Monday, April 26, 2010

International Learn to Fly Day - May 15th

If you have ever had an interest in learning to fly, May 15th might not be a bad day to start. Many flight schools, EAA chapters, FBOs, etc, will be holding events at many airports around the country (and world). Use their locator to find an event near you.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Taking Maggie to her new home

This past Sunday I had the chance to participate in a Pilots N Paws (PNP) rescue along with my friend Ben. For those not aware, Pilots N Paws is a 501c3 organization that provides animals in shelters with transportation to new homes who have adopted them. Sometimes these homes are halfway across the country and general aviation pilots provide much of the help in forming links to move the animals in need to their new destinations.

So this is how we got to meet Maggie, a 2 ½ year old female German Shorthaired Pointer. We received an email through PNP from the director of the Great Plains Pointer Rescue in Des Moines, Iowa saying that they needed to move Maggie from a small Iowa shelter out to Randolph, NJ where a foster home was waiting for her. PNP is very self organizing and with the help of the director, a chain soon formed with a pilot flying the Iowa to Indianapolis leg, and then met a friend of ours in Indianapolis.
Our friend regularly commutes from Indianapolis to Pittsburgh in his Beechcraft Baron and he just happened to have room for a four legged passener this evening. At about 6:30PM we saw the Baron above and enter the pattern for a landing at our home airport in Zelienople. Watching the Baron roll into the hanger with Maggie peering of the back window was a fun sight.

We unloaded her out of the Baron to let her stretch her legs and take care of some business. She was a little uncertain but Babar told us that she had been a great passenger. After about 15 minutes we loaded her into the back of the Piper Arrow and headed out. The flight was uneventful aside from having to stay beneath a low overcast for an hour until we reached the State College area. Then we were greeted with a nice sunset and smooth air.
Another 20 minutes later and we were calling our traffic on the CTAF at the Penn Valley Airport (SEG) in Selinsgrove, PA. Ben made a great landing and we taxied over the ramp where we saw the pilots who were flying the last leg of Maggie's trip to New Jersey.

They were amazed, as Ben and I were, by how calm Maggie was and by how good she looked. Maggie took it all in stride almost as if she knew we were working to help her. After a few pictures, it was getting dark and Ben and I prepared for the night leg home which I would fly back to Pittsburgh. The ceiling had lifted for the flight back and we had a very calm and beautiful star filled sky to look at on the way home.

It's great to know that Maggie is now in a better place than she was and we are looking forward to the next time we can help out.

Maggie mets the guys who will fly her on the last leg of her long trip home

Enroute to Selinsgrove, PA (SEG)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bearcats and Hornets play nice

An incredibly well done production showing the Horsemen, the world's only P-51 Mustang aerobatic team, flying formation with the Blue Angels. Truly a must see.

From AirShowBuzz
"The Horsemen have always admired the Blue Angels flight demonstration team. So when Jim, Dan, and Ed found out they were flying a show with the Blues they decided to pay homage to the Angels by replacing their normal ride of P-51 Mustangs with F-8F Bearcats. When the Blues caught wind of what was happening they suggested their solo pilots fly formation with the Bearcats. Then everyone thought it would be cool if Al Taddeo, who flew Bcats on the first Blues team, came and watched the Bearcats fly. ASB.TV was there to capture the moment and the rest as they say... is history."

Saturday, April 3, 2010

News reporter has the right stuff

If only GA could receive more positive coverage like this!

The story features the website and there's a great film clip of the reporting taking her first flight lesson.

update 5/14/2010
and another reporter writes up a great story about her first flying experience.

Angel Flight West

Here's a heartwarming article about more Angel Flight pilots who volunteer their time, money and aircraft to help others in need.

From the article: "Angel Flight West, was founded in 1983 and is headquartered in Santa Monica. In its first year, roughly a dozen pilots flew 15 missions. Now the organization boasts 1,600 registered volunteers, whose work includes flying patients to hundreds of medical facilities in small aircraft they either own or rent. Angel Flight West’s service area is vast, encompassing most of the Western United States, from Wyoming to Hawaii. Despite the relatively small percentage of the United States’ population with pilot’s licenses, Angel Flight West receives a lot of support. The roughly 350 volunteer pilots with the organization’s Northern California “Wing” flew over 688 missions last year".