Parapalegic pilot earns wings — and the respect of his peers

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Learning to fly is challenging for most people. You have to get the money together and put in the time, overcome learning plateaus, and weather, and equipment challenges. Scott Miller from Albia, Iowa, had an additional challenge on the path to getting his wings — he is in a wheelchair.

Miller’s journey began in 2006 while serving in the National Guard. He was riding his motorcycle home from a military drill in Des Moines, when he hit a pothole and crashed. The accident broke his back, paralyzing him from the waist down.

While the accident changed Miller’s life, he said it also made him appreciate life more. “I don’t take anything for granted,” the 25-year-old notes.

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California flying club named to Top 10 flight schools list

Photo Caption: BFC's Fred Webster, William Woodbury and Janice Sullivan were also named to AOPA's “Top 100 Flight Instructors” for 2014.

Are clubs becoming the dominant force in local flight training?

When Bakersfield Flying Club president Bill Woodbury learned that the club had been named as a top tier American flight school, he was shocked for two reasons: First, he never thought of his club as a flight school and, second, his group had never sought such notoriety.

“Of course I was pleased and honored to learn of our recognition,” said Woodbury, “but to say I was surprised is an understatement.”

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Flying car maker seeks exemptions for weight, stall speed

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Terrafugia has requested an exemption from the FAA to allow its Transition roadable aircraft — known by most as a flying car — to weigh up to 1,800 pounds and have a stall speed of 54 knots and still be classified as a Light-Sport Aircraft (LSA), according to a report at AVweb. The LSA rules set the maximum weight at 1,320 pounds and a maximum stall speed of 45 knots. “I think we make a very strong argument that these changes are in the public interest,” Terrafugia CEO Carl Dietrich told AVweb. The added weight is necessary to meet national highway standards, Dietrich said, and those features add safety to the airplane, not only by making it more crashworthy, but also making it more likely that pilots will land in marginal weather and choose to drive instead of pushing forward to their destination.