Teen celebrates 16th birthday with 14 solo flights

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Forget a Sweet Sixteen party. Wyatt Angel of Mount Airy, N.C., spent his 16th birthday doing something way more fun — flying 11 airplanes solo at the Mount Airy-Surry County Airport (KMWK), then making his way to the Piedmont Soaring Society in nearby Farmington, where he soloed three gliders.

He hopes his birthday celebration will win him a spot in the world record books.

Soloing 14 aircraft on the first day he was legally allowed to solo was something Wyatt had been planning for a long time.
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A type club for backcountry pilots

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New to backcountry flying and want a great place to find out how to get started? Or are you a veteran backcountry pilot looking for like-minded souls?

Whichever you may be, you are in luck. There’s a meeting place on the web that was created just for you: BackcountryPilot.org. Started in 2004 by software developer and backcountry pilot Zane Jacobson, the website features news, stories, tips, and a forum for pilots to share information.
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STC in the works for G100UL

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While the government begins its testing of four potential 100LL replacements, George Braly and Tim Roehl of General Aviation Modifications Inc. in Oklahoma just finished up yet another test of their unleaded 100-octane avgas — G100UL — at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

The fuel underwent flight testing and engine block testing in one of the school’s carbureted 172s.

“No issues were found,” Roehl reports. “We just lack a couple of other tests to complete our first STC on the 172.”

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The state of the state

While there’s no doubt the FAA has a lot of control over general aviation, what’s happening closer to home may be — ultimately — more important. Having a City Council or a state government that’s a fan of general aviation can make all the difference in the world.

Just ask Christopher Willenborg, administrator of the aeronautics division of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and chairman of the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO).

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The future of fuel

“We have to stop loving the problem and just fix it.” Those words, spoken by Lycoming’s Michael Kraft at the 2010 AirVenture, may sum up best the quest to find an unleaded replacement for 100LL.

Ostensibly, the industry has been working since the early 1990s towards finding a solution, but efforts didn’t really get serious until a few years ago. [Read more...]

Airworthy AutoGas prepares for takeoff

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Mark Ellery doesn’t understand why aircraft owners “want to purchase fuel at a higher cost” than what he pays for the autogas that fuels his Citabria.

“What I don’t understand is, given the imminent demise of 100LL, and given that autogas is suitable for use, and has been approved for use for over 30 years now, why on earth is all of the focus on identifying and certifying one fuel, 100UL, which, at the end of the day, really only serves 20% of the GA fleet? That sounds like the tail wagging the dog to me.”

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Veteran Alaskan pilot shares the lessons he’s learned

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For John Davis, his storied career in Alaska as a Big Game Hunting Guide and bush pilot began when he was a sophomore in high school in his hometown of Quincy, Wash.

The natural-born storyteller, who just completed a book about his life called “My Memories,” recalls seeing a Piper Cub landing on a narrow gravel road on his family’s ranch. “I was impressed,” he says.

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