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

Words on Wednesdays: For the Love of Amelia


November is NaNoWriMo

“I hear, you have a new Certified Flight Instructor.” said the sweetest, gentlest voice, I ever heard. “I’ve heard great things. I hear he is a great instructor, not like …” the voices faded,

“Yes, what of it, Amelia Mary Earhart? Are you ready to commit to lessons?” taunted Chung, loudly.

“You know it is not Earhart, but Aaronhart. Is he in?” persisted the sweet, gentle voice.

“Maybe,” replied Chung, irritatingly.

“Come on Chung, I want to talk to him, please,” begged the sweet, soft voice.

“For you anything, sweet Amelia Mary Earhart. Anything!” responded Chung.

After, what seemed ages, “John Francisco Adams!” barked Chung. “There’s someone here for you.”

“Hello.” I said as I turned around the corner as swiftly as I could. Being unemployed and in search of any student, I was desperate to get up in the air.

“I’m John. Are you looking for an instructor?”

“Hi, I am Amelia,” said the most beautiful, absolutely, breathtaking person I had ever come across in my entire life. I gazed  unabashedly, awestruck by what I saw. It felt surreal. This can’t be real?

“I am looking to get my private pilot license,” she said. “I work at AvTech, on the field” she pointing over her shoulder to a large hanger across from the flight school.

“When would you like to start? Have you ever flown in a small aircraft before?” I asked.

That was how I met the love of my life.  Although, it would take me almost two more years to get the courage to ask and commit.

Over the next few months, I taught Amelia to fly. It was almost towards the end of her flight instruction before her check ride, that I managed to find the courage to ask her out to coffee. We spent two hours laughing and talking, and then walked over to the diner for a burger and a pint.

Over the next few weeks, I trained Amelia and helped her obtain her private pilot certificate. Six months later, we were living together. Amelia was like a sunshine in my life, and I could not imagine my life without her. It happened so fast, that sometimes I wondered, if it was too good to be true.

Amelia worked at AvTech LLC. She had recently graduated with a degree in Aerospace Engineering from University of California in Los Angeles. AvTech was a unique organization. Since 2001 when the in aftermath of 911, the aviation industry had suffered immensely and airlines have gone out of business or retired their fleet, the graveyard came into being.  AvTech had one of the biggest graveyards of all in the Mohave Desert.

For me, I couldn’t imagine my life without Amelia.

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.

Continue to read here.