Blog

iFly 720 GPS Raises the GPS bar

I just wrote up a piece for the Tech Talk Dept. of Plane & Pilot on the iFly 720 GPS, a really amazing, super-affordable, Air Gizmo-dockable unit that’s got more features than Carter had pills (that’s a reference for older readers). Here’s my lead from that article, out in the next issue : “If you more »

Terrific Oshkosh Airventure 2012 App from Sporty’s

For all you smartphone and iPad users, here’s a great guide to Oshkosh from Sporty’s Pilot Shop.  You can read all the details here, and I’m posting a couple of my own screens. There’s lots to like, because anybody who’s been to the Big Show (It’ll be my 32 year this year) knows it’s total more »

The Year of Cub Love

In case you hadn’t heard, this is the Year of the Cub…the 75th anniversary celebration of that wonderful proto-LSA, the Piper J3 Cub. Of course, I’m excusing my post on the FAA-certified J3 here because it is also legal to fly as a Sport Pilot, along with many other venerable Golden Age flivvers.  I fly more »

Another Voice on Affordable Flying

Ben Sclair, who publishes General Aviation News, wrote a nicely thought out piece on the nuances of the high cost of flying, with a focus on LSA in particular.  He laments the black/white thinking that permeates such discussions and makes a decent case for that time-worn truism, if you really want to do something, you’ll more »

FAA Tells LSA Industry: “Get That Paperwork Done!”

The Federal Aviation Administration just released a document about its assessment regarding the performance of the LSA industry, specifically in regard to LSA producer’s, shall we say, sub-par performance toward compliance with the ASTM airworthiness standard set out in the very definition of the Light Sport category. In a nutshell, the primary offense of several more »

Catching up with Renegade and the Lycoming 233

I’ve been a (budget) international jet setter the last couple months so figured it was time to update through an e-chat with Chris “Doc” Bailey, who’s heading up a hydra-like push at Renegade Light Sport to get the Lycoming IO-233-LSA engine in as many birds as possible. I’ve talked before about the many-pronged attack Doc and more »

Dump The Flight Medical?

Although we Sport Pilots only have to self-certify (and have a driver’s license) to legally fly Light Sport Aircraft, the success of the self-certification “medical” has no doubt factored into AOPA and EAA’s joint proposal to FAA to expand the concept to include Private Pilots. To add your comments to the FAA page about such more »

fire season

Finally getting to work. Fire season officially opened here at the Chico Air Attack base today and since today was my official “day off” I get started tomorrow. Really looking forward to it.

Flynano Makes First Flight!

This is pretty cool, I have to say: a flying…what, waterbike?  Winged pontoon?  Powered box kite?  Here’s the home page for Flynano: and doesn’t this supremely giddy pilot in the illustration remind you of U2’s Bono?  Hmmm…backer?  Person of Interest?  Is Lindsay Lohan going to buy one?  Stay tuned… A year ago, I wrote about more »

Chico Fire Season

Chico is just about to open their Air Attack Base for fire season. We’re one of the latest bases to open. There was a fire in our region the other day and a tanker from Hollister came up for it. Needless to say I’m ready to go. The base is great and I am realy more »

Three LSA now EASA-legal

* REVISED June 21:  Missing text at end replaced. * Some big news developing recently regarding the European Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) certification of the first three light sport aircraft in its new category designed to legitimize ASTM-certified LSA. The new category is called EASA CS-LSA.  We’ve talked about it before, see below, but this more »

Sling Shot at the U.S. Market

Catching up from the road after 3 weeks (1 day to go) in Hamburg, Germany on family business and a laptop double-meltdown (don’t ask). The Sling is a South African LSA that made a splash in 2009 with a ‘round-the-world flight just received its official S-LSA Airworthiness certificate, making it #125 on the official list. more »

california, here I come

The Bonanza is ready to go and I think the dogs have all their stuff. Buddha’s travel cage is clean and ready. Now to figure out what to bring and what to leave, but since I like to travel light it shoudl not be a problemo. I think I’m ready. Monday morning, weather permitting, we more »

motorcycle logic

I’ve been riding motorcycles since I was 14 and have owned a number of them – BMW’s, Ducati, Harley, Hondas – but have never gotten a motorcycle license. I did this for a reason. My logic was that if I didn’t have a license I wouldn’t be tempted to speed. Considering I’ve owned some pretty more »

V-Tail Bo

I picked up the V35K Tail Bo today and flew it back to St. Augustine.  Haven’t had it home for a few weeks because my crew chief Tim had it in Ocala. He’s such a hoarder and didn’t want to give it back.  After flying it again, I realize why.  It’s sweet! The airplane has more »

Randy Babbitt

I just read that Randy Babbitt’s DUI charge was dismissed.  I’m happy for him.  I wonder how all of the squawkers out there who indicted him before he was proven guilty, feel about eating their words.  Too often we assume someone is guilty before it is proven and this goes against everything our legal system stands for.  more »

Packing Gear

I have to pack like I’m heading for a summer cottage in Maine, but I’m not!  Things like flight suits and flight bags, which I don’t leave in California in case I get called early to fly (one can only hope) and there’s the week of spring training at McClellan which I finished a few more »

On The Move

For the third year in a row I am preparing to leave St. Augustine for California to fly OV-10’s for Cal Fire as an Air Attack Pilot.  It’s interesting having a real “job” and I’m very proud of it!  I do have to pack like I’m heading for a summer cottage in main, although I’m more »