Managing anger in the cockpit

“Louisa County traffic, November four four two eight Quebec departing Runway Niner for left crosswind departure, Louisa County traffic.” I visually cleared final approach and the traffic pattern. Seeing all four quadrants empty, I took the runway and took off.

Upwind off KLKU looked fantastic. A riot of yellows, oranges and reds overwhelmed any remaining resistance from the faltering ranks of green leaves. It created a spectacular autumnal canopy beneath my fixed gear.

Somewhere on a distant radio call a guy might have announced a 10-mile, straight-in to downwind entry to the same runway I’d just departed, but I couldn’t swear to it. The fall colors had distracted me. I extended my upwind without any qualms. The town and airport of Louisa were new to me and I wanted to remember the experience.

I announced my crosswind turn and made it. That’s when I saw a Bonanza streaking toward me right to left, descending to my altitude. This time I did hear the pilot, yelling on CTAF at “that idiot coming my way.”

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AERO Friedrichshafen to expand in 2015

92_AERO 2014

With an expanded concept and more than 630 exhibitors, AERO 2015 in Friedrichshafen, Germany is set to maintain its position as the largest trade show for general aviation in Europe.

Not only will the e-flight-expo, Avionics Avenue, Engine Area and RPAS Expo be returning to the show, which takes place April 15-18, 2015, but for the first time an Aviation and Pilots Competence Center (APCC) for current and prospective pilots will also be offered.

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Improper maintenance leads to gear failure

Aircraft: Cessna 150. Injuries: None. Location: Juneau, Alaska. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The flight instructor was demonstrating a short field, three-point landing. The touchdown was normal, but during the landing roll a gust of wind pushed the airplane, and it began to turn to the right. When the instructor applied left brake in an attempt to correct for the right turn, the left main landing gear broke.

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Sebring’s sweet success story

Tecnam_P2008

Let’s be direct and simply pronounce it a success. It only took a decade of hard work. I refer to the Sebring U.S. Sport Aviation Expo, which this time of year signals the start of a new season of airshows. Every January — for 2015 the dates are Jan. 14-17 — Sebring Regional Airport (KSEF) in Florida hosts the event many simply know as the Sebring Expo.

But the original goal was not about running an event.

The airport authority and its local support group aimed to build up the enterprise of the airport that sits adjacent to — in fact, is owned by — the world-famous Sebring Raceway. When Mike Willingham took over management of the airport well over a decade ago, I recall a slightly shabby, eerily quiet airport that only seemed to bloom once a year during the 62-year-old “12 Hours of Sebring” race.

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