Iconic seaplane to star in Hollywood movie


“What is that?”

My student and I were on downwind to Runway 16 at Pierce County/Thun Field (KPLU) in Puyallup, Wash., when he uttered this phrase. “It looks like something out of World War II!” he exclaimed as we saw the high-wing boat-hulled aircraft make its final approach.

And he is right. The “that” in question is a 1945 PBY, an amphibious Patrol Bomber (the PB) built by Consolidated Aircraft. During their military service, many of the PBYs were used for patrol and to rescue sailors and aviators from the ocean. Many were kept in the military until the 1980s, then released to become water bombers for fire fighting.

This particular PBY belongs to Bud Rude of Spanaway, Wash., and it’s set to star in a movie with Nicolas Cage about the rescue of sailors from the USS Indianapolis during World War II. [Read more…]

Alaska Aviation Museum’s Hall of Fame gala a fabulous success

Alaska Aviation Hall of Fame honoring Oren Hudson and George Pappas.In this image Leigh Morrison gives 2015 Hall of Fame recipient Oren Hudson a kiss in front of his Grumman Widgeon.


In its most successful Aviation Hall of Fame to date, the Alaska Aviation Museum honored Oren Hudson, George Pappas, and Frank Dorbandt at the Wings of Freedom Hangar at Merrill Field on March 26 in Anchorage. About 300 people attended the event, which included a sit-down dinner and live and silent auctions.

“This is by far the most successful Hall of Fame that the museum has ever produced, “said Shari Hart, executive director of the museum. “We owe a big thanks to board president Chuck Miller and past president Bill Odom and all of our sponsors and donors who supported this fundraiser for the museum.” [Read more…]

Gathering attracts a crowd


ANCHORAGE – It feels like half of Alaska showed up at the FedEx Maintenance Hangar at Anchorage International on Saturday. In all the years I’ve been coming to the show, I don’t ever remember seeing the show this busy.

In addition to thousands of people, and a sold-out exhibit area, a wide variety of planes are on display inside and out. Suffice it to say, the 2015 Great Alaska Aviation Gathering is a hit.  [Read more…]

Poor fuel management by Beech pilot

The pilot of the Beech Bonanza was on a cross-country flight that was supposed to take one hour and 50 minutes. At the start there were about 30 gallons of fuel in each wing tank, of which 27 gallons were usable fuel per side, which should have been enough fuel for the length of flight. [Read more…]