Archive for January, 2014

Renting Aircraft Anywhere With Only One Pilot Checkout – OpenAirplane

Friday, January 31st, 2014

The Universal Pilot Checkout Makes It Easier and More Affordable to Rent Aircraft Wherever You Are

by Guy Roginson

As an aircraft renter, I am always frustrated when I am out of town and want to fly, or need to rent an aircraft for a quick business trip but know I am not checked out with the nearest rental fleet.

OpenAirplane and the Universal Pilot Checkout

OpenAirplane and the Universal Pilot Checkout

As we all know, it is no big deal to get checked out in that Cessna or Piper at your local rental fleet. But, many of us have been frustrated at the cost associated with renting outside our local area. Another checkout? More money? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve needed access to an airplane but simply wasn’t willing to throw down another few hundred dollars for that redundant checkout, not to mention having to deal with that flight instructor who was half my age, wearing aviator glasses and that T-shirt “Remove Before Fright”.  Yes, that’s FRight with an “R”.  No thanks I’ll drive….

But, no more. No more redundant checkouts and no more 22 year old Mavericks with “that Tshirt”.

OpenAirplane has brought an innovation to General Aviation that has been sorely needed with “Universal Pilot Checkout” (UPC.)


Find an airplane on your PC or mobile device. Find-Rent-Fly-Pay.

UPC helps Pilots get more value out of their Pilot certificates. It standardizes the process of demonstrating Pilot proficiency to make renting easier. Moreover, this new way of renting aircraft helps flight schools, Fixed Base Operators, and Flying Clubs make better utilization of their fleets.  It’s easy.  You log into your OpenAirplane account on your PC or Mobile Device to find, book, fly, and pay for your aircraft rental.  Watch out Hertz Rent A Car……

Since launching in June 2013, the OpenAirplane network has grown, enabling 34 cities, with over 100 aircraft available around the U.S. And, it is catching on.  OpenAirplane has launched its newest operator in Colorado, by adding Alpine Flight Training in Vail to the OpenAirplane network. Eagle County Regional Airport, (KEGE) an iconic airport atop the Rocky Mountains, will be the first Operator to require the new mountain flying standardization / evaluation components for Pilots.

“The new Universal Pilot Checkout unlocks mountain flying and multi’s for our Pilots. We’re excited to establish more locations and more types of airplanes available to the community. The updated UPC also adds standardization for multi-engine aircraft, allowing Pilots rated to fly multi-engine airplanes to demonstrate proficiency and access more airplanes than ever before.  All that plus Vail is an amazing place to fly,” said Rod Rakic, co-founder at OpenAirplane.

What About Safety And Insurance Discounts with OpenAirplane

“We believe that a current active pilot is a safe pilot and one of our company goals is to promote safety in flying. As a participant in OpenAirplane, anyone that insures with us already qualifies for the 10% Safety Rewards Credits,” commented Mike Adams, Vice President, Underwriting at Avemco Insurance Company (A subsidiary of HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc.)

The OpenAirplane Universal Pilot Checkout allows FBOs around the country to easily verify a Pilot’s qualifications and training in each make and model aircraft. Pilots gain access to planes around the U.S. without the usual hassle and expense of performing local checkouts before they rent airplanes. Broadly recognized by the insurance industry, Pilots who participate in the OpenAirplane standardization / evaluation program earn discounts on their renter’s insurance premiums.

Want The OpenAirplane Network To Grow? Tell Your Local FBO

Most of OpenAirplane’s growth is being generated by local pilots telling their FBO to check out OpenAirplane.  If paying customers tell the FBO’s they want this, the smart owners will listen to their customers.  Call your local FBO’s and rental fleets and tell them to OpenTheirMinds and OpenTheirBusiness and Pilots may OpenTheirWallets….

A map of the OpenAirplane network is online here:

The new UPC form is available to download from the online OpenAirplane Pilot Guide here:

The new standard and doctrine is detailed on this blog post:

Images courtesy of OpenAirplane

Women of Aviation Week – Mireille Goyer is Flying It Forward

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

[Source: WOAW website]:  “Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week is held during the week of March 8 (March 3-9,2014), the anniversary day of the firstWomen of Aviation Week female pilot licence worldwide earned by Raymonde de Laroche on March 8 1910 and International Women’s Day. The aviation industry celebrates this special week for women by showcasing its female members and extending a warm welcome to newcomers during Women of Aviation Worldwide Week…International events taking place worldwide. Countries participating this year: USA, France, Ireland, Greece, Australia, Canada, South Africa.”

Women of Aviation Week was founded by Mireille Goyer. “In late 2009 Mireille searched for planned events to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first female pilot license (certificate) worldwide earned by Raymonde de Laroche on March 8, 1910. To her dismay, she found none. Determined to not let this important milestone for women pilots go unnoticed and uncelebrated, she launched a worldwide campaign and encouraged pilots to “Fly It Forward” (i.e., introduce a girl or a woman to flying) to honor the female aviation pioneers of 1910. As a result, over 1,600 girls and women discovered the joys of flying in thirty six countries on four continents.

mireille goyer iWOAW

Mireille Goyer, founder of iWOAW, with some of the girls and women she introduced to flying during the Centennial celebration

Realizing that the small number of women pilots partly explained the Centennial oversight and that the main barrier to women’s participation to the air and space industry is the perception that the field is reserved to men, Mireille launched the annual Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week initiative in 2011.

Since Mireille started encouraging pilots to “Fly It Forward” in early 2010, thousands of girls and women have experienced the joy of flying in a small aircraft for the first time. Significant use of media in association with the week’s activities has allowed many more to become aware that women have contributed to the industry since its beginnings and that this exciting industry is for women too.”

The Mission: “The outreach initiative aims to foster diversity in aviation by celebrating women’s history, raising awareness of aviation’s opportunities among girls and women, and sparking vocations by introducing girls and women to aviation through industry-wide collaboration.”

“The Women of Aviation Worldwide Week Community provides a meeting area for like minded people to make new friends, keep

raymonde de Laroche first womens pilots license

Raymonde de Laroche first women’s pilots certificate

in touch with old ones, share ideas, work on common projects and support participants in their endeavors. We encourage anyone involved in aviation to honor the Women of Aviation of the past and the present as well as to reach out and introduce girls and women to the opportunities that aviation has to offer.”

“Whether you have been involved in aviation most of your life or you are taking the first steps to discover this exciting field, if you share this belief and have a can-do attitude, please join us.”

“No membership is required to become a part of this exciting community. The only requirement is a personal commitment to help achieve the goals of the community.”

What: “Activities such as flying events, factory and school open door events, museum special programs, photo contests, and flight challenges are organized to showcase today’s women of aviation as well as extend a warm welcome to newcomers. View Women of Aviation Worldwide Week’s contests and the planned events.”

Fly it Forward Challenge: “Salute the girls and women in your life that inspired you and/or supported you.  Take a non-pilot

2013 First-to-Solo Winner, Lindsay Kitson (left) on solo day

2013 First-to-Solo Winner, Lindsay Kitson (left) on solo day!

girl or woman on a short flight to introduce her to the joys of flying. Together, let’s welcome a record number of girls and women to flying during Women of Aviation Worldwide Week.  One flight, one community at a time. Worldwide.”

A trophy for the winner, plaques for the runner ups, and various prizes will be awarded in the following categories:

  • 2014 ‘Most Female-Pilot-Friendly Airport Worldwide’ – airport with most non-pilot girls and women introduced to flying from March 3 to March 9 2014
  • 2014 ‘Most Female-Pilot-Friendly Training Center Worldwide’ – training center with most non-pilot girls and women introduced to flying from March 3 to March 9 2014
  • 2014 ‘Most Dedicated Female Pilot Worldwide’ – female pilot who completes the most flights (number of female passengers divided by number of passenger seats for the aircraft used) during daylight hours to introduce girls and women to flying from March 3 to March 9 2014
  • 2014 ‘Most Supportive Male Pilot Worldwide’ – male pilot who completes the most flights (number of female passengers divided by number of passenger seats for the aircraft used) during daylight hours to introduce girls and women to flying from March 3 to March 9 2014

First-to-Solo Challenge: Be the first to solo worldwide and win the grand prize, $1,500 USD towards flight training offered by Sennheiser. (Last year’s winner photo below.)

Art Contest: “A picture is worth a thousand words. Your picture could allow you to win the official embroidered all-season Women Of Aviation jacket (a $99.99 USD value)!  Draw, paint, or illustrate. The theme is: “Aerobatic flight”.  You can use any media or illustration software (no photos) to describe how your first flight felt or how you imagine your first flight will feel. Scan your artwork or send us the digital file (high resolution).

Photo Contest: “Send us your best photographs of “Female aerobatic pilots” and you could win the official embroidered all-season Women Of Aviation jacket (a $99.99 USD value)!”

Event Organizer Contest: Win 1000 CAD in training. iWOAW and its member-partners want to celebrate and reward those who go out of their way to help and motivate others. Our organizer contest is designed to reward the most outstanding organizers.

International events taking place worldwide. Countries participating this year: USA, France, Ireland, Greece, Australia, Canada, South Africa.

USA events here:

Early History of Women in Aviation

“It started in 1784, when only 8 months after the first manned balloon flight, Count Jean-Baptiste de Laurencin got cold feet and gave his spot for a balloon flight to Marie Élisabeth Thible, a French opera singer. She dressed as a Roman goddess and sang “La Belle Arsène”, a celebrated opera of the time, as the balloon ascended to 1500 meters. She is was the first woman ever to fly.

  • “In 1798, Jeanne Labrosse was the first woman to fly solo in an aircraft.”
  • “In June 1903, Aida de Acosta was the first woman to fly a powered aircraft, a dirigible designed by her friend, Alberto Santos-Dumont. It is no surprise that just a few years after the airplane was invented, women were taking on the new challenge.”
  • “On March 8 1910, Raymonde de Laroche, an experienced French balloonist became the first woman to earn a pilot license.” (Photo below)
  • “Marie Marvingt of France designed one of the first air ambulances, dedicated her life to making air ambulance services a reality, and created the original flight nurse training program.
  • “Bessica Medlar Raiche of the United States built her own airplane which she flew solo on September 16, 1910. She is credited for being the first woman to fly an airplane solo on the American continent.”
  • “In 1913, in addition to becoming the first woman to hold a pilot license in Russia two years earlier, Lidia Zvereva owned and ran an airplane assembly plant with her husband.”

Aviation Today

“Today, the Women of Aviation continue to be a tiny minority (read “5 decades of women pilots in the U.S. How did we do?“). While the percentage of female doctors, female lawyers, and police women went from nonexistent 100 years ago to around 25% today, the percentage of women involved in aviation has remained steadily low (around 5-6%).”

Photos courtesy of Women of Aviation Week Website


Slow Down and Save: Airline Pilots Around the World Ordered to Slash Sky Time

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Slow Down and Save: Airline Pilots Around the World Ordered to Slash Sky Time


Every motorist knows the value of easing up on the accelerator to save on fuel consumption, and cash-strapped airlines are now following their example and ordering their pilots to slow down in an effort to save fuel. Escalating oil prices have led to a fall in profits for many airlines, and even budget airline Ryanair reported that its profits had fallen by a fifth. Concerned passengers needn’t worry as flight times will not be increased by more than a few minutes, but just this slight increase in journey time could save airlines hundreds of millions of dollars in fuel costs.


Airlines That Are Slowing Down 


Ryanair recently announced that it will add two minutes to every hour of flight time, and this small extension will result in a 15% overall reduction on the airline’s fuel bill. Ryanair’s profits fell by 21% over the last quarter despite passenger numbers increasing by 3%. Their revenue had also increased by 5%, but a fuel cost increase of 6% meant that any extra profits were immediately eaten up by their increased fuel bill. Ryanair came under fire earlier this year after pilots were instructed to reduce the amount of emergency fuel they carried on board to save on costs. Several US airlines have been slowing down their flights since 2008, and companies such as Southwest Airlines managed to save $42 million in a year by extending flight times by just one or two minutes.


Military Cutbacks 


Even the military has had to take some drastic measures to reduce its fuel costs, and formation flying has been found to offer the perfect solution for military jets. Vortex surfing is the practice of flying one plane behind another in a V formation allowing the rear planes to ride in slipstreams created by the one in front. This technique is most commonly observed in nature, and large birds flying in an arrow shape is a perfect example of vortex surfing. To experience the thrill of flying yourself, visit for a wide range of different flight options. The US military report that they have managed to cut their fuel costs by 10% after adopting this technique, and it is only a matter of time before commercial airlines begin considering it for their fleets. Last year the US Air Force was ordered to slow its fleet of 4,693 aircraft after rising fuel costs added an extra $1 billion to its 2012 fuel bill.


Rising fuel costs are something motorists and homeowners have been battling with for several years, and the cost of filling up the car has almost doubled over the last ten years. As well as saving on fuel costs, driving or flying more economically will have a dramatic effect on the environment as the majority of greenhouse gases are produced by transportation emissions and the burning of fossil fuels. Fuel economy should be a priority for every motorist, and government schemes to reduce the amount of cars on the road will soon have to become more prominent in order to tackle global warming.

by Paul Guerrier

Northpoint Expeditionary Learning Academy Students Take Flight in Helicopters High school students are first to fly in new hi-tech helicopter flight simulators

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Guidance Aviation, Prescott, AZ., Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 – Fifteen Northpoint Expeditionary Learning Academy students participated in helicopter flight ground school instruction at Guidance Aviation, Prescott, Arizona, learning what it is like to become a professional helicopter pilot. During the ground school instruction, the students learned about general helicopter aerodynamics and pre-flighting the aircraft in addition to taking the controls of Guidance Aviation’s newest, state of the art helicopter flight simulators. The visit also included a lunch break during which students held discussions with Guidance Aviation flight instructors about careers and students experiences in helicopter aviation.

“Flight has taught me that there are no limits to our innovation. It has shown me that we should always keep our eyes to the sky, because you should never believe someone when they tell you you can’t,” says Laura Cummings, Student, Northpoint Expeditionary Learning Academy.

“One of my favorite things about teaching at Northpoint is taking students out into the field to speak to experts about whatever our current topic is. I’m always impressed with the questions that the students come up with and the connections that they make. They are able to see and learn about content and career opportunities that they never even knew existed. These experiences, like the one here today at Guidance Aviation, are what help students see how their education connects to the real world,” remarks Amy Dolan, Teacher, Northpoint Expeditionary Learning Academy.

“This is a great time for the Northpoint Expeditionary Learning Academy students to be visiting Guidance Aviation,” states David Roy, Director of Flight Operations. “We have just completed developing seven proprietary, state of the art helicopter flight simulators and the Northpoint students are some of the first students to fly them. The students love this technology and we’re happy to share it with them while also sharing information on careers in helicopter aviation and aerospace.”

Northpoint Expeditionary Learning Academy presents a full spectrum of high school courses through challenging hands-on projects known as learning expeditions.Students engage in intensive studies utilizing a compelling topic or theme, such as water quality, the civil rights movement or the industrial revolution. Teachers collaborate to design learning expeditions that align with Arizona Standards, emphasizing high achievement through active learning, character growth and teamwork. This innovative and research-based approach to teaching and learning has been shown to motivate students to learn more in depth, work harder and accomplish more than they thought they could do.

Guidance Aviation is a helicopter flight training organization with locations in Prescott, Arizona and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Through its collegiate partners, students may acquire their Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree, Aviation Technology. In 2013, Guidance Aviation help launch Think Global Flight, an around the world flight to promote S.T.E.M. education and the promises of aviation and aerospace.

Chris Horton, CFI-I, Manager of Flight Operations, Guidance Aviation, Nationally Recognized as Recipient of AgustaWestland Safety Excellence Award

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

The 2014 AgustaWestland Safety Excellence Award recipient is Mr. Chris Horton, CFI-I, Manager of Flight Operations, Guidance Aviation. Helicopter Association International (HAI) announced the winners of the 2014 Salute to Excellence Awards, which “recognize those who, through either a single act or a lifetime of service and dedication, have exemplified the best the helicopter industry has to offer during the previous year….As helicopters serve the needs of society around the world, there are those in our industry who go above and beyond. “We are honored to be able to recognize their achievements,” said HAI President Matt Zuccaro.” [SOURCE:]

The AgustaWestland Safety Award acknowledges outstanding contributions in the promotion of safety and safety awareness throughout the international helicopter community.

“I can’t think of a harder working or more deserving pilot. Chris’s contributions are paramount to the success of the Guidance Aviation SMS,” stated John Stonecipher, President, CEO, Guidance Aviation.

Chris Horton, helicopter flight instructor (CFI-I) and airplane pilot, discovered his passion for aviation safety as an undergraduate student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Horton joined Guidance Aviation in 2010 and rapidly advanced to the position of Manager of Flight Operations. He is responsible for the daily operations of over 100 full time students, 20 flight instructors, and over 300 weekly flight operations. With schools in Prescott, Arizona and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Guidance Aviation has a staff of just over 50 employees and a fleet of 16 helicopters.

Since his start at Guidance, Horton has drafted the Emergency Response Plan, formed the Safety Board, drafted the Safety Management System Manual, and created the Safety Excellence Award Program. Horton established three safety stand down days per year, each focusing on current safety initiatives. His work developing a Safety Management System at Guidance Aviation was recognized through STARR Aviation and received public recognition as a leader in SMS training.

Horton has taken courses in Safety Management Systems, Advanced Safety Management Systems, Human Factors: Threat and Error Management, Emergency Response, Accident Investigation, and Aircraft Survivability Analysis and Design.

You can review Chris Horton’s entire story at:



Sport Aviation Expo Starts Thursday – AVweb

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Sport Aviation Expo Starts Thursday

The Sport Aviation Expo is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and the show is all set to go at Sebring Airport in central Florida starting Thursday. The show is the only one dedicated to the Light Sport aviation segment and was started shortly after the FAA created the new aircraft classification. Most of the leading airframers and secondary suppliers will be there with static displays and flight demos. A few days before the show, Progressive Aerodyne announced it had received FAA approval for the Elite version of its Light Sport amphib. The new aircraft sports a turbocharged Rotax 914 and a glass panel. Also among the exhibitors is Van’s, which recently announced it will continue production of its ready-to-fly RV-12 Light Sport model.

The show always has a packed agenda of forums and information sessions. This year’s is headlined by CDR Barry Hull of Pilot Judgment Inc. with a presentation called The Number One Killer of Pilots and How to Prevent It. Anyone who wants to fly in certain kinds of controlled airspace, including those flying Light Sport aircraft, will have to have ADS-B equipment and Peter Ring, of Freeflight Systems, will offer a primer on the mandatory equipage issues. There are also lots of technical forums, including Phil Lockwood’s annual session on the care and feeding of Rotax engines.