FAA busting drone myths

Busting Myths about the FAA and Unmanned Aircraft” can be found on the FAA’s website. Seven myths in all are touted, then rebutted by “Fact”. For example: Myth #2: Commercial UAS flights are OK if I’m over private property and stay below 400 feet. In this fast moving segment, it is worth the read. Thank you Droneport.com for the link.

Great Minnesota Aviation Gathering to take off in March

Billed as, “a new dawn for Minnesota Aviation,” the Great Minnesota Aviation Gathering (GMAG) will take place March 21-22 at the Golden Wings Museum at the Anoka County-Blaine Airport (ANE). This first gathering, organized by the Minnesota Pilots Association (MPA), will surely start small, but look to grow. Planners expect 30 vendors, will host FAA Safety Seminars, various forums and fellowship. More information is available on the MPA websiteFacebook Page or via 612-231-2153.

Book: Do you enjoy trivia?

Are you a trivia fiend? If so, “The Smithsonian Book of Air & Space Trivia” might be just the ticket. The book teaches the history of aviation and space by asking and answering loads of questions. For example:

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VIDEO: ‘We want these [drone] companies to be very successful’

AOPA President Mark Baker at last weekend’s Northwest Aviation Conference said, “We want these [drone] companies to be very successful,” in response to a question from Washington Pilots Association President Les Smith. Listen to Mark’s comments for yourself in the following video clip.

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I found the next generation

I found the next generation of pilots. But depending on where you read this, you may or may not like it, and you may or may not understand it.

Of the 55,996 (as this was written) fans of our Facebook page, 55.6% are 34 years or younger. Include those 35-44 years and it jumps to 75.4%.


On Jan. 1, 2014, we had 26,715 page likes. Our fan count has more than doubled in 50 days.


I’ve heard from many current (read that: older) pilots that have no interest in Facebook or Twitter or anything online. “Why do I care what someone eats for breakfast?” they’ve remarked with snark.

I don’t believe it has anything to do with not being interested. It has everything to do with learning something new and — worse — admitting they don’t understand something.

The irony is completely lost on them. Nobody is born a pilot or a social media whiz. Both start out like everyone starts — with a first step.

So quit complaining about the next generation not being interested in learning to fly. You just aren’t looking in the right place.

Video: ‘Snoopy’ an incredible helicopter act

A video from 1990 shows an amazing helicopter act, “Snoopy” at an event in Australia. The closeness of the audience alone is far different than what we see today.

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Cirrus and partners unite to grow general aviation

DULUTH, Minn. – Cirrus Aircraft’s JumpStart Program will place 12 brand new and fully equipped SR20s at Cirrus training centers in select markets across the country, to give more new pilots a comprehensive introduction to general aviation by learning to fly in a Cirrus.

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Link: A Skosh of Paranoia

A fatal stall/spin accident, reconstructed by AOPA, led to a discussion between friends and was capped off by an interested blog post titled, “A Skosh of Paranoia” by Ron Rapp at the House of Rapp blog. As is often said, a good pilot is always learning. Do yourself a favor and wander over to Ron’s site for a read.

Pilot Report: SAM LS

SAM LS Designer Thierry Zibi and I met at Sandpiper Aviation at Meacham Airport in Fort Worth during October’s AOPA Summit. We chatted for about an hour prior to climbing aboard the tandem two-seater — named for Zibi’s son — for a flight around the area.

Thierry told me SAM LS prototype we were going to fly had about 145 hours on the airframe, was “docile, safe and enjoyable,” and to look for 70-75 mph on takeoff.

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VIDEO: Baumgartner’s 24-mile jump from new perspective

Felix Baumgartner jumped from more than 24 miles above the earth’s surface back in October 2012. Millions watched it live via YouTube. On Friday, January 31, GoPro uploaded a first person view of the jump. To see Felix exit the Red Bull Stratos capsule is toe curling. To see his suit barely move in the first minute of his free fall shows exactly how little atmosphere he’s falling through. Enjoy this 8+ minute perspective.