Score one for innovation against the declining pilot population
I have to say I am impressed by all the ideas being brought to bear on the “war against the declining pilot population.” Some of the ideas are brand new and some are recycled from the past. A couple of these are pretty clever.
Open Airplane provides industry endorsed standards for pilot check-outs that transfer to affiliated rental facilities so if you are a C-152 driver in Iowa you can rent one in San Fran with no cumbersome and expensive checkout.
Access Aviation Project is building and franchising pilot learning communities (think flight school, but more) – probably an overly simplistic description.
AOPA’s Center for the Advancement of the Pilot Community. Flying clubs and all manner of activities to support getting new aviators.
EAA Eagles program is a natural permeation of the Young Eagles program that was limited to fly anyone between the ages of 8 and 17; now anyone can get a ride under the EAA banner using their successful program. Continue reading →
Living with your airplane part 2: Residential airparks
Last installment we talked about having a private airstrip. This post we are discussing living at an airpark community.
Honestly, this is a deeper level of immersion than most of us are accustomed to. Friends of mine report that it’s an amazing experience to live at the airport with their airplanes surrounded by like-minded people. Image a neighborhood where everyone is into flying – nirvana! Continue reading →
I have often dreamt of living with my airplane; being able to launch into a beautiful sky by merely walking out my back door is as romantic as it gets.
First, only a very small group of us get to experience aviation this way. Most of use either don’t have the land or its unsuitable for your airplane. My personal situation is limited. I would need a STOL aircraft to keep an airplane at home; something that I endeavor to acquire some day. I have about 800′ of flat horse pasture that could be utilized. Continue reading →
Self-Appointed Airport Police
In my hometown we had a gentleman who took on the self-appointed role of airport police.
He was actually a nice guy and he meant well, but boy if he thought you were doing something unsafe, he was in your face.
We’ll call our man, John, for this discussion.
He was in his 70s and retired from a major oil company as a geologist. He had flown during WWII ferrying all manner of warbirds, including mustangs, but never flew in combat. He gave up flying for an honest living in the oil business after the war, but flew GA for fun. Continue reading →
What brought you here? Your journey to General Aviation
All of us have a different story of how we came to be involved in general aviation.
For some, you are just starting this journey, for others, it has been a life’s quest.
Being involved doesn’t mean you have to be a licensed pilot or to even fly at all. There are all levels of participation and they all matter.
I came upon this path in a pretty conventional way. I wanted to be an astronaut. Born in 1970, I missed the Space Race, but the Space Shuttle was heating up as I was coming of age and that coupled with Sci-Fi really got my juices flowing to go beyond our Earth. Continue reading →
The dirty dozen of aircraft ownership! A simple list of the costs
We’ll just be focusing on ownership, not renting. If you fly less than 100 hours a year, renting is almost always more cost-effective, but never as rewarding or convenient as owning your own airplane. Since a lot of recreational flyers don’t fly much more than 100 hours a year, ownership becomes a ‘want’ more than a ‘need’, but that’s ok.
If you are in a partnership or thinking about it, that’s also not addressed here.
A Christmas story from WWII
Four days before Christmas 1943, in the darkest hours of WWII, a miracle took place. Two enemies—an American bomber pilot and a German fighter ace—met in combat over Germany and did the unexpected: They decided not to kill one another. Even more incredibly, as old men, they found one another and became best friends.
“A Higher Call,” a new book by Adam Makos, tells this story and more—it explores the mysteries—how did the German pilot become the kind of man who would spare a bomber? What other harrowing missions did the American pilot fly? How did each man change after seeing his enemy’s eyes?
Click on the little book cover to order a copy today!
Pattern Work: Touch-and-goes for increased proficiency
In my days as an instructor I spent a lot of time in the traffic pattern doing dozens of touch-and-goes. Today, I still feel like this is one of the best places to refine our craft and maintain proficiency – notice I didn’t say currency, but that’s a topic for another day.
Once you have the basics down, the traffic pattern brings everything together. It’s a profusion of maneuvers all executed with a an element of time compression and relative to a fixed spot on the ground. Continue reading →
It’s the end of the world. What did you do?
Yesterday marked the end of the Mayan calendar, 12/21/12. I hope everyone got out and flew, just incase!
Unfortunately, the weather across Ohio was bad all day and I had to work, so I was left to fantasize about the whole thing.
What if yesterday really was our last day on Earth? Take that a step further, in an Alice-in-Wonderland kind of way, and pretend that you had to fly the day before it ended in observance of your true passion. So we’re talking about Thursday 12/20/12. What kind of flying would you have done that day? Continue reading →