Blog

Going Direct: The Soul Of LSA Shines At Sebring

What a whacky, wonderful collection of light planes teaches us about regulations and economics After a down year in 2015, this year’s edition of the Sport Aviation Expo is looking strong. Held in the aviation friendly Central Florida town of Sebring, famous for its winding Grand Prix race track (which was very noticeably in use more »

Going Direct: Star Wars Was Apparently Made By And For Pilots

At the risk of spoiling the fun for you, I’m about to talk about the latest Star Wars film, The Force Awakens, as well as another less well known film about flying. In case you’ve been off scavenging star cruiser parts on Jakku for the past few weeks, let me warn you now that I’m more »

Going Direct: A Historic Aviation Deadline is Passing . . .

The Small Airplane Revitalization Act Is Almost ready…what happened to it? Today is one of the most important days in the history of American general aviation. In theory, it is anyway. So in theory…hooray? Today, December 15, 2015, marks the deadline that the government gave itself for issuing a final rule for the law known more »

Going Direct: Stop Reporting On Records For Youngest Flights!

There might be little hope for the mainstream press, but aviation titles should know better. I shuddered when I scanned down the page of the popular aviation publication’s newsletter, and my eye fell upon an item that shouldn’t have been there. It was the story of a woman, a private pilot, who was training to more »

Quick, say “Octodecacopter”…and Welcome the Future

It’s premature if not off the point to say this exotic, beautiful prototype will be the death of the helicopter. I will flat out make a prediction: a whole new type of flight is here…and it will change everything…and I mean everything about how we fly. I was musing the other day, while catching up more »

RV12s, Hot Off The Griddle!

Put on them bibs, pardners, if you’ve got an appetite for one of the tastiest S-LSA out there. Last year, Vans Aircraft came out with its Signature Series, an even dozen pre-built SLSA.  They were built by Vans kit builder support company Synergy Air of Eugene, Oregon. Now I’m not trying to set you up more »

Skycatcher: To Be or to Be, Not

A story posted by Daniel McCoy, a reporter for the Wichita Business Journal, claims the star-crossed Cessna 162 Skycatcher will likely not enjoy the longevity and success of other notable Cessna icons such as the C-172 and C-150/152. The Skycatcher was one of the first SLSA out of the gate for the new category created more »

Freakish Oshkosh Weather Continues!

Yes, Airventure fans, it’s been fair, mild, low humidity, refreshing, beautiful weather…all descriptors none of us is used to using in the same sentence with the words Oshkosh and summer. It’s been a delight not to drop with exhaustion at the end of a long day slogging around the miles of paths and thousands of more »

The Big O Photo Jam

In the wee and foot-throbbing hours after wandering the highways and byways of the vast Oshkosh Airventure showgrounds all day, here’s a taste of some of the cool things encountered so far from my abbreviated visit – my 32nd year in attendance since 1981…and every year brings new wonders and old friends: threads of gold more »

Fantasy in Paris, Reality at Home

“How ya gonna keep ’em down on the farm…after they’ve seen Paree?” That’s a timely reprise of an old show tune to bring our attention to the Paris Air Show, which is sending out some ripples in the “What’s New” Dept.. I’m always thinking about electric flight.  If we manage to survive as a species more »

Live From Sun ‘n Fun 2013

It’s the third day at Sun ‘n Fun.  Breezy, hottish (high 80s), humid: in other words, classic Florida Spring weather. The attendance seems steady if not overwhelming.  I’ve been hanging out a lot in the new Paradise City Light Sport/Ultralight area and grass landing strip in the southeast corner of Lakeland Linder Airport, and enthusiastically more »

Getting With The (Tower) Program

With all the concern around the FAA’s officially announcing the closing of 149 ATC control towers, Pilot Workshops of Nashua, NH is getting with the program to help ease pilot anxiety about the transition. The company just put out three free videos that are aimed to help us all refresh our memories about  Non-Towered Airport operations. PilotWorkshops more »

Towering Inferno

UPDATE TO POST BELOW: CHICAGO – Mar 22 – Associated Press announced that the FAA put the final list of air traffic control tower closures at 149. The process of shutdown will start early in April. One key point: closures will not force the airports themselves to shut down, but all pilots will use unicom more »

Wrangling An Air2Air Photo Shoot

  My flyin’ pal, industry leader and co-blogger Dan Johnson suggested recently that I throw some tips your way about how I put together and do air2air photography.  Since I’ve done around 600 in my 30 year career, it’s not a topic I have to research, always good news.  So for those of you interested in more »

50 Years with No Crashes…and 25 of them In A Quick!

It’s enough to be proud of flying a “real” airplane for 50 years without accident, incident, or citation for 50 years.  But imagine if half of those years were flown in those crazy death wish machines:  ultralights! Of course, those of us who’ve flown hang gliders, ultralights and other true bird experience aircraft know just how safe more »

LSA Industry On Life Support…ummm…Nah.

In a recent article in Flying Magazine, an editor volunteered his opinion that the Light Sport industry is on life support.  There are so many good arguments to refute such a sky-is-falling assessment, it kind of makes you wonder why a respected journalist would go out of his way to attract a lot of heat more »

LSA Fun Foreign and Domestic

Back from a busy, weather-challenging (for photography) trip to the Bahamas, I stopped by to visit Dan Johnson and his soul mate Randee at their Spruce Creek air park digs north of Florida.  If you haven’t had the pleasure, visit Spruce Creek sometime to see how cool an air park can be.  Hundreds and hundreds more »

Adieu Sebring 2013

Sebring’s final day ended at 2 p.m. with the customary light attendance and gathering clouds.  I spoke with a couple of the principals of the Expo staff that did such a superb job making this no doubt the smoothest running, most feature-packed event that I’ve certainly been too.  Kudos to all: it was a beautifully more »