El Paso to Phoenix, 11:30 p.m., cruising at 12,000, we could barely hear the radio calls from all the laughter in the cockpit. It was the second leg of three, after taking delivery of our newly acquired Twin Comanche in Dallas. The winds aloft were warmer than normal.
We were positively giddy that neither the heater nor jackets were needed. That wasn’t the only thing we found funny. The infinitely black night sky. The hilarious way the Milky Way flung itself across the night, like a Jackson Pollock brush stroke. The way “Pollock” sounded almost like “polyp.”
We spent another 20 minutes unable to contain ourselves over our sudden and persistent farting attacks. When radio calls did manage to pierce our howling good time, imagining what the person connected to the disembodied voice looked like just incited more eye-watering, belly rolls of laughter. Just two guys in the cockpit acting ridiculous. Or was it? [Read more…]
When I think about why we produce General Aviation News, it boils down to two things: People and planes. It’s really that simple.
Sure, it can get more complex from time to time, but strip away all the doo-dads and it quickly returns to a simple state: People and planes.
In keeping with that theme, I caught up with Katie Pribyl under the wing of her 1956 Cessna 180 — Buck — at the recent Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Fly-In at Bremerton, Wash.
As an AOPA staffer and fly-in host, she was busy. But I hadn’t seen Katie since SUN ‘n FUN and was excited to see both her and the plane Bill Walker profiled in the July 28, 2016 edition of General Aviation News. [Read more…]
I earned my twin-engine rating in a 1973 Beechcraft Baron E55 and flew a few hundred hours in it. For that reason, if I see a Baron G58 on a ramp – or at a fly-in – I have to go look.
Admittedly, I have a soft spot for that particular line of twins. The room, comfort and look all appeal to me. That’s what makes having so many options in general aviation so cool. It is hard to find an aircraft that doesn’t fit your personal preference.
And when I look at Diamond’s DA62, I’m more than intrigued. I’ve yet had the opportunity to go for a flight, but much about the design is appealing. The 1,004-pound full fuel payload and the 9 gph max endurance cruise fuel burn cause me to tilt my held like a curious puppy. One of the G58’s IO-550-Bs using lean-of-peak procedures will get close to 9 gph, but you still have to feed the other -550. [Read more…]
WACO, Texas — Blackhawk Modifications is developing a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) that will allow the installation and operation of the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67A engine to replace the existing PT6A-60A engines on the King Air 350 model.
The Blackhawk program, called the XP67A Engine+ Upgrade, is currently installed on Blackhawk’s King Air 350 that will be used as the STC test aircraft during the experimental flight process. Blackhawk anticipates receiving the STC in the second quarter of 2017. [Read more…]
CORONA, Calif. — Aircraft Spruce West will host its annual Customer Appreciation Day Saturday, Oct. 8 from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. [Read more…]
The Phantom X1 pilot flew a visual traffic pattern to a grass runway near Three Rivers, Mich., utilized by a combination of light-sport aircraft, powered parachutes, and radio-controlled aircraft.
While on downwind at 400 feet above ground level, he noticed three ground vehicles parked in a lot often used by pilots when they flew radio-controlled aircraft.
As he searched for possible radio-controlled aircraft, he became distracted and allowed his airspeed to decrease, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall.
He was unable to regain control and the plane subsequently hit a line of trees.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the pilot not maintaining adequate airspeed while flying a visual pattern, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall and subsequent loss of control.
NTSB Identification: CEN14CA413
This August 2014 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.
With enough imagination, dedication, perseverance, and help it’s possible to do almost anything. If you doubt me, consider that human beings designed, built, tested, refined, rebuilt, and flew rockets that landed us on the moon – and we did all that in an amazingly tight timespan of only nine years.
As I said, you can do anything you put your mind to, provided you’re willing to work with others and stay on task until you achieve success.
This is true of aerospace, but it’s also true of every other phase of life.
Let me share a recent example from my own experience. Perhaps it will inspire you, or at least give you a sense of what’s possible. [Read more…]