It was one of the highlights of last year’s EAA AirVenture, so I eagerly signed up again this year: an afternoon spent mentoring three young women who have an interest in aviation photography. Run by Debby Rhin-Harvey, the Women Soar You Soar program introduces high school students to many facets of aviation, with a day set aside for workshops such as ours. Kathryn Kaminski, who starts at the University of North Dakota this fall, Mackenzie Ballauer, full of life and enthusiasm, and 15-year-old Julia Goeks were bright, inquisitive and eager to learn. Thanks to Doug Rozendaal for putting them and their cameras in the cockpit of a Vought F4U Corsair, and Jim Koepnick for the loan of several mega-lenses during the air show.
In this issue, James Wynbrandt brings us the best of Oshkosh, including new planes such as the MVP, an LSA capable of operating on land, water and snow, and the production version of the SubSonex personal jet. James highlights new tech that ranges from Safe Flight’s AOA to Sporty’s Iridium GO Wi-Fi system.
Mooney made headlines at Oshkosh, where the Texas-based company delivered its first manufactured aircraft in five years. The M20TN Acclaim Type S was on display at the Mooney exhibit. Bill Cox, a Mooney owner himself, took to the skies with demo pilot Richard Simile over Lake Winnebago. The retractable speedster boasts a max speed of 242 knots. Mooney hopes to ramp up production to two aircraft per month in 2015 and possibly one per week in 2016.
Parked in AirVenture’s vintage area was a special Cub. In 1966, N4971H was flown by teenage brothers Rinker and Kernahan Buck on an epic journey across the United States. Rinker later wrote Flight of Passage, a book that skillfully tells their coming-of-age aerial story. This year, Chris Nesin, a corporate jet pilot with a love for Cubs, embarked on a restoration project of the Piper PA-11. With his wife, April, Chris retraced the Bucks’ cross-country route as closely as possible. Contributor Marc Lee was on the ramp when the duo touched down at Flabob Airport in Southern California, and brings us their story this month.
Angel Flight is a nonprofit organization that arranges free air travel for children and adults with medical conditions. Based at Santa Monica Airport, Angel Flight West works with a network of 1,400 pilots who volunteer their aircraft and flying time to help those in need. Recently, Marc joined veteran Angel Flight pilot Ben Marcus on a mission to transport a nine-year-old girl and her mother from their home in Northern California to treatment at UCLA’s medical center in Los Angeles. Angel Flights are very rewarding for the pilots, and they bring an invaluable gift to so many in need.