Tree of Hope collection day this weekend

Toy collection for the Tree of Hope in Minnesota is slated for this Saturday, Dec. 1. Tree of Hope was started 23 years ago by Ray and Celeste Shefland, who noticed that there were many children who spent time in the hospital over the holidays. The pilots asked their aviation friends to help bring some joy to these children by bringing toys as they gathered to enjoy a potluck dinner.

Last year about 2,000 toys were collected and distributed to more than 30 hospitals across the state of Minnesota.

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New book, “Topgun Days,” released

Now available is “Topgun Days,” by Dave “Bio” Baranek, a Naval Aviator who was an instructor at Topgun, the Navy’s elite Fighter Weapons School who assisted in the making of the Tom Cruise movie, “Top Gun.”

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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

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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...]

Embry-Riddle to test precision landing approaches for GA airports

A team of researchers at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has received funding for a project to assess the performance of pilots when they land small airplanes at general aviation airports using an approach normally employed at airports with longer runways. The results could help shed light on the feasibility of letting GA aircraft use GPS-aided approaches at GA airports.

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Don’t reinvent the wheel

In the great pantheon of mottos there may be none more pertinent than this: Don’t reinvent the wheel. It’s short. It’s pithy. It’s easy to remember. Maybe best of all, it’s true. So with that in mind, I will make this suggestion: If you are a fan of general aviation, if you believe human beings benefit from the pursuit of big dreams, and if you wish you could do something to change the world — you can.

In fact, it’s fairly easy to do all of those things. At least, it’s easy to be part of a bigger machine that is doing those things. [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...]