In the News

June 1, 2007

Barrington Irving's Flight Around the World

barringtonirving.jpgI have always been a fan of aviation adventures and have recently been caught up in following Barrington Irving's World Flight Adventure. Irving is looking to be the first person of African descent and to be the youngest person ever to fly solo around the world.

Barrington grew up in the inner city of Miami and was 15 years old when he met an United Airlines pilot that got him excited about flying. He began spending his free time at the airport, working to pay for his flight lessons. Aviation has been his passion ever since. In 2005 he founded Experience Aviation a nonprofit organization that looks to inspire the young people and encourage those interested in pursuing careers in aviation. You can learn all about the organization on their website.

Irving has flown over 14,000 miles already in "Inspiration" his trusty Columbia 400 and has another 6,000+ miles to go. The next leg will likely be his most challenging. According to Irving's blog he is in Hong Kong waiting for storms to clear to allow him to make the challenging flight across the North Pacific to Shemya, Alaska. The next leg of the flight will take nearly 12 hours to cover the 1,520 nautical miles. You can view a map tracking his flight progress on the Experience Aviation website. Judging from the satellite imagery he shared on his blog I have a feeling he might be grounded for another few days while the weather pushes off to the East.

If you are intrigued by Irving's flight you should also check out Three Eight Charlie the story of Jerrie Mock's flight around the world. She was the first woman to fly solo around the world. I created a Google Map Mash-up of her route a while back.

Posted at 11:06 AM | Post Category: In the News, Jerrie Mock | Comments (2) | Save & Share This Story

March 20, 2007 up for Squidoo Lens of the Year

MyFlightBlog manages a lens on about Learning to fly. Squidoo defines a lens as "one person's view on a topic he cares about. More specifically, a lens is a single web page filled with information and links that point to other web pages, to continually updated RSS feeds, or to relevant advertising. It's a place to start, not finish."

I was notified today that out of the 100,000 lenses on the Squidoo site a couple hundred have been nominated for the "Lens of the Year". The winner will be announced on Friday, March 30. If you enjoy you might enjoy the lens on Squidoo. Check it out then cast a vote for it to be nominated the Lens of the Year.

Please note: when you get to the voting page you may have to click the "see all" button as only the top 25 are shown on the main page.

Posted at 5:53 PM | Post Category: In the News | Save & Share This Story

October 13, 2006

General Aviation a Threat to Our Cities?

In addition to maintaining this blog I also contribute for There I concentrate on covering sports but from time to time I will post an article about aviation as it relates to Chicago such as the Air and Water Show or in yesterday�s case about general aviation restrictions around major cites like Chicago.

In the aftermath of the tragic aviation accident involving Yankees Pitcher Cory Lidle and his flight instructor, Tyler Stranger there has been a ton of negative press for General Aviation. Many are asking whether General Aviation should be more closely restricted around our big cities. For Chicagoist I wrote my opinions on the matter. I was happily surprised to see that I received many positive comments in reply to my post many who realize this was an accident but not much more.

Having flown the Hudson River Corridor, safely, this past Spring I would hate to see unnecessary restrictions put in place that would prevent such flights in the future.

I invite you to check out the article on

Posted at 9:47 AM | Post Category: In the News | Save & Share This Story

February 22, 2006

Learning From a Local Crash

Over the weekend there was a non-fatal plane crash of a plane departing the airport I flew out of most recently. As you may recall, I visited Schaumburg Airport to check out the Northwest Aviation FBO. I found it to be a professional organization from which I will likely fly again (If the weather ever cooperates � that's another story).

On Sunday, an eighteen year-old student pilot with over 30 hours of flight time and his flight instructor took off from Schaumburg in a Piper Warrior. Shortly after takeoff, the plane experienced engine problems and they were forced to land on a nearby highway. Luckily, cars were able to clear the way but before they could successfully land on the highway, they clipped a light pole with a wing, making the plane land upside down. Both were able to escape from the plane without major injury.

For most pilots, their worst nightmare is to lose an engine right after takeoff before sufficient altitude has been gained to circle back for an emergency landing on the runway. It will be interesting to read the NTSB report when it comes out probably weeks or months from now to learn more about what might have caused the accident and if it could have been avoided.

Reading NTSB reports, especially for airports you fly from, can be very beneficial from a learning perspective. You can view NTSB reports by visiting the NTSB website. Their search engine allows you to find reports by specific criteria like a plane registration number, type of plane, city or state, etc.

I recommend reading reports for your airport so you can learn of environmental and other conditions that might lead to an accident therefore helping you avoid such situations. Additionally, reading about accidents in the type of aircraft you fly can be very beneficial.

Posted at 6:44 PM | Post Category: In the News | Save & Share This Story

January 3, 2006

Cincinnati's Lunken Airport Featured in Pilot Getaways

Pilot Getaways MagazineI have been a subscriber to Pilot Getaways for almost two years and am always looking forward to the arrival of the next issue. Pilot Getaways does an excellent job of providing pilot destinations for pilots all over the country. For years I used to be a subscriber to Backpacker magazine. But I would be frustrated that the only trails and hikes they discussed were ones that would require significant traveling for a Midwesterner.

Pilot Getaways does a great job of highlighting at least one destination for each region of the United States in each issue. In a previous issue they featured the town of Ephraim, Wisconsin. In October I enjoyed a flight to the Ephraim-Gibraltor airport where I had the opportunity to land on both their turf and asphalt runways.

In this most recent issue they have a "Weekend Getaway" spotlight on Cincinnati, Ohio. They feature the Cincinnati Lunken Airport. I lived less than a mile from Lunken for almost 8 years. It is a great General Aviation Airport with a historic terminal building and great on-airport restaurant, The Sky Galley.

There was also another Midwest story about the El Greco restaurant near Lawrence J. Timmerman Airport just outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Even when Pilot Getaways writes about a destination that may not be close I alwasy find them interesting. This issue's feature story is about flying the Manhattan Corridor, something I would like to do next time I am in the area.

If you are not already subscribed to Pilot Getaways I highly recommend you subscribe today!

Posted at 7:14 PM | Post Category: In the News | Save & Share This Story

November 1, 2005

Voice Your Opinion on the Washington D.C. ADIZ

adiz.jpgThere is only one day left to voice your opinions on the The FAA's proposal to make the "temporary" flight restriction over the Washington D.C. area permanent. The current Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) was implemented in February 2003 in response to heightened terrorist threat levels.

There are 19 public-use airports used by more than 10,000 pilots that are effected by the ADIZ restrictions. The ADIZ area covers a 40 mile area from ground level to 18,000 feet. The restrictions of the ADIZ have put unnecessary burdens on general aviation pilots. Many pilots have reported frequently having to hold as much as 45 minutes on the ground or in the air to receive the needed transponder code to fly into the ADIZ. It is unfair that the general aviation aircraft that pose the smallest aviation threat must suffer from the restrictions.

Living in Chicago with a mayor who has proven to be an enemy to general aviation, I am concerned about the precedent that would be set by allowing a permanent ADIZ over the Washington D.C. area. AOPA President, Phil Boyer, said "If the FAA makes the Washington, D.C., ADIZ permanent, it will set a dangerous precedent, creating the possibility of IFR-like flight restrictions within the footprint of every Class B airspace."

AOPA has asked its members to contact the FAA and their representatives before November 2nd to make the voices of General Aviation pilots and enthusiasts heard. So far 16,565 have submitted comments. I submitted comments to the FAA, my two senators and my congressman. If you have not submitted comments visit the AOPA website tonight to find out how you can.

Posted at 10:55 PM | Post Category: AOPA, In the News | Save & Share This Story

October 3, 2005

Blue Ash Airport - An Endangered Airport?

On a regular basis I visit the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association website to see what's new in the world of General Aviation. One of AOPAs charges is to protect the interests of general aviation pilots, in doing so they tirelessly work to protect small airports from being closed. Almost weekly there is an article outlining how AOPA is working to save an airport.

I was saddened to see that AOPA now has to step in to help ensure the future of the airport I earned my Private Pilots License at, Blue Ash Airport. Blue Ash Airport is a ideal general aviation airport located in the suburb of Cincinnati, it would be a shame to see it closed.

Blue Ash Airport is currently owned by the City of Cincinnati and due to a budget crisis Cincinnati is thinking of selling the property. Although the city of Blue Ash is interested in buying the property and keeping the airport open there is significant concerns that the City of Cincinnati could get more money selling the property to a third party that would close the airport in order to develop the land.

According to Bill Dunn, AOPA vice president of airports, "AOPA is working with the local pilots and businesses as well as the City of Blue Ash to ensure that ISZ continues to be the healthy general aviation public-use facility that it is today with about 40,000 operations a year." You can learn more about on the AOPA website.

Seeing AOPA stepping up to defend issues close to my heart makes me glad I am a member. I will be watching this issue and will offer any assistance I can offer to keep this airport open.

Posted at 7:14 PM | Post Category: In the News | Save & Share This Story

July 26, 2005

Fly with Me Podcast

flywithme_podcast.jpgIf you have spent anytime online or reading newspapers in the past few weeks surely you have been hit over the head with the Podcast club. Since the media has done such a thorough job educating the masses on podcasting I will not go into detail about what a podcast is. If you want to learn more visit the Wikipedia post on podcasting.

I wanted to share with you an aviation related podcast that I have enjoyed during my commute this week called Fly with Me. Fly with me is a podcast hosted by Joe Dion, a Captain for a major U.S. Airline. Joe shares with his listners stories from flight attendants and pilots about what goes on behind the galley curtain and behind the cockpit door.

I especially enjoyed listening to some audio clips from the cockpit. In one episode Joe shares with us some conversations he has with other planes using frequency 123.45 while flying over the pacific on route to Hawaii while they are out of reach of air traffic controllers.

If you are looking to get into podcasting and you enjoy aviation this is a great show to start with.

Posted at 8:16 PM | Post Category: In the News | Save & Share This Story

July 19, 2005

Disaster Averted in McCook, Nebraska

landinggear.jpgAccording to the McCook Daily Gazette a Cessna Centurion 210 made a safe landing at McCook Regional Airport last week, after the landing gear failed in flight. The plane had just undergone repairs on the landing gear and this flight was to test the repairs.

With the gear not functioning the maintenance company sent out a few employees, one of which is a race car drive, armed only with a firefighter's pike pole.

As the airplane would make low passes over the runway the pick-up truck would pull up underneath it driving at speeds over 90 miles per hour while two men attempted to pull the gear down into a locked position using the pike pole.

On the second attempt they successfully pulled the left gear in place. But, it was not until the 10th pass that the right gear locked in place allowing the pilot to make a safe landing.

This is a pretty amazing story that includes some skilled airmanship, risky driving, ingenuity and a whole lot of luck.

Posted at 11:05 PM | Post Category: In the News | Save & Share This Story

June 20, 2005

AirTrek - Advanced In-Flight Course Tracking for Commercial Travelers

airtrek.jpgI always sit in a window seat when I fly commercially. I love to look out the window and look for recognizable cities, airports and other landmarks. Sometimes I will even bring a sectional map along since you can't count on the captain pointing out all the great sites.

Some airlines offer a little assistance with maps that look like they were built on the Atari platform showing you generally where on the flight path you are. But, these maps are of little use other than giving you an idea of how far along the route you are. Luftansa-Technik has developed an in-flight gadget that provides much more detailed information while also fulfilling a pure entertainment need of seeing satellite imagery of your current location.

It is called AirTrek and provides passengers satellite imagery to display their current location. According to Luftansa's website the 2D and 3D maps allow the user to "clearly see take-off and landing as well as points of interest and discover ground terrain with detailed topographical maps along the flight path (eg. cities, countries, oceans, mountains, lakes, rivers)." Users can choose between window, cockpit and overhead views.

Sadly, this functionality is not widely available yet. So you may need to rely on a section or pick up a copy of window seat .

Posted at 10:52 PM | Post Category: In the News | Save & Share This Story