Stag Park Fall Fly-In

Filed under Events

Hosted by the EAA Chapter 297, the Annual Fall Fly-In at Stag Air Park has much for aviators to look forward to. Included in the event is the Wings Program, including three seminars on LSA Transition Training, Pilot Maintenance Programs and Wings Pilot Proficiency Training. Other highlights are the parachute jump, computer flight simulators, antique and British car displays, a bake-sale, as well as a Harriet Quimby portrayer. Visitors can also chat to V-22 Osprey flight instructors.

Date: 19 November 2011
Time: 10:30 AM to 3:30 PM
Venue: Stag Air Park
Town: Burgaw
State: North Carolina
Country United States of America

Aviation History: Alcock and Brown

Filed under Features

Aviation history was made in the year 1919 by two brave pilots named John Alcock and Arthur Witten Brown. Their achievement of performing the very first transatlantic flight, non-stop, earned them the recognition of being knighted by King George V at Windsor Castle, and the Daily Mail Prize was awarded to them by Winston Churchill. A challenge had been posted by the Daily Mail in 1913 and renewed again later in the year 1918, offering a massive reward of £10,000 to anyone who flew over the Atlantic from any point in the United States, Newfoundland, Canada, or Ireland and Great Britain. But it had to be done within seventy-two hours, and Alcock and Brown took up the challenge.

Known to friends and family as Jackie Alcock, John Alcock was born in 1892. From a young age Alcock was fascinated with aviation, and in 1912 he qualified and received his pilot license. He participated in aircraft competitions and was a shot down during World War I. Even though he became a prisoner of war, his love for aviation never faded, and after the war he decided to take up the challenge set out by the Daily Mail. He was the pilot for the expedition. While on his way to a Paris air show on 18 December 1919, he was sadly killed flying a Vickers Viking amphibian.

Arthur Whitten Brown was born in 1886 in Glasgow, and known by the nickname of Teddy by his family. He too was shot down during World War I, and was also held as a prisoner of war. He honed his pilot skills on his return home, and was asked to accompany Alcock on his transatlantic expedition by Vickers, while visiting the engineering firm. Brown passed away in 1948.

Flying in a modified Vickers Vimy bomber (from World War I), Alcock and Brown left St. John’s (Newfoundland) in June 1919, and landed in Clifdon (Ireland) within the 72 hour time requirement. The flight was not smooth sailing, as ice, fog and snow did pose some problems, seeing Brown risking his life by climbing onto the wings of the aircraft to remove ice, while Alcock relied on his experience as a pilot and skill to keep them on the correct flight path. By the time they came in to land, the aircraft had suffered massive damage, and the poor visibility led Alcock and Brown to believe that bog was a green field, but fortunately neither one was injured on landing. None-the-less, they returned home as heroes.

There are two memorials that pay tribute to the flight located near their landing area in Ireland (County Galway), a monument marks their take-off location in St John’s and another memorial is at Heathrow Airport in London, which was erected in 1954. Alcock and Brown’s aircraft, which was repaired by the Vickers Company, can be viewed in the London Science Museum.

Take to the Skies in an Ultralight

Ultralight or microlight aviation generally refers to an aircraft that seats either one or two people and became very popular during the 1970s through to the 1980s, as it was more affordable than other aircraft. Due to the development in popularity of this type of aircraft, each country set up their own rules and regulations in regard to ultralight aviation, taking into account speed and weight, with allowances being made for amphibian and seaplanes. Some countries also make allowances for the installation of ballistic parachutes, meaning that there are no internationally recognized regulations, as each country has their own guidelines.

In affluent countries such as the United States and Canada, a large number of their civil aircraft consist of ultralight planes. The strictest regulations in regard to ultralight or microlight aircraft are in Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Italy. In the United Kingdom, New Zealand and India, the usual term is ultralight, while other countries will refer to these aircraft as microlights if they are three axis aircraft and depending on their weight. Varying from country to country, ultralights are viewed under the general aircraft specifications, requiring that pilots and aircraft have the necessary certifications.

Generally microlight and ultralight aircraft are used for sport and leisure, but pilots need to ensure that they are aware of the rules and regulation of their country before they lift off. For instance, under the Federal Avaition Regulation, an ultralight aircraft has a maximum speed of fifty-five knots, has a five gallon fuel capacity, is a one-seater aircraft, and has a maximum powered weight of two hundred and fifty-four pounds. In Australia, ultralights fall under their Recreational Aviation regulations and allows for two seats with a maximum of five hundred and forty-four kilograms as take-off weight. It is therefore vital for pilots to ensure they know the regulations of their local aviation authority.

Ultralights are also divided into various categories, such as weight-shift control trike, powered parachutes, powered paragliding, powered hangglider, autogyro, and electric powered ultralights. Due to the high number of ultralight accidents that were recorded, it is standard regulation in most countries that pilots must have a certification or license to pilot an ultralight. There are also numerous academies that offer ultralight pilot training and certification to ensure the safety of pilots and their passengers.

Tips for Choosing a Flight School

There are numerous anxious student pilots out there that cannot wait to get into a cockpit and begin their studies to become a qualified pilot. With so many prospects and a demand for pilots across the world, it is a popular career move. Piloting is not only restricted to commercial airlines but also companies that recruit their own personal pilots, small aircraft piloting, cargo, military pilots and even law enforcement makes use of pilots. Deciding what to do once qualified is a daunting task, but even more serious is finding the right flight school that will suit a student’s needs and that is reliable.

Many smaller flight schools close down without warning for numerous reasons and would-be students are therefore advised to do research on their prospective flight school before signing up. First decide what your long term goal is in regard to taking flight training, and then begin to look for a flight school that can accommodate those goals. If a flight school has been in business for a number of years, for example ten or twenty years, it shows that the business is stable enough to continue running through good and hard economic times.

After deciding which flight schools to look at, there are a few important questions to ask and features to look out for. Flight schools that have achieved high ratings will have certificates to display for their competence, and finding out their safety rate in regard to accidents is also recommended. Visiting the flight school and talking to management, trainers and current students will also assist in accessing the flight school. Pilot Examiners and looking into the qualifications of the trainers could be informative. Prospective students can also make use of the internet to search for any additional information or comments in regard to the specific flight school.

Then there is the cost involved. Flight school is not an inexpensive route, and it is therefore vital that prospective students remember that finding the lowest price is not the most important part of finding a flight school. The quality of the program, the amount of flight hours that are included in the package and the type of flight training available is vital. Once a student has found a school they are completely comfortable with, all they need to do is look forward to working towards making their dreams come true.

Aviation University in Bangalore

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It is going to be the world’s first and much excitement is growing in the aviation industry as the new project to create an integrated aviation university gets under way. This joint venture will see all aspects of aviation being taught and studied at one facility. The university, which will be named the CAPA AeroPark, should be completed in 2010 and will be constructed in Bangalore, India. Students and faculty members will be able to make use of a variety of facilities, all aimed at enhancing the entire aviation industry.

The Subramanya Construction and Development Company, which is based in Bangalore, recently signed an agreement with the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, Sydney, to begin the construction of the CAPA AeroPark, in which $125 million will be invested into this joint project. A site of fifty acres has been set aside for the university, and every field of aviation will be offered at the campus. Needless to say, state-of-the-art technology will be brought in for the development of the students. Also, satellite academies will be made available for students in Mumbai and Delhi. Even cabin crew, air traffic controllers, regulators and airport management staff will be able to gain from the university. Student pilots will have flight simulators and a flying school, while research centers, engineering workshops and laboratories open a new door of opportunity for students. As the demand for air travel increases each year, a shortfall of pilots is experienced, and the CAPA AeroPark hopes to assist in training new, highly skilled pilots for the aviation industry.

Over and above the educational facilities, the university will have accommodation available for faculty members and students, a convention centre, recreational facilities and even a hotel for visitors. Amit Dasgupta, the Consul General of India in Sydney, Australia, was quoted saying: “This facility is in response to a felt need for trained aviation personnel in India given the rapid growth that is envisaged in India’s aviation industry over the next few years. It further enhances the growing Australia-India trade and investment relations.”

Tips for Buying an Airplane

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It has been your dream to purchase your very own airplane and you’ve finally decided, after careful consideration, to take the plunge. Before you rush out to buy your plane, there are some important points to think about. The first of these is that it is highly advisable to consult a number of specialists and experienced individuals along the way; this may include other pilots, mechanics, lawyers and so forth. Such individuals will assist you in making a wise decision when it comes to choosing a plane and dealing with everything that goes along with a purchase.

Before deciding on which airplane to buy, you need to carefully consider the financial aspect of plane ownership. Costs could include a down payment and monthly installments (if borrowing from a bank), liability insurance (in case of an accident), hull insurance (for damage to the plane), storage (from tie downs to hangars), operations (fuel and airport fees), maintenance, taxes and other fees.

Once you have determined whether you can afford your own plane, you can start deliberating over which airplane is for you. There are a variety of factors that should influence your choice. What will you be using the airplane for? Is it for fun, acrobatics, long distance or short distance trips? Will you be taking passengers, and how many? Where will you be landing and what sort of airspace will you be flying in? Is the model relatively easy to maintain with access to replacement parts? What type of aircraft would suit your pilot skills? Do you want a new plane or a used aircraft? And so forth. It is a good idea to try out a variety of aircraft, either through flight schools or with other pilots. Do as much research as you can on the airplanes that interest you.

After picking the model that best suits your needs, you can go about sourcing planes for sale. When contacting a person or company selling a used airplane you may wish to ask what the flight time is for the engine and airframe, about the maintenance schedule, if it has any history of damage, what the condition of the exterior and interior is, and so forth. Be sure to view the airplane’s paperwork, including its state of airworthiness. Make a careful inspection of the airplane when going to view it. Ensure that everything is functioning as it should, look for damage and wear, and check the instrument panel, avionics and electrical system. It is a good idea to get a mechanic in to inspect the plane before the final purchase.

If this looks like it could be the airplane for you, take it for a test flight. During the flight you can listen to the engine, check the avionics, watch the gauges, get a feel for the aircraft and ensure all is in working order. If all works out well, you can negotiate on the price and start the purchasing process.

Please note that this is just a brief summary to aid potential aircraft buyers. We advise all those in the market for new or used aircraft to do plenty of research and seek the advice of professionals and those in the know, before purchasing an aircraft.

Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner Finally in the Skies

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Referred to as the “Seven-Late-Seven” by some, Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner completed its maiden flight on 15 December 2009 in Seattle, Washington. This is just the first step in a rather complex nine-month flight test program.

More that two years late, the first flight of the 787 Dreamliner went relatively smoothly. Pilots Randy Neville and Mike Carriker reported no issues in the course of the three-hour flight, cut short by poor weather conditions. The overall performance of the aircraft will only be judged once all six of the test airplanes have been tested. During this process it will need to prove to shareholders, federal aviation regulators and airline customers that it can meet its fuel efficiency and emission goals. If the entire test program goes according to plan, the 787 Dreamliner should be in commercial service toward the end of 2010.

Amongst the anxious spectators of the maiden flight was Mitsuo Morimotto, All Nippon Airways’ vice president, as the Japanese carrier is the first on the list to receive Boeing’s new 787. He is quoted saying: “After watching the flight and hearing the pilots, I feel confident Boeing will be able to deliver our airplane on time. This flight is a step to go forward.” Boeing already has some 840 orders for the new 787, though the delay in the program and the global economic crisis has resulted in 83 cancellations in 2009.

What has truly appealed to buyers is Boeing’s promise of huge fuel savings. This well designed aircraft is made largely of composite materials and thus has a lower mass when compared to other similar models. It is expected that the longest range variant of the 787 will be able to fly to over 5 000 km at a cruising speed of 903 km/h. There is indeed much to look forward to, and it is easy to understand why the Dreamliner has received so much attention. However, there is still a way to go and hopefully there will be no more delays.

Wings of Eagles Discovery Center

Filed under Features

Aviation enthusiasts and hobbyists will be able to find all they dream of and more at the Wings of Eagles Discovery Center at Elmira-Corning Regional Airport in Horseheads, New York. Previously known as the National Warplane Museum, the centre is dedicated to the memory of the brave pilots who fought wars for freedom, and the machines that assisted them in their missions. History is preserved within the walls of the Wings of Eagles Discovery Center, and welcomes visitors of all ages to explore and discover aviation through its interactive and educational exhibits.

Each year, the Wings of Eagles Discovery Center hosts a variety of aviation related events for the public to enjoy, but also accommodates personal events, military reunions and tour groups. The exhibits within the centre detail numerous historic events, but there is also a vast collection of aircraft, such as fighter planes, transport aircraft and scout planes, for visitors to marvel at, some dating as far back as 1919. Some of the airplanes are in the process of being restored, others are only for exhibition purposes and a small number offer visitors the opportunity to take a ride in one of these historic wonders.

For the adventurous visitor who wants to take to the skies there a few aircraft to select from, some being military airplanes, whilst others were used by civilian pilots. The aircraft used for visitor rides include a SNJ (AT-6) Texan, N2S (PT-17) Stearman and a PT-19 Cornell. In the collection visitors will find a variety of aircraft that are airworthy, but are only used for display purposes. Look out for the Stinson L-5 Sentinel, Mikoyan MiG 21Fishbed, McDonnell F2H-2P Banshee and Westland HAR10. Fascinating replicas, missiles and automotive displays can also be seen. Another great feature of the centre, over and above its extensive aircraft collection, is the flight simulator exhibit. Here, visitors will see how pilots are trained, with a Fresca 125 Helicopter, HotSeat Flight Simulator, C-97 Flight Engineer Training Station and Singer General Aviation Trainer simulators on display.

The Wings of Eagles Discovery Center is a wonderful attraction for the entire family to enjoy, and is open Wednesday to Saturday from 10am to 4 pm, and from 12 pm to 4pm on Sundays. Visit this memorable museum and be transported through the history of aviation into modern technology and the latest aviation discoveries.

The Great Eastern Fly-in 2010

Filed under Events

From the 8th to the 11th of January 2010, the RAAF will be celebrating their 70th anniversary, with the Great Eastern Fly-in. Pilots from across Australia, will be loading family and friends into their personal aircraft, and fly to this magnificent aviation extravaganza. On the 9th and 10th, amazing aircraft will take to the skies for breathtaking aerial performances, while joy flights, movie evenings, stalls and classic car displays will keep visitors entertained all weekend. It is a great opportunity to share your passion for aviation, with your entire family.

The official air show website,, provides additional information in regard to the show, displays and highlights.

Date: 8 – 11 January 2009
Venue: Evans Head Aerodrome
City: New South Wales
Country: Australia

Henry Anholzer: The Silent Hero

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In the world of aviation, glory and hero welcomes are reserved for brave pilots who return from battle or save lives through their skills. But many lives are carried safely across the skies of the world every day, partly because of the pilots and partly due to the efforts of the mechanics and maintenance workers that keep the aircraft in working condition. No-one ever really thinks twice about the maintenance crew while planes fly safely from one destination to another. But one mechanic was recognized for his contributions in aviation, namely Henry Anholzer.

Aviation became a part of Henry Anholzer life at the very young age of five, when he witnessed the achievements of Charles Lindbergh. Model airplane building became his escape through a variety of difficult times in his life, and remained a vital part of his adult life. Finding himself in the wrong crowd of friends almost cost Anholzer his education, but a dedicated teacher noticed his passion for model airplanes and his general love for aviation, encouraging him to enroll at the Manhattan High School of Aviation Trades. His aviation career began in 1941, at Pan American Airways, and he remained there until he retired in 1982.

As in any job, Henry Anholzer had to work his way up at Pan American Airways, and started in the sheet metal shop which was located in New York. Working on survey aircraft, such as the Bermuda Clipper, he gained experience in the repairing of flying boats. No-one can forget the date 7 December 1941, when Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese, and the aviation industry changed dramatically. Flying boats became vital to the war effort and soon Anholzer found himself in San Francisco working on Martin 130’s and others at the Treasure Island facility, after which came Honolulu, where luxury aircraft were stripped for their careers as military cargo planes. Henry Anholzer and his fellow mechanics were to keep the war effort going by keeping the aircraft in the sky.

After spending exciting and adventurous years with Pan American Airlines, Henry Anholzer retired and spent his remaining years at the Cradle of Aviation Museum volunteering his time to repair and restore the historical aircraft on display. In his biography, which he wrote some years later, Anholzer recounts his years for PAA, and reflects on his experiences. He was also was also given the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award. Henry Anholzer’s story reminds us that there is more to aviation than just the airplane and pilots, that the mechanics and machinists also play a vital role in our safety and that of the aircraft crew.

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