the airstrip is bordered on one side by a row of tall fir and hemlock, I was always worrying about getting “gusted” into the tree line. Read More >>

Learn to Fly in 2010!

, January 8th, 2010

Maybe you set it as your new years resolution or perhaps it's been a childhood dream waiting to be fulfilled. Now is the time to get into gear with the flying scene!

Try the Let's Go Flying Flight School Search. Choose a flight school and be excited to work hard! Flying is one of those things that you get out what you put in and then some.

Here at AOPA you have all the resources at your fingertips to get started and get heading in the right direction. Be sure to take full advantage of it.

Learning to fly in 2010 now that's a resolution!

Best of luck in 2010! Remember a good pilot is always learning!

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 >>

FAI Grand Prix Sailplane Racing Santago, Chile

, January 5th, 2010

ACONCAGUA1January 2nd, 2010 - and it's time for some serious Grand Prix sailplane racing. Sailplane racing is one of the most visually spectacular events in air sports. It demands the strategy of a chess master and the tactics of a fighter pilot - and at this level of competition, real courage.

The technology used to present FAI Grand Prix racing in real-time on the Internet is astounding. Each glider will telemeter its GPS location and altitude to Santiago in real time so the relative standing of the pilots can be seen in 3D computer graphics. Highly experienced pilots will provide color commentary as the races progress.

15 pilots from 8 countries will line up on the starting grid at the Club de Planeadores de Vitacura in suburban Santiago for the 3rd World Sailplane Grand Prix Championship. You can watch the action by pointing your browser at: The races will begin at 19:00Z (3PM local) each day from January 2 - 9 and last several hours each depending on the weather. Join us for some of the best "edge-of-your-seat" nail biting air racing drama available. Read More >>

Back in the Game

, January 5th, 2010

Hello everyone. Remember me? It's been a while since I've posted, but there's a semi-good reason behind it. Since my last post in August, I've earned my Private Pilot's License! The experience was tense yet exciting. After getting my license, I took some time off of flying to focus on school and to pay off the rest of my training. Although it was hard to sustain life without aviation for a few months, I made it through. Before I explain how the big day went, I'll explain the month or so leading up to it.

I spent almost all of August preparing for my checkride. Read More >>