Canadian aviation pioneer Lorna de Blicquy was born in 1931 near the town of Goderich in the province of Ontario. De Blicquy, who developed a strong interest in aviation after a cousin took her for a flight over the Canadian capital of Ottawa, started to take flying lessons when she was only 14. At the […]
February brings fond memories of Bahamas…
Has it really been 5 years?
If wishes were horses, I would, I should, I might, or I already would be in the Bahamas!
Five years ago today…
Last year when we planned the Bahamas trip, we set off with a hotel reservation in Fort Pierce, FL, which by the way, we had to change since we departed one day later than planned. Of course, we did need to prepare ahead of the time: radio licenses for the aircraft as well as the pilots, decal for the aircraft, and eAPIS accounts to submit passenger manifests. That was the extent of our planning. I roughly planned what stops we would make on the outbound, so we could have a rough estimate of flight times to expect and where we would stop for fuel, food and customs. But that was it.
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In a show of solidarity with their unpaid U.S. counterparts, Canadian air traffic controllers ordered pizza for FAA controllers at facilities across the U.S. over the weekend. It started with controllers in Edmonton, Alberta buying pizza for the staff in Anchorage. The movement quickly spread and by Sunday, every Canadian ATC facility had been paired with one or more U.S. tower or center to supply some free meals for them. Many of the paired centers work closely with one another handing off aircraft between them but others, like Kelowna and Reno, are far removed from each other but shared the same sentiment as those in Vancouver. Vancouver controllers posted a photo of a sign urging staff to chip in $5 each for the gesture to thank U.S. controllers “for showing up to work and keeping things safe.”
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December 17, 1903 It was the dawn of a new era. Orville and Wilbur Wright made transportation history near the North Carolina town of Kill Devil Hills (about four miles, or6.4 kilometers, south of the better-known town of Kitty Hawk) by bringing about the world’s first controlled, powered, and sustained heavier-than-air human flight. The brothers each […]
November 29, 1882 Aviation pioneer Henri Fabre was born in the French city of Marseille. Fabre’s advanced knowledge of science early on in life helped foster his powerful interest in human flight. With unmatched intensity, he studied and developed designs for planes and propellers. The result of Fabre’s efforts was his creation of the first […]
Eula “Pearl” Carter Scott made aviation history in1929 when she took off in a plane for a solo flight. Pearl, who was only 13 at the time, became the youngest pilot in the United States. She had been born in the city of Marlow in Oklahoma in 1915. Her mother was an enrolled member of […]
Ask any pilot out there and they’ll swear that flying a plane is the adventure of a lifetime. All those years learning and obtaining the requirements for flying are more than worth it. For commercial airline and business pilots, the pay is more than substantial. For pilots who’ve taken up flying as a hobby, the […]
Four years ago…
Miami Center, can we get direct Ft. Pierce,” I asked eying the ominous looking dark clouds at our 12 o’clock.
“Unable for the next 10 minutes. Maintain heading,” responded Miami Center.
We had departed Bimini, our final halt in the Bahamas before heading back to the States. It was cloudy and IMC along the Florida Coast and we had filed an IFR flight plan for the return. Bimini is a mere 10nm miles from the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ ) and with luck, we had circled as we climbed to altitude and after multiple attempts, finally established radio contact with Miami Center. This was not only crucial since we were in-bound, crossing the ADIZ, but also because weather along our route was mostly IMC.
We proceeded as directed, continuing to watch the rapidly approaching weather system, straight ahead. When is the best time to tell the controller I am unable to follow his directive, I pondered. The system ahead looked turbulent and moisture laden. It is not fun heading into this mess in a Cessna 172. But I was also curious to see how it felt, how I would handle it, and understand my limits. Fortunately, just as we started penetrating the mess, Miami Center, cleared us direct to Ft. Pierce, so we could avoid the system.
Unable might seem like a taboo word, something you should never use or one you feel affronted to use since it admits a weakness of some sort or some such frivolous reason, but believe it or not it is the most effective word in your pilot lingo that might just save the day.
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“A first time racer’s personal account”
“You have to go down to 350 feet for the flyby,” I reminded gently. “I am not going any lower“, pat came the response while Grace stayed steady at 400 feet. “We’ll be disqualified if we are not at or below 200 feet for the flyby,” I said a trifle forcefully.