Larry Portouw submitted this photo and note: “This is sunrise Jan. 1, 2020, taken by my wife, Charlotte, from our 1969 Mooney M-20C, at 11,500 feet in the vicinity of Tombstone, Arizona, and the Dragoon Mountains looking out into New Mexico and beyond. The Chiricahua Mountains are visible on the left side of the frame. The goal was to make it back down to home plate at Benson Municipal Airport (E95) and watch a second sunrise. We didn’t quite make it as it came up again in the base to final turn to Runway 10 at E95. I’ve done this before in a Tri-Pacer and it is great fun and a good excuse to practice emergency descents. The year started with this and lots of promise. Little did we know….”[Read more…]
Building your own airport is an often-heard aviation goal that is achieved more often than you might imagine.
Of the more than 19,000 airports listed in the U.S., more than 14,000 are privately owned.
Knowing I wanted to build my own airstrip, I interviewed several individuals who owned or maintained grass airports in the Carolinas area where I fly, seeking their suggestions on building and maintaining my own airport.
Their advice covered everything from the best grass to choose to how to take care of the grass airstrip once it’s complete.[Read more…]
The Recreational Aviation Foundation (RAF) has granted funds to help cover the cost for improvements at Fort Kent Municipal Airfield in Maine.
Additions to the camping area include two picnic tables and a picnic area shelter just off the west side of the runway next to the trailhead to Fish River Falls.[Read more…]
Scientists from the University of Bristol and the Royal Veterinary College in England have discovered how birds are able to fly in gusty conditions — findings that could inform the development of bio-inspired small-scale aircraft.
“Birds routinely fly in high winds close to buildings and terrain, often in gusts as fast as their flight speed. So the ability to cope with strong and sudden changes in wind is essential for their survival and to be able to do things like land safely and capture prey,” said Dr. Shane Windsor from the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Bristol.
“We know birds cope amazingly well in conditions which challenge engineered air vehicles of a similar size but, until now, we didn’t understand the mechanics behind it,” he added.[Read more…]
Two volunteer Angel Flight pilots have been awarded the 2020 Public Benefit Flying Awards.
Awarded by the National Aeronautic Association (NAA), in partnership with the Air Care Alliance (ACA), a nationwide league of humanitarian flying organizations, the awards were created to honor volunteer pilots, other volunteers, and organizations engaged in flying to help others, as well as those supporting such work.
This year’s recipients are:[Read more…]
The pilot in the experimental, amateur-built Zenith CH601 reported that, about five minutes after takeoff, he felt air coming into the cockpit from the canopy.
He noticed that the canopy latch was not adequately secured and attempted to secure it, but the canopy opened.
The airplane became very difficult to control with the canopy open, so he made an emergency landing in a cornfield in Junction City, Kansas.[Read more…]
Frederic Smet submitted this photo and note: “Ready for an IFR flight on a wet autumn night in my Cirrus SR20-G3 out of Ostend, Belgium, to our home base in Antwerp, Belgium. Pretty quiet on this ramp! Enjoying the beautiful sunset though, with some dew already forming on the airplane’s surfaces.”[Read more…]
When I was a little kid I developed a serious addiction to television. My parents became somewhat concerned about my viewing tendencies, enough so that the most common punishment I received in my younger days was being banned from watching TV with the rest of the family.
Oh, the travails of our younger years.
As it happens, one of the movies I saw during my early, entirely uncritical viewing experience was “The Flying Tigers,” starring John Wayne. A black and white movie showing on a black and white TV. Perfect.
And although it’s another story for another day, I had no idea that John Alison, a real pilot who flirted with the real Flying Tigers would play a role in my own entry to aviation. Not that John Wayne’s Flying Tigers had much to do with real life or the men and women of the actual Flying Tigers.
In any case, one exchange between characters in that movie stuck with me. At least I think it was that movie. It’s been decades since I’ve seen it, so I could be wrong. Memories do have a tendency to fade and rearrange themselves over time. The conversation I remember had to do with boots. Specifically, cowboy boots.
As I recall it The Duke chastised one of his pilots for wearing cowboy boots in the cockpit. Wayne’s character perceived them as a poor choice for a pilot. His subordinate wore them anyway, with predictably mortal results.[Read more…]
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia recently dismissed a case filed by the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and four other stakeholders that sought judicial review of the settlement agreement between the FAA and the city of Santa Monica, California. The unprecedented 2017 agreement provided the city with the option to close Santa Monica Municipal Airport (SMO) after Dec. 31, 2028, and allowed the airport’s sole runway to be shortened from 4,973 feet to 3,500 feet.
NBAA alleged the agency exceeded its authority when it entered into the agreement, and the association immediately challenged the settlement in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Following the dismissal of that case on procedural grounds in June 2018, NBAA pursued another legal path to preserve SMO, filing the new complaint in July 2018.
The complaint cited the 1958 U.S. Supreme Court decision of Leedom v. Kyne as a precedent enabling the challenge of statutory violations by federal agencies, even if the agency actions were deemed to be “non-final” and thus ordinarily not subject to review. However, the judge dismissed the case on procedural grounds, ruling that it failed to satisfy all of the jurisdictional requirements of Leedom.[Read more…]