Tag Archives: 40I

‘Considerable accomplishments’ at KJKA recognized

GULF SHORES, Alabama — Mayor Robert Craft and the City Council of Gulf Shores recently recognized the Gulf Shores Airport Authority for “considerable accomplishments“ at Jack Edwards National Airport (KJKA).

Craft cited “reaching its goal of self-sufficiency, new private developments, resolving land use issues” as “ some of the reasons this board needs to be recognized.”

Projects referenced include a new heavy aircraft parking apron and new private developments totaling more than $11 million in new construction.

Airport Manager Scott Fuller noted that the Platinum Air Center and Gulf Air Center projects represent “the type of operations we can partner with to transition the airport from a historically resort destination to more of an economic generator for the Gulf Shores, Orange Beach area.”

Platinum is building a 26,000-square-foot hangar/terminal adjacent to the new aircraft apron. Gulf Air Center is building a new 32,000-square-foot hangar/office and a new T-Hangar facility adjacent to its current operations.

Fuller also noted that “by transferring property to the city which could not be developed for aviation use, we were able to create a seed fund for construction of the new airport control tower.”

Also underway is the design of an on-airport aircraft rescue and firefighting station, currently in progress.

Congressman Bradley Byrne took part in a groundbreaking ceremony for the new facilities at the airport on Nov. 20.

Source: http://generalaviationnews.com‘Considerable accomplishments’ at KJKA recognized

Pearl Harbor survivors join Triple Ace Bud Anderson at Pacific Aviation Museum gala

HONOLULU — More than a dozen Pearl Harbor and World War II survivors joined 750 guests, and Triple Ace Fighter Pilot and Congressional Gold Medal recipient Col. Clarence “Bud” Anderson at this year’s ninth annual Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor Anniversary Gala, Dec. 5.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor's 9th Anniversary Gala (PRNewsFoto/Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl...)

Themed, “For Love of Country — Pass It On,” the evening “remembered the past, honored the present and, hopefully, inspired the future for our guests while raising funds for the museum’s education and restoration programs,” said Executive Director Kenneth DeHoff.

Music, dining, lots of lighted airplanes, and special decor created an atmosphere that took one back in time, turning the museum’s 86,000-square-foot World War II Hangar 79 — its windows still riddled with bullet holes from the attack on Dec. 7, 1941 — into a 1940s ballroom.

Pearl Harbor Survivor CDR John Mathrusse was on Ford Island 12/7/41 (PRNewsFoto/Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl...)

Pearl Harbor Survivor CDR John Mathrusse.

The entertainment included American Flag Art Explosion by Speed Painter and Artist Michael Ostaski, and unveiling of a commemorative Nose Art emblem for Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor’s B-17 Swamp Ghost by Greg Coleman, VP of Worldwide Marketing & Franchise Management at Walt Disney Animation Studio, and a special performance by American Idol finalist and Hawaii favorite singer Jordon Segundo.

Swamp Ghost


Source: http://generalaviationnews.comPearl Harbor survivors join Triple Ace Bud Anderson at Pacific Aviation Museum gala

Diamond DA40 Tundra introduced


Diamond Aircraft has introduced the jet-fuel-powered DA40 Tundra designed for backcountry flying.


The four-seat cabin with folding rear seat backs, large forward opening canopy and rear door means plenty of room for fly fishing rods, guns, tents, skis, snowshoes, and even mountain bikes, according to company officials.

The all-composite airframe offers resistance to bumps and scrapes and stands up well in any environment, company officials noted. Reinforced landing gear attachments, standard Beringer wheels, and a special long stroke hydraulic damper, controlling the extra heavy duty extended nose gear strut, handle rough terrain, officials noted.


The DA40 TUNDRA is powered by the Austro AE300 jet-fuel piston engine. It sips less than 4 gph of jet fuel at loiter speeds, and offers sprightly climbs thanks to turbocharging that maintains full power to 14,000 feet, Diamond officials noted.

DA40_Tundra_Star_02It also features Garmin’s G1000 with GFC700 autopilot with Electronic Stability and Protection and Synthetic Vision Technology.

Source: http://generalaviationnews.comDiamond DA40 Tundra introduced

Avflight adds location at KGUC

Avflight Corporation continues the expansion of its portfolio of FBOs with the addition of Avflight Gunnison at Crested Butte Regional Airport in Gunnison, Colorado.

“The acquisition of Gunnison Valley Aviation is a big win for Avflight,” said Carl Muhs, Avflight president. “We’ve long admired the exceptional service Gunnison Valley Aviation has provided its customers at KGUC. We knew it was a perfect fit as an Avflight location and are very excited to work with the airport, its personnel and the Gunnison County Commission.”

Source: http://generalaviationnews.comAvflight adds location at KGUC

Control your GoPro camera with an Apple Watch

GoPro apple watch

GoPro on Apple Watch

The latest GoPro app works on Apple Watch.

It’s pretty standard these days for high-tech gadgets to offer a companion mobile app, and GoPro cameras are no exception. Pilots can use the GoPro app on an iPhone or iPad to remotely control the camera, which can be a huge help when it’s mounted out of arm’s reach or outside the airplane. The app also makes it possible to change just about any camera setting, start/stop recording and display a large viewfinder on your iPhone or iPad to help line up your shot.

The latest update to the app takes this capability a step further with a dedicated Apple Watch app, allowing you to start/stop recording and display the camera’s viewfinder on the watch face. While this may sound gimmicky at first, we actually found it to be quite useful when using a GoPro camera in the airplane. Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Verify you have the latest version of watchOS installed–go to the General section of the Apple Watch app on your iPhone
  2. Download and install the latest version of the GoPro app on you iPhone, and install it on your Apple Watch
  3. Pair and connect your GoPro camera to your iPhone using Wifi and Bluetooth
  4. Open the GoPro app on your watch

The first thing you’ll see after launching the watch app is a large red circle–this is the record button to start and stop the camera remotely. You can then use the watch’s digital crown (the little wheel on the right side) to cycle through video, photo and time lapse recording modes. Swipe one screen to the right and you’ll see the small real-time viewfinder.

You can now use the Apple Watch as a viewfinder for GoPro cameras.

You can now use the Apple Watch as a viewfinder for GoPro cameras.

We took the Apple Watch and GoPro out to the airplane to try it out, and had a couple observations. First, we found that the most useful feature of the watch app is the ability to start and stop recording. The watch vibrates to confirm the action, which was a nice touch in flight. You can also customize the watch home screen to include the GoPro app record button right on the watch face, making it even easier to find (watchOS 2 now allows you to add third party watch “complications” like this).

While the viewfinder is pretty small on the watch, we still it found it useful to verify shot composition and to make sure the camera was lined up properly. Pilots flying with the GoPro Hero3, Hero4 Session or Hero4 Black models will especially find it useful since these cameras don’t include viewfinders built in to the camera. Yes, you could use your iPad app for the viewfinder as well, but it’s nice to leave that dedicated in flight to your favorite EFB app and use the watch as the primary means to control the camera.

You can check out the full line of GoPro cameras and accessories here, and download the GoPro app free from the app store.

Source: Ipad appsControl your GoPro camera with an Apple Watch

New Southwest Texas Aviation owners seek to continue legacy

JD and Laura Casteel

BOERNE, Texas – Driven by the desire to continue previous owner Russell Stalling’s legacy, JD and Laura Casteel have assumed ownership of Southwest Texas Aviation, with business resuming Jan. 1, 2016.

Southwest Texas Aviation was founded by Stallings in 1985. He became known throughout the aviation community for his support of Mooney owners and for his Mooney STC modifications.

In early 2015, Stallings began visiting with the Casteels about selling the company upon his retirement. After Stallings’ passed away in September, his family finalized the sale.

“Our dream is to build an aviation family business,” JD said. “That is what led us to purchase a company with such strong roots in the aviation community and a history of service and support of aircraft in the U.S. and abroad.”

The Casteels are both A&P mechanics, and JD also holds an Inspection Authorization.

JD and Laura Casteel

JD studied for his A&P license at Gordon Cooper Technology Center in Shawnee, Okla., and graduated in 2002. He then earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, Okla. He has more than nine years of A&P experience working for several aviation maintenance companies, including Vantage Plane Plastics in Alva as an aircraft interior installation specialist. For nearly two years, JD has worked as an aviation insurance agent for Falcon Insurance.

Laura began her aviation career in 2007 taking flying lessons and working as an airport assistant manager at the Boerne Stage Airfield in Boerne, Texas. While working at the airport, she earned a degree in statistics from the University of Texas San Antonio. Interning as an aircraft mechanic at the Boerne airport during college, she decided to pursue an A&P license. She attended St. Philips College in San Antonio for aviation maintenance and received an A&P license in 2013. With over three years of aircraft maintenance experience, she has worked for South Texas Aircraft at the Boerne Stage Airfield since earning her A&P rating. Laura earned her Private Pilots License in 2010 and is currently pursuing an instrument flight rating.

“We are excited to move forward with this new endevouer,” JD said. “We have big shoes to fill, but we are ready for the challenges this adventure has in store.”

Source: http://generalaviationnews.comNew Southwest Texas Aviation owners seek to continue legacy

The incentives young aviators need: Fast planes, new friends and good food


I’m awoken on a cool Georgia morning by the sound of a shiny blue beauty buzzing my tent only 50 yards away. Long-time friend and fellow aviator Rocky Driggers enjoys waking us all up with a dawn patrol, whether it is in his pristine V-tail Bonanza or with the grumbling radial of a Stearman.

At 7 a.m. when most people my age are sleeping, we young aviators are waking each other up with high speed passes eager for another day of formation flying, short-field takeoffs and landings, aerobatics, and trading rides to experience new airplanes. These are just a few of the reasons grassroots fly-ins have stolen my heart (and weekends) and I always keep coming back for more.

I have been going to Thomasville Fly-In in Georgia for as long as I can remember. It has always been one of my favorite places because of the cool weather and abundance of airplanes flying around.

Photo Oct 10, 3 41 27 PM

When we were quite young there were plenty of other young kids who loved aviation to interact with, but as the years went by and the kids of Thomasville grew up, more and more found “better” things to do than camp in a Georgia field for the weekend.

In 2007, my freshman year of high school, the number of young people had dropped considerably. It was just me and Rocky, a die-hard supporter of general aviation, Young Eagles, and an annual Thomasville attendee for 22 out of 22 years.

My parents continued to participate every couple of years, but came back with reports that there were not many kids there — they even stopped having the legendary T-ville bonfire!

Photo Feb 14, 3 18 27 PM

I returned in 2012, but there were still only a few plane-crazy young adults attending. I couldn’t understand why there were so few people my age there. Small fly-ins bring the promise of slow-cooked soul food, plane spotting, new friends, rides in airplanes, and community with like-minded people.

I made it my mission to invite as many friends as I could for the next year, and to convince the Thomasville Flying Club to bring back the Saturday night bonfire.

In 2013 we had about a dozen young adults at Thomasville, five of which have families in aviation.

I have my family to thank for many of my friends in the aviation industry. I am a fourth generation aviator whose family has built a close rapport with many aviation families around Florida and the United States. I had known those five since we were young.

It was the first Thomasville for three of them and one of them, Travis Sherman, just attended his third consecutive year and plans to be back in 2016, hopefully with a Super T-6 he has been restoring. It would make his 375 mile trek from Palm Beach, Florida, to Thomasville a lot quicker.


That year I made six new friends, including Phil Herrington, co-founder of the Lakeland Aero Club. We all promised to bring even more people we knew next time. Phil more than kept his word in 2014. The Lakeland Aero Club alone brought up six airplanes and 15 aviators.

I have made an effort to convince friends and even social media strangers to come to aviation events, but I think some of this influx of young aviators at local fly-ins like Thomasville has come about organically.

We’re at the age where we can bring significant others and, more importantly, fly ourselves around. We can bring friends for a weekend of fun, who in turn bring more friends the next year. That is one of the main ways this fly-in has grown. We all make an effort to bring friends from far and wide.

 I saw the opportunity for a great photo at Thomasville when everyone got together for the spot landing contest and I noticed that a quarter of the attendees where between 16 and 30. I took the opportunity and corralled all of the young people I could grab to a better location for a photo. What better place than a newly restored 1953 de Havilland Beaver on Wipline floats? This photo sums up the meaning of these fly-ins in a way words never could: Over 30 young people getting together for a common passion.

This photo sums up the meaning of these fly-ins in a way words never could: Over 30 young people getting together for a common passion.

Social media is considered an afterthought by the aging aviation community, but I’ve found it’s one of the greatest ways to connect with young people who share my passion.

For example, my boyfriend Michael Marco and I met Alain Aguayo and Bobby Breeden via Instagram, even though they both live primarily in Florida, less than two hours from where we live. Alain is an aspiring unlimited aerobatic pilot and instructor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Bobby is four-time consecutive Valdez STOL champion and one of the most capable Alaskan bush pilots flying now. Though we have been flying with each other for years and get together at the large airshows, it was their first time to Thomasville and they each brought a friend with them.

Tim Fonseca, founder of Millennial Wings, flew all the way from Ft. Lauderdale and brought nine young aviators. Derek Sherman, a third generation pilot that I have known since we were toddlers, is a student at Florida State University and he brought his flight team up with seven aviation enthusiasts this year.

Michael, a third generation pilot, piles as many friends as possible into his family’s airplanes on every occasion we can find, to take to aviation events. He’s a FAST formation qualified pilot who brings us together to brief us for each formation flight, an accomplished aerobatic competitor and instructor who enjoys teaching a young pilot the ropes every chance he gets, and as a skilled Alaskan bush pilot that has flown from the wild mountains of Denali to the coastal scenes of the Prince William Sound, he is well equipped to giving advice to young aviators about flying in Alaska.

Photo Oct 10, 5 16 50 PM

Michael’s dad, David Marco, and my dad, Dirk Leeward, generously allow us to take their airplanes out for adventures in Florida as often as the weather cooperates.

November in Central Florida is a prime time to go to grassroots fly-ins. Just this year, there were too many options for small fly-ins during the second week of November to make it to them all. I was aware of six through word of mouth and checking Social Flight, a social event tracker for aviation enthusiasts at SocialFlight.com.

Michael and I took two non-aviation friends in his deHavilland Beaver and our friend Matt Grossberg brought down a Super Decathlon. We met my dad and his friends to form up into a three-ship formation to head down to Lakeland for the Pigs Fly South annual BBQ. After eating BBQ all day, we sure felt like pigs!

The last couple years, in addition to Thomasville, we’ve managed to gather a substantial crowd at the big airshows like SUN ‘n FUN and Oshkosh.

The younger generation is important for the survival of general aviation. There are many sanctioned Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) events to make young people pilots, but not much to keep them flying in a recreational capacity.

Small, local fly-ins like Thomasville allow us to meet and fly with extraordinary young pilots who are FAST certified, aerobatic proficient, STOL champions, or just have sexy warbirds. I could be flying wing to wing with the next president of EAA.

Big airshows have their own positive qualities, but a small grassroots fly-in is the only place where you can go to learn from other pilots and get to experience other planes. The people at these local events are eager to share what they know and encourage a greater participation in general aviation from youths.

Get out there and find one near you!

Special thanks to Travis Sherman and Mathew Grossberg for their guidance in writing my first magazine article and their input on content. They are die-hard grassroots fly-in fans and annual Thomasville Fly-in participants.

Allison just graduated from the University of North Florida with a degree in communications and is pursuing a career in public relations in the automotive or aviation industry. Follow @AllisonLeeward on Instagram to see her daily adventures in aviation.

Source: http://generalaviationnews.comThe incentives young aviators need: Fast planes, new friends and good food

Picture of the day: Landing above the clouds

Darin Scheer

Darin Scheer of Farson, Wyo., sent in this photo, which was also featured in the Dec. 20 print issue of General Aviation News, which he titled “Ridgetop Landing Above Clouds.”

Darin Scheer

He tells the story of the photo: “I went flying one morning, only to find my destination socked in by a low cloud layer. I spotted this ridge sticking up above the layer, and was treated to an incredible backcountry memory in my Piper PA-12-150.”

Source: http://generalaviationnews.comPicture of the day: Landing above the clouds