For Eric Downing



For Skyraider owner Eric Downing… I know how much you love them!

Can you tell I like yet?

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Icon-ic? Yes Please!

icon Now, I will have to be the first to admit that I haven’t followed the Sport Pilot and LSA trend as much as I should have. As I am already a private pilot, the entire concept of the sport pilot certificate really didn’t immediately apply to me and because I don’t even have even enough to plop down as a down payment on a run-out Cessna 120, a new plane, no matter how small and simple, didn’t really entice me.

And why should I have been enticed?  I mean, most of the LSAs out there look like dinky versions of Cubs, Cessna 152s made from fiberglass, or generic low wing things. For me, yeah, I’d fly anything if given the chance, but the LSA / Sport push really isn’t aimed at “converting” me… but rather to get new pilot starts.

No aircraft currently being offered was really standing out to me as something that could take a non-pilot and make them go, “whoa! I want to fly that!”  Yeah, the Skycatcher has some potential (but what a stupid name), but it still follows the regular pattern of “make it look like our other high-wings and slap some glass instrumentation in there to up sell and let’s go.”

So needless to say, I’ve been disappointed. Until today that is.

I read Scott Spangler’s post today at JetWhine and was really interested with the feature… a little LSA amphibian called the ICON A5.  Yeah, it looks a lot like some of the homebuilt amphibs I’ve seem out there for years, but the thing that caught my eye was the cockpit. It was so… cool looking… and it has only a little bit of glass on a Bendix King moving map GPS.


Abandoned SFO Terminal

Thanks to Twitter friend Dan Sleezer, I was made aware of a fantastic set of photos from Lost America on Flickr featuring an abandoned terminal set for demolition at San Francisco International Airport.  Check out the set here.

For those of you who know me, abandoned airfields are a particular passion of mine. I have always been intrigued with structures of the past that become disused, abandoned, and eventually gone for good. I frequent Paul Freemans "Abandoned and Little-Known Airfields" site and even contributed significantly to the listing there for Woodward Field in Le Roy, NY, near where I grew up.

I was quite possibly one of the few people that regularly visited the site of the former Nathaniel Hawthorne College in Antrim, NH.  Hawthorne was something of a "sister" school to my alma mater Daniel Webster College and closed in the late 90′s.  It was created around the same time in the 60′s as DWC. It had a flight program similar to DWC and was about the same size.  Even their administration building looked very much like Daniel Webster Hall.

All that’s left of the college now are some of the buildings reused as a meditation school — while other buildings are merely foundations.  In the case of the great library, it sits abandoned and completely gutted — ceiling falling in and windows broken. To me, the sight of the college in its current state gave me particular passion to make sure my college, Daniel Webster, would never succumb to a similar fate.

See a video tribute to Hawthorne here.

It may be sad to see abandoned places, but I seem to find a certain purpose in it. It reminds me that all things on the earth, including us, have limited time here.  We need to appreciate things while they are here and get the most out of that time we are here while we still can.

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Ah Phoenix.

Brian Shaler seriously is the man!  Go to…

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