The Frugal Notebook

Every owner-pilot should have a Frugal Notebook. It’s a blank book you can keep in the glove box or your flight bag to record things about your airplane. If you are a renter, it’s a handy place to record your experiences with specific aircraft and flying conditions.

Let’s take a look at a few of the things your Frugal Notebook can help with:

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‘Prairie Sky’ published

Newly published is “Prairie Sky,” a new book that explores “the reality as well as the metaphor of flight: Notions of ceaseless time and boundless space, personal interior and exterior vision, social history, meteorology, and geology,” according to the publisher.

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The Frugal Pilot: Get more than you pay for

What’s the difference between a need and a want? At the grocery store, a need is buying milk, bread and other food staples. A want is getting soda, corn chips and snack cakes. In recreational aviation, a need is something required to meet your flying goals and your budget. A want is not required, but desired.

For most of us recreational pilots, airplanes really aren’t needs. They are wants. But one benefit to working hard through life is to be able to afford some of the things we want. However, once we own a plane, we cannot skimp on its needs.

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Proposed legislation would cut 3rd class medical requirement for many GA pilots

Reps. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) and Sam Graves (R-Mo.) have introduced a bill in the U.S. House that seeks to abolish the third-class medical certificate for many pilots who fly recreationally.

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Observations and invitations

Attached to the main administration building at the Santa Monica Airport in Southern California is an observation deck. It’s a wide concrete structure with a curved metal railing that allows excellent views of the area, reaching from the Hollywood sign in the northeast all the way around to the Pacific Ocean on the southwest. A bleacher style seating structure provides a reasonably comfortable place to sit and watch the action on the airport.

That’s where I met Adam and Zoe. Adam is a software designer who grew up in Santa Monica. He’s been stopping at the airport for much of his life to watch airplanes fly, daydream about becoming a pilot, and generally enjoy a sunny afternoon.

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Continuing a family tradition

More than 30 years ago, Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) taught his son Perry to fly in the family’s 1954 Grumman Tiger. Perry’s first cross-country flight after he soloed was to Oshkosh, his dad sitting proudly in the seat beside him.

Fast forward to this year’s Oshkosh and Inhofe, a regular at Oshkosh no matter what is going on in Washington, D.C., keeps looking at his watch. He’s waiting for the arrival of the family’s Grumman, this time piloted by his grandson, Cole, who soloed just three weeks before the big show. In the family tradition, Cole was taught to fly by his father at Riverside Airport in Tulsa.

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1,000 Eagle Flights in first year

The Experimental Aircraft Association’s year-old Eagle Flights program, which provides one-on-one flight experiences for adults interested in becoming a pilot, marked its 1,000th flight on Aug. 10 in Hickory, North Carolina. Bradley Bormuth of Hickory’s EAA Chapter 731, took Joshua Austin for a flight in a Cessna 172.

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Would you fly more if avgas was $1 a gallon?

How does fuel price really influence general aviation? This October, a group of companies will use the Skyport aviation laboratory, in San Marcos, Texas, to find out by selling avgas for $1 a gallon.

“This experiment isn’t about the cost of avgas,” says Jeff Van West, director of Redbird Media, and spokesman for the experiment. “It’s true that we’re selling avgas for $1 per gallon for the entire month of October. [Read more...]

Airline cockpit still a dream for many

The cockpit of a Part 121 airline is still the dream of many pilots. However, following the Colgan Airlines accident in 2009, Congress passed a law requiring all airline pilots hold an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate. That certificate requires a minimum of 1,500 flight hours and 23 years of age.

A trio of universities, the University of North Dakota, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Eastern Kentucky University, now are all eligible to designate graduates of their respective programs as candidates for the 1,000-hour restricted ATP certificate at 21 years of age.

Prior to the rule change, first officers were required to have only a commercial pilot certificate, which requires a minimum of 250 hours of flight time.

Boeing forecasts increased global demand for pilots, AMTs

Boeing projects the commercial aviation industry will need more than 1 million new pilots and technicians to support the expanding demand for new airplane deliveries over the next two decades. Projected pilot demand is increasing worldwide, as is demand for technicians in some regions.

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