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...]

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...]