How to buy a Skywagon

Congratulations.

You’ve decided to buy a Skywagon.

You imagine, very soon, how you will look next to your outback magic carpet ride: Camping, float flying, ski fly-ins, and fishing at a lake that few can ever get to.

You can even see it parked in your driveway.

And then there’s the mobility: Alaska, finally… wait… maybe Maine? Geez, or Quebec… but then why not Labrador? Why limit your potential. With this rig – you can go anywhere.

Your fantasy was cemented on that last fishing trip out of Juneau.
Just look at that ramp presence!

But never mind the day dreaming … those big tires will make you so cool on the FBO ramp. So hip, that the Gulfstream 550 captain stares at your bad ass rig with envy. That Gulfstream, incidentally, is going to the Cannes Film Festival with some *pretty* sophisticated catering to boot.

Ha! “Not moi monsieur”, you think. You have free will – and you don’t fawn over the Hollywood A-list…. because you’re going to Greenville, Maine … for the fly in. You, my friend… are crushing it.

Continue reading How to buy a Skywagon

Airplanes, Lies and Money

Ceci n’est pas un écureuil.

 

A challenge for airplane people that write and fly for a living is that we never know when inspiration will come. You hope it comes when you aren’t too busy. This piece started while I was facing backwards (in the backward facing seat) of an air ambulance on a steep climb.

Safe? Statistically no. Not compared to the airlines. Am I typing, thinking and breathing comfortably? You bet. Aside from the turbulence from the wind rushing over the Sierras to our West and the sliding out of my seat from the rather steep deck angle, I’m fine.

The plane climbs with enthusiasm when nurse, patient and EMT have been dropped off and we’re returning the airplane mostly empty to its home in Nevada. Continue reading Airplanes, Lies and Money

Boeing v. Trudeau

Boeing Super F-18.

I’m not a terribly patriotic Canadian, but I think this is an interesting story worth following.

Hegemony, aerospace, and the military industry industrial complex make for great reading when trying to understand the 51st State “nort of de border” as we say in Maine.  Richard Aboulafia writes extensively about the link between US prime contractors and the Canadian companies that play second fiddle as subcontractors for US aerospace manufacturing.

It is really hard to fight when we are so intertwined.  Bonne chance Justin.  Donald, more reading recommended.

Astronaut vs. Bus Driver (Part 2)

Image credit to therogueaviator.com

For those of us that extract money from airplanes and aerospace related things, the evolution of the pilot archetype fascinates me.

Jeff Friedrich outlines the current trend of the marginalization of skilled labor in one of the best articles on the subject.  Labor, regulation, technology and business models conspire to forsake a key ingredient – people.

While many debate that automation will do us in anyway, why not have some competent people around just in case?

If Elon Musk has anything to say about it (prediction), it might not be a bad idea to keep them even better trained and fed too.  The car you can park.  For critical aircraft failures, why not have a pilot with a compass and watch? And throw in some half decent training and compensation for good measure.