Know the signs of hypoxia

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It only takes a few seconds for the heads-up — if you know what you’re feeling. And in an airplane, those few seconds spell the difference between getting back safely — or not.

We’re talking decompression — one of the things the flight attendants or video tell you about when they’re demonstrating the deployment and use of those bright yellow oxygen masks.

“It can happen real fast,” said Dr. Warren Jensen (pictured above), a flight surgeon and Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor of Aviation in the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences. Jensen also runs the school’s altitude chamber, where students learn how to deal with decompression and hypoxia, a condition that occurs when the body is deprived of oxygen, such as when an airplane loses cabin pressure.

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Time warp

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By DAVID NIXON

Many of us in aviation today are guilty of the sin of “the way it used to be-itis.”

I’m a second-generation general aviation pilot who spent many a Saturday and Sunday out at the airport in the 1970s with my folks and their friends. The airport was a busy place on weekends in those days. People would barbeque at the hangar or have fly-outs to the coast for picnics. Cubs, Champs, and Cessnas, new and old, were common and affordable. Our local municipal airport even had a campground for pilots. I have many great memories from those days. It is why I fly.

Some may say those days are gone forever. [Read more...]

Gliding the Wright way

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By AMELIA T. REIHELD

It’s a beautiful view from the top of Jockey’s Ridge, the towering sand dunes on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. To the east, there are cheek-by-jowl beach cottages and then the expanse of the Atlantic Ocean, topped with whitecaps. To the west the Currituck Sound forms a swath of blue between dunes and the lavender shadow that is the rest of the United States. Between here and the sound, there are vast mountains and valleys of soft golden sand and scrubby dune vegetation.

Atop one of those massive sand dunes, I am stretched out prone on the 1902 Wright Glider. For real.

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Watch your downwind

By Mary Rosenblum, President-Elect, Oregon Pilots Association

TROUTDALE, Ore. – You drive out to the hangar one afternoon, it’s a great day to be in the air and you can’t wait.  You make the turn onto the airport and what do you see?  Construction cranes?  In the pattern?  Hey, what gives?  Who the heck is building here? What are they thinking?

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Pilot celebrates 100th birthday flying his Evektor SportStar

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By John McVey, The Journal

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Thomas Guy Reynolds Jr. eased back on the stick of his Evektor SportStar light sport aircraft and it lifted effortlessly off the runway at the Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport (MRB).

He circled the field three times, making a couple of low passes over the runway for pictures, and softly set his plane down.

That would not be extraordinary, but Reynolds flew Dec. 1 on his 100th birthday.

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1 million airshow fans can’t be wrong

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STORY AND PHOTOS By HAYMAN TAM

Over 1 million spectators flocked to San Francisco in October to enjoy the Fleet Week festivities and watch the airshow that is the highlight of the event (although the America’s Cup attendees may have a different opinion).

Anyone along San Francisco’s waterfront had a ringside seat for two jet teams and the many other performers flying over show center, marked by ships and buoys in the bay. Some folks chose to watch the show from Alcatraz Island, site of the infamous prison. The weather was wonderfully cooperative with clear blue skies and comfortable temperatures.

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North Dakota eyed for UAS ‘mall’

Global Hawk arrives at Grand Forks Air Force Base, June 2011. Photo by Ben Trapnell, University of North Dakota

By JUAN MIGUEL PEDRAZA

In a visit to Grand Forks, N.D, just ahead of election day, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) got a good look at a spot for a mall — an unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) mall.

A key spot on the tour was the University of North Dakota’s UAS facilities. UND would be a key tenant of the mall.

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Bluegrass gathering for International Cessna 195 Club

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Story and Photos By KEVIN GARRISON

Low ceilings, wet-gusty weather and cool temps did not keep dozens of beautiful Cessna 195s and their owners from flying to Frankfort, Kentucky, for their 42nd yearly gathering on the last weekend of September.

Nothing sounds quite like a round engine. Capital City Airport (FFT) was bathed in the deep rumbling sounds of the radials powering the 195s as the swarmed the skies over Frankfort.

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