AirVenture – A History of The World’s Largest Airshow

August 11th, 2014
AirVenture Oshkosh

Start of AirVenture 2014, Oshkosh, Wi.

This year, between July 28th and August 3rd, we attended AirVenture, the world’s largest airshow. Each summer, it is a week at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin that is like no other.  It’s a week full of the latest in airplanes and helicopters, breathtaking air shows, films, energetic concerts, various demonstrations, workshops, and numerous other fun filled activities centered around aviation, attracting nearly 500,000 people every year.  This annual celebration of aviation is called EAA AirVenture and is held by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), which is an international community of people who all share the same love and appreciation of flight.

Originally called the EAA Fly-In, the first get-together was a part of the Milwaukee Air Pageant in September of 1953. Approximately 150 people attended and there were only a small number of airplanes.  Every year it grew and even before the 1950s ended, the EAA Fly-In out-grew the Milwaukee airport.

The event then moved to Rockford, Illinois Municipal airport.  With more space, the EAA Fly-In expanded its aviation interests to include warbirds, aerobatic performers, and antique aircraft. Soon Rockford could no longer contain the growing EAA Fly-In and once again the event had to relocate.

AirVenture Oshkosh

Warbird Alley at AirVenture

The airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, suggested by Steve Wittman, had the ideal qualities to host such an event.  The land surrounding the airport could accommodate the numerous airplanes, tents, and vehicles.  Also, the two runways at the airport didn’t intersect, allowing traffic to flow better. The EAA board approved the move to Oshkosh in 1969.

It turned out to be the perfect place and became the home of the  EAA Fly-In which was renamed EAA AirVenture in 1998. Each year approximately 500,000 people make the journey to Oshkosh with 10,000 aircraft in attendance. It is the biggest aviation event in the world!

X-Copter Simulator

X-Copter Helicopter Flight Simulator

This year’s  at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014 had some great new additions! The Thunderbirds’ entire team of F-16s flew for the first time as a result of an increased acrobatic area for them to perform! Also, air shows were streamed online for everyone to enjoy. The newest helicopter flight simualtor, X-Copter, was at AirVenture this year – one of the first helicopter flight simulators to be on display at AirVenture.  There was also a ‘One Week Wonder’, an airplane built from a Zenith CH 750 Cruzer kit in seven days by everyone at the show who wanted to help and it flew! In addition, this year’s space themed days included special guest speakers discussing everything on the topic including private space exploration. Jack Pelton, EAA Chairman, stated in a recent interview that he sees space aviation as a growing and important sector of Oshkosh in the coming years.  EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is constantly changing and growing every year and it’s no wonder it has become aviation’s mecca!

Check out our Facebook page for all our AirVenture 2014 photo albums at: https://www.facebook.com/AviationSchools 

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What are “quality” flight hours?

June 5th, 2014

Soon after getting your flight certificates and ratings you will want to start building up flight time.  If flying is a hobby, getting quality flight time will not only be fun, but it will make you a safer pilot.  If being a professional pilot and flying for a living is your dream, logging quality time is not an option, it’s a necessity.
But, what is “quality flight time”?  Consider Silvia and Nelson, both have just finished their flight training and are anxious to start getting paid to fly in hopes of becoming airline pilots one day.
Nelson marches himself to the local airport and applies for a sight seeing pilot position.  He gets the job and is soon taking passengers on sight seeing tours in a Cessna 182 showing them the majestic beauty of the Grand Canyon and area around it.
Silvia, on the other hand, starts flight instructing at her local flight school and soon has a couple of private pilot students and an instrument student.
Nelson logs almost 600 hours his first year!  Silvia only logs 430 hours.  Who has the most fight time?  And, more important, who has the most “quality flight time”?
While Nelson may have more hours in his logbook, most, if not all, of that flight time is VFR (Visual Flight Rules) day time.  Nelson probably hasn’t flown in instrument conditions very much (conditions in which you have no reference to an outside horizon and you have to fly and navigate with reference to the airplane’s instruments only).  Nelson also has little night time in his logbook.
Silvia has less total time, but her pilot skills are as sharp as they’ll ever be – student pilots tend to ask tough questions, keep you on your toes, and really test your abilities as a pilot.  Instrument students (students working on their Instrument rating) have kept Silvia’s instrument skills razor sharp.  She’s also been able to log a decent amount of cross country time and night time.
The point is, as in other aspects of life, you should concentrate on Quality as much, if not more so, than Quantity.  Employers hiring pilots know (or should know) the difference between someone who’s logged a lot of VFR day time versus someone who’s been willing to stretch outside their comfort zones in order to keep learning, improve their piloting skills, and really grow as a pilot.
Some of the best lessons I’ve learned as a pilot have come from flight instructing private pilot students or flying as a ferry pilot.  These experiences are priceless, but it required a commitment to seek out opportunities that would require stepping outside my comfort zone.  As a result, I can often hold my own when talking to pilots with a lot more flight time than I, but without as many interesting experiences.
Now, don’t get me wrong, any time you get an opportunity to fly (even as a sight seeing pilot), take it!  VFR day time is still better than no time.  But, make sure you continue to learn and grow as a pilot by seeking out opportunities that stretch your boundaries.
Here are 6 ideas to do just that:
1. If you’re a CFII, take on a good balance of primary and advanced students
Primary students will keep you on your toes and, since they can’t fly yet, will allow you to demonstrate many of the maneuvers before they can do it themselves.  Being a CFI, in and of itself, is a great way to stay sharp as pilot, be sure to check out the FAA handbook for flight instructors on the FAA website (http://www.faa.gov)
2. Attend FAA Safety Seminars
In addition to getting free information to keep you safe and legal, these are great opportunities to network with pilots in your area.  You never know who you might meet.  To sign up for these FREE seminars, visit the Flight Safety website (http://www.faasafety.gov).
3. Join an organization and do some x/c flying
Many airports are home to flying clubs or other flying organizations that will offer you the opportunity to participate on fly-ins and other adventures.  A great way to meet other pilots and gain from their expertise.  Social Flight (http://www.socialflight.com) is a great site that will keep you updated about flying activities in your area. (Social Flite)
4. Participate in a race
There are several air races throughout the year.  Even if you don’t own an airplane, you could join a team and become a involved in a race as a supporting member.  The Air Race Classic (http://www.airraceclassic.org) is one example of a fun race that happens annually.
5. Get an additional endorsement or get checked out in a different aircraft
Flying as many types of airplanes as you can is a great way to gain an indescribable type of experience.  It helps you become more in touch with the machines that you operate as your body and senses start discerning all the different nuances of different aircraft.  For example, the lessons I learned when earning my tailwheel endorsement translated to making me a much better pilot in any airplane I get to fly.
6. Offer to ferry airplanes
When I was building up flight time, ferrying was the bets way to do it fast!  You really have to be on top of your game, since you will be flying unfamiliar airplanes whose history you don’t know much about.  You’ll be flying over unfamiliar terrain, into and out of unfamiliar airports, and it’s almost a given that you’ll run into un-forcasted weather or unplanned mechanical issues.  Visit PilotTricks.com to read about my own ferrying adventures.
In conclusion, make sure to keep you skills sharp, always look for opportunities to learn and, of course, stay safe!
For more ideas on building “quality” flight time, visit: http://www.pilottricks.com/when-it-comes-to-flight-time-is-quality-better-than-quantity

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What should I study to become a pilot?

May 31st, 2014

photo by PilotTricks.com

photo by PilotTricks.com

The question comes up over and over, “I’m not good at math, but I want to be a pilot, what should I study in college?”
There is no right or wrong answer to this question…at least not in the sense that you might be thinking.  Perhaps because the question itself is flawed.  The real question should be, “How am I going to go about making my dreams a reality?”

 

Answering this question is going to take some soul searching.  First you have to determine what your dreams are.  Then, you have to determine what the steps are to achieving your dreams.  And the most important step, of course, is to start taking action.

Let’s go through this step by step:

1. What are you passionate about?

If you think you might be passionate about flying, you need to get specific and clear on what your ultimate goal is.  In other words, what type of pilot do you want to be and why?

If “money” or “status” are high on the list of reasons why you want to fly – you need to do some more soul searching.  Passion lies beyond material things – it’s something that you would do even if you didn’t get paid for it. The type of flying is also important – airline flying, for instance is different than corporate flying, different than military type flying, different than cargo flying, etc.  Find out what type of flying would suit you best.

2. Depending on the type of career you want, you now have to figure out a road map to get there.

Find companies offering the types of career you want or individuals who already have the type job you want.  Figure out what the requirements are.  College degree? Any special certifications?  For instance, most airlines require a college degree – they don’t specify what type of degree.  This is probably due to the fact that today’s aircraft are so sophisticated that they do most of the work for you.  If you can add, subtract, multiply, and divide, you have the required math skills required to be an airline pilot.

Other type of pilot careers may require more advanced degrees, e.g. Test Pilots usually have engineering degrees.

3. Take massive action.

Once you know the requirements, find out where get them.  Research schools, talk to others who have already achieved some level of success, and then act.  If you’re still not sure what to choose as a field of study in college, check out this article that will give you plenty of ideas.

Article Author: Ruth Morlas is dedicated to helping others reach their dream of becoming a pilot.  For more information visit http://www.PilotTricks.com.

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Final Ruling on Helicopter Safety by the FAA

March 20th, 2014

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)  issued a final rule in Feb 2014 that requires helicopter operators, including air ambulances, to have stricter flight rules and procedures, improved communications, training, and additional on-board safety equipment. The rule represents the most significant improvements to helicopter safety in decades and responds to government’s and industry’s concern over continued risk in helicopter operations.

“This is a landmark rule for helicopter safety,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.  “These improvements will better prepare

FAA-Logo

Airmen beware – The FAA has made several unannounced changes to three different airman knowledge tests

pilots and better equip helicopters, ensuring a higher level of safety for passengers and crew.”

All U.S. helicopter operators, including air ambulances, are required to use stricter flying procedures in bad weather. This will provide a greater margin of safety by reducing the probability of collisions with terrain, obstacles or other aircraft.

Within 60 days, all operators will be required to use enhanced procedures for flying in challenging weather, at night, and when landing in remote locations. Within three years, helicopter air ambulances must use the latest on-board technology and equipment to avoid terrain and obstacles, and within four years, they must be equipped with flight data monitoring systems.

[Search ALL the Helicopter Pilot Schools on Aviation Schools Online HERE !]

“This rule is a significant advancement in helicopter safety,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.  “This rule will help reduce risk and help pilots make good safety decisions through the use of better training, procedures, and equipment.”

Under the new rule, all Part 135 helicopter operators are required to:

  • Equip their helicopters with radio altimeters.
  • Have occupants wear life preservers and equip helicopters with a 406 MHz Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) when a helicopter isConsidering Becoming an Ag Pilot? Thoughts on Aerial Application operated beyond power-off glide distance from the shore.
  • Use higher weather minimums when identifying an alternate airport in a flight plan.
  • Require that pilots are tested to handle flat-light, whiteout, and brownout conditions and demonstrate competency in recovery from an inadvertent encounter with instrument meteorological conditions.

In addition, under the new rule, all air ambulance operators are required to:

  • Equip with Helicopter Terrain Awareness and Warning Systems (HTAWS).
  • Equip with a flight data monitoring system within four years.
  • Establish operations control centers if they are certificate holders with 10 or more helicopter air ambulances.
  • Institute pre-flight risk-analysis programs.
  • Ensure their pilots in command hold an instrument rating.
  • Ensure pilots identify and document the highest obstacle along the planned route before departure.
  • Comply with Visual Flight Rules (VFR) weather minimums, Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations at airports/heliports without weather reporting, procedures for VFR approaches, and VFR flight planning.
  • Conduct the flight using Part 135 weather requirements and flight crew time limitation and rest requirements when medical personnel are on board.
  • Conduct safety briefings or training for medical personnel.

Since August 2004, the FAA has promoted initiatives to reduce risk for helicopter air ambulance operations (See FAA Fact Sheet). While

FlightSafety International has been granted level 7 approval for their Bell 407 FTD.

FlightSafety

accidents did decline in the years following that effort, 2008 proved to be the deadliest year on record with five accidents that claimed 21 lives. The FAA examined helicopter air ambulance accidents from 1991 through 2010 and determined 62 accidents that claimed 125 lives could have been mitigated by today’s rule. While developing the rule, the FAA considered 20 commercial helicopter accidents from 1991 through 2010 (excluding air ambulances) that resulted in 39 fatalities. From 2011 through 2013, there were seven air ambulance accidents resulting in 19 fatalities and seven commercial helicopter accidents that claimed 20 lives.

The estimated cost of the final rule in present value for the air ambulance industry is $224 million with a total benefit of $347 million over 10 years. The cost for other commercial operators is $19 million with a total benefit of $83 million over 10 years.  There is no cost for any operators to use new Class G airspace weather minimums for visual flying but the benefit is $147 million over 10 years.

The rule responds to the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 and National Transportation Safety Board recommendations.

Read the FAA Final Rule on Helicopter Air Ambulance, Commercial Helicopter, and Part 91 Helicopter
Operations.

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HELI-EXPO 2014 – A Heli of a Show

March 3rd, 2014

HELI-EXPO 2014 conveyed a clear message:
Helicopter Aviation is Strong

by Justin Landis & G.Roginson

The World’s largest helicopter exposition, HELI-EXPO 2014, is on the books and it was a big show for many of the majorHAI HELI-EXPO 2014 companies in attendance. The Helicopter Association International holds the annual show and HAI HELI-EXPO 2014, this year in Anaheim California. From big awards to new aircraft, the show made headlines for those interested in helicopter flight training.

A positive Matt Zuccaro, president of HAI, gave a welcoming speech on the eve of HELI-EXPO 2014 that was optimistic concerning the helicopter industry. “Air tours are doing well, corporate operations have re-established themselves and offshore oil and gas work is very busy right now, so it’s a pretty positive picture.” While addressing the industries potential pilot and mechanic shortages, Matt stated, “The younger generation has so many options, we’re starting a sales and marketing campaign to show them being a pilot or mechanic is a good career path.”

We’ve certainly addressed the ongoing news concerning pilot shortages here at AviationSchoolsOnline.com and it seems the industry is continuing to recognize the need for young people to take up the cause and move into a career in aviation. We look forward to reporting on this marking campaign in the future.

Bell’s New 505 Jet Ranger X

Bell Helicopter took the prime opportunity of day one to unveil three versions of the new Bell 505 Jet Ranger X. The 505 is Bell’s response to the increasing global demand for a short light single (SLS) helicopter and the success of the Robinson R66 light turbine’s success. Robinson delivered 191 R66s last year and is on track to deliver over 200 this year. “We recognize that the customer base for light singles is spread across the globe, and our focus has been around costs and useful load. With that in mind we have come up with a design that will allow us to be competitive in the important value parameters our customers are looking for,” Bell SLS program management chief Paul Watts reports.

The Bell 505 Jet Ranger X has been designed to hold one pilot and 4 occupants but with two cyclics to be installed, the 505 could become a competitive option to the R66 in initial turbine training. Bell’s president and CEO John Garrison states that the 505 “targets a very price sensitive market and the price point for the new helicopter is around $1 million,” that’s slightly above the price point of the Robinson R66 at approximately $830,000. The first flight is slated for later 2014.

Watch the unveiling of the Bell 505 here

Helicopter Flight Simulation Emerges at HELI-EXPO 2014

X-Copter helicopter flight simulator

X-Copter flight simulator

Helicopter flight simulation was another big topic at HELI-EXPO, as reported in the AIN Online article  and Vertical Magazine Article.  Most noteworthy was the launch of the newest helicopter flight simulator on the market, the “X-Copter”.

The X-Copter helicopter flight simulator is an eighth generation flight simulator that has been in development since 2006 and the core component of the nationally recognized “Flight Cost Reduction Training” program at Guidance Aviation. Engineered for the primary flight training market, the X-Copter simulates the Robinson R22 and R44 models.

X-Copter’s full-scale cockpit includes two high resolution touch screen monitors displaying instrumentation, realistic controls with tactile vibration cues, and an outside view delivered by three 60″ high definition screens providing incredibly crisp visuals.

The touch screen technology in the cockpit delivers advanced avionics simulations for Glass Cockpit applications with accurate representations of Garmin G500H, Garmin GNS 530/430 WAAS, and Aspen EFD1000H using SimAVIO2 from FTS. X-Copter is fully integrated to enable seamless integration with ForeFlight Mobile providing geo-referencing data via Wifi.  The X-Copter website is currently in development and will soon be viewable at www.x-copter.aero .

HELI-EXPO 2014 ran Tuesday, Feb 25th – Thurs, Feb 27th, 2014 and will no doubt continue to bring news headlines to the helicopter industry. As we continue to keep abreast of  the industry and aviation, we’ll be sure to stay on top of any news that will support your decisions toward a career in aviation.

For Fun

For fun, check out “Transforming the Halls for Helicopter: HELI-EXPO 2014″: http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/galleries/hai-convention-news/2014/transforming-halls-helicopters-heli-expo-2014

Are You Ready to Become A Helicopter Pilot?

 

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Future SUV With UAV Included – The Kwid Car by Renault

February 22nd, 2014
-By Justin Landis

SUV UAV

Every time I’m stuck in traffic I begin to wish I had a UAV at my disposal to look ahead and help me determine the delay. Well forkwid renault all of you out there who’ve had the same thought, we’re in luck as European automaker Renault has just released a concept vehicle being dubbed “The Kwid.” This concept includes a small quadcopter, known as the “Flying Companion,” that can be deployed from a roof compartment and controlled by a tablet handily mounted on the dashboard.

 

 

Image (rt) courtesy of: http://www.renault.com/en/innovation/l-univers-du-design/pages/concept-cars.aspx

The vehicle was released at the New Delhi Auto Show earlier this month and is targeting the “younger” generation that has the desire to always be connected and apparently omniscient. Considering this concept is a small SUV that similarly comes with a center mounted steering wheel and room for two, it may not actually make it to market but the futuristic look and design may be an inspiration for automakers in the future. The small quadcopter can be flown manually by the tablet or by pre-set GPS waypoints and match the speed to the vehicle. The practical concepts include warning of traffic and delays, dangers on the road ahead and finding the ever elusive parking spot in a crowded mall parking lot.

But let’s be serious here, we all know that what this will really be used for is recreating your favorite Need for Speed driving escapades with a perfectly placed chase cam to capture all the perfect replay moments. I expect this to turn up soon enough on Top Gear or at the nearest race track to help replay laps and analyze proper racing lines and apex entries, although preferably in a different model of car. Who knows, now that I’ve seen this concept maybe I’ll just purchase a DJI Phantom and send it out of my sunroof and see what happens. SEE:  http://mashable.com/2014/02/08/renault-kwid-drone/ This may be a concept and maybe even a gimmick but it may also be a foreshadowing of the growing acceptance and popularity of UAV’s.

A research report has just been released that details the current industry size and expectations for growth from 2013-2023. “The report titled ‘Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Market (2013-2018)’ states that the global UAV market size can be expected to grow to $8.3 billion by 2018 and $114.7 billion by 2023. The report also states that North America constitutes the majority share of the global UAV market and demand for UAVs in the US will continue to drive growth into the North American market. Source: [http://www.aviationpros.com/news/11312272/unmanned-aerial-vehicle-market-uav-worth-1147b-by-2023] That is, when the FAA finally figures out how to integrate UAVs to the Next Gen airspace system and if the target date is actually reached.

Other regions are also reported to see growth including Europe being predicted to spend $24.3 billion on UAVs across the forecast period and an 8.66% growth is expected in the Asia-Pacific region. While I doubt UAVs will replace the need for manned pilots, I do believe they will fly in our airspace someday as it’s just a matter of integrating these systems into the airspace both legally and safely. These systems will come in all shapes and size and will not all be the large military style UAVs seen on the news, however, they can be applied to many applications that can remove a manned pilot from a dangerous situation and ideally save time, money and lives. With industry growth being reported in all sectors of aviation, including aircraft manufacturing, pilot demand, and the UAV industry, it’s never been a better time to find the right program for you and begin your aviation career today.

Go to Aviation Schools Online to find an Aviation School near you!

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Best Time in History for Careers In Aviation =

February 19th, 2014

[Pilot Shortage + Airlines Purchasing Record Number of Aircraft + FAA Hiring 10,000 + Mechanics Needed]

This is the best time in history for careers in aviation.  The math is simple.  With pilot shortages hitting the U.S., Airlines purchasing record numbers of aircraft, and the FAA hiringbecome a pilot air traffic controller airplane mechanic careers in aviation 10,000 air traffic controllers over the next ten years, there’s no doubt that something is in the air. That something could be your future.  Go to www.aviationschoolsonline.com,
pick a school near you and fill out an inquiry form to get more info!

Pilot Shortage in U.S.
Don’t just take our word for it. Check out the news.  As recently reported in Wall Street Journal Online, there is a Pilot Shortage in the U.S. and it is hitting faster and harder than expected.  “The anticipated shortfall of U.S. airline pilots is coming to fruition earlier and more dramatically than expected because of a mix of mass retirements, the FAA’s new rest rules and sharply higher training requirements for beginner pilots.” [Source: http://on.wsj.com/1etw1by]

Airlines Purchasing Record Number of Aircraft
Meanwhile, Airlines are purchasing record numbers of aircraft.  As reported in the Dallas News Business Section, “Airlines are onbecome a pilot air traffic controller airplane mechanic the largest jet-buying spree in the history of aviation, ordering more than 8,200 new planes with manufacturers Airbus SAS and The Boeing Co. in the past five years. There are now a combined 24 planes rolling off assembly lines each week, up from 11 a decade ago.  And that rate is expected to keep climbing. [Source: http://www.dallasnews.com/business/airline-industry/20140112-airlines-go-on-a-record-new-jet-shopping-spree.ece?nclick_check=1 ]

FAA Hiring 10,000 Air Traffic Controller Over The Next 10 Years
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA.gov) has announced that it will be hiring 10,000air traffic controller Air Traffic Controllers over the next 10 years, with 6,000 of those to be hired in the next 5 years!  Do you know how much an Air Traffic Controller makes?  According to a recent article in AVWeb, “According to the latest information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics published last month, the median air traffic controller salary was $122,530 in May 2012, with 10 percent earning more than $171,340 and 10 percent less than $64,930″.
[Source:  http://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/news/FAA-to-Hire-10000-Controllers-in-Next-Decade221434-1.html ]

The Need for More Pilots, More Aircraft, and More Controllers, Also Means More Aircraft Mechanics
More pilots flying more planes means more things need to maintained and repaired.  It’s that simple.  So, it is also a fantastic timeaircraft mechanic to become an aircraft maintenance technician or Airframe and Powerplant Tech (A&P) – especially if you like to work with your hands!According to Salary.com, the average Aircraft Mechanic (Jets) earns $75,970 per year! [Source: http://www1.salary.com/aircraft-mechanic-salary.html }

Start Researching Schools Today!
Go to www.aviationschoolsonline.compick a school near you and fill out an inquiry form to get more info! It’s that easy.

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Astronaut Buzz Aldrin Supports Think Global Flight as Crew Launches April 03, 2014

February 11th, 2014
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Captain Judy Rice, Voyager Pilot Dick Rutan, and Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum President Greg Anderson

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Capt Rice, Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum Pres. Greg Anderson & Voyager Pilot Dick Rutan

SUN ‘n FUN, Lakeland FL. USA, February 11, 2014 - On April 3, 2014, the Think Global Flight Crew takes off from SUN ‘n FUN, airshow on its around the world flight to promote S.T.E.M. education and the promises that aviation and aerospace hold for our youth. Along the route, Captain Judy Rice, CFI, Teacher, and Navigator Fred Nauer, CFI-I, commercial airline pilot (ret.) will be stopping at schools around the world, interacting with students and discussing the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S.T.E.M) education.

VIP supporters that will be present during the Think Global Flight launch at SUN ‘n FUN include Astronaut Buzz Aldrin and Voyager Pilot Dick Rutan. The Crew will be flying the northern route with an easterly heading. The flight around the world will take approximately 3 months and arrive back in Oshkosh, WI for AirVenture 2014, the world’s largest airshow.

In support of the effort, Buzz Aldrin will ride as a passenger during the first leg of the journey departing Lakeland, FL on April 3.Think-Global-Flight Buzz shares his support, “Back when I was privileged to be a part of the Apollo program, the USA was #1 in science and technology fields. No one had ever heard of S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) because we were at the top. Unfortunately today America is falling behind other countries. S.T.E.M. is exactly the focus of Think Global Flight (TGF) reaching over 20,000 students and why I strongly support Captain Judy and TGF. I am looking forward to joining the official launch on April 3 from the SUN ‘n FUN airshow in Lakeland, Florida. In addition, I will celebrate a repeat of my T-6 solo flight in 1951 at Gilbert field in the TGF Cirrus with Captain Judy.”

Think Global Flight has set up Student Command Centers around the world, allowing teachers and their students to follow the flightguidance aviation cirrus think global flight through the Think Global Flight APP for iPhone, Androids, and iPads, as well as online, to interact with the flight crew, and participate in curricula developed to inspire students to see the promises that aviation and aerospace hold for them. Currently, there are 20,000 participants in 25 countries and 31 U.S. States.

The global effort is currently running three campaigns to raise the final funds necessary to complete the around the world flight. These fund raising efforts include ” Be A Hero”, “Buy A SkyWay”, and the “Jeppesen Giveaway”.

The flight will begin in a Cirrus SR 22 then broadening into a greater representation of general aviation completing the flight in various aircraft. The effort was kicked off by Guidance Aviation of Prescott, AZ and Baton Rouge, LA and now includes supporters and endorsers such asAir Journey, AOPA, AVweb, Jeppesen, Spidertracks, Sennheiser, and Signature Flight Support.

To follow the around the world flight in real time, download the Think Global Flight APP for iOS and Android devices by searching “Think Global Flight App” on your mobile device and download for free.

For more information, registrations, donations, and a complete list of donors go to: www.thinkglobalflight.org or contact judy@thinkglobalflight.org

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What Is The Best Flight School – For You?

February 10th, 2014
-By Justin Landis
Guidance Helicopters R44

There is a huge demand for helicopter pilots in the U.S. and overseas.

So you want to pursue a career in aviation and it has led you to searching the internet for answers, answers to questions such as how do I choose the flight school or aviation program that is right for me? Airplanes, Helicopters, UASs, Airport Management?  From experience, I can tell you that making a decision on what aviation program to attend can be challenging and it took me a few tries before I got it right. So after a decade spent developing my career in aviation, here are my thoughts, and a checklist, on how you can choose the right training program for your needs.  When you’ve developed your own checklist, go to www.aviationschoolsonline.com to find your flight schools!

Your Checklist to Choosing the Right School for You

  • Set Goals
  • Find a Mentor
  • Know What You Are Getting Into

    How to find the best flight training school

    In 2014, as reported by WSJ, the US is experience a serious shortage of airplane pilots

  • Part 61 or Part 141
  • Make a List of a Few Schools, Visit Each
  • Take an Into Flight
  • Shortlist Your Favorite Programs, Learn About Them
  • Set Your Plan For Training

Set Goals

Do some self-reflections and determine what your goals are for your career in aviation. This may sound like a canned answer and intuitive first step, but you’d be surprised how many people move forward in life without any rhyme or reason. Having your goals set for and by yourself helps you maintain the determination and discipline needed to accept and conquer the challenges that wait ahead. Trust me, there will be challenges, just keep your focus on the goals you’ve set and they will help you push through to the other side and achieve your success.

Find a Mentor

This may be easier said than done, but I believe this is very important in trying to make decisions in life that will ultimately

air traffic control schools

As demand for pilots grows, so does the demand for air traffic controllers, maintenance techs, and avionics pros.

determine your entire trajectory throughout your future. In this context I would recommend attempting to find someone who has already pursued a path similar to the one you’re considering, ask an A&P mechanic, a current bush pilot, or an air traffic controller how they got to where they are and what advice they may have. Without necessarily regretting it, I may have been better off had I pursued the guidance of a mentor when I joined the Air Force rather than accepting the job I thought sounded the “coolest” to my 17 year-old self. There are always decisions in life that can benefit from being well thought out and the advice and guidance of a mentor will always prove valuable.

Know what you’re getting yourself into

Know what a career like the one you want to pursue in aviation may entail. Hopefully a mentor can help you discover the details, but keep in mind that learning how to fly, although fun, requires studying and knowing the material in depth. I’ve seen and heard of many students that have put on a pair of aviators, shown up to their lessons with the excitement that comes with jumping in the cockpit but failed to commit to opening the books and thus couldn’t pass their check rides and move forward. Be aware and be ready to be the best student you can be.

Part 61 or Part 141

USAF drone

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) is one of the fastest growing segments of the aviation market.

Know the difference between a Part 61 and Part 141 flight school and determine which is a better fit for you and your goals. There is plenty of information online to fully explain the differences between a Part 61 and Part 141 flight school, but to summarize, a Part 141 program will include a more structured approach with syllabi and FAA record keeping while a Part 61 will allow for some flexibility in your flight training.

Make a list of a few schools and visit each

Most schools, especially the ones represented here on AviationSchoolsOnline.com would be more than happy to host you for a tour to check out their program. You should have the chance to talk to students and flight instructors to get a feel for the program and get specific and valuable input from those who’ve already experienced the program you’re considering. A tour also gives you a chance to see the facilities of the organization, the fleet of aircraft the company is running, and any extra training aides such as flight training devices (FTDs), simulators, weather and flight planning equipment and whatever else you may desire or require.

Take an Intro flight

Be sure to take and introduction flight. Whether you’ve grown up in the cockpit with a family member or have never actually been in a single engine general aviation aircraft, it’s in your best interest to go up for an introduction flight with a school you’re considering. It can expose you to the exact environment you will be spending the next few hundred hours of your training in and help you in your decision making process. It may also expose you to whether or not you have the constitution needed to be a pilot, don’t be discouraged if you get queasy the first time, but realize whether its just your body adjusting or if you truly do not enjoy the experience as much as you had hoped (although highly unlikely).

Short list your favorite programs and Learn about them

Do your research and set a plan. Learn everything you can about the programs you want to select by doing your own research beyond the student services representative. It’s always prudent to research companies you want to work for and programs you want to train at. Be sure not to get side tracked by one disgruntled person who may have failed out and has a bone to pick on an arbitrary forum, but do aggregated research to ensure the program has a positive reputation within the industry and community and will be an asset to you as you move forward in your career.

Set Your Plan for Training

Finally, set a plan for what you want out of your training, what certificates you want to pursue, what companies you may want to apply to and use this information to assist you in your final decision.

We’ve all wondered at some point, where should I go, how much will it cost, how long will it take, when we’re up against a decision such as this. Fortunately, you’re not the first nor will you be the last to make a decision on what program to attend. Making a decision such as this will always be a challenge, but hopefully following these steps, the resources found within AviationSchoolsOnline.com and your ingenuity and determination will be an asset to you in your pursuit of a decision and a career in aviation.

Good Luck and Happy Flying!

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Paper Airplanes – Projects of Passion

February 7th, 2014

-by Justin Landis

For most of us, Aviation is more than just an industry, more than a job, more than aircraft flying overhead. Aviation is a way of life,paper airplane competition it’s in our blood and in our dreams. The most identifying mark of those who live and breathe aviation is that for those of us who live this passion, have had it since a young age. A passion for Aviation lasts a lifetime but can start with something as simple and yet complex as a paper airplane.

The Great Paper Airplane Project – Pima Air & Space Museum, Tuscon Arizona

What better way to spread the love of aviation and inspire a new generation of aviators than to hold an annual paper airplane competition. This weekend, February 8, 2014, Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson Arizona will host the third annual Great Paper Airplane Fly-off competition where 300 paper airplane pilots will challenge each other for distance covered. Pilots ages 6-14 can enter with a standard 8.5”x11” sheet of paper folded into whatever aircraft design these young minds devise and each young entrant and up to four family members receive free entrance into the museum. The museum, one of the world’s largest non-government funded Air and Space museums, hosts the event inside among the many aircraft exhibits to give its young entrants a fully immersive experience.

pima air and space museum

Photo courtesy of Pima Air & Space Museum

The inaugural fly-off was held on January 14 2012, hosted by paper airplane Guinness world record Ken Blackburn, and was inspired by museum leadership in their attempt to bring young people into the museum to introduce them to the wonder and magic of aviation. The vision of Count Ferdinand Von Galen, Chairman of the Pima Air & Space Museum is simple and noble, “The biggest thing I’m looking for is to bring the air museum and the history of air and space to a new generation.”

The first Great Paper Airplane Fly-off was held as part of a bigger project, a project to build the world’s largest paper airplane. The winner of the fly-off, a young Arturo Valdenegro, was awarded the role of honorary engineer to help aerospace engineer Art Thomson design and test the giant paper airplane. The airplane would be designed based on Arturo’s winning paper airplane and on March 21, 2012, Arturo’s Desert Eagle, a 45 foot, 800 pound giant paper airplane was hoisted to an altitude of 2700 ft. AGL (meant for 5000 ft. but released early due to wind) by a vintage Sikorsky S-58T helicopter and released to take flight. The aircraft was able to glide for approximately 10 seconds reaching speeds of nearly 100 mph before smacking into the desert floor. The remains are now an exhibit in the museum as a dedication to the ongoing project along with the Great Paper Airplane Fly-Off trophy that recognizes the winners of past with their names engraved and on permanent display. “The Great Paper Airplane Project was intended to get young people interested in careers in the aerospace industry, and it seems to have worked with Valdenegro, as he reportedly now plans on pursuing a career in engineering.”

From the world’s biggest paper airplane to the world’s most detailed paper airplane

Quite possibly the world’s most intricate, time consuming, and detailed paper airplane ever built has been created by Luca Iaconi-Stewart. Being called the world’s coolest paper airplane in Flying Magazine and the world’s most impressive paper airplane by CNN, Luca has spent the past five years constructing a 1:60 scale Boeing 777 out of manila folders. Luca states that the project grew out of his love for airplanes and after stumbling upon engineering drawings he had discovered of an Air India 777-300R, Luca began printing his “parts” on manila folders using Adobe Illustrator to design his components. “I spent a lot of time making drawing from pictures, then I got ahold of a maintenance manual for people who maintain airplanes. It contains plenty of detail, which is useful for specific parts, but you’re still having to draw everything from scratch.”

With approximately 400 manila folders used and 10,000 hours estimated to get to this point in the project, (the wings have yet to be built) the landing gear retracts, the business class seats recline, the doors open and close and the thrust reversers extend. He even devoted an entire summer just to the seats, twenty minutes for an economy seat, four to six hours for business class, and eight hours for first class. It’s truly an amazing work of art as it displays the focus and ingenuity of the human mind and how that passion for aviation can inspire a young man to create a labor of love with intense discipline and devotion. I suggest you take a look for yourself, Luca has documented some of his work by hosting time lapse videos on his YouTube channel. After watching his videos, discovering his techniques and seeing the airplane, maybe Boeing engineers will give this guy a call; he may not be formally trained, but natural skill in engineering miniature parts out of paper may be a special case for qualifications.

Paper airplanes… they’re simple, complex, inspiring, giant, and most importantly, to a young person or old, fun. A simple experience from a young age can spark that life-long dedication to a passion and a career in aviation and following that dream becomes increasingly rewarding. I speak from experience as I realized that spark at a young age, I built the model airplanes as a teenager, joined the U.S. Air Force upon graduation from high school where I maintained F-16s and then attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where I have since graduated and continue to pursue a rewarding career in Aviation. It worked for me and it can work for you; Aviation is a way of life that continues to fuel many of us, especially if you’re exploring a blog such as this. It needs continuous innovation and the ingenuity of young people around the country and the world and hopefully something as simple as yet complex as a paper airplane can inspire us all.

iPhone Controlled Paper Airplane – Another VERY Cool Paper Airplane Project
http://venturebeat.com/2014/01/17/powerup-toys-surpasses-1m-raised-for-its-iphone-controlled-paper-airplanes/

 

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