Airworthy AutoGas prepares for takeoff

Indiana Refuel

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

johndavis

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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Take off with X-Plane

glider

As a college student, Austin Meyer was finding it difficult to keep up his instrument currency.

Like so many pilots at the time, he was using Microsoft Flight Sim, but “I wasn’t happy with its flexibility,” he recalled. “I was having a heck of a time passing my currency check.”

That’s when he turned his dorm room into a computer lab and created his own flight simulator, now known as X-Plane, which actually predicts how an airplane will fly.

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Working to save GA

42Ravi

Aviation faces some fundamental issues: While the FAA reports there were 41% fewer private pilot certificates issued over the last decade, Boeing is projecting the need for 460,000 new pilots globally by 2031. Meanwhile, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association is reporting that up to 80% of student pilots drop out of training.

“It’s a mathematical equation that tells us that we have a real problem,” says Ravi the Raviator, a pilot and motivational speaker who has been named “Honorary Outreach Ambassador” by SUN ’n FUN.

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1.7 million Young Eagles and counting…

It’s an impressive number: Since its founding in 1992, more than 1.76 million kids have flown as Young Eagles — a number that’s growing even as you read this.

The premise is simple: Introduce kids to aviation through a flight in a general aviation aircraft and — hopefully — inspire the next generation of pilots. And it’s working.

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North Carolina students ASCEND

Ascend3

One summer day North Carolina teacher Jana Brown got to thinking about what her students were doing with their summer off.

Then her thoughts wandered to a story her husband told her about being given a helicopter ride one summer at the beach when he was 8 years old. “While he didn’t pursue his pilot’s license until he was in his 30s, the experience never left him and fueled the passion he has for aviation,” she recalls. Putting the two ideas together, the veteran teacher, with more than 21 years in the classroom, came up with the idea for an aviation summer camp called ASCEND (Aviation Summer Camp: Exploring New Dimensions).

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