The Almighty Aviation Network

rk_galesgrp I was reminded twice this past week about how small the aviation world really is.  It seems like the old saying that we “are all six degrees away from Kevin Bacon” is especially true in aviation — but in this case, we are all four degrees away from Harrison Ford.

Earlier this week I got an email via Facebook of a fellow alum of Daniel Webster College (though a much more recent class) who now works at avionics manufacturer Avidyne.  She said she works directly with one of my former coworkers at the Collings Foundation (I only had three) and was the direct contact with the avionics department at Cutter Aviation, my new employer. Her spot in my network basically represented the crossroads of my professional career!

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Tales of a Pilot’s Jacket

Z2102 Look in any pilot supply store, catalog, or website and you’ll notice there is are several products that everyone carries, mostly because their iconic nature in the personal inventory of a pilot makes them easy inventory to carry and sell.  You’ll surely find the old standards: the E6B, the fuel tester, the kneeboard, the logbook, the sunglasses… and the pilot’s jacket.

Just about anyone who is or aspires to be a pilot realizes pretty quickly that the symbolic aviators jacket is a must have — not because it’s a "need" per se, but because the ego forces it on you.  I mean, how many of us fly in a "Members Only" jacket afterall?

If you want to reinforce your new found hobby or career path with family and friends, the leather bomber jacket is a requirement.  Nothing screams "I watch Top Gun at least once a month and want to be Maverick in my C-150" like it. For some of us, it’s a love of the historic side of aviation that prompts us to go after that piece of stitched goatskin… to wear a jacket like the heroes of WWII is in some way, a tribute to their influence on us.

After a time, you may get a bit tired of wearing the sweaty leather in all climates and may switch to a nylon or cotton aviator jacket — while the leather gets relegated to the "dress" uniform.  The nylon jacket offers the bonus of washability if you have an oil-hungry plane in your care and for those gadget "cockpit is an office" types, the nylon usually adds more pencil holders on the sleeve than you can shake a No. 2 at!

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Lost Planes We Love: The Lockheed 1329 JetStar

Caution, if you are looking at some sort of historical retrospective on the Jetstar or facts and figures… stop reading — this is just an article based on pure opinion and observations.  Otherwise, enjoy!

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The Lockheed Jetstar is one of those airplanes that kind-of grows on you after a while.  If you were like me, you hated it at first sight in the aviation books you read as a kid.  Raised on the clean lines of the Gulfstream and Dassault Falcon lineage, I had little taste for the boxy-looking 1329 Jetstar myself.  Everything just seemed wrong: four engines where two should be… square windows… those big damn tanks on the wings… and what about that barn door of a tail huh?  Gosh, I wondered who in the heck would have loved it.

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Serendipity: Sometimes Things Happen for a Reason.

ryanavatar When a person turns thirty-years-old, the idea of being a “young person” has pretty much gone away.  You’ve passed the milestones of adulthood: you are old enough to drive, old enough to drink, old enough to get drafted (if that ever came about), and old enough to rent a car — which has become something of a 21st century right of passage at the age of 25.

But once you are 30; you’re an adult and there isn’t much left that’s off limits to you — except maybe an AARP membership — and that’s nothing I’ll look forward to. By this time, it’s assumed that you’ve got your life together and are past the entry-level jobs, have some sort of meaningful relationship, and are well on your way to personal success and happiness.

For me, I’ll remember my 30th year on planet Earth to be something of an interesting and strange year — one that became a perfect example of serendipity in motion.

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