A trip back in time

I’ve been working on a book about my newspaper career. A major portion of my time in the business — more than 50 years in total — has been spent in the world of aviation. As I ventured into different aspects of my life in aviation, I tried to recall what airplanes I had flown and when. That’s when I dug out my logbooks, going all the way back to my first lessons at a strip in Wink, Texas (look it up on a chart), where my initial flight instructor was Nancy Brumlow. Back then having a female instructor was really something different.

Going back through my logbooks was a wonderful trip back in time and helped me recall a host of wonderful memories…and a few that made me shudder again. Thank heavens, most of my flying experiences were dull and boring.

If you want to spend a few hours delving into nostalgia, get your logbooks and let yourself drift back in time. One word of caution, however: Don’t expect to spend just a few minutes perusing the records. My planned work session on the book quickly fell by the wayside as I read and recalled the planes, the instructors, the airports visited, and the weather experienced.

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Book chronicles efforts to buy a 150 and fly around the world


Books by pilots about their experiences vary dramatically from very good to, well, being polite, not as good!

When a friend brought me a book written by a friend of his about the friend’s efforts to buy a plane and fulfill a lifelong ambition to fly around the world, I kinda rolled my eyes. And, when I started reading and discovered the airplane he was buying was a Cessna 150 and the lifelong ambition was to fly around the world, well, I almost threw it away without opening the cover.

I decided to read the first paragraph or two and then the first chapter just because my friend had brought it to me. After getting that start I was glad I did because this was a fun-filled, humorous account of an episode that shouldn’t happen to anyone.

The book was very good!

“So you Think You’d Like to Buy an Airplane … and fly off to Adventure” is the rather lengthy title of the book by Gerald F. McMahon Jr., a native of Charleston, S.C. He’s a US Army vet active in real estate and with a business in Irish imports.

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Piper to shut down for a week

Piper Aircraft will shut down operations for the week of Aug. 9, according to a report at Aviation International News. With some exceptions, all staff, including company management, will be unpaid for that week, the story notes, adding the exceptions will be workers developing the PiperJet and those devoted to delivery of essential parts and finished aircraft. Read the full story here.

WASPs honored at museum gala

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Six WASPs (Women’s Air Force Service Pilots) of World War II were recently recognized at the Museum of Flight’s Hangar Gala at Seattle’s Boeing Field. In addition to the WASPs, the gala was held to recognize the anniversary of the B-17, built at the Boeing plant in Seattle. The WASPs (each wearing a red ribbon holding their Congressional Gold Medal) are (left to right) Josephine Swift, Betty Dyboro, Enid Fisher (in wheelchair and who died two days after the ceremony), Dorothy Olson, Mary Sturdevant and Nancy Dunham. (Photo courtesy Museum of Flight)

For more information: MuseumOfFlight.org

Two sworn in as NTSB members

Earl F. Weener, Ph.D. and Mark R. Rosekind, Ph.D. took the oath of office today as members of the National Transportation Safety Board.

Weener is a licensed pilot who has dedicated his career to the field of aviation safety. He most recently was a consultant and fellow for the Flight Safety Foundation, where he worked to reduce accidents through coordinated industry programs. His term expires Dec. 31, 2015.

Rosekind is an internationally recognized fatigue expert who has conducted research and implemented programs in diverse settings, including all modes of transportation, healthcare, law enforcement, elite athlete and military groups. Prior to joining the board, he was president and chief scientist of Alertness Solutions, a scientific consulting firm in Cupertino, Calif., that specializes in fatigue management. His term expires Dec. 31, 2014.

For more information: NTSB.gov