Observations and invitations

Attached to the main administration building at the Santa Monica Airport in Southern California is an observation deck. It’s a wide concrete structure with a curved metal railing that allows excellent views of the area, reaching from the Hollywood sign in the northeast all the way around to the Pacific Ocean on the southwest. A bleacher style seating structure provides a reasonably comfortable place to sit and watch the action on the airport.

That’s where I met Adam and Zoe. Adam is a software designer who grew up in Santa Monica. He’s been stopping at the airport for much of his life to watch airplanes fly, daydream about becoming a pilot, and generally enjoy a sunny afternoon.

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Continuing a family tradition

More than 30 years ago, Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) taught his son Perry to fly in the family’s 1954 Grumman Tiger. Perry’s first cross-country flight after he soloed was to Oshkosh, his dad sitting proudly in the seat beside him.

Fast forward to this year’s Oshkosh and Inhofe, a regular at Oshkosh no matter what is going on in Washington, D.C., keeps looking at his watch. He’s waiting for the arrival of the family’s Grumman, this time piloted by his grandson, Cole, who soloed just three weeks before the big show. In the family tradition, Cole was taught to fly by his father at Riverside Airport in Tulsa.

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1,000 Eagle Flights in first year

The Experimental Aircraft Association’s year-old Eagle Flights program, which provides one-on-one flight experiences for adults interested in becoming a pilot, marked its 1,000th flight on Aug. 10 in Hickory, North Carolina. Bradley Bormuth of Hickory’s EAA Chapter 731, took Joshua Austin for a flight in a Cessna 172.

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Would you fly more if avgas was $1 a gallon?

How does fuel price really influence general aviation? This October, a group of companies will use the Skyport aviation laboratory, in San Marcos, Texas, to find out by selling avgas for $1 a gallon.

“This experiment isn’t about the cost of avgas,” says Jeff Van West, director of Redbird Media, and spokesman for the experiment. “It’s true that we’re selling avgas for $1 per gallon for the entire month of October. [Read more...]

Airline cockpit still a dream for many

The cockpit of a Part 121 airline is still the dream of many pilots. However, following the Colgan Airlines accident in 2009, Congress passed a law requiring all airline pilots hold an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate. That certificate requires a minimum of 1,500 flight hours and 23 years of age.

A trio of universities, the University of North Dakota, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Eastern Kentucky University, now are all eligible to designate graduates of their respective programs as candidates for the 1,000-hour restricted ATP certificate at 21 years of age.

Prior to the rule change, first officers were required to have only a commercial pilot certificate, which requires a minimum of 250 hours of flight time.

Boeing forecasts increased global demand for pilots, AMTs

Boeing projects the commercial aviation industry will need more than 1 million new pilots and technicians to support the expanding demand for new airplane deliveries over the next two decades. Projected pilot demand is increasing worldwide, as is demand for technicians in some regions.

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Old Coot pilots come up with ideas for a new medical

Guest Editorial By John Christensen

I recently attended my 50th high school reunion. I had a wonderful time reminiscing with classmates. As one would expect, the rather large crowd quickly organized itself into small groups, according to interests, past and present. I found myself embedded in a pod of old coot pilots.

After the hangar stories, lies and exaggerations were dutifully processed, the conversation topic switched to the Class 3 medical and our collective assortment of various health issues keeping us grounded. Many colleagues are aircraft owners and pilots. Tickets ran the gambit from ATP to private. All had one common interest: To somehow legally get back into the air, as seniors.

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High-flying pilots at increased risk of brain lesions

A new study suggests that pilots who fly at high altitudes may be at an increased risk for brain lesions.

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Bimini Sands resort offers pilots airport processing fee rebate

SOUTH BIMINI, Bahamas — Bimini Sands Resort & Marina is offering a rebate of up to $75 to private pilots who fly into Bimini International Airport (BIM) and stay a minimum of two nights at the resort. This rebate is intended to help cover the new processing fee of $50 to $75 for private pilots entering the Bahamas, which went into effect July 1.

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The frugal owner

By BRENT OWENS

Airplane ownership is one of the best things about flying. The freedom, sense of pride and camaraderie afforded by owning your own airplane is truly a game-changer.

The detractor in all of this is the cost. In the U.S. alone the annual cost to own and fly an average four passenger, non-complex, single can easily be five figures. It’s not an inexpensive endeavor, but I would add that there are lots of folks who spend that much or more on other hobbies, so in the end it’s really about choices.

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