Smithsonian Air & Space Docent Class
10 Years ago…
It was one of those days when nothing was working in my favor. Have you experienced one of those days when you feel more like a spectator and things appear beyond your control? When you want to protest or butt in and say that is not what I want to do or how I want to do it? Or realize just a tad bit late that was the wrong thing to do? I was determined to not let the day’s somberness pull me down. After all every cloud has a silver lining.
So when Mike offered the greatest show in the world, I jumped at the chance to ride right seat in the Baron down the Hudson river corridor southbound past the Alpine Tower, GW Bridge, Intrepid, The Clock, Circle the Statue of Liberty, VZ bridge, and back home to DC at night. New York city was resplendent as always with lights turned on all over the city. The Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building stood majestic as always lit up to brighten anyone’s day. If seeing New York from 1100ft during the day was awe inspiring, seeing it in all its glory at night left us breathless. It was one of the coldest days of the season, but the air was clear and crisp in the night sky. With very light traffic flying the corridor that time of the night, we flew in complete contentment enjoying the splendor of the New York skyline at night.
Continue to read here.
Each year as September rolls in, it is hard to not reflect on 9/11. This year marks twenty years since that fateful day. Has it really been that long?
This year as I reflect, here are some articles I have written on the topic over the last twenty years.
As I started to write this, I was struck by the enormity of what happened on September 11, 2001. It is more than a month now, yet those atrocious attacks remain fresh in my mind like yesterday. What happened there must never be allowed to happen again, not here nor anywhere else in the world. Much more than peoples lives was lost that day. It is upto each one of us to contribute in our own ways to rebuild the future. As aviators it is important now more than ever, to come out and fly to promote the cause of the future of General Aviation. Continue to read here.
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depths of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake
— taken from the Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore
“It must be difficult for you that there is no way to lock your aircraft. Quite easy for someone to break in and fly away” I said without thinking. Continue to read here.
We Will Always Remember
The weather has been dreary all week. Lee was making it’s way up the coast bringing rain, flooding, power outages and playing havoc. As if we haven’t already had enough. Rattled by earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, and tropical storms. Despite the external havoc, the foremost thought on everyone’s mind the last few days was the one thing that we will never forget. How could we? From front page footage of scenes reviving the horror, to recollections, and never before seen or heard stories of one of the worst tragedies to touch the free world. The somberness reflected on each and every face: remembering the horror of this day, ten years ago. It was gloomy on all fronts all week. Continue to read here.
9/11: Thirteen years later…
We’ve come a long way since that horrific day, thirteen years ago. Time has only proved how resilient we are. Continue to read here.
In a way 9/11 triggered my childhood fascination for writing.
2001 was the year, I got my PPL. I could finally become a full member of the 99s. It was the year I took over as the editor of the Slipstream, the newsletter for my local chapter. Continue to read here.
“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.
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As we lifted off from the runway, looking out of the window a few hundred feet above the ground, the sight below was quite breathtaking, with aircraft, canopied tents, and people scattered around the airport. It was the busiest time of the year for the people of Oshkosh. I wished I had taken this flight in the middle of the week rather than the last day of Airventure 2009. The crowds were thinning as the end of the convention approached. Still, the sight was impressive from under the wings of the Ford Tri-Motor as we looped around Lake Winnebago over the Seaplane base and back again.
A year has gone by and it is that time of the year again, and the destination foremost in all pilots’ minds is Oshkosh, WI. The Experimental Aircraft Association’s (EAA) annual Fly-In Convention hosted each year in the last week of July is fast approaching. Year after year, aviation enthusiasts from all over the world return to Oshkosh to enjoy and share in one week of unfettered joy and celebration of aviation.
There are many ways to get to Oshkosh: flying, ride sharing, driving or commercial flight. Flying into Oshkosh airport (OSH) is an adventure in itself, and requires careful planning and preparation. The EAA website has a rich source of information to help plan your trip. Getting there is half the fun, where to stay is another important issue. Many easily accessible accommodations go quickly. Most people start planning at least six months to a year in advance. There are many choices for boarding such as dormitory style rooms, hotels, bed and breakfasts, renting a local house or room or camping. If you fly in you can camp near your aircraft. If you drive in or fly commercially, there is ample camping space available. If like me you are a last-minute planner, unable to commit well in advance for a week or weekend in Oshkosh, there is always room at Camp Scholler.
Continue to read here.
Goodbye Lakeland… till we meet again!