Soaring With a Hawk

Very cool video of paraglider flying with a trained hawk.

We originally found this here.

We talk about this video in UCAP259.

Video of C310 ditching near Hawaii

The 4-Forces from 1968

FAA video from 1968 describing the basics of aerodynamics.

I found this youtube video on the site.

This vid really takes me back. I remember watching these sorts of things early on Sat morning, seated on the floor in front of the TV, hot cocoa in hand.

(BTW, swell prize for the first person who can tell me what airport that is. Put your answer in the comments.)

Learning from Legends

OK, not directly an aviation story, but a touching example of how one can selflessly influence the future.

In case this is totally outside your area of familiarity, the guy talking is Neil deGrasse Tyson, perhaps today’s most well known, and successful, explainer of “big science” (my quote), and considered by many to be the evangelical heir of Carl Sagan. And Carl Sagan is, well, Carl Sagan.

It’s always sumthin’…

Here’s a tip of the wing to the Obama Administration.

In the Administration’s initiation into the Presidential Circle of User-Fee Proposers the authors at least hit on an honest justification — We, the royal “We” of Americans, need the money.

Thanks for not setting off on that old, discredited canard about general aviation not paying its fair share.

What a relief! Revisiting that would be as much fun as watching more reruns of my colonoscopy — except without the drug-induced giggling.

Still, we must give a thumbs down to this user-fee idea.

Yes, wasteful, unnecessary or overly generous programs need hard looks at justifying their existence and the public’s contribution to same. Funding the FAA is not one of them.

The fee proposal also fails the long-held user-pays standard; we pay already — and at a level directly proportional to how fast and how often we fly.

That’s those excise taxes we pay on aviation fuels, Jet A and AvGas.

It’s simple, straightforward, proportional, and fair.

Fly something that burns 10 gallons an hour and pay just under two bucks an hour into the Airport and Airways Trust Fund — by which the bulk of FAA’s costs are covered.

Fly something that hits FL410 and Mach 0.80 on fuel flowing at 900 an hour, well, you pay nearly $200 an hour in fuel taxes…yeah…an hour… Fly 150 hours a year in that bird and the annual dollar figure rises to about $30,000. Yeah…$30,000.

Ironic thing, too: the pilot of the 10-an-hour airplane likely never talks to a controller. But we pay more or less willingly pay because we need things like Flight Service weather forecasts and briefings, airport and aircraft inspections, navaid checks and more. Even when we don’t talk to ATC.

That jet, however, must use ATC services and crew tend to start tapping those services from before engine start, throughout the flight to even after shutdown.

And they pay a lot.

We know the Trust Fund needs more and GA has already agreed to higher fuel taxes already. They’re in the floundering FAA re-authorization bill.

Get Congress to finish that and NOT give us a 23rd Continuing Resolution to keep open the FAA and watch the revenues increase.

And lets all help get Americans back to work and back into their airplanes; that will do its part to improve our economy and add to the Trust Fund coffers.

But when the best thing to say about this new $100-fee idea is, “Its original,” that’s not saying much and not solving our problem.

Best video I’ve seen of Reno crash as plane loses control

This is the first time I’ve seen this video. Starting around 7:30 in the vid is some excellent footage of the plane as it began to lose control.

Final Flight of the Ghost from Jason Schillereff on Vimeo.

This video DOES NOT show the impact. Just the events leading up to it.

Boeing ships first 787

787Boeing today made its first delivery of the sexy new 787 “Dreamliner”. Business news is all abuzz about what this means for Boeing’s bottom line.

Mostly we just care about it being a cool airplane.

AOPA Summit — Crashing the Goulian Shoot

Jeff Ward and I tried to crash the Mike Goulian photo shoot at the AOPA Summit Airportfest. (*)

We were lurking in the background of this shot. But they asked us to move away. Amazingly they didn’t seem to think we were adding anything to the view.

Goullian Shoot

(*) OK, not really. We were accidentally in the shot, and were asked to move away.

AOPA Summit — Tie Down

I can’t remember, was this one of the tie-downs that Jeb tested way back when?

Water Tie Down

AOPA Summit — Flight Design C4

Mockup of the new 4-seater C4.