Not all doom and gloom


Doom and gloom too often find the spotlight. While some view the world through Eeyore’s sad eyes, many are too busy enjoying what life — and flying — have to offer.


Swayne Martin is a freshman at the University of North Dakota (UND). He also happens to co-lease a 1968 Cessna 172I with three friends.

From a video Swayne posted on YouTube, it’s pretty obvious a top priority for his 172 is having fun. All four seats are typically filled with smiling occupants.

In fact, a sentence from the video’s description says it all: “Meeting dozens of pilots my age that love flying as much as I do is BY FAR my favorite part of going to UND.”

Since arriving at UND in August, Swayne has flown about 55 hours.

“About 30%-40% of those hours have been outside UND,” said Swayne.

“If the weather is good, I’ll round up three friends — pilots and non-pilots — and we’ll go fly around for an hour,” continued Swayne. “It’s a lot more fun flying with others.”

And when he fills the seats and splits the cost, that hour costs each occupant about $20.

Swayne is also a member of EAA Chapter 1342. While not an official UND Student Club, 90% of the more than 80 members are UND students. From Swayne’s description of the chapter, it could easily be called EAA “Social” Chapter 1342. Having flying-centered fun and experiences is a primary goal of the chapter.

To be sure, a good many students at UND are on the professional pilot path. General aviation aircraft are merely a conduit for that goal. For others, like Swayne and his friends, general aviation may someday be a career, but it will always remain a way of life.


In August, Dan Tarasievich — maker of Softie Parachutes — bought a Carbon Cub kit from CubCrafters. Never interested in doing things the normal way, Dan hitched a ride — in Jeanne Howe’s Twin Beech — from Arlington, Wash., to Yakima to take delivery of his kit.

Dan Tarasievich hitching a ride to Yakima.

Dan Tarasievich hitching a ride to Yakima.

“This was the first wing kit we’ve ever fit into a Twin Beech,” said CubCrafters Mitch Travis. “We put an engine firewall forward kit into a Twin Beech a few years ago, but this was the first time for the wing kit.”

Carbon Cub wing kit fits in a Twin Beech.

Carbon Cub wing kit fits in a Twin Beech.

Travis did some measuring before Dan flew over. The wing spar, at 16 feet, is the long piece in the kit. “It ran from the rear bulkhead up to in between the pilot seats,” continued Travis.

Fuselage, wing and firewall kits, because of their size and weight, are typically shipped via truck. “We do get a kick out of delivering kits or smaller parts to airplanes though,” Travis noted.

Plenty of room.

Plenty of room.

There’s fun to be had in general aviation. Let’s do more of it in 2016.

Source: http://generalaviationnews.comNot all doom and gloom

Starting a frugal flying club

Photo courtesy joolsgriff

The Wright Brothers Flying Club (motto: Wright side up!) was the first of thousands of organizations intended to enjoy flying on a budget. Though not as popular as they were in the 1970s, flying clubs are resurging in interest throughout the country, especially among budget-conscious pilots.

Flying clubs are about the passion pilots have for flight, as well as their budgets. For many pilots, the cost of owning an aircraft is beyond their means. Flying clubs offer a way for frugal pilots to co-own an aircraft.

A year ago, this column covered flying clubs. Following is a different perspective: How to form a frugal flying club with a focus on one of the most complex expenses — insurance.

Keeping an eye on insurance as you form a club can help you make smarter and more cost-effective decisions.

How do I know this? Recently, Bill Sneed of Aviation Insurance Resources (AIR) shared some valuable tips with me on forming a flying club with a focus on getting the best value. Bill has been a pilot since 1974 and flew as a California crop duster. He’s worked for AVEMCO and Falcon/Great Lakes and was president of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Insurance Agency before joining AIR. He’s a big advocate for flying clubs.

Bill offers sound advice on the three factors that all flying clubs need to consider: Type of aircraft, number of pilots, and insurance coverage.

Choosing a plane

The least expensive and easiest to insure club planes are under 200 horsepower, fixed-wing, fixed-gear planes manufactured by Cessna, Piper, and Beech. Of course, many other GA aircraft can be and are insured in flying clubs, but the least expensive ones to insure are the ones that are the most popular.

Photo courtesy joolsgriff

Cessna 172. Photo courtesy joolsgriff

Bill recommends starting a frugal flying club with four-seat Cessna 172s and Piper PA-28s for the lowest initial purchase and lowest operating and insuring expenses.

Choosing members

How many members should your frugal flying club have? For the lowest per-member cost, aim for less than 10 pilots per aircraft. Five to 10 per plane works out the most economical while allowing ample time for flying for each pilot.

Old pilots? New pilots? Yes! Successful flying clubs have a broad mix of pilots, from students to veterans. Often, the enthusiasm of newer pilots rubs off on the more experienced ones who may not still be in love with flying. And veteran pilots often enjoy sharing their skills and experience with newly-minted pilots.

To get the best insurance rates for your flying club, provide agents with a roster of members and data on their personal information and their flying experience, including names, birth dates, type license, ratings, total hours logged and in what make, model, and complexity.

If the club operates a compex aircraft (such as RG or MEL), make sure the pilots who use it are up-to-date on their log requirements.

Also note each pilot’s data regarding accidents, incidents, submissions, losses, or DUIs. Your aviation insurance broker will want to know this — and probably penalize your club if they find out important facts after the policy has been issued.

Even if you think the data is not fully relevant, include it as the insurance agent or broker will make the final decision as to what to include in the application to the insurance company. Your insurance broker is your partner in this transaction.

Choosing coverage

How much insurance does your frugal flying club need? For the lowest policy price, keep the hull value at or below $100,000 per aircraft, at least for the first year of the policy. With a good record, you can increase the hull value if the actual value is higher.

For the best balance of coverage and costs, initially keep the liability limits at $1 million for each occurrence and $100,000 per passenger, Bill recommends. If appropriate, ask for quotes on higher liability limits. The difference in costs may be slight and offer greater peace of mind to flying club members.

Also, register your new frugal flying club with the AOPA Flying Club Network and review its Checklist for Starting a Flying Club. Take a look at

And as you build your frugal flying club, email me your tips, resources, and stories for future columns.

See you in the pattern!

Source: http://generalaviationnews.comStarting a frugal flying club

5 iPad trends in aviation, 2015 edition

2015 iPad Trends

A year is an eternity in the world of apps and tablets, so a look back at 2015 on iPad Pilot News covers a lot of ground. There were new hardware announcements, dozens of app updates, new accessories and more tips to learn. If you go beyond the noise of an evolving industry, some larger trends emerge from the 137 articles we published over the past 12 months. Here are 5 to consider.

The new logbook in Garmin Pilot will automatically log your flights when used with a GPS.

The new logbook in Garmin Pilot will automatically log your flights when used with a GPS.

1. EFB apps become all-in-one resources. What began as basic charting apps have now grown into complete pre-flight and in-flight tools. That trend has been true each of the past three years, but it shows no signs of slowing down. Garmin and ForeFlight led the way this year, adding more and more features that moved them to the center of many pilots’ technology universe, from digital logbooks to weight and balance tools to detailed flight planning features. Whereas once pilots depended on 3 or 4 apps in flight, almost every function can now be handled by one of the big Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) apps. What’s left to add? Checklists and fuel planning come to mind.

These upgrades have consolidated users not just into the main EFB apps, but also into a few winners: all of our measures of pilot preference show the top 5 apps (ForeFlight, Garmin Pilot, Fltplan Go, WingX, and FlyQ) dominating as much as ever, as more niche apps fade. Among the top 5, ForeFlight and Garmin remain the two most popular.

Read more:

Garmin Pilot adds logbook

ForeFlight adds weight and balance

ForeFlight adds logbook

Stratus 2S

Portable ADS-B receivers have been upgraded to include AHRS, light data recording and track logging.

2. ADS-B receivers also become integrated. In the same way that apps have added features to become one stop shopping, so have ADS-B receivers (still by far the most popular add-on for iPads). These integrated portable avionics devices now offer much more than just subscription-free weather.

AHRS is a must for many pilots these days, as synthetic vision becomes increasingly popular for both VFR and IFR pilots. Even flight data recording and track logging are included in ADS-B receivers now. It all suggests a new name may be needed for such multi-purpose devices.

Read more:

New Stratus 1S and 2S released

Dual XGPS 190 adds dual-band traffic and AHRS

Both the Garmin Pilot app and ForeFlight are now compatible with select Garmin panel-mount avionics.

Both the Garmin Pilot app and ForeFlight are now compatible with select Garmin panel-mount avionics.

3. Panel and portable integration. Long dreamed about, 2015 may have been the year when the integration between portable and panel-mount avionics finally became a reality. Garmin led the way with its Flight Stream product, allowing Garmin Pilot users to sync weather data and flight plans from the panel to a tablet. Garmin added ForeFlight to the program at Oshkosh for a wider reach. ForeFlight also introduced compatibility with Dynon experimental glass panels, Fltplan Go announced integration with with L-3’s new Lynx ADS-B avionics, and Appareo launched Stratus ESG, an ADS-B Out transponder that integrates with portable Stratus units for a complete In/Out system.

Read more:

Garmin Flight Stream pilot report

ForeFlight partners with Garmin Flight Stream

ForeFlight adds flight plan transfer to Garmin Avionics

Stratus ESG ADS-B out transponder launched


The Apple Watch, iPad Pro and iPhone 6 Plus have been well-received by pilots flying with aviation apps in the cockpit.

4. Hardware goes bigger, not smaller. This was the year that the much-hyped Apple Watch finally hit the market, and the cockpit. While it has become the best-selling smart watch yet, its success has been more of an intriguing start than a cultural sensation.

On the other hand, consumers have voted with their wallets for larger screens, concluding the iPhone 6 Plus and iPad Pro are exciting options. The larger phones, in particular, are becoming valuable tools for flying, finally large enough to be used regularly without sacrificing readability.

Read more:

Pilot Report: First flight with the Apple Watch

Aviation app roundup: new apps for the Apple Watch

iPad Pro flight test

AerovieReport's new vertical profile weather briefing tool provides a new way to look at en route weather during preflight.

AerovieReport’s new vertical profile weather briefing tool provides a new way to look at en route weather during preflight.

5. Weather becomes a focus for apps. It seems like 2014 was the year of navigation features, as apps raced to add ever more sophisticated moving map displays, synthetic vision and approach procedure options. 2015 may have been the year of pre-flight weather features. ForeFlight hired a meteorologist this year, and he set to work revamping the app’s weather offerings in some impressive ways.

Aerovie, an app with roots in the weather arena, also added a number of cutting edge weather features. The standard radar, METAR and TAF report simply isn’t enough anymore. New models, charts and forecast products offer pilots more tools than ever before – as well as more acronyms (anyone for a MOS, Skew-t or CCFP?).

Read more:

ForeFlight adds MOS text forecasts

ForeFlight expands weather imagery options

AerovieReports adds advanced weather features

ForeFlight offers new graphical weather briefing tool

Source: Ipad apps5 iPad trends in aviation, 2015 edition

General Aviation Bill Passes Senate with Boozman Language to Help Small Aircraft Pilots Keep Flying – Dec 30,2015 – General Aviation Bill Passes Senate with Boozman Language to Help Small Aircraft Pilots Keep Flying WASHINGTON–Language authored by U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) that requires the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA …
Source: bingGeneral Aviation Bill Passes Senate with Boozman Language to Help Small Aircraft Pilots Keep Flying

An aviation movie for the rest of us

flying again movie

Flying Again is the creation of Jason Schappert, his wife and business partner, Ashley Schappert, and director, John Ellis. There is a whole long list of other contributors who brought this feature-length movie to fruition, and all of them deserve their time in the sun. I encourage you to read the credits carefully when you see the movie. And yes, I expect you will see it. If you’re lucky, you’ll see it more than once.

Unlike most Hollywood productions that use aviation as a backdrop for political intrigue, romantic liaisons, or blowing up everything in sight, Schappert and his crew have done something truly unique and satisfying. They’ve made a movie that shows exactly how diverse the general aviation marketplace is and successfully exposes our individual weaknesses for what they are — common issues that can be remedied fairly easily.

“If you like airplanes, you need to be watching this movie,” says Schappert.

As one of the leading CFIs publishing educational materials in print, online, and in video format, he knows a thing or two about general aviation and how to teach the material. But this movie isn’t an educational product.

Rather, it’s an inspirational story told from the viewpoint of a wide array of individuals. Some occupy the left seat, others sit on the right.

“The goal is to reach the masses,” says Schappert.

flying again movieIn an effort to do that, he and his team have begun shipping DVD and BluRay copies to supporters who gave the project a financial push with their Kickstarter contributions. The film is available to anyone with a credit card and an Internet connection. Both are priced at $29.97 and are available through the film’s website,

The movie will also be playing in select theaters across the United States at special screenings designed to entice movie-goers into the darkness to see something truly different: A feature length movie that is genuinely inspirational.

Clocking in at something like 84 minutes, the film takes its time to share the story of getting airborne. That’s good, because it allows the filmmakers the freedom to dispel the myth that rusty pilots are crusty old men with thinning hair, shaking hands, and wandering minds.

“Rusty Pilots come in all shapes and sizes,” says Schappert in conversation after a screening of the film at the historic Marion Theater in Ocala, Florida, his company’s base of operation.

Filmed beautifully in locations across the country, including Colorado, Michigan, Nevada, and multiple sites throughout the Florida peninsula, Flying Again is visually appealing in a way most aviation movies miss entirely. Perhaps that’s because these filmmakers actually love to fly. That affection for the subject matter shows in the finished product.

Subjects in the film include men and women, ranging in age from mid-20s well into their retirement years. Some are student pilots who were derailed during training. Some are low-time certificated pilots who simply fell away from aviation because of family or business issues.

“There’s somebody there for everyone to relate to,” Schappert acknowledges.

And he’s right. Each subject gets to share the story of what took them out of the cockpit, as the viewer gets to follow along as they venture back into the air under the wing of some excellent flight instructors.

Jamie on the red carpet for the film's premiere.

Jamie on the red carpet for the film’s premiere.

Speaking of CFIs, this is the first and only film I’ve ever seen that admits out loud that CFIs can get rusty too. That certificate doesn’t impart any special powers to those of us who qualify as CFIs. We can become less than proficient too. And we do. For several years I was in that Rusty Pilot, Rusty CFI category. Don’t be surprised that I admit it here in print. I admit it in the film, too. It’s true.

Yes, I’m in Flying Again, briefly. But I’m such a dim-bulb I didn’t know I was in it until my face came on the screen. Now that’s a surprising way to start a Monday, looking at yourself standing 20 feet tall on a movie screen.

Even knowing that, I have a DVD copy of Flying Again on my desk as I write this. It will go into the library at my flying club later this week, and will be featured at a showing to all who want to come in the early weeks of 2016.

It’s that good. Whether you’re an experienced airline pilot thinking of getting back into VFR flying at the local non-towered airport, or a CFI who hasn’t logged as many hours in flight as you might like, or someone who wants to brush off a long-ago earned but seldom used pilot certificate, or even an interested observer who has dreamed of flying but never made it past the airport gate, there’s something in Flying Again that’s aimed directly at you — as well as a whole lot of material that you’ll find to be thoroughly entertaining and enlightening.

Schappert’s goal is to get the movie seen by as many pairs of eyes as possible. To that end he and his team are willing to get creative.

“I’m open to doing free screenings at EAA Chapters and flying clubs,” he says.

Yet, his ultimate ambitions are somewhat more aspirational.

“I want to be playing in the Air & Space Museum every day at 1 p.m.,” Schappert jokes.

He’s smiling, but I’m not at all sure he really is joking. Nor would I put that goal beyond the reach of him or this film. It should be playing at the Air & Space Museum in Washington D.C. It should be playing at your house, too.

Keep an eye on Jason Schappert and the gang at Something’s happening here. And they’re right at the head of the parade, heads held high, voices calling out loud and clear, “Let’s go Flying Again.”

General aviation needs a guy just like Jason. Thankfully, we’ve got him.

Source: http://generalaviationnews.comAn aviation movie for the rest of us