How it all began


Re-post from 2002. Looking forward to Airventure 2018!

50 years of Airventure

Finally this year, I had the opportunity to attend Airventure 2002. It was well worth the effort to travel to Oshkosh, Wisconsin. We arrived in Oshkosh on Friday afternoon. The place was brimming with people and with luck we found a decent site to pitch tent and settle in.  Camp Scholler is not only a fun place to camp but is also very close to the action, within walking distance to the airport and the airshow. There are shuttle buses that operate on a regular basis between the campground, the entrance to the airshow, seaplane base and the EAA Museum.

This year marked the 50th anniversary of Airventure. It is estimated that more than 750,000 attended this year; an estimated 10,000 aircraft were flown with a total of 2503 showplanes.  This year’s air show performances included among others:

  • Spectacular performance by the Liberty Parachute team, well orchestrated descent to the singing of the Star Spangled Banner
  • Splendid performance by Julie Clark accompanied to a fireworks display
  • Ethereal performance by Manfred Radius in his sailplane beautifully synchronized to music that soothes the soul
  • Is this for real?  Is that really a woman on my wing? Bob and Pat Wagner in their wing walking act.
  • The most incredible airpower of all – a demonstration of the Harrier II, a Vertical Take-off and Landing aircraft (VTOL)  that can hover
  • Performances by Patty Wagstaff though not as spectacular as anxiously awaited owing to weather. But hey she did go up and do some of her tricks!
  • Masterful performances by Sean Tucker in his Oracle Challenger II.
  • Mike Mancuso finding new heights to flying. If it can be done, he can do it dare-devil act.
  • The War birds of America had a daily extended show. The most spectacular was the recreation of “Wall of fire”
  • Daily racing by the Aeroshell team in their T-6’s

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Airventure Oshkosh is a must see event. It is the place once a year that aviation enthusiasts converge. With shows, workshops, booths, aircraft displays, dare-devil aerobatics and best of all the people who make it all happen. With most people it is a tradition. People come year after year to share the joy of flying.

There are other places to see and visit if you are in the Madison area. One such place is Taliesin built by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
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If you have never been to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, visit  http://www.airventure.org and start planning for your trip in 2003 now. From what I hear all the best places are all gone early. But you will always find a campsite at Camp Scholler.

Has it really been 5 years?


Discovery Final Fly By

How ironic is it that it was Discovery that did the flyby today over Washington DC, amidst the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and the Capitol? Atop a Boeing 747, it soared over the Nation’s Capital at 1500 ft waving a final goodbye before gliding to a landing at it’s final resting place: National Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center in Dulles, VA.

After a sweeping low flyby past the Washington Monument, it looped over the National Mall not once but twice, slow, silent yet graceful. Past the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, the Capitol, The White House, Lincoln Memorial and Jefferson Memorial. After two graceful loops over the mall, she finally bid adieu headed up the Potomac River past the SW Waterfront,  Reagan National Airport and finally Dulles International Airport. Crowds thronged the mall and other lookout areas taking a break from school, work and other activities to catch a glimpse of history, anxious to snap a photo and discuss the times they had watched a shuttle launch out in Titusville.

When NASA announced the end of the Space Shuttle Missions in 2010, it was finally now or never. It was STS 133 launch that I was scheduled to watch. After several failed attempts to procure KSC launch tickets, my friends and I managed to buy the Dolphin Tours Causeway launch package for STS-133 which was scheduled to liftoff on Nov 1st, 2010. As fate willed it, after waiting almost a week in Florida with daily postponements to the next day, STS-133 launch got scrubbed and re-scheduled for Feb 24th, 2011 when Discovery  accomplished it’s final mission before being retired from service.

It was to be never for me since I have never watched a Shuttle launch or landing. So it is especially a bitter sweet moment to finally see Discovery not on a launchpad strapped to solid rocket boosters 10 miles away blasting off gracefully to space on a crimson and pristine predawn Florida sky but 1500 ft above Washington DC, piggybacked on a Boeing 747.

Discovery  and so we finally meet 🙂

See Also:

Atlantis: Final Flight 
SpaceShipOne Government Zero
SpaceShipOne and I
I touched SpaceShipOne
Lost in Space

Save Tangier, Please!


Re-post from last year.

 

 

Okay, by now I have been to Tangier multiple times.

I even got the coveted VA Ambassador Stamp last October. As it happens although our original plan was to fly to Ocracoke Island and First Flight airport, we had to change our plans due to my school schedule.

Instead, we ended up flying to Tangier again on an  impromptu flight with the flight out group (FOG)  on Sunday. Five aircraft with 14 people ended up at Tangier for lunch at Lorraine’s this holiday weekend. There was much camaraderie, hanger flying, and excellent flying, since the weather was perfect, and  the airspace clear.

Tangier on the other hand is still doing none the better since obviously, whatever anyone says and does, it will disappear one day.  We might be okay calling it fake news, ignore climate change and science, and live in a world of alternate facts.

But nature in the end always wins.

Just this past week, Shelly Island appeared.

This is what we saw when we were in Tangier back in October 2016.

Ultimately, we all pay for our mistakes.

Hopefully, we realize our mistakes, and do something about it, before it is too late!

 

Links:

The Twilight of Tangier
Belief’s won’t save Tangier
Trump tells Tangier Mayor not to worry about sea-level rise
Save Tangier Island
Trump’s call fuels fund raiser

Note: All photos courtesy of Gert.

Unforgettable: A Review


After a rejuvenating Young Women in Engineering Event, meeting and networking with high school girls, I was reminded of what inspired me.

First posted in 2003.

From Fall of 2000. Enjoy!

Unforgettable.

Yes that is how every memory we make is.

Unforgettable by Lane Wallace is a book about flying. It is about Lane’s ten best flights. From the Swiss Alps to Key West, from Alaska to Sudan to Mexico and even to the edge of space.

Unforgettable is also about the passion and the joy of flying: be it in a piper cub, a U-2 space plane,  a blimp or a Grumman Cheetah.

Unforgettable is also about the wonder of flying: the emotions that race through the authors mind as she experiences and explores the world.

Each experience is unique and unforgettable and provides valuable insights into life, living, the joy of flying and the incredible resilience and fortitude of the human race for survival and happiness. Ultimately you must feel it personally to experience any connection with the author’s view. If you are passionate about flying, and enjoy the simple joy of it, Unforgettable is a must read.

One fine October day, several years ago, I had the distinct pleasure to attend an event that left a tremendous impact on me. I had just soled and was flying my first cross country to Santa Barbara (SBA) with my flight instructor. As we landed after the cross country flight, my instructor had said:

“I have an extra ticket to the SLO99s banquet, do you want to go?”

“Sure”, I responded, even though I was excited and tired after our flight. Although I had heard about the 99s, in those days, as a future women pilot, I was not eligible for membership.

As I listened to the calm, quiet voice of Lane and her passionate exposition on the wonder and joy of flying, my own enthusiasm and passions were sharply awakened. Writing was something I had yearned to do since I was in high school. Here and now was a voice I could relate to. The emotions, the excitement and the passions that Lane described appeared so inline with my own views and passions about flying. That unforgettable day, rekindled the fires within me to write.  In actuality my flying adventures are the fodder to my writing. Since that fateful day, I have devoured the Flying Magazine (i.e. until recently :-)). The first article I always read was Flying Lessons by Lane Wallace. More recently my copy of the Sport Aviation Magazine actually started to see some wear. Unfailingly, on the day I receive it, I swiftly open it to get my fill  of Flying Lessons by Lane Wallace.

You can learn more about Lane by visiting her personal websites:

Lane Wallace
No Map, No Guide, No Limits

Find the book on Amazon or Sporty’s.

Fresh on Fridays: More Falwell


Courtesy Gert

Monday Morning Inspiration: Come from Away


Wonderful Show!

Based on real events from Sept 11, 2001 when 38 airplanes were diverted to the small town of Gander, Newfoundland in Canada, Come From Away, is a heart warming Broadway Musical, that captures the generosity of the residents of Gander who welcomed 7,000 stranded passengers.

Beverly Bass, one of the pioneering pilots (the first female Captain at American Airlines), was the captain of one of the 38 airplanes that landed there that day and whose character is portrayed in the musical.

See Also:

Beverly Bass
Fort Worth native Beverly Bass made Aviation History

Yes! Finals are over!


See you in 2018!