Keeping the spirit of flight alive


Story and Photos By JEAN-PIERRE BONIN

I like to call myself an aviation freak.

Though I never became a pilot, I have been an aviation lover since I was a teenager, but it was not until some decades later that I stumbled into general aviation. In 2000, a neighbor began building a Ultravia Pelican Sport 600 kit plane in his garage and that was the start of a whole new era for me.

From an aircraft photographer, attempting, like others, to upload some pictures to websites like, I slowly began to widen my interest (and contacts), making me a more complete aviation photographer. Through the last 10 years or so, I have witnessed the true Spirit of Flight as pilots, owners, mechanics and just “plane” volunteers have shared their passion with me.

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Countdown to WomenVenture 2012


What began as a one-time program in 2008 has now become a tradition at EAA AirVenture. WomenVenture is a way to gather like-minded women during AirVenture, exchange information, do some hangar talking, and informally match mentors with mentees.

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First Steam Plant Fly-In a success

Civil Air Patrol Gallatin Cadet Squadron receives a briefing on the Eurocopter EC 135 used by Vanderbilt University Medical Center LifeFlight.


The Sumner County Regional Airport, in Gallatin, Tennessee, hosted the first-ever Tennessee Steam Plant Fly-In Saturday, June 23. Organized by EAA Chapter 1343 and GTO Aviation, Inc., the inaugural fly-in featured vendors, information sessions, flight simulators, food, music, and more than 200 airplanes. Aviators from across the southeast and as far as Las Vegas  flew in to help kick off what EAA Chapter 1343 Vice President Len Assante hopes will be an annual success.

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U2OSH: Unleaded to Oshkosh

The Aviation Fuel Club is organizing a special event called “Unleaded to Oshkosh” — U2OSH — for the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2012. The purpose of the event is to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the FAA’s approval of the first autogas STC, an effort led in part by EAA founder Paul Poberezny. All pilots flying aircraft to Oshkosh that are capable of operating on autogas will be given special recognition. Awards will be given for the longest distance traveled, oldest/newest aircraft and smallest/largest aircraft flown using lead-free autogas.

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