A new adventure

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Three years ago, I relocated from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Seattle, Wash. Though I had a lot of experience flying in a variety of weather conditions and in mountainous terrain, I didn’t have a lot of hard IFR flight time.

I viewed this not as problem, but as an opportunity to hone my IFR skills flying in conditions that were challenging in different ways than those I had experienced in Utah. [Read more…]

Rules of the road

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At the close of 1927, 1,572 pilots had been licensed and 2,573 others had applied for licenses. Additionally, 681 aircraft had been licensed for interstate commerce, and 908 aircraft had been assigned identification numbers. There were also 2,218 applications for license and identification of aircraft awaiting action.

It was at this time that the Department of Commerce issued its first Air Traffic Rules, as required under the Air Commerce Act of 1926. [Read more…]

LSA market share for 2014

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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…]