Innovations: Let there be light

North Carolina pilot Chip Davis used to struggle in the dark to get the towbar on the nosegear of his C172A, so he came up with his own solution.

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NJ teen earns driver’s permit, soloes on same day

Josh Eichel earned his learner’s permit to drive a car and flew his first solo on the same day in November at Monmouth Executive Airport (BLM). According to a story in the News-Transcript, the Marlboro, N.J., teenager, who had been working toward the solo flight since 8th grade, noted that his Mom thinks flying is less dangerous than driving: “There’s no road to veer off, nobody to crash into and nobody nearby is texting.”

GA may get its own runway at IAD for the inauguration

Officials at Dulles International may close the airport’s westernmost runway to accommodate hundreds of private planes expected to descend on the region for President Barack Obama’s inauguration on Jan. 21, according to a report in The Washington Post. The report notes that airport officials expect 300 to 600 arrivals in the three-day period leading up to president’s  second inauguration on Monday.

406 ELT to be required for flights to Bahamas and Mexico

Jim Parker at Caribbean Flying Adventures is alerting pilots that they will soon need a 406 ELT for flight to the Bahamas and Mexico.

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Tuck Air Force survival secrets in your pocket

Designed for use in formal Air Force training, the recently published “U.S. Air Force Pocket Survival Handbook: The Portable and Essential Guide to Staying Alive” was written to help a pilot who finds himself in a hostile environment, offering a comprehensive manual of outdoor survival techniques.

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Pilot celebrates 100th birthday flying his Evektor SportStar

By John McVey, The Journal

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Thomas Guy Reynolds Jr. eased back on the stick of his Evektor SportStar light sport aircraft and it lifted effortlessly off the runway at the Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport (MRB).

He circled the field three times, making a couple of low passes over the runway for pictures, and softly set his plane down.

That would not be extraordinary, but Reynolds flew Dec. 1 on his 100th birthday.

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Pilot Mall kicks off its 12 Days of Savings event

PilotMall.com has launched its annual “12 Days of Savings” event featuring a new, discounted gift idea each day through Dec. 9.

Remember those colorful 1930s “Yellow Peril” Army trainers and their bright yellow wings with blue roundel and red-dotted star? That classic design, which inspired a generation of pilots, is now recalled as Pilot Mall’s first “Twelve Days of Savings” gift idea.

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The lure of the $10 hamburger

No, I did not leave a zero off in the title to this piece. Although general aviators have long joked about the lure of the $100 hamburger, I think it is time we downsized, right-sized, and economized our way into a larger population. So I recommend the $10 hamburger. It’s available for a tenth the price, but has the potential to pack quite a wallop.

Perhaps some context is in order.

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New book, “Topgun Days,” released

Now available is “Topgun Days,” by Dave “Bio” Baranek, a Naval Aviator who was an instructor at Topgun, the Navy’s elite Fighter Weapons School who assisted in the making of the Tom Cruise movie, “Top Gun.”

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The “Miss Muffet” Stearman

Stripes and spiders — not a combination most people would think of when designing a paint scheme for a vintage airplane, but that’s exactly what Merrill and MaDonna McMahan of Wausau, Wis., decided to do when they painted their 1941 Stearman.

The red, white and blue airplane sports small black spiders and the name “Miss Muffet” emblazoned on the side.

“Miss Muffet was what Dad called me when I was a little kid and I was in trouble,” MaDonna said. [Read more...]