The Day History Took Flight — Transportation History


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 […]

via The Day History Took Flight — Transportation History

He Didn’t Know How to Fly, But That Didn’t Stop Him — Transportation History


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 […]

via He Didn’t Know How to Fly, But That Didn’t Stop Him — Transportation History

Solar-powered Odysseus drone will fly high in 2019 — Cosmic Log


Aurora Flight Sciences, a pioneer in experimental flying vehicles that became a Boeing subsidiary last year, says its solar-powered, high-altitude, long-endurance Odysseus drone will take on its first flight in the spring of 2019. Odysseus has been years in the making, part of an effort that dates back to the Daedalus Project in the 1980s, before […]

via Solar-powered Odysseus drone will fly high in 2019 — Cosmic Log

Monday Musings: Unable


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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Thirteen Years Ago: From Palms to Pines


“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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