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Video of the day

Re-igniting the Spark of Flight – The Discovery Flight, by Christian Lienemann

by on Mar.02, 2011, under Articles, Aviation, General, Video of the day

Part 2 of business owner Christian Lienemann’s story follows below. An asterisk (*) after a word denotes that it is being defined at the bottom of the article, for those of you who are not that familiar with some of the terms we use as pilots. Christian is a great ambassador for aviation and every pilot should follow his example of promoting aviation to friends and relatives.

I have composed a waiting list of customers who want to experience a Discovery Flight.

The list ranges from a middle age nun, to a young guy who knew the name and type of every airplane picture I showed him (even the extensive album in my company computer!) and more.

Those I take up are always full of questions and shocked that the answers they get do not match what they have seen on TV.  After they relax a little, I can only describe their expressions as either shock or awe. I go as far as to let them lightly hold the yoke with me and take a picture of them assisting in level flight.

Within in a week, I send them a Discovery Flight certificate, all filled out with their name, date, time, and the aircraft they just flew. I also enclose a color picture of them in the air. One customer’s wife told me he framed it and put it on his desk.  These discovery flights help keeping aviation well and alive and I ask everyone to pay it forward!

Now I realize that I am taking on a large responsibility by simply introducing my customers to their first flight. So I wanted to do it right (or as right as I possibly could). I did a little research and discovered how the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) perform their Young Eagle flights for children. AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association) also have a section on the subject, along with several other great aviation blogs (like this one).

I could fill a few pages with what I have found on the internet, and all of it would be recommended reading. But the short of it is simply this; make it as comfortable as you can for your passenger – both mentally and physically.

Shallow banks when you turn, no stalls*or practice maneuvers, pick a smooth day, (that is not a pressure cooker!) and make it short and sweet. Usually thirty minutes is more than ample. The reward is worth its weight in gold.

I usually meet my new passengers at the airport, and give them a quick rundown and answer questions before and after the flight. I found it was hard for them to keep a sterile cockpit* close to the non tower airport* Hammond Northore Regional Airport, simply because they had more questions that kept popping up.

Many times they forget we are on an open comm system and comment aloud with things like “Wow!” or “This is GREAT!”  Then they realize they said it aloud (because its playing in their ears). They then would look over at me and I just give them a smile.

You have to take human nature into account also. One woman I took up was just in awe that we didn’t fall out of the sky, like she thought would happen from watching the news. Finally she relaxed and really enjoyed the experience. That is all the way up to the landing part.

I flared* and made one of the best landings I have ever made! (The kind you wish your flight instructor was witness to). It was such a greaser, I was a little shocked when the nose wheel lightly set down. I have included a link here of a video which shows one of my landings.

I looked over to see her gleeful expression and was shocked at what I witnessed. She was white as a sheet, and scowling like she had a mouth full of lemons.

After a short and easy taxi*, I had to inquire. Towards the end of my landing, she heard the stall horn* (realizing it had to be a warning sound like her smoke detector at home ). She just knew at any minute we were going to be engulfed in flames. (If you are keeping score, that’s evening news two, and pilot one!) Yes I tried to explain how we land aircraft and how an aircraft has to transition from flight to being ground bound.

Some of the color was returning to her face, But her expression told me the adrenaline she was experiencing was only letting part of my explanation sink in. The stall horn is now on my passenger pre-flight briefing. It is always better to let your passengers know ahead of time what they can expect if it is a new experience for them.

Definitions:

A non-towered airport, sometimes referred to as an uncontrolled airport, is an airport with no operating tower. The vast majority of the more than 15,000 airports in the US are non-towered. At untowered airports, instead of taking instructions from a tower controller, aircraft follow standard procedures, which includes radio reporting procedures and standard traffic patterns to be followed.

Taxi: To taxi an airplane means to move it slowly on the ground or on the surface of the water before takeoff or after landing.

Sterile cockpit: The Sterile Cockpit Rule is an FAA regulation requiring pilots to refrain from non-essential activities during critical phases of flight, such as the landing phase.

Stall: In flying, a “stall” is a condition which occurs when there is not enough forward speed for the wings to keep the aircraft flying. The airflow over the wing gets disturbed and thus causes the airplane to lose altitude. A pilot can stall an airplane inadvertently or on purpose. When it is done on purpose, it is usually done to train pilots to recognize the signs of accidental stalls and develop the ability to safely bring the airplane out of a stall should it ever occur. An intentional stall is usually done a few feet over the ground when landing the airplane to bring the airplane down to the ground at the lowest possible speed. Click here for a short video which illustrates a stall.

Stall horn (or stall warning horn): A stall warning is an electronic or mechanical device which sounds an audible warning as the stall speed is approached. Just before an airport touches down on the runway, you can usually hear the stall horn as it slowing down.

Flare: The landing flare is when an airplane transitions from downward flight to a more level flight just before touching down. A properly performed flare will result in the aircraft touching down gently at the lowest possible speed.

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Entrepreneurs and Aviation – Living Legends of Aviation.

by on Jan.25, 2011, under Articles, Aviation, Aviation News, General, Video of the day

Each year at the Living Legends of Aviation event, the awards of “Aviation Entrepreneur of the Year” and the “Lifetime Aviation Entrepreneur” are given out.

Joe Clark, who was the recipient of this award last year, covers the subject of entrepreneurship and aviation in the following video, which was shown at the Living Legends of Aviation event this year (2011). You can watch the video by clicking here or on the picture below. It was produced for the Living Legends of Aviation by Inventive Productions and starts out with the following statements from Mr Clark;

“I think that aviation attract entrepreneurs. At least it certainly did in my case. Why, you know, entrepreneurs and aviation are almost one and the same.”

“Almost everyone I’ve known in my life in aviation has been an entrepreneur; people like Bill Lear, Clay Lacy, Steven Udvar-Hazy. They all kind of started without very much and had big dreams.”

“Entrepreneurs have a lot of drive and most entrepreneurs have a lot of failures getting to the top and so, you know, they have the ability to look back, learn from their mistakes and move forward.”

“An entrepreneur in my mind is someone who has a dream or an idea and has such focus that no matter what the obstacles are, they press ahead and make it happen.”

“Most people in aviation, they have such a passion for it they don’t feel they are taking a risk and most people I’ve seen in aviation, unlike a lot of other businesses, they don’t start out to make a lot of money, they just love what they do and if it happens it happens!”

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The Recreational Aviation Foundation

by on Dec.28, 2010, under Articles, Aviation, Green Aviation, Video of the day

In Friends of Aviation, we are working with a lot of different aviation organizations, both nationwide and worldwide. What we seek  is an increased cooperation between the different parts of the aviation community to push forward our common purpose; to keep the dream of flight alive and to enable the maximum number of people to experience what the freedom of flight is all about.

The Recreational Aviation Foundation, “RAF” was established with the purpose of keeping backcountry airports around the US open. These airstrips are vital for access by air, dispersing recreational access, fire management and search and rescue in areas that are otherwise not very accessible. If you read the great magazine “Pilot Getaways“, you have undoubtely seen some of these airstrips featured.

If you click here or on the video above, you will be able to watch a great 10 minutes presentation of what the RAF does. I encourage you to support their cause, which you can do through their website www.theraf.org.

The article below has also been written for Friends of Aviation by Carmine Mowbray from the Recreational Aviation Foundation, and describes what they do;

THE RECREATIONAL AVIATION FOUNDATION

“Keeping the legacy of recreational aviation strong

by preserving, maintaining and creating

public use recreational

and backcountry airstrips nationwide”

Established around a campfire in the backcountry of Montana in 2003 to respond to continued threats of airstrip closures, the RAF’s mission has struck a chord with pilots throughout the nation. The RAF is a credible voice for backcountry aviation. It advocates that recreational aviation benefits the nation’s economy, fire-fighting, search and rescue operations and that aviation is a legitimate means of public access.

Congress passed a formal House Resolution in September, 2010, concluding:

“The House of Representatives recognizes the value of recreational aviation and backcountry airstrips located on the Nation’s public lands and commends aviators and the various private organizations that maintain these airstrips for public use.”

The RAF builds partnerships with public lands managers such as US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Bureau of Reclamation, other conservation organizations and private landowners. The RAF published “Recreational Aviation Issues and Opportunities” addressing all aspects of backcountry aviation for state, regional and national policy makers.

“It surprises public lands managers who get pressure from extreme environmentalists, that aviation is a very low-impact way to access the backcountry”,said RAF vice president Dan Prill. “They appreciate that we advocate the ‘leave no trace’ approach to land use”, he added.

How does the RAF help you? A recent success was the creation of a new 4,000 foot airstrip in Montana’s Lewis & Clark National Forest. The project came to fruition because the Montana Pilots Association partnered with RAF, working closely with the USFS.

On private land, the RAF obtained majority ownership from landowners Ben and Agnes Ryan, for a recreational airstrip adjacent to Glacier National Park – now open to public use, upon confirmed receipt of a current safety briefing.

The RAF is guiding efforts in several states to add language to recreational use laws to limit liability for private landowners with non-commercial airstrips.

“I look forward to partnering to strengthen the voice of recreational aviation which benefits us all”, RAF President John McKenna stated, adding “none of us can do it alone, so we look forward to reinforcing aviation opportunities available for the long run.”

Headquartered in Bozeman, Montana, the RAF is a non-profit public charity with 501 (c) 3 status. All donations are tax-deductible. Officers, directors, liaisons and committee persons are unpaid volunteers. See: www.theraf.org

AOPA president Craig Fuller visits Russian Flat, the new recreational airstrip on USFS land; left to right: Fuller, RAF president John McKenna; RAF director/treasurer Jerry Cain

 

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Moments Like These – Some of What Makes Gliding Awesome

by on Nov.16, 2010, under Articles, Aviation, Video of the day

Image of Black Mountains Gliding Club with snow on the mountains

Soaring really catches the essence of what aviation and flying is all about. I personally started flying gliders back in Sweden in the late 1970’s and some of my most memorable experiences in aviation have been from the years I was soaring from a small flying club in Trollhattan, Sweden.

A video was produced, which is a great display of what soaring is all about by an airline captain/soaring pilot from the UK, Matt, at a flight from Talgarth airfield in Wales.

Talgarth airfield is home to a small but active gliding club, set 970 feet above sea level in the stunning scenery of the Black Mountains halfway between Hay on Wye to the east and Brecon to the west.

With soarable conditions on most days, they have longer average flight times than any other soaring clubs in the UK. Regardless of wind directions, the area offers conditions where you almost always can fly off the mountain ridges or fly mountain waves. This is great for a glider pilot or for anyone who wish to get trained in this type of flying.

Click here or on the photo above to see this great video of his flight with a Cirrus sailplane, which shows ridge flying at the end of the day in late October.

The video shows a flight from Talgarth (Black Mountains Gliding Club) in Wales and captures some of the essence of what makes gliding such an awesome sport. Soaring in the late afternoon as the sun sets, in wave or on a ridge is truly magical, and low level, high speed runs along a ridge are pure main line adrenaline.

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First Looping Accomplished for Jetman!

by on Nov.06, 2010, under Articles, Aviation, Aviation News, Video of the day

Yves Rossy performs a loop over Lake Geneva in Switzerland today. Photograph: Laurent Gillieron/Reuters

News item from www.jetman.com. Friends of Aviation kindly thanks Yves Rossy for being able to repost his news article on our website. Click on the photo to the left to watch a video of this very unique and spectacular flight.

“Yves Rossy, alias Jetman, successfully realized today at 10:03 am (Swiss time) his first looping in front of a hot-air balloon piloted by Brian Jones above Bercher.

The Swiss Yves Rossy took off from Bercher at 9:45 am (Swiss time) this morning on board of the hot-air balloon “Esprit Breitling Orbiter”, piloted by Brian Jones, to reach an altitude of 2.400 meters in 18 minutes. His wing on his back, the 4 jet-engines turned on, he jumped out of the balloon’s basket.

He flew a few minutes to stabilize his wing and find the optimal angle to begin two loopings. Jetman executed a rotation in front of the balloon. Then, he deployed his parachute to land in Denezy (VD).

This flight has been achieved with Yves Rossy’s new wing, smaller (2 meters instead of 2.5 meters) and without unfoldable parts. This new prototype, designed by Yves and the RUAG Company, possesses a better aerodynamic profile and more stability. Two years after crossing the Channel, these technological evolutions allowed Jetman to perform his first acrobatics in the air.

The hot-air balloon in front of which the flying man accomplished his achievement is named “Esprit Breitling Orbiter”. On its board, the British balloonist Brian Jones, winner of the first non-stop round-the-world balloon flight in 1999, manoeuvred with precision the balloon in order to make Yves Rossy’s looping possible.

This first stunt permits more and more freedom to the flying man whom uses only his body’s movements to steer himself in the air. Yves Rossy’s words after his landing: “It was fantastic! The flight went well, despite a little problem when starting my engines. I was able to do my two loopings and I am very happy!”

More articles about the modern “aviation pioneer” Yves Rossy and news items and videos are available on his website www.jetman.com. A worthwhile website to bookmark! We are looking forward to his next project, which is to cross the Grand Canyon with his jetwing.

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Reno Air Races 2010 – the final results

by on Sep.20, 2010, under Articles, Aviation, Aviation News, Video of the day

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Due to high winds on Sunday afternoon, officials for the Reno National Championship Air Races had to cancel the final race – The Breitling Unlimited Gold Race because of winds gusting out of the southwest to 35 mph.

This was the first time the Gold Race was cancelled in its 47 year history.

“It was a safety issue,” stated Mike Houghton, CEO and President of the Reno Air Racing Association. “Our No. 1 priority is the safety of our pilots.”

23-year-old pilot of Strega, Steve Hinton, from Chino California, was awarded the title based on the winning of the unlimited Gold qualifying race on Saturday.  It was his second consecutive title in the race and the ninth overall for the “Strega” Mustang.

“It’s more than kind-of disappointing,” Hinton stated. “Every one of these crews up here work hard 365 days a year to come out and show what you’ve done with the airplane and to compete.

“As the racing process goes, you’re building up to Sunday, so what we used yesterday or what Rare Bear used yesterday isn’t necessarily all we had,” he said. ” We were saving it for Sunday and when you don’t get to go out there and use what you built up all year, it’s a major disappointment.”

The pilot or Rare Bear, John Penney, who has been an Unlimited Gold champion four times, also agreed: “It’s very disappointing,” he said. “We had all kinds of issues during the week with our oil pressure system, our water and oil cooling system, and we thought we had everything settled down now, so we were anxious to get up there and give it a shot. We’ll have to wait until next year.”

It was considered by the organizers of the air race to postpone the race until today (Monday), but due to logistical problems this was deemed prohibitive. More than 2,500 volunteers help put on the air races, many from out of state, and many with jobs they must resume today.

Due to the strong winds, the T 6 Class Gold race also had to get cancelled. Dennis Buehn from Carson City had the fastest qualifying time on Saturday in his airplane Midning Miss III and by that won the Gold medal.

In the Super Sport Gold Race earlier on Sunday pilot George Giboney his Thunder Mustang, the Rapid Travel. He made a hard landing and his plane cartwheeled off the runway. It was a frightening moment from everyone and there was a huge relief in the crowd, when it was announced that Giboney had walked away from the crash. Click on the photo below for a link to a video showing the accident.

Giboney got some lacerations to his head and leg, but his injuries were considered minor at the hospital where he was treated.

Mike Dacey of Pismo Beach, Calif., won the race, posting a speed of 374.052 mph, and he was definitely ahead of John Parker of Reno, who finished at 355.993 mph.

In the Jet Class, Curt Brown of Hudson, Wisconsin., won his third consecutive title with his L-29 jet “Viper” which he took around the pylons at 515.582 mph.

In the Sport Class, Jeff LaVelle of Mukilteo, Washington., won the  Reno gold championship for the first time.

In the Biplane Class, Tom Aberle of Fallbrook, Calif., got his third consecutive gold title in the Biplane class. He flew his modified Mong Sport “Phantom.”

In Formula 1, Steve Senegal of San Bruno, Calif., won his second gold title in the past three years during very windy and blustery conditions.

Conditions were challenging with the winds and in spite of the disappointment with no final Gold Race, we whole heartedly agree that safety is the number one concern. The participating pilots are way too valuable to warrant taking any risks. We are already looking forward to the 2011 Air Races – less than a year away….

The spectacular Canadian Snow Birds had a great show on Sunday afternoon against a cumulus clad sky.

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Aviation Going Green

by on Sep.03, 2010, under Articles, Aviation, Aviation News, General, Green Aviation, Video of the day

CriCri

Electrical Cri Cri

The first electric Cri-Cri airplane was airborne Thursday – for all of seven minutes. The all electric aircraft, jointly developed by EADS Innovation Works, Aero Composites Saintonge and the Green Cri-Cri Association, made its official maiden flight at Le Bourget airport near Paris on Thursday, Sept. 1.Â

“This aircraft flies very smoothly, much more quietly than a plane with conventional propulsion”, said Didier Esteyne, who piloted the all-electric Cri-Cri. “But we are still at the beginning and have a lot to learn.”Â

Click here or on the picture above see a video if its maiden voyage flight. (The narration is in French, but even if you don’t speak the language, it is still worth watching.)Â

The Cri-Cri was originally designed in the early 1970’s by a French aeronautical engineer, Michael Colomban, as the smallest twin-engine airplane in the world.

His goal was to build a very small and economical plane powered by two engines, that would be capable of flying even some aerobatic maneuvers. He also wanted not to exceed his budget over 1000 USD, including two engines, which was quite hard to believe even in early 70s.

At only 4.9 m (16.1 ft) wingspan and 3.9 m (12.8 ft) length, it has become a well known airplane around the world. It is a single-seater, which can even be transported on top of a car. It sort of reminds you of a model airplane on steroids.

Construction time took around 1500 hours for the first airplane and it became a reality in 1973, when it was given the name “Cri-Cri” after Michel Colomban’s daughter, who was often called “Cri-Cri”.Â

The airplane has now been modified and expanded into a 4-engine aircraft with electrical and environmental friendly motors!  The plane has lithium batteries and four electric prop motors that don’t emit carbon dioxide like standard aircraft.

 The Cri-Cri is made relatively lightweight to compensate for the weight of the batteries, the company said. It is CriCri2capable of 30 minutes of cruising and will fly at about 68 mph.Â

There is currently a lot of effort being put into making aviation environmentally friendly. Besides the Cri-Cri, there are also larger projects in the works.

The photo below shows a project currently being worked on by MIT, for an airplane which is estimated to use 70 % less fuel than a conventional aircraft and is designed to carry 180 passengers. The aircraft is referred to as the “double-bubble”. The design uses long, skinny wings, a small tail and – hence the name – replaces the traditional cylindrical fuselage with a two partial cylinders placed side-by-side.

For more information on this project, you can visit MIT’s website http://web.mit.edu/press/2010/green-airplanes.html

 

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Ready to book your ticket for space? Just contact Virgin Galactic.

by on Sep.03, 2010, under Articles, Aviation, Aviation News, Space flight, Video of the day

Image result for spaceport america drawing

Spaceport America, currently under construction in New Mexico. Click on the picture above to watch a short video about it.

If you are ready to venture into space and have the resources to do so, you can now book your ticket. Sir Richard Branson wants to make it possible for everyone to experience space flight. The Virgin Galactic website announces: “Book your place in space now and join around 340 Virgin Galactic astronauts who will venture into space. Tickets cost $200,000 and deposits start from $20,000. If you are interested in discussing your reservation with us directly please fill in the booking form and we will be in touch as soon as possible to answer any questions you may have. Or you can contact one of our Accredited Space Agents around the world. They have been specially selected and trained by us to handle all aspects of your spaceflight reservation.”

So the dream of space flight is now within reach for anyone who is willing to pay the price! Spaceship Two, designed by the the engineering genius Burt Rutan and his team in the Mojave desert, is now undergoing its test flight stages. Once this project is fully launched, they are hoping to get the ticket price down to approximately what it would cost you to buy a new car.
Image result for spaceship two

After successfully having concluded the SpaceShipOne project, SpaceShipTwo was designed, built and presented to the world in the Mojave desert, in California in December last year.

Upon completion of the test flight stage, those with tickets will be taken up for flights above the atmosphere. This may be as early as 2011.

Sir Richard intends to run the first flights out of New Mexico before extending operations around the globe. Just like its predecessor SpaceshipOne,  it is a rocket plane that is lifted initially by a carrier vehicle before blasting skywards.

SS2 is built for a crew of two and has room for six passengers. The launch plane will also be able to carry passengers for those who would like to see their loved ones getting launched into space! Sir Richard himself intends to be on the launch craft to see his mother going to space.

About 300 individuals are reported to have signed up for a flight so far. The New Mexico authorities are investing almost $200m in a facility in Upham. It will have a 3,000m (10,000ft) runway and a suitably space-age terminal and hangar buildings.

“We’re going where no one has gone before”, Branson stated a few years ago, “there’s no model to follow, nothing to copy. That is what makes this so exciting.”  The dreams and “can do” attitudes of Sir Richard Branson and Burt Rutan has made it possible for many of us to now start thinking about space travel.

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Soaring over the Swiss Alps

by on Aug.31, 2010, under Aviation, Aviation News, Video of the day

For those of you who are interested in finding out more about soaring or sailplanes, this is an excellent video that shows soaring over the Swiss and Austrian alps.

If you would like more information about soaring, Soaring Society of America has an excellent website, www.ssa.org, which gives a lot of good information about the sport of soaring and how to learn flying sailplanes.

Click on the photo or here to enjoy our Video of the day!

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A Great Aviation Video

by on Aug.29, 2010, under Aviation, Aviation News, Video of the day

The video of the day is a wonderful and very relaxing video of the Mirage 2000. It has some of the greatest aerial camera work I have ever seen and is one of my favorites. The footage is from the filming of Les Chevaliers du Ciel (English title “Sky Fighters”) which was filmed in co-operation with the French Air Force. This film used real footage. The filming of these flight sequences seen in the movie were mainly done from the air, as opposed to Top Gun where most of the filming was done from the ground. To achieve this, one of the Mirage’s external fuel tanks was modified to fit a camera.  Tracking shots were done from a hired US Lear Jet. Additionally, jet aircraft are not allowed to fly over Paris. As a result of this, all the Paris filming had to be done on the actual Bastille Day (14 July) for which the filming crew got special permission.Watch it and give your feedback. If you have suggestions of any other videos that should be featured on our website, email us.

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