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...]

Video captures plane hitting car

Student pilot William Davis was on final approach to land at Northwest Regional Airport in Roanoke, Texas, on Saturday, when his Skyhawk collided with an SUV that was crossing the airport. According to a report at AVweb, Davis’s wife, Kandy, was filming his descent and caught the collision on video. The collision knocked off part of the Skyhawk’s landing gear, but Davis was able to land and wasn’t hurt. The two people in the car, a couple on their way to the airport diner, were treated for minor injuries. So why didn’t the car stop for the plane? Read more here.

Israel’s CAA endorses mogas

Evidence of the continued worldwide expansion in the use of lead-free, ethanol-free mogas in general aviation comes from this report from Israel. Haim Zaklad, a private pilot there, recently requested details on our study of the FAA’s aircraft registry showing that over 80% of all piston engine aircraft could operate today on lead-free, ethanol-free mogas. He described the recent successful action by pilots in his country to gain approval of the Petersen mogas STCs from Israel’s Civil Aviation Authority:

Haim in his club’s glider towplane

[Read more...]

General aviation around the world theme of latest FAA Safety Briefing

Now online is the latest issue of the FAA Safety Briefing with the theme of “Small Airplane, Big World.” The issue explores the significance of general aviation on a global scale and focuses on tools and resources that can help you operate safely beyond our borders. Feature articles include: A review of overseas flying requirements, how to master the language of aviation, and an inside look at how the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) can impact your flying.

Arizona Aircraft Expo this weekend

Arizona’s aircraft dealers are working together to create the 4th Annual Arizona Aircraft Expo, where the latest models of general aviation aircraft will be on display at one venue Nov. 9-10 at Landmark Aviation at Scottsdale Airport (SDL), including models from Cessna, Cirrus, Beechcraft, Eclipse, Embraer, Piper, Pilatus, Lancair, Quest, CubCrafters, Husky and more.

This free event also incorporates the ownership services [Read more...]

Learning to fly in a Cub

As a student pilot flying a Piper J-3 Cub, on any beautiful Sunday afternoon it was not unusual to be 8th to 10th on downwind at Zahn’s Airport at Amityville on New York’s Long Island.

The year was 1954. Finally, I was able to take flying lessons, having been transferred from my position on a newspaper in San Francisco to New York City, working for publications owned by the Hearst Corporation.

This was at the height of the general aviation flying boom following World War II. [Read more...]

Able Flight calls on pilots to participate in ‘#Giving Tuesday’

Everyone knows about Black Friday, that frenzied national day of shopping the day after Thanksgiving. Now there’s an alternative: It’s “#GivingTuesday”, the first-ever national day of giving, slated for Tuesday, Nov. 27.

To fund a new flight scholarship for people with disabilities, Able Flight is asking 400 pilots (or family and friends of pilots) to donate $25 each. As of now, the organization is approaching 70 pledges, and needs 330 more to reach its goal.

[Read more...]

Happenstance — Go get some

I was having lunch last week with a woman who works in the tourism industry. Here in Florida, tourism is a big deal, and so we have folks in the private sector, and the public sector, who are dedicated to making sure travelers know there is plenty to do when they get here.

The list of awesome touristy things to do in the Sunshine State is almost limitless. Fortunately for those of us who are interested in things that fly, our spectacular weather and stunningly diverse offering of aviation centric opportunities has turned Florida into something of an aviation destination for people from all over the planet.

I like that. In fact, it’s the primary reason that I live here.

[Read more...]

By the numbers

We all have a lot of numbers thrown at us every day. A few numbers I’ve heard in the last few weeks are worrying, but I’ve also heard some numbers that give me hope.

From Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association President Craig Fuller at the Southeast Aviation Expo in Greenville, S.C., last month: Over the last 20 years, the pilot population in the United States has dropped from 800,000 to 600,000 — and it keeps shrinking.

It gets worse: [Read more...]

Experiences in other nations raise concerns about proposed user fee

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congress and the president have big taxation problems to resolve before the end of this year, so there will no doubt be a lot of discussion about aviation user fees. On Dec. 31, all the “Bush” tax cuts will expire, the debt limit will need to be increased, and payroll tax cuts will expire. On the next day, sequestration cuts are set to kick in.

But opposition to the proposed user fee continues, with many general aviation advocates pointing to experiences in other nations as cautionary tales of the effect of user fees. And while much of general aviation in the United States is exempt from the proposed user fees, GA advocates warn that an expansion of the fees to all flights is a possibility.

[Read more...]