Sanity Prevails

DHC 2 Beaver near San Francisco

Thank you to the many pilots and supporters that turned out yesterday at the Marin County Civic Center.  Common sense has prevailed and Richardson’s Bay will continue to have Seaplane Adventures operating as part of the fabric it has been there for 70 years.

This also means I can keeping adding seaplane ratings to private and commercial tickets.  Bravo Aaron and the rest of the gang.

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Pilots and Pay

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My images are normally fatter and shorter.  But you really need to see this ramp in taller format to get the point about pilot pay that I’ll try to make on the coat tails of someone with much more clout on the matter.

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NOTAMs: “What if, instead, the Authorities had simply written what they meant?”

Routes of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and Singapore Airlines Flight 351, including airspace restrictions

 

Mark Zee’s statement above is sticking in my mind as I prepare for the IFR add on to my CFI.  Mainly because I see it leaking into how we learn.

Archaic CFII and IFR prep questions remind me that much aviation is more about a right of passage than learning.

Becoming a rockstar at decoding weather outputs should make you wonder.  And on a more crazy note, let’s look at the rafts of NOTAMs we’re all asked to process – before each flight.  Then consider that a NOTAM’s obvious urgency could have saved Malaysia MH17.

What if the crew knew what the NOTAM meant, that would have saved their lives?

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Homage to the Skywagon (Cessna 180 / 185)

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When I first got into aviation I called my company Skywagon Air Service.  That’s how nuts I was.  Nuts about the 180 / 185 that is.  In the basement, of this house, next to this 185, is where the company was born.  I got these photos the other day from Mike Ball of KRKD who reminded me of the day he “took the 185 home for lunch.”  The drive was all of 7 min.  But why do that when you can land your 185 in your driveway and taxi it up to the front door… for lunch: Continue reading

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Fly Your Dog?

A key consideration for your next Cessna 140 modified bush plane:

Can you fit the hound?

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Image care of Aaron Bartels

So you purchased a 1947 Cessna 140, put some bush tires on it, and your therapist feels that this is a good direction (and step!) for you.

Bravo.  You eschew “Burning Man” for Wrangell Inlet.  You’re my kinda peeps.

But before we get too excited [whilst thinking of taildragger upgrades], let’s look at the basic needs of the new aircraft owner, facing a mild midlife crisis:

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Vicarious Spin Training and Observation

Big thank you to Elliot Seguin for showing what a long term spin can look like in slow mo – in a vertical wind tunnel (iFLY in Ontario, CA).  The PT-17 is a hallmark of WWII training and current day warbird aficianados (aka “The Stearman”).

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Mach Crit and Supercritical Wings

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This F-18 is showing off critical Mach.

Sometime around 1962 aerodynamicists realized there was more that could be done.

More efficiency to gain at speeds near the speed of sound.

But most importantly, the phenomena so iconic in this picture wasn’t fully understood until the mid 1960s.  Sure, wings had been swept and shock waves studied.  And it is no coincidence that the area rule was being noodled around this time.

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