If you can break yourself away from the breathless stream of negative news that invades our collective inbox (digital and physical) it becomes rather easy to see all the good that is happening around us.
Don’t believe me?
A new Ranger on duty
From the mind — and wallet — of a successful entrepreneur by the name of John Torode (and his most capable team) comes the newest aircraft in the light-sport category, the Ranger R7 from Vashon Aircraft.
Developed in secret, the Ranger R7 appears to be a most capable machine. The engine is the time-proven Continental O-200-D.
While naysayers will likely lament this choice I believe this to be a case of crawl, walk, run. Let’s start with proven technology, start delivering aircraft, and evolve from there.
Torode is also the founder of Dynon Avionics, so it should be no surprise the panel is stuffed with Dynon products. The base Ranger model — the Yellowstone — is priced at $99,500 and includes as standard features a complete Dynon SkyView panel, including autopilot, with features such as primary flight instruments, engine monitoring, 2020-compliant ADS-B Out, Mode S transponder, navigation and mapping, ADS-B traffic and weather, COM radio, two-place stereo intercom, angle of attack, Wi-Fi, and more.
I look forward to seeing the Ranger show up on the ramps and backcountry strips later this year.
$284,900 of good
In 2017, The Sporty’s Foundation distributed $284,900 to the likes of EAA Young Eagles, CFI scholarships, Women in Aviation, Boy Scouts of America, University of Cincinnati, Aviation Exploring, Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, AOPA’s Air Safety Institute, Aircraft Electronics Association, Association for Women in Aviation Maintenance, Commemorative Air Force Red Tail Squadron, Admiral Nimitz Foundation, International Women’s Air and Space Museum, Patient Airlift Services, Recreational Aviation Foundation, the U.S. Air Force Museum, Michigan Aerospace Foundation, and the National WASP Museum. Phew.
Perhaps the most unique aspect of The Sporty’s Foundation is that 100% of any donation goes to recipient programs and scholarships.
Sporty’s Pilot Shop funds 100% of the administrative expenses of the foundation, including postage, printing, salaries, legal and accounting, counsel and all incidental costs.
Another written exam
By the time you read this my young friend Sam will have hopefully passed his FAA Written Exam for his Private Pilot Certificate. Sam is a junior at Stadium High School in Tacoma, Washington.
I took Sam on a Young Eagles ride in 2016 in a Piper J-3 Cub. Since then, he has joined the Puyallup-based Teen Flight program, which is building a Van’s RV-12, attended AirVenture, and studied up for his written. I have no doubt there are hundred (maybe thousands) of Sams around the United States (and the world for that matter).
Aviation is not without its challenges, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do all we can to support the next generation of aviators. Whether those aviators are teens or people nearing retirement matters not. Good luck Sam.
Say hello to Cora
Progress in flying has only happened after someone took a chance to do something new. Cora is yet another example of a smart group of people working to do something new. Without a doubt, the haters will pile on.
“100km range, you gotta be kidding me,” many will say. “Autonomous! No way. I want 100% control over the airplane.”
— Cora by Kitty Hawk (@CoraAero) March 15, 2018
There are many hurdles to overcome in this technology, but first things first…will it fly? In this case. Yes.
Good luck Cora. I’m rooting for you.
Head up and on a swivel
In the cockpit we need to keep our head (and eyes) up and on a swivel. That’s best how we’ll be able to spot traffic and other aerial hazards.
That is also how you’ll likely find the good going on all around us. So… head up. It can be a glorious view.