Transponder X2

“You don’t take chances when you are flying in the ADIZ,” says Kent Larson, owner of Aerial Photographers LLC, based in Vienna, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C.

Larson flies a 1972 Cessna Cardinal with two transponders on it – one more than the FAA requires, “Just in case one gives out,” he explained.

The aircraft has special windows that allow him to shoot in the open air and a very telling tail number: N177FG. 177 is the model of the aircraft and FG stands for “Foto Guy.”

What a difference six months make

There’s a reason you need to use current sectionals.

Astute pilots in the Pacific Northwest may have noticed there is one less airport on the current Seattle sectional. If you look carefully on the one issued the first week of June you will notice that Evergreen Airport (59S), which existed to the northeast of Portland International Airport (PDX) in a circular cut-out of the Class C airspace, is no more. The Olson family owned and operated the airport for decades but increased financial obligations forced them to close the airport and sell the property. The privately-owned, public use airport officially closed on July 18, 2006. It took a few months for the FAA charting office to catch up.

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You can either laugh…or cry

One way to deal with frustration is to joke about it. Pilots frustrated with long wait times and lost flight plans when using Lockheed Martin Automated Flight Service Stations have come up with a few. This is one version that is making the rounds via the Internet these days:

“Welcome to the Lockheed Martin Automated Flight Service Station.

Press 1 for a weather briefing. Press 2 to fast-file a flight plan.

Press 3 to fast-file a complaint. Press 4 to find out what state we are actually in.

Press 5 to speak to a supervisor. Press 6 to find out what happened to the flight plan you filed hours ago.

Press 7 to give up and scud-run it.”

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