The first of several text messages — I and thousands of others will likely receive — from the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) during AirVenture 2017 offered a stark reminder…and I wasn’t even onsite yet. [Read more…]
Like pretty much everyone else involved in aviation, I frequently engage with people who say things like, “Oh, I could never fly an airplane. They’re too dangerous.”
These same people limit the scope of their lives with similar comments about motorcycles and other pieces of hardware that are widely perceived as too dangerous for the average person.
In truth, the hardware that fills our lives is not the problem. Our greatest threat, our most profound weakness, the thing that will do us the most damage is something we carry around with us all the time. Between our ears. It’s our thoughts. [Read more…]
In a recent column, “For oils, it’s all about the chemistry,” I wrote about the difference between automotive and aircraft engine oils and why you should not use automotive oil in a certified aircraft engine.
I’ve since received two similar questions about adding anti-wear additive zinc dithio phosphorus (ZDP) supplement in experimental aircraft engines. [Read more…]
Naval aviator, crop duster, aerobatic competitor and airshow pilot Wayne Handley knows his way around an aircraft or two.
A traditional start flying an Aeronca Champ in 1957 led to a stint piloting F4D Skyrays in the Navy and ultimately a successful career as a business owner and crop-dusting pilot.
It wasn’t until the age of 44, when a cache of spare helicopter parts was converted into a Pitts S1C, that Handley’s penchant for aerobatics took off. [Read more…]
It’s a well-worn bromide of our society: “Children are our future.” Yet, in real life we tend not to conduct ourselves as if we believe that to be true.
Another more specifically instructive aphorism suggests, “When opportunity knocks…open the door.”
Let’s consider that second quote for a moment.
Two weeks from this moment, opportunity will be knocking in a big way. [Read more…]
A little more than 44% of all airline flight delays between May 2016 and April 2017 were categorized as Air Carrier Delay.
The Bureau of Transportation Statistics defines Air Carrier Delay as “within the airline’s control (e.g. maintenance or crew problems, aircraft cleaning, baggage loaded, fueling, etc.).”
So it feels a tad misleading when Southwest Airlines asks its Rapid Rewards members to “Help us advocate for national ATC modernization.” [Read more…]
Not long ago, I did something stupid in an airplane. Gulp.
The scenario looked like this: I departed a non-towered airport that lies under Class B airspace. As my flight home was a short one, I didn’t use Flight Following, as I normally would. Instead I simply took off, climbed to 2,000 feet, and settled in for a half hour of casual cruising over Floridan’s flat, wild countryside. And that’s where the trouble started. [Read more…]
The World War I Curtiss Jenny trainer evolved from less-than-optimal JN-1 and JN-2 models of 1915 to the definitive JN-4D that found its stride 100 years ago.
In the spirit of centennial commemorations, a look back at the Jenny is in order. [Read more…]
Arguably the most exciting sector within Light-Sport Aircraft are the LSA seaplanes. One company, Icon Aircraft and its handsome A5, has attracted enormous attention. Nothing wrong with that, in fact, the company’s superb marketing has been helpful to the entire LSA industry.
However, despite all the media coverage, this California producer is one of the later entrants to the LSA seaplane party. A few came before and one of them is back in action.
The SeaMax LSA seaplane designed and previously manufactured in Brazil has been somewhat absent in recent years. We’ll skip the details, but the company, AirMax, used a lot of energy to repel an undesired takeover. In recent months that was resolved and AirMax is now ready to move forward.
SeaMax was an early LSA to meet the consensus standards as required by FAA before sales to the public can begin. The first was the Mermaid in February 2006. Next came the Colyaer Freedom on January 2007. On Christmas Day 2007, SeaMax became the third. [Read more…]