OKC tornado fund to assist aviation community victims

In the face of a frightening afternoon across the Oklahoma City region, while a massive killer tornado was ripping through their homes, the folks at AIC Title Service were continuing to solve problems for aircraft owners that were depending on them.

By the end of the day, the full scope of what had happened began to settle over them. Several of the staff and escrow agents had lost portions of their homes, or had relatives wiped out. Others took in friends that lost everything.

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1-800-DON’T-FLY

Todd Huvard, president of AircraftMerchants, a North Carolina-based aircraft brokerage, is a commercial pilot with multi-engine, instrument and seaplane ratings and is typed in Cessna 500 and Falcon 20 jets. He founding editor and publisher of The Southern Aviator.

I tried again. I dialed 1-800-WX-BRIEF because of a TFR — I wanted to make sure my flight wouldn’t conflict with the edges of the VIP barricade. The Lockheed Martin associate (we used to call them briefers and we loved them) spent the first several minutes telling me all the reasons he and his company would not be liable for anyone so stupid as to fly an airplane or for any mistakes, transgressions or blunders such an idiot might make. He finished off by advising me with the standard “VFR NOT RECOMMENDED” and threw in an exclamation about turbulence for good measure.

Having been insufficiently frightened by his windowless world view, I turned to my laptop to divine my own aerial prognostications. It wasn’t always like this.

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The Devil is in the details

Todd Huvard, president of AircraftMerchants, a North Carolina-based aircraft brokerage, is a commercial pilot with multi-engine, instrument and seaplane ratings and is typed in Cessna 500 and Falcon 20 jets. He founding editor and publisher of The Southern Aviator.

My normal course of work involves the drudgery of flying different airplanes around the country, delivering the newly purchased gems to excited buyers or moving a planes to our base in North Carolina to prepare for sale. Not too much happens on these ferry flights — the idea is to safely get the airplane to wherever it is going without pranging it, denting it, or blowing it up.

Sometimes, though, entropy gets the best of me and chaos is my co-pilot.

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Birds fly, men drink

Todd Huvard, president of AircraftMerchants, a North Carolina-based aircraft brokerage, is a commercial pilot with multi-engine, instrument and seaplane ratings and is typed in Cessna 500 and Falcon 20 jets. He founding editor and publisher of The Southern Aviator.

In 1926, a group of farsighted Outer Bankers recognized the importance of a solitary sand dune called Kill Devil Hill. The dune rose above a barren, wind-swept strip of sand that barely kept the Atlantic Ocean and the Pamlico Sound separated, the site where man first took to blustery skies at the controls of a powered heavier-than-air machine on Dec. 17, 1903.

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The Price Is Wrong

Todd Huvard, president of AircraftMerchants, a North Carolina-based aircraft brokerage, is a commercial pilot with multi-engine, instrument and seaplane ratings and is typed in Cessna 500 and Falcon 20 jets. He founding editor and publisher of The Southern Aviator.

When aircraft buyers and sellers are afoot, there’s one place their paths cross: online valuation guides. They work up wrinkled brows on the webpage, entering values willy-nilly until the program submits to their wills. Sellers include every upgrade and wire while buyers tend to limit what they add for just about anything attached to the airplane.

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Arachnophobia

Todd Huvard, president of AircraftMerchants, a North Carolina-based aircraft brokerage, is a commercial pilot with multi-engine, instrument and seaplane ratings and is typed in Cessna 500 and Falcon 20 jets. He founding editor and publisher of The Southern Aviator.

It is a sticky web indeed when the unsuspecting airman flies too near to the spidery reach of the FAA’s Aeromedical Certification Division. Once caught in the trap, a slow and anguishing process begins that has only a bureaucrat’s timeline to meet.

This story began as a joust with high blood pressure. [Read more…]

Up against the wall! And by the way, that’s a nice picture of you!

Todd Huvard, president of AircraftMerchants, a North Carolina-based aircraft brokerage, is a commercial pilot with multi-engine, instrument and seaplane ratings and is typed in Cessna 500 and Falcon 20 jets. He founding editor and publisher of The Southern Aviator.

It has been reported that the FAA will soon publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to require your photograph and some sort of biometric data on your pilot’s license. The NPRM has been slow in coming, even though a 2004 law – the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act – requires the change in format.

This is one of the more stupid and invasive ideas foisted upon us as an extension of the Sept. 11 homeland security knee-jerk that we are still seeing flail about. [Read more…]

Quixotical Questions at the Atlanta FSDO

Todd H. Huvard is the president of AircraftMerchants, a North Carolina-based aircraft brokerage. Todd is an active commercial pilot with multi-engine, instrument and seaplane ratings and is typed in Cessna 500 and Falcon 20 jets. He founding editor and publisher of The Southern Aviator.

It has been a while since I have lifted the poison pen to joust at the windmill of the FAA bureaucracy. But, Sancho, the work of the weary pilot is never done.

When an airplane needs to be moved and it is broken or suspect, or it is simply out of annual inspection, a process exists for having a Special Flight Permit authorized by the local FSDO. This is a routine exercise for maintenance shops and hundreds of ferry permits are issued every week around the country. In the interests of safety, the process calls for an aircraft mechanic to inspect the airplane and certify that is it airworthy for the intended flight. Simple enough.

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