Canceling the Big Show

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s decision to cancel its annual convention and trade show made news this month. It certainly shows movement instead of “business as usual” under new president Mark Baker. I have some perspective to offer and a modest suggestion. Care to listen?

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A new life for this old veteran?

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Its nose is seemingly tucked up to the Chevy dealership across the street in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. But this piston-era behemoth is in for more than an oil change. The Perna family wants to complete a DC-7-based restaurant for their northeast Florida airport. [Read more...]

GA in the military

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There are warbirds at every airshow. Oshkosh, of course, is a feast. But what always grabs me are the veteran GA aircraft adapted for military use. They say to me that “our airplanes” are not toys, but capable, useful flying machines. Some military pilots believed differently, but I’m sticking to my story!

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Overwater lessons for Oshkosh and other summer fun

Some of us will be flying the Great Lakes soon to reach AirVenture or otherwise cruising some lake, bay, sound or shoreline towards cooler weather. I thought I’d call up last January’s ditching in the Hudson River Corridor to ponder cautionary tales. We can all celebrate that impossibly good ditching of a fixed-gear PA-32 Cherokee Six. We can also question how prepared we are for a water landing.

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Still a mighty interesting way to run an airport

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It’s still going great guns — one of America’s most unusual airports. Complete with Western theme buildings, 28-room on-airport motel and airplane-shaped swimming pool, it’s the recreational center of its community. And this one-time “aeronautical dude ranch” lives on in…wait for it…New Jersey!

Noted for its concept and marketing, Flying W Ranch is now the Flying W Airport Resort. [Read more...]

The ‘new’ SUN ’n FUN

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This woman is lit! She’s electric. Lori Bradner, selected late last year — in lieu of a new Florida Air Museum director — is now SUN ’n FUN’s executive director of education.

That’s right: SUN ’n FUN now highlights youth education and year-round engagement, not just an annual celebration of aviation’s glory. The entire team is involved, but Bradner is the focal point for educational programs making SUN ’n FUN relevant — everyday — to aviation’s future.

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The view from above

Being a pilot offers a special overview of your world and the events affecting it. It’s part of what makes flying special. This month’s devastating tornados call this to mind. Our airborne views of human civilization and nature’s ways are perspectives the Average Joe might not see in a lifetime.

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