Bahamas Pilot Challenge takes off

A new Bahamas Pilot Challenge has been launched for 2012-2013, drawing general aviation pilots to more of the many islands of the Bahamas starting just 50-60 miles off the Florida coast.

Pilots who document landings at 12 of the 20 Bahamas airports of entry before Nov. 30, 2013, will be eligible to win a total of 23 hotel nights at top resorts on various islands.

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Embry-Riddle hosts Pilot Supply Roundtable

PRESCOTT, Ariz. — Aviation leaders recently met at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s campus here to discuss the impending pilot supply shortage, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for pilots and other issues facing the industry.

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Estelle Wingster: A vintage airplane with a modern message

In 1953 Ken Miller of Van Nuys, Calif., was a college student. He went to the airport with two friends and met a man who was giving rides in his Cessna 150.

“The guy said he would take each of us up for $10 a piece,” Miller recalled. “I had $20 in my pocket. The first guy goes but doesn’t have any money, so I paid for him. Then the second guy goes and he doesn’t have any money so I pay for him too and then I told the pilot I was out of money, but he took me up anyway. I was hooked, and took lessons whenever I could!”

Fast-forward several decades and about 1,500 flight hours later. Miller is at AirVenture standing next to a 1950s-era Cessna 195 with the name Estelle painted on the cowl and Wingster emblazoned on the top wings. According to Miller, the airplane is a flying billboard, designed to attract more people to aviation.

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Family tradition

Back before David “Shorty” Wilkinson had a reason to be nicknamed “Shorty,” (because he is, after all, bean-pole tall) he thought every family traveled by airplane, because every family he knew had one. This made sense to him since his mom and dad were from Texas but lived in Georgia. An airplane made visiting relatives possible.

Some of his earliest memories as a child involved the restoration of the family station wagon, a 1943 V-77 Stinson, in the basement of their home. [Read more...]

Dress to survive: The Aviator Tactical Vest

If you had an unscheduled off-airport landing in rough back country, would you be able to survive to tell the story? Maybe, maybe not. It all comes down to how well prepared you are. A big part of that is having a survival kit, but if you can’t reach it after the “landing,” it doesn’t do a bit of good.

“Most of the crash sites I have been to, the tail of the airplane is about 400 feet behind the cockpit and when the survival kit is away from the main crash site, it doesn’t do anyone any good,” said Jim Herbert, who has more than 40 years experience as a pilot and back country guide and firefighter.

He’s also the creator of the Aviator Tactical Vest, which is designed for a 72-hour stay in the roughest terrain. [Read more...]

LogTen Pro tapped by Flying Like the Pros

LogTen Pro for iPad has been chosen as the recommended electronic logbook by Flying Like The Pros for its new online GA pilot flight training program.

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The cost of certification

Since AirVenture 2012, I’ve been part of several discussions about the way — and reasons why — aircraft become certified. Sound boring? Yes and no.

One way this might get your interest is to consider if Icon Aircraft, which is developing the A5, could join Cessna in going Primary Category instead of Light-Sport Aircraft (LSA). (Disclaimer: I have no information about any such decision from Icon — this is merely a discussion.) Perhaps even more to the point is the price of airplanes based on their certification cost.

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New iPad app for creating flight logs released

Cockpit Apps, a company that offers iPad solutions for the cockpit, has launched its flagship application, iLOG.

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Building a bigger tent

With the Republican convention only days behind us, and the Democratic convention going on this week, this is the obvious opportunity to take a lesson from their play books. Because whether you subscribe to this one or that one, you have to admit the elephants and donkeys have been exceptionally successful for many years at exactly one thing: They stay in the driver’s seat year after year, fending off challengers with the ease a well-waxed airplane sheds raindrops in flight. And they both accomplish that feat by using the exact same method. They work hard to build a big tent, and then build it even bigger at every opportunity.

In contrast, let’s consider ourselves — general aviation community. We are a minority. A small minority, actually. Very small. We are also undeniably shrinking. [Read more...]

Triple Tree and the Sport Aviation Association

September 5-9 marks the dates for this year’s Triple Tree Aerodrome Fly-In near Woodruff, S.C., your blogger’s favorite sport aviation event of the year.  Compared by many old-timers to the famed Rockford EAA conventions from years past, Triple Tree has all the ingredients needed for success: [Read more...]