Archive | May, 2011


Blue: My pick for “Best Airport Dog” award

If there was an award for “Best Airport Dog”, Blue, an Australian Cattle Dog (aka Blue Heeler) who runs the roost at seaplane operator Kenmore Air in Seattle. I was visiting Kenmore with our ace test pilot, Mike Gerzanics, to put together an operator report on Kenmore and to go with Mike to fly and […]

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Maryland nabs human-powered helicopter record! (UNOFFICIAL)

They did it! The University of Maryland’s School of Engineering, along with “pilot” and peddler Judy Wexler has, unofficially for now, set a world endurance record for a human-powered helicotper! The 5:30pm final flight attempt today, Wexler and “Gamera” had clearly cleared the floor at all four corner posts and the pilot’s seat, according to […]

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Maryland to try for human-powered helicopter flight today

Following some test flights yesterday (May 11), studends and teachers at the University of Maryland in College Park will try today to liftoff and hover in ground effect with a 101lb quad-rotor pedalled by a 107lb althlete named Judy Wexler. Click this hyperlink for a live feed starts at 11am east coast US time this morning. […]

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“Sex” and the College Park City

Forget that a select group of University of Maryland engineering students and teachers are on the brink of setting a world record for the first official human-powered helicopter, aka Gamera  What’s important about today’s event is that the cyclist/engine for the quad-rotor behemoth is a dead ringer at camera distance for Sex and the City’s […]

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PiperSport involved in bizarre, tragic Florida crash

Federal investigators are trying to determine why a 2010 PiperSport LSA (N420PS) crashed near Brooksville, Florida late on the night of 6 May, possibly after an in-flight explosion and breakup at altitude. Tragically, the lone pilot and flight instructor, 23-year-old Scott Tezak from Illinois, was killed. Tezak was apparently flying the aircraft back to Illinois […]

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VIDEO: Flying the Eclipse 500′s Integrated FMS

The first time I flew the Eclipse Aerospace EA500 back in 2007, I compared it to a magic carpet ride. I flew it again on 28 April (from the backseat), and I still think it’s a magic carpet. With its final slate of upgrades and new IS&S-built avionics, the EA500 is about as complete a […]

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Conair: S-M-S to the M-A-X

Pilots for Canadian aerial firefighting company, Conair, take the notion of Safety Management Systems (SMS) to a new level. I’ve watched general aviation and corporate pilots perform pre-takeoff safety briefings for years (I don’t have experience with airlines) and have never seen a briefing with quite depth and tempo as I saw watching Conair pilots Chris […]

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Colorado Crash — First impressions and unforgiving physics

No matter who or what ultimately turns out to be the cause of the doubly fatal crash of a Cubcrafters Carbon Cub light sport aircraft at the Everitt airport in Colorado on 23 April, it will likely be too little too late to convince a certain group of Colorado children that general aviation isn’t a fundamentally treacherous endeavour. […]

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Airport scuffle: Kitfox vs. Ford Truck

Goose Creek airport (28A) in North Carolina was the scene of an odd sort of ultimate fighting contest between a Kitfox ultralight and an old Ford pickup on 3 March. According to the NTSB preliminary report, the pilot/owner was attempting to land on Runway 4 that afterrnoon in “somewhat gusty” crosswinds. “The touchdown itself was […]

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