By TOM DOUGLAS
Seventeen minutes without a heartbeat set Jim Poling off in a new and life-fulfilling direction.
“They say you can only survive 19 minutes with a shut-down heart, so it was a close call,” Jim related recently. “Even so, a stroke suffered on the operating table left me blind in one eye.”
The Canadian author had been living on borrowed time for more than 40 years – since the day when, as a 15-year-old, he’d been diagnosed with a congenital heart problem.
“It’s called aortic stenosis — a narrowing and stiffening of a main valve that controls blood flow from the heart,” he said. “I was told nothing could be done. Open-heart surgery was unheard of then. I’d have to learn to accept the situation.”
This medical finding was a double blow. Not only would Jim be living with a biological time bomb in his chest, his dreams of becoming a bush pilot like the legendary Wop May and Al Cheesman had just crashed-landed. [Read more…]
By Nancy Covert
It was a story about Germany’s flying ace, the Red Knight (Snoopy’s infamous Red Baron), according to Dorothy Kocher Olsen, that piqued her interest in learning to fly.
Olsen, who was resting up on a June Sunday morning for an afternoon celebration of her 100th birthday with a pair of sister flyers from the Women’s Air force Service Pilots (WASPs) —shared a few of her recollections. [Read more…]
By JAMES J. PIEKLO
You know the type. They move next to a railroad track or an airport then immediately start complaining about the noise.
I happen to live directly under the flight path of Ocean City Municipal Airport (26N) in New Jersey, and I don’t mind the noise in the least. Our in-house VHF radio is tuned not only to the Ocean City Unicom, but also to our near-by “large” airport, Atlantic City International Airport (KACY).
Even since I can remember I wanted to fly. To this day I remember a doctor telling me that my eyes would never allow that happen. [Read more…]
I knew the day would come to talk about Charlie Spence. He was a signal force in General Aviation public relations. He was once my daunting competitor. Later, he was a warm and encouraging friend — as he was to so many.
Charlie and I each held the same two top PR jobs in GA: From 1963 to 1968, Charlie represented the Utility Airplane Council (predecessor to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.) I was at GAMA about 12 years later. And we were both senior vice president for public relations/communications at the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). Charlie held forth from 1968 to the mid-1980s. I signed on in 1991.
Long-time General Aviation News columnist Charles Spence passed away at home June 23 after a brief illness. He was 94.
Spence, who wrote the Capital Comments column for General Aviation News for more than 18 years, retired from that post in December 2014 at the age of 92.
A passionate general aviation advocate, Spence’s lifelong love of journalism began at the age of 16 with his first job as an artist for the Louisville Courier-Journal, working there after school and in the evenings while he completed high school. [Read more…]