San Antonio new site of Texas CAP Wing HQ

Thanks to the San Antonio’s generosity, Civil Air Patrol’s Texas Wing Headquarters will have a new home at Stinson Municipal Airport. The City Council voted Thursday, Aug. 5, in favor of signing a no-cost 50-year lease with the Texas Wing on a portion of airport property adjacent to an existing taxi lane, covering about 92,550 square feet.

The wing recently moved its headquarters from the city of Waco, away from Waco Regional Airport, because the facility there no longer met its needs, according to officials. The new location, at a working airport, will be able to accommodate not only the wing’s headquarters but also Group V headquarters and selected squadrons under one roof, with an adjoining hangar big enough to hold six planes.

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The world’s scariest airports

SmarterTravel, an online travel site, has released its list of the World’s 10 Scariest Airports for takeoff and landing. While aimed at airline passengers, the airports also prove challenging for GA pilots, with inconveniently placed volcanoes and runways formed when the tide goes out.

SmarterTravel picks for the World’s Scariest Airports include:

  1. Barra Airport, Barra, Scotland: It’s always a beach landing and runways form when the tide goes out.
  2. Gibraltar Airport, Gibraltar: The main road to Spain intersects the runway.
  3. Toncontin International Airport, Tegucigalpa, Honduras: A 45° bank and quick drop in altitude.
  4. Nantucket Memorial Airport, Nantucket, Massachusetts: Fog often forces pilots to rely solely on instruments. [Read more…]

LSAs and immersion training

Learning to fly a powered parachute can be challenging. Weather needs to be nearly perfect. Some folks have been discouraged, especially if they travel a long way only to be frustrated by Mother Nature. Easy Flight has the answer: Immersion Training.

The Greenville, Illinois-based company has August and October sessions of its concentrated 12-Day Sport Pilot training camp. Owner Roy Beisswenger created the multi-day sport pilot training course in 2007. The key has been bringing in CFIs to provide a one-to-one student-to-flight instructor ratio. And a modular lesson plan allows flexibility in the daily schedule. “That means when it’s time to fly, everybody flies,” explained Roy. Everything needed to become a sport pilot in 12 days is provided, including accommodations at a local motel, all part of a package deal. To learn more, call 618-664-9706 or

Got an older plane?


From accident reports to FAA maintenance alerts, the new Aging General Aviation Education & Training website provides a single access point to type-specific aging general aviation maintenance information.

The goal of the site is to provide the general aviation community with the information needed to maintain the safety of older general aviation airplanes, say developers, who note users can easily locate articles and resources relevant to nearly any make and model of aging aircraft. With these features, determining whether a problem is a common occurrence within a particular make or model is just a click away.

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America’s Top 10 aviation attractions

The original 1903 Wright Flyer is the centerpiece of "The Wright Brothers & The Invention of the Aerial Age" exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum's flaship building on the National Mall in Washington.

TripAdvisor, a travel site, has unveiled its list of the top 10 aviation attractions in the U.S., according to traveler ratings and TripAdvisor Flights experts, who note that America has a rich history as the birthplace of aviation, giving air travel lovers and flying fanatics myriad opportunities to learn more about planes, gliders, shuttles, and everything in between.

No. 1 on the list: The National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C.

The original 1903 Wright Flyer is the centerpiece of "The Wright Brothers & The Invention of the Aerial Age" exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum's flaship building on the National Mall in Washington.

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Tips to preserve the life of your battery

Concorde Battery Corp. recently issued Technical Bulletin No. 10 “Parasitic Drain” in response to questions throughout the aviation community about the effect of parasitic drain on battery state of charge. A parasitic drain is an electrical load that takes power from the battery even when the Master Switch or Battery Switch is Off. Examples of loads that cause parasitic drain include clocks, lights, relays, current sensors and power monitoring circuits.

If an aircraft is inactive for a length of time, depending on the magnitude of the load, the battery may be depleted within weeks or even days. Skip Koss, vice president of marketing says, “When an aircraft is not in service, a parasitic drain will deplete the battery’s state of charge unless the drain is disconnected. I am concerned about the increasing number of aircraft affected by parasitic drain, which can diminish emergency capacity reserves and compromise the safety of pilots and passengers.”

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Are you willing to go that extra mile?

The FAA can’t regulate professionalism, but it can ask pilots to take that extra step to continue training, Randy Babbitt, the agency’s administrator, said during a visit to AirVenture in Oshkosh.

“Professionalism isn’t limited to commercial flying,” he said. “It pertains to all aspects of flying. The good news is that a vast majority of pilots are willing to that extra mile.”

He pointed out that FAA, the Experimental Aircraft Association and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association all have websites that offer online courses, as well as links to where pilots can get training.

Spiritual adventures at the ends of the Earth


When it comes to adventure and human fulfillment, few aviation careers stack up to missionary flying. The pilots who opt for this route have to have both skill and passion, along with a great deal of resourcefulness as they are literally practicing their craft in the remotest of places. The stories these pilots tell are both hair-raising and inspirational and they deserve to be repeated. Aviation enthusiast Dane Skelton thought so, so he decided to collect them. The result is “Jungle Flight, Spiritual Adventures at the Ends of the Earth.”

The paperback is a collection of vignettes from missionary pilots from all over the world working with the Jungle Aviation and Radio Service, commonly known as J.A.A.R.S. Founded in 1948, the organization provides Bible translation as well as technical and support services all over the world. Often the pilots find themselves and their families in remote locations in the most primitive of conditions, yet they stay because they have a higher calling. The book is a quick read at 102 pages, and is enlightening for anyone considering a career in missionary aviation. Jungle Flight is published by Xulon Press and available on

Flying Circus takes off

Balloon glow

While the American Barnstormers Tour has concluded, many of the barnstormers are now participating in the Flying Circus at various events through the country, including the Wausau Balloon and BBQ Festival. Stearman pilot Sarah Wilson, who blogged about the tour for, continues her Barnstormers Blog with what’s going on with the Flying Circus:

Each time the Flying Circus is due at an event, I get a text from Gayle Harrigan, the wife of one of the New Standard D25 pilot/owners Bernie Harrigan, when they are en route. Gayle simply writes: “Leaving our family now to return to our loved ones.” It is a perfect description of how we feel when we fly rides with our core group of friends and fellow pilots that make up the American Barnstormers Flying Circus. Two New Standards, a Travel Air, and my Stearman, along with their pilots and families, travel together until fall all across the Midwest.

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