A nice tribute to Harrison Ford

The June 29 issue of All Things Aviation includes a nice tribute to Harrison Ford, best known to the general public as an actor but well known to general aviation as a pilot and current leader of the Young Eagles program.

“Harrison Ford has taken flying the way it should be taken, in baby steps,” the article points out. “Starting with a Cessna Caravan and remaining a Cessna fan he now flies a Citation 680 Sovereign. But not as a single-piot aircraft. Nope, instead Harrison employs a full-time 20,000 hour experienced pilot to ride shotgun.”

To read the full story: http://all-things-aviation.com/people-in-aviation/actor-pilot-harrison-ford/

Do you know these things?

US News posted an article on June 29 entitled “10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Federal Aviation Administration.” While many readers of General Aviation News may know most of those things, it’s nice that US News is interested in educating the general public about aviation.

On the other hand, read on. All of us can stand to learn more than we already know – or think we know. The US News list follows.

ISU team second in all-women Air Race Classic

Indiana State University aviation team members Jessica L. Campbell and Victoria Dunbar placed second over-all in the recent 2,359-nautical-mile, all-women Air Race Classic, taking the top collegiate honors. First place over-all went to Kelly Burris, an attorney from Michigan, and Erin Recke, who finished “just 0.933 ahead of us, so just one point separated first and second place,” Tad Foster, dean of ISU’s School of Technology, told the Terre Haute Tribune-Star.

[Read more...]

NY lawmakers seek to save Airpower Museum

A senator and congressman are trying to save the American Airpower Museum, located in a hangar at Republic Airport on Long Island, according to a June 29 Newsday report. The museum is imperiled by a plan to build a safety apron at the end of a runway to give planes more space to stop in an emergency, Newsday said. The site is the former home of Republic Aviation, which produced thousands of airplanes, notably P-47s, during World War II.

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Celebrate freedom to fly on Fourth of July

This Independence Day, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association is encouraging everyone who already knows the freedom of the skies to share the experience with someone who doesn’t. “We want you to celebrate your freedom to fly by introducing it to others,” said AOPA President and CEO Craig L. Fuller on June 29.

“Leonardo da Vinci famously said, ‘Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return,'” Fuller continued. “We need more people with their eyes turned skyward, because whether or not they ever return, they will better understand all that general aviation is and can do.”

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WASP Annie Lawrence dead at 84

Annie “Belle” Lawrence, who died June 24 at the age of 84, was 17 when she earned her pilot license before she had a driver’s license. As a youngster, she saw airplanes buzz over her grandparents’ farm near Lakewood, Georgia, as they landed on a nearby dirt strip. They inspired a passion for aviation in her at a time when women were just beginning to take to the skies. She didn’t just learn to fly airplanes. She became an aviation mechanic and made a business of rebuilding them. She served as a WASP during World War II, reported the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on June 29.

[Read more...]

Backcountry mail pilot helps preserve way of life

In the small airport lounge at the River of No Return Wilderness in Idaho, Ray Arnold fulfills the wish lists of those who live and work along the only backcountry air mail route left in the lower 48 states, wrote Associated Press reporter Jessie Bonner on June 28.

Arnold Aviation employees wheel cardboard boxes into the hangar on dollies and stack them next to the plane: Bananas, eggs, canned fruit, flour, frozen fish fillets, oranges, ice cream, stripping wax for floors, an 18-pack of Coors and bright yellow mail bags, stuffed with everything from bills and letters to magazines and Netflix movies.

Deep in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, folks are waiting. For 34 years, Arnold has served this tiny segment of Americans who prefer isolation over convenience, the roar of a river over the bustle of traffic, a sky dusted with stars instead of the fog of city lights, Bonner wrote.

[Read more...]

Most-decorated Marine pilot dies at 89

Retired Marine Corps Col. Kenneth L. Reusser, the most decorated Marine aviator in history, who had the dubious distinction of having been shot down in three wars, died June 20 at age 89.

According to newspaper reports, Reusser flew a total of 253 combat missions in World War II, Korea and Vietnam and was shot down in all three, five times in all. His 59 medals include two Navy Crosses (second only to the Medal of Honor), four Purple Hearts and two Legions of Merit.

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Ed McMahon, fighter pilot

Ed McMahon, best known as a foil to Johnny Carson – a gig that lasted 30 years – died June 23 at the age of 86. Barely mentioned in his obituaries was the fact that during World War II McMahon was a Marine Corps fighter pilot, flight instructor and test pilot. He was sent to Korea in 1952, where he flew unarmed OE-1 Bird Dogs on 85 tactical air control and artillery spotting missions. He remained in the Marine Corps Reserve, retiring as a colonel – no mean achievement for a Marine – in 1966. Later, he was commissioned a Brigadier General in the California Air National Guard. McMahon earned six Air Medals, also no mean achievement.