LSA market share for 2014

RV12

When government reports unemployment, GPD numbers, or crop yields, they release some information that is invariably changed. Despite best efforts, statistics are often improved later. With that fact in mind, following is our preliminary report for fully-built Light-Sport Aircraft (LSA) in calendar year 2014. [Read more…]

If it’s about who you know…

BobHooverportraitByJimKoepnick 2

When I was a young man headed out into the world, trying to make a success of myself, there was an expression I heard over and over again: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”

The subtext was clear. No matter how smart or capable or driven you might be, it would not be possible to become a true success unless someone who was already established took your hand and guided you through the gates of what might best be described as a members only club. [Read more…]

What’s in a name?

We live in a rural community and I have been elected to the township board for the last few years. A couple of years ago, the board applied for a grant to replace all of the traffic signs in our township. We won the grant and received the new signs.

A few weeks ago, I got a call from a representative from the company that has the contract to install the new signs, and they wanted to set up an appointment for us to select new signs for our township.  I tried to explain that our township had already received the new signs.  The representative said that was ok — they would just go ahead and replace all of our new signs because it would not cost our township a cent.

I did not handle this reasoning well and immediately called several county and state officials and got it changed.  I am old fashioned and believe that wasting even federal government money is still a waste.

This immediately brought to mind the program to replace 100LL with an unleaded product.  Here the federal government and others are spending large sums of money to solve a problem that does not exist except in their minds, but will create real problems in general aviation with their “solution.”

[Read more…]

Letter: Dismantle the FAA’s involvement in medical certification?

By Jim Posner, Poulsbo, Wash.

I have long thought that the FAA should NOT be in the medical certification business, at least for Part 91 operations.  Ever since my denial – despite letters from my doctors specifically stating that I am good to go – I have tried to understand why they should consider themselves more qualified to determine my fitness to fly than my own experts.  I am not a doctor nor do I have any medical training.  My primary care physician is a former AME-equivalent in the military so is very familiar with “fitness to fly” criteria. [Read more…]

If these bomber jackets could talk…

WWII flight jacket of Mr. A.B. Clement.  He was a B-24 top gunner, and flew 50 missions.

Cdr. Leroy Robinson, a World War II naval aviator, flew in the Pacific Theatre and is a confirmed “Ace.” He also flew in the Korean Conflict and had a 32-year career at Delta Air Lines. In failing health now, most of his time is spent in his Civil War-era Tignall, Georgia, farmhouse.

Stories like this, and more, are what photographer John Slemp (owner of Aerographs) seeks to collect using his camera to document both bomber jackets and the brave men who wore them. [Read more…]

Airshow etiquette: Look, but don’t touch

Once, when I was a teenager manning the pumps at a full service gas station, a gentleman rolled up in a gorgeous Rolls Royce. He claimed it had previously belonged to the velvety-voiced crooner Nat “King” Cole.

You can imagine my surprise when he climbed out and encouraged me to take a seat behind the wheel. [Read more…]

Say again

A long time ago it was decided by people much smarter than I am that only one language should be the language of aviation. That language was to be English, regardless of a pilot’s nation of origin.

Those same people decided that a specific lexicon should be created within English to reduce any confusion spawned by regional accents. So along came the aviation alphabet and quirky customs, like pronouncing 5 and 9 as “fife” and “niner.” The hope was that by adopting one official language and creating a lexicon of aviation-specific terminology, miscommunication would be greatly reduced.

The thing about language and lexicons is that they’re like tools of the trade. And all tools of the trade are only as good as the operator handling them. [Read more…]

Calling all frugal pilots: What are your secrets?

Also attached is a photo of my plane, "Goofy," taking off from the Willits Municipal Airport (www.WillitsAirport.com) which I manage. It's the most fun you can have without a prescription! ;-)

Frugal pilots aren’t cheap or unsafe. Their buying and flying decisions are based on getting the greatest value for each aviation dollar spent, not on squeezing every dollar until Washington yelps.

Frugal pilots aren’t poor. They may or may not be financially rich, but they do know the significance of money and that a dollar saved wisely can be a dollar spent on more avgas or iPhones or retirement.

Frugal pilots aren’t alone. There are many thousands of us who fly comfortably within a budget for a variety of good reasons: To go somewhere, to go nowhere, to see the world from above, to discover ourselves, to share recreation, to overcome fears, and/or to build an aviation career.

At my airport, I hear many stories from grinning pilots who started out mowing lawns, washing airplanes, or taking on a second job to afford flying lessons. Over the years, these veteran pilots have logged thousands of hours in their owned or co-owned aircraft by being frugal — and safe.

What are their secrets?

[Read more…]

FAA finds research partner, seeks perps

The FAA is behind the power curve – big time – when it comes to the nascent (and rapidly growing) remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) industry.

On Jan. 12 CNN announced a research agreement with the FAA to “to advance efforts to integrate Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) into newsgathering and reporting.”

As a distant cousin to mainstream media, I can imagine great uses for RPA in media. But media isn’t the only segment of society anxious to launch skyward.

[Read more…]