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Musician’s flying anthem soars

Article | Sep 01, 2011

Singer-songwriter Ansel Brown couldn't help but put his feelings into music about the family of aviators he acquired when he married Lisa Wixom Brown.

Fleeting Beauty

Article | Jul 01, 2011

“Homebuilt” airplanes range from crude machines to articles combining the best of craftsmanship and aesthetics. But one of them stood alone: the incomparable H-1 Racer built by Jim Wright and a team of skilled craftsmen in a small town in western Oregon.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2011

Yves Rossy flew a loop for the first time with the aid of a wing strapped on his back, four jet engines each the size of a loaf of bread, and his body. He has made several previous flights with the wing, including one crossing the English Channel.

Pilot Briefing

Article | Dec 01, 2010

Virgin Galactic ‘Enterprise’ completes glide test The suborbital commercial tourist spaceship VSS (Virgin Spaceship) Enterprise—also known as SpaceShipTwo—owned by Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic company completed its first unpowered glide test October 10. You can see a video of the flight on the Virgin Galactic website.

'AOPA Pilot' Online

Article | Oct 01, 2010

The Air Up There Mike Collins loaded up his camera and his notebooks to tackle a tough assignment in the New Mexico desert. He’d have to rise before the sun, look to the skies all day, and maybe even share a glass of mandatory champagne—when you cover the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, it’s a tough gig.

Out of space

Article | Oct 01, 2010

“Houston, Atlantis is in the roll.” Space shuttle Commander Ken Ham announces that the orbiter, Atlantis, has just started its trademark maneuver, made during every space shuttle launch shortly after leaving the launch pad. And just a second later he utters the word that spells trouble for him and his crew for the next several minutes: “Helium.” “Roger, roll,” comes the call from mission control.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2010

There are now 100,000 historic photos online for you to browse. The San Diego Air and Space Museum is sharing the photos on Flickr.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2010

The April 2010 eruption of a volcano on Iceland may or may not have subsided by now, depending on the interplay between neighboring hot spots on that mid-Atlantic island. The offending unpronounceable volcano, Eyjafjallajokull (pronounced EYE-a-fyat-la-jo-kutl for those willing to give it a try), has a neighboring volcano that has a history of erupting after Eyjafjallajokull does.

Fly-Outs: June

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2010

Calling all dads! June is the month to celebrate your dad and what better way to honor the old man than with an aviation event, cross-country, or road trip? From the unusual to the sublime—if you have a pilot in your midst, you can go just about anywhere with your father. Enjoy dad this month at one of these events or check our online calendar for other ideas.

AOPA Road and Runway: The ultimate cross-country road trip

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2010

Airports along the way Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport (JGG)—This charming GA airport is tucked off a residential road southwest of the city of Williamsburg, Virginia, on Marclay Road. Privately owned and founded in 1970 by Larry and Jean Waltrip, its on-site restaurant, Charly’s, features homemade breads and desserts and was voted the number one $100 hamburger stop on the East Coast by 100hamburger.com.

Waypoints: Top of the stack

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2010

Most pilots stroll around the ramp peering in airplane windows to admire multifunction displays, GPSs, or the latest all-glass cockpit, but Mark Scheuer’s eyes go right to the top of the stack. His mission: Find out whose audio panel is in there.

Fly-Outs: April

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2010

Spring is a great time to knock the rust off and get out to the hangar to begin planning some great fly-outs. From pancake breakfasts to the quintessential $100 hamburger run, and flying into major airshows, April is a great month to get out and fly! For more destinations and events, check out our calendar online.

Pilot Products

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2010

Flying over woods, mountains, lakes, or plains? You’ll want this gear. Unfortunately things can and do go wrong in airplanes.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2010

Click the image above to view a slideshow. When last we heard from Robert Gannon he was exploring the world by Cessna 182.

The 'Blackbirds'

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2009

They called them “Race Pilots” back then, but the expression had nothing to do with flying small airplanes with big engines around pylons while trying to bust some speed barrier. Instead they broke the racial barrier.

Pilot Counsel:

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2009

John S. Yodice is an active pilot who flies a Cessna 310 based in Maryland.

Turbine Pilot: Is HAL on board?

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2009

Do you remember the computer, “HAL,” attempting to take over the spacecraft in the 1968 classic 2001: A Space Odyssey? (“Just what do you think you’re doing, Dave? Dave?”) That movie gave voice to our fear that we would one day become slaves to our technology. In many cockpits, that has certainly become true.

Pilots: John Damgard

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2009

A true honor for an aircraft owner is to see his pride and joy end up in a museum to be preserved and admired for years to come. And if that museum is the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM), it legitimizes the fact that the aircraft is special.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2009

Space education center opens in New Hampshire The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, New England’s only air and space science center, opens March 6 in Concord, New Hampshire, after 10 years of planning. The center represents a major upgrading of the previously existing Christa McAuliffe Planetarium.

Low, slow, and comfortable

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2009

With hardly a change in engine sound, the giant Zeppelin gently floated straight up, marking the start of the first U.S. commercial Zeppelin flight in 70 years and confusing me.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2009

Jet power for your body JetPack International is close to developing a hydrogen peroxide-power jetpack that will fly you around for nine minutes. It will cost $200,000, training included.

Turbine Edition: Acquisitions

Article | Oct 01, 2008

For the guy who has everything OK, Father’s Day rolled around again and you, once again, committed the buy-him-a-tie copout. Now nears a landmark birthday.

Turbine Edition: Turbines Around the World

Article | Oct 01, 2008

What’s your idea of the dream adventure of a lifetime? It probably involves flying a high-performance, luxury airplane to exotic lands on a leisurely schedule, staying at five-star hotels along the way. And what about having agents setting up your flight plans, securing overflight permits, providing your meals, and giving you tours of scenic and historic locations as well? Turns out that such an adventure can indeed be yours—for $55,000 per head.

Pilots: Dorothy Cochrane

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2008

“I never expected to be writing history...teaching it, maybe, but not recording and writing it.” Yet that’s exactly what this lucky lady does as curator of general aviation for the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. Dorothy Cochrane’s rise to curator began when she moved to Washington in the late 1970s with her husband, a contract engineer.

AOPA's Get Your Glass Sweepstakes: Uber Upgrades

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2008

It’s time to go glass. After months of work from Oxford Aviation on the beautiful cosmetic appointments, and Penn Yan Aero on the new powerplant behind AOPA’s Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Archer, it’s finally time to begin work on the airplane’s instrument panel.

AOPA Project Pilot: Students and mentors

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2008

Mentor Elizabeth Gehman As a single, stay-at-home mom, Elizabeth Gehman felt like she needed something to help get her involved in the community, and keep her brain stimulated. She isn’t interested in pursuing Japanese, even though she studied the language at the American University in Washington, D.C.

Flying on the Fourth

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2008

Believe it or not, there are days that I don’t want to fly. I know, I know, it’s hard to fathom, but hear me out.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2008

Smithsonian aviation photos to tour next year Unlike the movie, Carolyn Russo’s Night at the Museum was real, and there were many nights while she took photographs for her book and museum exhibit called, “In Plane View: Abstractions of Flight.” Both contain abstract images of museum aircraft. You can do it, too.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2008

British plane spotters take Arizona skies During a visit to Tucson, Arizona, an AOPA Pilot writer/photographer team found four British visitors waiting in the lobby of a flight school. Scenic flights? No, these were plane spotters, a hobby enjoyed by thousands of enthusiasts worldwide.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2008

The best of the best Members vote for the best AOPA Pilot covers from the past 50 years A magazine’s cover is in many ways its prime identity. It’s the first glimpse of what’s to come after the issue arrives in the mail.

Gallery of Legends

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2008

Photography by Mike Fizer Fifty-one “legends” in the history of the North American P-51 Mustang came to Columbus, Ohio, in September to be honored at The Gathering of Mustangs and Legends. Lines at the 100-foot-long autograph tent were often 130 feet long, especially when Bob Hoover began his session.

Cross-Country at Record-Setting Speed

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2007

My world record Put yourself in aviation history By Alton K. Marsh Bruce Bohannon, the guy who won 30 world records aboard his Exxon Flyin' Tiger, once told me he had seriously considered breaking my world speed record.

A Waco for Miss Johnston

Article | Oct 01, 2007

Connie Johnston's father was very good at finding gold and zinc; that's why her childhood was spent on a luxurious estate in Greenwich, Connecticut. The family fortune eventually allowed "Miss Johnston," as Waco factory supervisors referred to her, to buy an extravagant airplane in the middle of the Great Depression and live the life of an adventuress in search of social status.

Pilots

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2007

Here's how you fly the Vomit Comet: At 30,000 feet dive until the modified McDonnell Douglas DC-9 (C-9) hits 350 knots, pull the nose up 60 degrees — that's 1.8 Gs — until you reach 240 knots, then unload. Repeat 40 times and call it a day.

'Spin Doctor' Bill Kershner dies at 77

Article | Sep 01, 2007

'Spin Doctor' Bill Kershner dies at 77 Pilot, flight instructor, and aviation author William K. Kershner, 77, died January 8 in Sewanee, Tennessee, after a prolonged battle with cancer.

Pilots

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2007

Summer Williams is what you might call a triple threat: She's a NASA engineer, she's logged 19 years as a dancer and cheerleader, and, as you can probably discern from her appearing on this page, she's also a private pilot. She took her first flight as a 10-year-old native of tiny Anthony, Kansas, on a commercial airliner.

President's Position

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2007

Phil Boyer has served as AOPA's president since January 1, 1991. In her continuing quest to "sell" the agency's financing proposal, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey recently stated, "You know, GPS is the law of the land in virtually every other business and logistic situation that we have.

Test Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2007

GENERAL The Canadian-built robotic arm, Canadarm2, on the International Space Station weighs almost 2 tons. Why does it need to be so strong and heavy when the items that it moves are weightless in orbit? Why is it a good idea to have available a very small quantity of water when draining fuel during preflight inspections? From reader Bob Lippincott: After France fell to Germany in 1940, the Royal Canadian Air Force received North American NA-64 Yale trainers (T-6s with fixed landing gear) originally destined for the French Air Force.

The Liberty Challenge

Article | Jul 01, 2006

Liberty Aerospace officials once marketed their XL2 as a sporty cross-country airplane. They have now recast its message as an economical airplane based on the company's claims for operating costs (called "rebranding" in the marketing game).

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2006

Extreme airshow series The new Association of Competition Airshow Pilots (ACAP) began its 12-city eXtreme Airshow Challenge tour in April in Fernandina Beach, Florida. The idea behind the series is to couple a normal airshow with two segments devoted to extreme flying performances by seven pilots and have a panel of judges determine the winner.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2006

Mothballed airliners take on new life The old saying that "one man's junk is another man's treasure" holds true in the Mojave Desert. Parts from old airliners have been turned into everything from fine art to furniture.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2006

Introducing the dawn of private-spaceflight regulation Normally when the FAA issues a proposed rule, it comes with a rather unexciting title. But this one is a bit more provocative: "Human space flight requirements for crew and space flight participants." Published in the Federal Register on December 29, 2005, the rule is laying the groundwork for Joe Pilot to become Joe Astronaut — or at least Joe Big Bucks to become Joe Passenger.

Pilots

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2006

At airshows up and down the East Coast, folks walk past Charlie Kulp unaware that he is a well-known, almost legendary airshow performer. There's nothing about him or his 1946 Piper J-3 Cub that screams for attention or notice.

Capturing Sunlight

Article | Dec 01, 2005

"Feel that? I'll bet that's the trop." "Yeah, that's probably it." Bill Rieke, chief of aircraft operations at NASA's Glenn Research Center, is hand-flying a Learjet 25 from the right seat and Kurt Blankenship, the center's senior pilot and safety officer, is flying left seat as we pass through 37,000 feet about 50 miles east of Detroit. We're flying a solar-cell-calibration mission to collect data on the cells' performance.

Fighting Fatigue

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2005

What did the Chernobyl and Three Mile Island nuclear accidents, the space shuttle Challenger explosion, and the Exxon Valdez grounding have in common? Answer: The official investigations in each case determined that fatigue played a causal or contributory role in the outcome. According to Mark Rosekind, a leading expert on fatigue and alertness, accidents like these are especially dramatic examples of what can happen when humans become fatigued.

Hangar Talk

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2005

ADS-B (automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast) may well be one of the best-kept secrets in aviation. Few pilots seem to have heard of what seems destined to become one of the most significant new datalink technologies in general aviation cockpits.

Out of This World

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2005

Behind every great achievement is a support team that makes the incredibly difficult (and sometimes seemingly impossible) a reality. Such has always been the case with NASA's manned space program.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2005

SpaceShip One heads to National Air and Space Museum Burt Rutan's SpaceShipOne will be taking its rightful place this month, hanging between the Bell X-1 and the Spirit of St. Louis and above the Mercury space capsule in the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

Project Pilot Update

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2005

AOPA Project Pilot gives experienced pilots a way to share their love of flight by mentoring student pilots. Backed by the resources of AOPA, mentors help guarantee the best possible introduction of flying, form first flight to checkride.