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Aviation Community Just One More Victim of Media Imposing Their Will On UAV Debate

It’s no secret that I am a big supporter of UAVs and all of their varied uses.  There are very real issues that need to be addressed when it comes to airspace usage, and how they will fit into the National Airspace System.  That being said, there are other issues being covered in the media that appear to not really be much of an issue.

One of the most common articles I can find as it relates to UAV complaints is the privacy issue.  People seem to be under the impression that everyone who flies a UAV is just looking to be a peeping tom with really nice equipment.

Something that I find really interesting is that every article I have read complaining about privacy issues created by UAVs cites different examples of criminals being caught because of a UAV.  It is never a story about some normal person having their picture taken, but of somebody breaking the law, that gets caught on accident.

Honestly, that just reaffirms how important I think UAVs are.  Maybe we will be able to catch even more criminals, and maybe some of those people will even think twice about committing a crime in the first place.

Apparently, people aren’t nearly as worried about their privacy as the media would like you to believe.  In one article from a local paper in Syracuse, NY they repeatedly mention that there has been little to no objection from the locals.  The article says that after the paper wrote two separate articles about drone training in their county the readers, “…barely batted an eye.”

Now if the media would stop wasting our time trying to make us worry about something that does not concern most people maybe we can focus on the real issues, and make UAVs a safer and more effective part of the aviation world.

August 27, 2013 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

Military Aircraft Museum to Close Down and Sell Its Aircraft

Few things give me the chills like the sights and sounds of old aircraft.  Shiny new airliners are fun to see, and impressive to admire, but nothing is quite like the simplistic majesty of old aircraft.  Every time I talk with friends about winning the lottery and all the stuff we would buy, large amounts of old aircraft are right at the top of my list.

This P-51 Mustang, Impatient Virgin, is just one aircraft that will be on display at Historic Flight Foundation during the event.

This P-51 Mustang, Impatient Virgin, is just one aircraft that is on display at Historic Flight Foundation.

One lucky man is already the owner of just such a collection, though only for a little while longer.  Back in June reported that Gerald Yagen of Virginia Beach will be selling his collection of old warbirds and closing the Military Aviation Museum due to financial reasons.  As one of the largest collections of vintage aircraft in the world I can’t even imagine how much it must cost to maintain all of those planes.

In reading the comments with the article, there is apparently a lot of dispute over what has led to this unfortunate situation, but my only concern at this point is for the planes, and what will happen to them.  We have already lost too many of these amazing aircraft, and we can’t afford to lose anymore.

As much as all of us avgeeks wish we could pool our money and save these planes, the reality is that that just isn’t going to happen.  The most that we can do is hope that the right people buy these planes and maintain this history for as long as possible.

Organizations like Historic Flight Foundation and The Flying Heritage Collection at Paine Field North of Seattle are amazing organizations that due fantastic work in preserving these vital pieces of our nation’s history.  The Legacy Flight Museum in Rexburg, ID is another such group that has committed themselves to maintaining the beautiful history of flight.

"Grumpy", a B-25 bomber at Historic Flight Foundation will be joined by another B-25 from the Flying Heritage Collection on the other side of the runway.

“Grumpy”, a B-25 bomber at Historic Flight Foundation is one of two B-25s at Paine Field.  The other is located across the runway at the Flying Heritage Collection.

There are numerous other groups all across the country that are doing their part in keeping these beautiful aircraft in the air, but we must support them through our patronage, and if possible through financial donations.  It takes a lot of money to keep these aircraft flying, but even more important than that is the continued interest of regular people so that they know their efforts are appreciated.

So the next time you are trying to decide what to do for the weekend get online and find your closest aviation museum.  You may be surprised just how many there are.  I recently heard about a DC-3 being restored at my local airport, so look for more information on that in the coming weeks.

August 26, 2013 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

Disney’s Planes Movie is an Hour and a Half of Pure Animated Aviation Awesomeness

To give you some indication of how great this movie is, within the first ten seconds of the movie my son excitedly screamed, “AIRPLANES!”  Now at only two years old he is somewhat easily impressed, but his smile was satisfaction enough for me.

The opening scene awakened everything I have loved about planes since I was a very little boy.  From there on in it just kept getting better and better.  I found the animation to be exceptionally clear and clean.  The scenery was beautiful and the planes were stunning, but he part that really struck me was the sound.

Clearly there is nothing quite the same as seeing and hearing the real planes in person, but about halfway through the movie when Skipper the Corsair fired up his engine it gave me the chills.  I found myself ignoring the dialogue at times in the movie just listening to the sounds.

Along with all of the beautiful sounds of engines, it was also fun to hear some of the different voices of the characters.  Most notably to me were the voices of Iceman (Val Kilmer) and Goose (Anthony Edwards) from Top Gun.  That was the movie that really sparked my love of aviation so it was fun to me to hear their voices again.

Obviously the story is not realistic as there is no possible way that a crop duster could keep up with any actual racing aircraft, but that is what animated movies should be about.  Kids should be encouraged to shoot for the impossible.  We should all long to have lofty dreams that takes our utmost to accomplish.

How many movies these days truly inspire kids to shoot for the stars anymore?  Most shows these days are trying to turn kids into teenagers before they even start school.  Instead this movie is just a simple story about a simple character that has a huge dream that he makes a reality.

What could be better in a story for children than that?

Admittedly, I am a huge avgeek, and that likely plays into how much I love this movie, but I honestly feel like it could have a huge impact on the future of aviation.  Kids need something more to be passionate about than stupid pop stars.

It was awesome to hear a group of kids with their parents outside the theater saying, “That was an awesome movie.  We need to buy it on DVD,” and their parents immediately responding, “Definitely.”  This is the kind of start that we need in general aviation.

There is so much more I would love to say about this movie, but I honestly could not say it better than Dan Pimentel, of the Airplanista Aviation Blog, did in his review of the movie after seeing it last week at EAA Airventure in OshKosh Wisconsin.

If you need just a little glimpse at the beauty of this film just take a look at the trailer.  Then hurry out to the theater and enjoy an hour and a half of pure animated aviation awesomeness.

August 9, 2013 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

Video of my Very First Actual Personnel Drop From the C-130

This was just before the first group jumped.

This was just before the first group jumped.

Every aviator has special moments in their career that they will always remember.  The first time they took the stick in their hands, the first time they soloed an aircraft, or the first time they took a loved one for a ride.  One of those events for me was my very first actual personnel drop from a C-130.

I will spare you the details and just let you check out the video.  My apologies that the video is not as clear as the picture.  My camera does not focus as well on video as it does on images.




August 5, 2013 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.