November 11, 2010
By Julie Summers Walker
With humor and obvious affection, Mike Melvill and Dick Rutan shared stories from their 35 years of globe-spanning flights in their ultra-efficient aircraft that they built by hand with a receptive crowd on Nov. 11.
With slides of breathtaking lands such as Bora Bora and Easter Island, the pair delighted the audience with anecdotes from their flights. On Easter Island the two decided the famous statues on the tiny island must have been created by what is termed "the other option"—extraterrestials. "The details, the faces on these 720 statutes are so amazing; they looked like they are machine-carved," said Melvill.
Melvill and Rutan flew their Long-EZs around the world in 1997.
Of the Starship, Rutan said it was built in "an environment of total freedom by a designer who thought he could do it and only knew he would fail if he didn't try. The aircraft exists because we had the freedom to take a chance and is a testimony to the spirit of America." The audience cheered and applauded.— Julie Summers Walker
AOPA Director of Publications and Managing Editor for AOPA Pilot and Flight Training, Julie Summers Walker joined AOPA in 1998. She is a student pilot still working toward her solo.
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) has awarded its third annual Flight Training Excellence Awards to top flight schools and flight instructors ranked by more than 3,600 flight students who voluntarily reviewed their flight training experience through an AOPA online poll.
For decades, pilots have headed to Bay Bridge Airport in the Chesapeake Bay for scenic coastal flying and great seafood. Check it out after attending the AOPA Homecoming Fly-In on Oct. 4.
Maintenance experts have asked the FAA to clarify whether recurring inspections of Cessna 210-series aircraft can be mandated without following required rulemaking procedures.
VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN NEAR YOU!
SHARE YOUR PASSION. VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN. CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
VOLUNTEER LOCALLY AT AOPA FLY-IN! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
BE A PART OF THE FLY-IN VOLUNTEER CREW! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>