SUN ‘n FUN an absolute blast

benable

The 41st annual SUN ‘n FUN fly-in is the books. It was hot, humid and an absolute blast. I’d say that even if I hadn’t gotten a ride on a B-25 — with four T-6s and four CJ-6s in tow —as part of a My MacDill Air Force Base support flight.

No longer just “Spring Break for Pilots,” SUN ‘n FUN is “Building a Better Future through Aviation.”

Everything the 20-person full-time team does at SUN ‘n FUN is with an eye on adding pilots to our rolls. SUN ‘n FUN is really just a big fundraiser that supports education opportunities — an effort made easier by recently retiring more than $2 million of debt over the past three years. Today, SUN ‘n FUN is debt free. [Read more…]

A niche of a niche

Dave Hensch taking off from a dolly.

Do you hold an Israeli pilot certificate? If so, are you looking to add a seaplane rating? Well, I’ve found the guy. Probably, the only guy – in the world – who can help you. How’s that for a niche market? [Read more…]

Sensing good things on the horizon

Sense and Avoid top view. Artwork from Boldmethod.

While flying, have you ever looked down to tune a radio? Check an engine or fuel gauge? Referenced your navigation chart? Chat with your passenger? Focus on something on the ground?

Well, then you aren’t seeing and avoiding to the best of your ability. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some help? Something that doesn’t cost what TCAS (traffic collision avoidance system) costs. [Read more…]

Stories from the logbook

The evidence we're all connected is in the page of my logbook.

We’re all connected…somehow. A July 1987 entry in my logbook proves it.

I was barely 17 years old and had flown our 1946 J-3 Cub on July 17 from our airpark home – Shady Acres – to the annual Arlington Fly-In. My logbook notes, “massive headwinds, heavy x-wind when landing.” At this point, I was still a student pilot, and was signed off for the 70-mile cross country flight two days before. [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…]

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…]

FAA finds research partner, seeks perps

The FAA is behind the power curve – big time – when it comes to the nascent (and rapidly growing) remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) industry.

On Jan. 12 CNN announced a research agreement with the FAA to “to advance efforts to integrate Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) into newsgathering and reporting.”

As a distant cousin to mainstream media, I can imagine great uses for RPA in media. But media isn’t the only segment of society anxious to launch skyward.

[Read more…]

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