CAP pilot makes emergency landing

A Civil Air Patrol pilot escaped serious injury when she was forced to land on a city street in Conroe, Texas Jan. 3.

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First solo: Bill Lyons

We recently asked pilots on our Facebook page to share the story of their first solos. Here’s Bill Lyon’s story: I soloed at 7 or 8 hours instruction, from a then grass and gravel strip at Farmville Virginia, 68 years ago. My instructor, one Jesse Edwards, was substantially overweight; I was a 120 pound stripling. The aircraft was a 65 hp Piper Cub.

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Stuff those pilot stockings

Sporty’s is featuring a sleigh full of gifts for the pilot on your holiday list. Know a pilot who uses an iPad? Give that pilot a Pilot’s iPad Cleaning Cloth that is also imprinted with aviation information ($4.95) or the iPad Stylus/Pen ($9.95).

What else? [Read more...]

FuelerLinx releases mobile app

FuelerLinx has released its new mobile app for the iPhone and iPad, making the same fuel buying capability available to both pilots on the road and scheduler/dispatchers in the hangar.

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For the good of the order

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.

Patrick Henry, a man who knew a thing or two about standing up when the chips were down, famously spoke the words, “United we stand, divided we fall.” He made that critical point in his last public speech, in 1799. Keep that in mind for a moment. I’ll come back to it shortly.

That quote came to mind earlier this week when I received an e-mail from a General Aviation News reader who took me to task for using the term “steam gauges” in reference to round, analog gauges that are still mounted in the panels of many thousands of aircraft. He took the term as a slight, which was certainly not my intent. In fact, I am an official, old guy. I like round faces with clearly visible indicators mounted in their center. Steam gauges forever, I say! [Read more...]

A time for reflection

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.

This time of year, more than any other, strikes me as a good time for reflection on the world around us. Sandwiched in between the traditional Thanksgiving feast and the good intentions of our New Year’s resolutions, we each have a brief period of time to look back, or look around, and renew our awareness of what is good and noble and worthwhile in our world.

In this space I generally try to make a point or two about how the aviation community can help itself in the political arena. But in this installment, I will depart from that theme somewhat to shine a light on a gentleman who seeks no fame or public recognition at all. We should all be aware of him anyway — and we should keep in mind that he is not alone. The subject of this posting is Jack Cheppo, an unassuming and unfailingly tidy gentleman who I am fortunate to have met and formed a friendship of sorts.

Jack is fond of shrugging lightly as he finishes a story, tossing in a quick, “Anybody could’a done it.” I beg to differ.

Jack spent his career working for AT&T in the days before the big telephone break-up. New Jersey was his home turf an based on his demeanor and level of personal and professional responsibility, I suspect Jack was very good at his job. But being a telephone man isn’t what makes Jack a giant in my eyes. It was his time in the left seat of a B-17 bomber over Europe, and his almost casual dismissal of any praise that comes his way in conversations about his exploits in the air.

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Speaking of politics and pilots

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.

It was my great pleasure to meet one of the gubernatorial candidates running in Florida, a few weeks ago. His name is Rick Scott. He’s been in the news a fair amount down my way. Perhaps you are familiar with him?

I thought I was reasonably familiar with him, too. But it was still a real kick to have the opportunity to attend a get-together where I would have the chance to actually meet and speak with him for a moment while he campaigned through the central part of the state. So I went to meet a potential governor of Florida, with an open mind, a cheery smile, and a sense of real optimism. For all it’s weaknesses and flaws, I am an enormous fan of the American system of government. We routinely see peaceful transitions of power from one party to another. In fact the social change that has occurred in my half-century on the planet has been nothing short of mind-boggling. [Read more...]