A trip to pick up a new plane results in a true GA experience

L-R , myself, Marge Hansen, Sheryl Slack (daughter), Ken Hansen, and Kristi Meek (daughter). Sadly, Ken Hansen passed away in October after a brief battle with cancer.  He and his family founded the FBO, Rite Bros. Aviation, in Port Angeles.  It was where I learned to fly 20 years ago.  He will be missed.


This past January, I purchased a 1941 Piper J-5A Cub Cruiser from a friend in Port Angeles, Wash. I thought that flying the airplane home to Lenhardt’s AirHaven in Oregon would be an easy task. After all, it’s only a couple hundred miles away and, even though the Pacific Northwest is not known for its hospitable winter VFR weather, I knew it was doable with patience and flexibility. In the end, however, bringing the J-5 back to Hubbard, Ore., proved to be more than just a trip to pick up an airplane.

[Read more…]

There is no I in team and other motivational considerations

Jamie Beckett is a CFI and A&P mechanic who stepped into the political arena in an effort to promote and protect GA at his local airport.

I suspect there is not a single man in America who hasn’t heard a coach bellow through the locker room, “There is no ‘I’ in ‘team,’ gentlemen!” Winning or losing, at the beginning of the season or during half-time of the championship game, that expression is perfectly suited to the occasion. And if we weren’t there to hear the speech personally, we got the news through the grapevine, or from a friend, or via a movie of the week that used the phrase as a motivational hook designed to prop up a less than Shakespearean story line.

The point is, sports metaphors pop up in our non-sporting lives for a reason – they make sense. As hackneyed as these expressions of get-up-and-go may be, they carry a simple, easily conveyable message. Each of us has to think and act in the best interest of the team if we’re going to become a truly functional unit that has the ability to achieve our goals. That’s as true for the aviation community as it is for any team in contention for the Super Bowl or the World Series or the World Cup.

[Read more…]

Tavares, Florida: America’s Seaplane City

With a population nudging its way up to 15,000 residents, the city of Tavares, Florida, is a small city with big dreams. Nestled in the green expanse of aptly named Lake County, there is arguably more water in the western side of the county than there is dry land. Perhaps that realization was the impetus that caused a bright idea to form at city hall — an idea that has grown to fruition and is about to be big news in this corner of the world.

Tavares has taken the bold step of embracing a unique segment of the general aviation market in a way that would cause most city administrators to wince with concern. But this little city has high hopes and a plan to help revitalize their community. Tavares has branded itself as the America’s Seaplane City — and they’re not kidding in the least.

With an investment of millions of dollars in the Lake Dora waterfront area, Tavares Seaplane and Marina Base has installed boat and seaplane docks within a short walk of the downtown area. Fuel is available and ready to pump into aircraft or boats, and a 3,000-foot virtual landing strip has been established approximately half a mile off the community’s downtown shoreline. [Read more…]