I just saw my future — I hope

Ivy and Savannah

The young lady in the photo is my oldest daughter, Savannah. An hour before I snapped this picture, she thought we were driving five hours to Spokane for a little father-daughter bonding at last month’s AOPA Fly-In. Nope.

Friend, General Aviation News columnist and Cirrus Sales Director Ivy McIver happily stuffed myself and Cirrus’ Director of Flight Operations Travis Klumb in the back seat of her SR-22T and took off for Spokane’s Felts Field (KSFF) for the fly-in.

Savannah wasn’t raised in an airplane as I was. But she has been flying with me several times in our friend’s J-3 Cub… and has loved every minute of it. But this experience was different. Very different.

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Leaders, followers, and picking your mission

Audry and Paul Poberezny

Like it or not, most of us are followers. That’s not a bad thing. It’s not a good thing. It’s just a thing. A description of the way things are. A stand-alone fact. Most of us follow someone else, a political office holder, an employer, a manager, a spouse.

Among us there are leaders, but they are few. I’m talking about real leaders, not people with a title and their name in gold leaf on a door. Real leaders are rare. Paul Poberezny was a leader. He founded the Experimental Aircraft Association in the basement of his home. It would be hard to find less impressive surroundings. Yet the humble address and the cramped workspace wasn’t the point. Paul had a message to share, a belief that he didn’t just espouse, he lived. Paul got a crazy idea in his head that people could, and maybe even should, build their own aircraft and fly them.

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The next decade of LSA innovation

At AirVenture Oshkosh this year, the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) mounted a very visible celebration of Light-Sport or Sport Pilot-eligible aircraft. The exhibit drew dense traffic throughout the week by offering a large cross section of the aircraft types and configurations available since the FAA loosened its control over the process of approving new aircraft for sale to the public. It was the 10th anniversary celebration of Sport Pilot/Light-Sport Aircraft (SP/LSA).

EAA’s collection of aircraft tells only part of the story of what might be expected in a second decade.

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Exit ramps, profit, and Yourtown USA

It is well known in most circles that airlines travel on highways in the sky. Admittedly, most folks don’t know those highways are called airways, but the name is logical, whether the general public knows it or not.

However, few have made the obvious connection between the highway in the sky concept, and the airport in their town. Perhaps this is because aircraft, unlike automobiles, can choose to use the highway or go off-road (VFR) at will. And unlike automobile users, there are massive numbers of pilots flying off-road (VFR) every day, from coast to coast.

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NTSB wants your thoughts

The National Transportation Safety Board has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking seeking public comments regarding its proposed changes to rules governing investigation procedures.

The agency proposes to organize its procedures into mode-specific subparts to make the rules easier to access and consult. It also wants to update some terms and procedures, including using the term “event” to describe mishaps, rather than incident or accident.

More information may be found here.

NTSB to study drug trends in aviation accidents

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Transportation Safety Board will consider a study on drug use trends in aviation Sept. 9. It will examine trends in over-the-counter, prescription and illicit drug use documented from toxicology reports of pilots that died in aircraft crashes for the 22 years between 1990 and 2012.

The meeting on the drug trends will follow a meeting to determine the probable cause of a UPS Airlines accident that killed both the pilot and co-pilot in August 2013 as the flight was making an approach into the international airport at Birmingham, Alabama.

Brrrrr, ka-ching

If you’re connected to social media in any way, you’ve no doubt spent a good deal of time in recent weeks watching people get wet. Like flagpole sitting, goldfish swallowing, and stuffing as many college kids into a VW bug as possible, it’s something of a fad. Most commonly referred to as the “ice bucket challenge,” this ridiculous excuse for personal exhibitionism actually has roots in a noble cause.

Roots are one thing. Where the branches go is something else.

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