Miles O’Brien to emcee Hall of Fame ceremonies

Newscaster, anchor, reporter and pilot Miles O’Brien will serve as the Master-of-Ceremonies for the National Aviation Hall of Fame’s 49th Annual Enshrinement Dinner & Ceremony in Dayton, Ohio, on July 17. O’Brien will lead the induction ceremony, where four more American pioneers of flight are to be honored for their contributions to aviation. They will join the roster of 203 men and women previously honored by the NAHF.

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VirtualHUD unveils Wingman Portable EFIS


VirtualHUD has introduced the portable battery-powered Wingman EFIS (Electronic Flight Information System) that’s capable of interfacing with a GPS to display HITS (Highway in the Sky) in standard symbology. It can also integrate with the VirtualHUD, to project a “heads up display” picture in your line of sight, according to company officials, who note your attitude, position, and groundspeed can be right in front of you, all the time.

Plan your flight in your GPS; hook it to your Wingman, and experience integrated navigation and attitude information. (The attitude information and HITS display are courtesy of the Wingman and its integrated positioning and motion sensors). When used alone, the Wingman is an EFIS, giving Experimental aircraft more panel space, and offering pilots of LSA and Certified aircraft an independent redundancy for critical instrumentation.

The Wingman will be available at AirVenture Oshkosh 2010, to ship right after the show. Pricing is $1,595, with an early-order discount of $100. For more information:812-539-2846 or

Angel MedFlight offers $3,000 scholarship

Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance is offering the 2010 Angel MedFlight Scholarship of Excellence in Aviation. The scholarship will be awarded in August and the recipient will receive $3,000 toward his or her tuition for an aviation-related program at an Arizona college or university. All entries must be postmarked by July 16 to be considered for the 2010 award.

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‘Final Flight’ to be released soon

final flight cover PNWBA

A new book, “Final Flight: The Mystery of a WWII Plane Crash and the Frozen Airmen in the High Sierra,” will be released in September. The book explores the true-life mystery uncovered in 2005, when two mountaineers climbing above Mendel Glacier in the High Sierra found the mummified remains of a uniformed World War II US airman frozen in the ice. The ensuing media storm surrounding the “iceman” gripped the attention of the nation. Who was the Frozen Airman? Where did he come from and how did he get there? How had he remained so well preserved?

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Seginus wins FAA/PMA approval

Seginus Inc, a manufacturer of FAA PMA replacement aircraft parts for aircraft accessories, has received pending approval of its latest PMA parts offering. The company manufactures bearings and electrical carbon brushes for aircraft accessories, such as starter generators, ventilation blowers, and landing gear actuators. Parts that have received approval include:

  • Bearing 400SG1052-13
  • Bearing 250SG1052-B
  • Bearing 150SG1052-B
  • Bearing ST102-2
  • Carbon Brush MB57A-902-1
  • Carbon Brush MB56C-902-1
  • Carbon Brush MB56C-902-6
  • Carbon Brush 26501123-1
  • Carbon Brush 26501123
  • Carbon Brush 35-2-3001
  • Carbon Brush 40-9-3004
  • Carbon Brush 420A-20
  • Carbon Brush 420a-21

For more information: 815-498-2200 or

‘Kid Adventures: Sky Captain’ debuts

SkyCaptain_FOB_FINAL 2D 2

D3Publisher (D3P) has released “Kid Adventures: Sky Captain,” exclusively for Wii, an action flight game where players can soar through the skies in 40 missions that include aerial racing, stunt flying, target shooting, and more. Players can also improve their flight skills, scores and rank to unlock unique flying machines, such as jet planes and UFOs. Players will also have the option of inviting a friend to the cockpit and play cooperatively or go head-to-head in multiplayer missions.

Kid Adventures: Sky Captain, which retails for $19.95,  is rated “E” (For Everyone – cartoon violence and comic mischief) by the ESRB.

For more information:

A rainy stop in Watertown

Young aviation enthusiasts enjoy the Waco YKS at Watertown.

Young aviation enthusiasts enjoy the WACO YKS at Watertown.

Stearman pilot Sarah Wilson, who is participating in the American Barnstormers Tour, files this report from the tour’s third stop, Watertown Regional Airport (ATY) in Watertown, S.D., on June 23: If you tie the plane down, the wind will die, if you cover the cockpit it won’t rain, if you are schedule to stop in Watertown for only one day, you’ll want to stay for three.

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Commercial aviation tries its wings

Demand for the war surplus Jenny was so great that Curtiss bought back thousands of them from the government, refurbished and resold them.

The development of commercial air operations in the United States after the armistice that ended the First World War was a period of optimism founded on widespread public curiosity, thousands of newly trained pilots, and easy availability of surplus aircraft. Financing was provided based on the assumption that public interest would force the development of air transport without the development of new aircraft and without a national air policy. The initial growth period peaked in 1920, then diminished because of waning curiosity, use of obsolete war surplus equipment, lack of airways and airfields, as well as a lack of good business models.

Due to the lack of any federal system of registration, it is difficult to measure commercial operations in this period, but the Manufacturers Aircraft Association (MAA) made an annual attempt. It reported the number of FBOs went from a high of about 160 in 1920 to a reported 60 in 1924. The commercial fleet went from an estimated 1,000 aircraft in 1920 to a reported 217 in 1924.

Demand for the war surplus Jenny was so great that Curtiss bought back thousands of them from the government, refurbished and resold them.

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A few words in the first person

One of the great advantages of a blog is the immediacy it offers both the reader and the writer. Unlike a traditional article published in the hard-copy version of a publication, the blog format allows for rapid feedback from readers, in the form of comments and e-mails.

In my case, I can tell you with absolutely no shame that I am a writer with just enough of an ego to enjoy the comments and e-mails that Politics for Pilots elicits. From my perspective, there is benefit in that feedback, on both ends of the communications stream.

I recently received an e-mail from a reader who asked a very reasonable question. To paraphrase, he asked: What do you personally do to enhance and encourage the use of your local airport? It’s a fair question. And one that I should probably address more directly at times. So let me take a whack at answering that question in public, hopefully for the benefit of all concerned.

To be perfectly honest, I take my own advice. When I write a piece suggesting an approach to making progress on behalf of the airport, it is almost always a third person generic report on something I have personally done in the past. But let me provide a specific example of how that works for me. [Read more…]

Pistole confirmed as TSA administrator

After 17 months without an administrator and two failed nominations, the Transportation Security Administration finally has a leader. John Pistole was confirmed for the post Friday, June 25, by the full Senate. As administrator of TSA, he also is assistant secretary of the Department of Homeland Security

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