A second chance at a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity

prepping for take-off

Back in 1949 Don Sly was a recent high school graduate and had what he thought was the opportunity of a lifetime.

“A friend had an uncle who owned an old biplane that he used to do airshows,” Sly, now 83, recalls. “Through my friend I got to ride in that biplane.”

That ride ignited a passion for aviation that stays with Sly to this day. [Read more…]

GA rallies to save ‘That’s All Brother’

The name was a message to Hitler that, with the invasion, his plans were done. The antenna is part of the "Rebecca-Eureka" system that homed on beacons placed ahead of the main force by special forces known as Pathfinders.

A Kickstarter campaign launched by the Commemorative Air Force to raise $75,000 to buy the Douglas C-47 “That’s all, Brother” — the airplane that led the massive paratroop drop on D-Day — was an overwhelming success.

In the first two days after launching the Kickstarter campaign, CAF raised the $75,000 it needed to acquire the iconic airplane, which was discovered in an aircraft boneyard in Wisconsin.

The fundraising campaign was such a success — becoming one of the top 10 Kickstarter campaigns in the world — that CAF officials turned it into a “stretch” campaign, upping the ante to $250,000. [Read more…]

Are you ready for ADS-B?

Michael Whitaker

In his opening remarks at the Meet the FAA forum during this year’s SUN ’n FUN, FAA Deputy Administrator Michael Whitaker, a new pilot, noted that he came in a day early to the show so he could take some time to walk around the grounds and see everything.

“I was encouraged to see all the ADS-B equipment,” he said, noting that “in the last 12 months there has been a lot of activity surrounding ADS-B.” [Read more…]

Burt Rutan’s latest project: The SkiGull

Rutan during the initial hydro testing. Photo by Mike Kincaid.

Legendary aircraft designer Burt Rutan’s latest project is the SkiGull, a seaplane that’s currently undergoing initial hydro testing.

Mike Kincaid, a seaplane expert who has written often for General Aviation News and happens to live near Burt’s retirement home in Couer d’Alene, Idaho, reports that the SkiGull “will land very slowly, takeoff quickly, cruise fast, and have an almost forever range. Like all of Burt’s creations, this seaplane will be very unique and could change the way we fly water planes.”

The latest design will also be featured in a new documentary, “Looking Up, Way Up! The Burt Rutan Story.” [Read more…]

App eases search for airport courtesy cars

6App

On his annual trip to Oshkosh last year, long-time pilot Glenn Brasch flew his newly completed RV-9A, aptly named “10-10-22” for the years, months and days it took him to build the airplane. Flying from Arizona, he made it in one day, but initially planned an overnight stop.

As part of that planning process, he began searching for airports with courtesy cars.

“I quickly learned that there is no central location that lists them,” he says.

There’s got to be an app for that, right? He discovered there wasn’t, so decided to create one himself called Airport Courtesy Cars. [Read more…]

GA contributes $219 billion and 1.1 million jobs to U.S. economy

GAMA report

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As the general aviation industry girds itself for the upcoming reauthorization of the FAA, eight alphabet groups joined forces to commission a study to show exactly what GA contributes to the U.S. economy.

Using data from 2013, the study, released Feb. 11, shows that GA supports 1.1 million jobs in the U.S., while contributing $219 billion in total economic output. [Read more…]

PlaneLogiX: Bringing GA aircraft maintenance into the 21st century

Will Goldstein, Robert Wilkes, William Hecksteden

All aircraft owners know the importance of their maintenance logbooks — and just as many look at those records and think “what a mess.”

You’re not alone. That’s why three under-30 innovators have created a new aircraft maintenance record backup and transcription program that’s proven to be quite popular with the GA crowd.

Called PlaneLogiX, the service was born out of something we’ve all muttered under our breath: “There’s got to be a better way.”
That’s what Robert Wilkes thought when he was an aircraft owner. “There were some fundamental shortcomings in the ownership experience,” he said.

[Read more…]