Half empty or half full? Part 2

DSC_0472.JPG Bristall Taildragger

Saturday at the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebing, Florida, dawned sunny and warmer. The show itself seemed sunnier with a weekend crowd. I can’t understand why organizers scheduled so many weekdays and omitted the Sunday of a three-day holiday weekend. The trade show element (industry meetings, et. al.) can surely be done on Thursday and Friday, leaving Saturday and Sunday for good weekend crowds. [Read more…]

Lure them with pancakes, hook them with adventure

The Sonex Waiex in flight.

EAA Chapter 1067 is based in Naples, Florida. There are worse places to be in February, I can tell you. But there are few better.

What attracted me is what attracts so many to the back corner of the T-hangars at Naples, directly across from the shade hangars, right along the fence line where EAA 1067 resides. It was pancakes. Well, not just pancakes. The chapter’s monthly pancake breakfast is actually made up of pancakes and sausage with a biscuit, coffee, juice, and some of the best company you could ever hope to share.

I certainly had a good time. Good enough that I’m inclined to go back. [Read more…]

1,000 pilots x $20 = 3 new pilots

RobbinsSibs

We don’t need to attract every kid, just the next kid… or three.

Seventeen-year-old Ella, 16-year-old Jonathan and 15-year-old Benjamin Robbins are passionate about aviation. The homeschooled trio from Ferndale, Wash., have been designing and building their own radio-controlled aircraft for several years. [Read more…]

A new adventure

IMG_3302

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

Figure 1

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

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…]