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Aviation Articles for January 27, 2012


1910 Curtiss Pusher. Photo Credit: Christopher Chen: Flickr:CC

Here are some flying articles you may have missed this week:

A teen with a future.
This is from Geek Wire. Zach Sweetster, a seventeen-year-old from near Seattle, sounds like a really grounded individual – well, except for his love of all things flying. It sounds like he’s already working on several career options.

Aviation History in Cleveland.
This article is from The Cleveland Daily Banner. It sounds like the Daily Banner is running a series of articles dedicated to aviation history in and around Cleveland. The subject of this one is aviator Charles K. Hamilton. He was trained the art of flying by Glenn Curtiss. He brought one of Curtiss’ biplanes to Cleveland in 1911.

Havelock, NC and the Marines
This article is from the Havelock News. A little more aviation history, this time with a military twist. Read on to get the connection between Havelock and the Marines. (Fruit is involved… sort of).


2 responses to “Aviation Articles for January 27, 2012”

  1. Cedarglen Avatar

    Thank you, again for a great post of items that I would have missed. You’r’e right! I’never have found the first post from GeekWire, about Zach in REdmond, ,WA. Already a (sport) pilot at 17 and with what looks like a secure command of RC operations, including photography, this young fellow has a a future waiting for him. Before we know it, he will vanish into the ether of non-disclosure and probably contribute some new ideas. A great post, Tracy.

    Other thoughts: Today’s military pilots seem to achieve very few active flight hours. Most of the big fleets are seriously old, yet fully functional, but without substantial, experienced crews to fly them. While we cannot but a new Air Force freighter every five years, we CAN employ and train a sufficient flying staff to fly the ones that we have. Yes, I’m thinking your old friend, the C5, as well as the C17. What good are they without a substantial number of ‘experienced’ pilots to fly them? The Air Force’s ready reserves will help in a crisus, but them what? One **fully qualified** flight crew member per crew is just not enough. Far too often, I hear or read about USAF (and Navy and Marine Corps) officers leaving service becasue they do not fly enough hours to remain mission-qualified. I know, it is all about money and budgets. We’ve got a fleet of low-time airplanes, generally in top shape, but far too few men and women fully qualified to fly them. Simulator time helps, but especially for older aircraft like the C-5, it is not enough. I’ve heard horror stories about junior pilots with 15-20 hours of SIM time flying operational missions, as second pilot and as their first live experience with the aircraft. I’m not sure that this is the best choice. Our various forces may have adaquate stocks of aircraft, but without **Qualified** pilots to fly them, what good are they? On the more agressive side, the USAF and USN pilots who fly attack airplanes, there is no substitute – simply none – for butt-in-seat experience. If those youngsters don’t fly a lot or hours – and regularly – what good are they? If we choose to have agressive fighters flying those airplanes, they need to have some serious experience flying with them. Otherwise, they become casualty losses and one more task for the rescue crews, let alone the loss of a very expensive airplane. Thanks for listening and [Sermon Mode]=OFF.
    I always enjoy your posts. -Craig

  2. Tracy Avatar


    I agree. It seems that the military is, more and more, relying on the Reserves to accomplish their missions. I believe all the C-5s are flown by the reserves and I wouldn’t be surprised if the C-17s start being transferred (if they haven’t already). It sounds like the current administration expects future wars to be fought with RC models (yeah, I know they’re much more than that) by pseudo-pilots sitting in a room someplace.

    A professional pilot shortage is approaching rapidly – both for the military and the airlines. It will be interesting to sit on the sidelines, watch it happen and see how the ‘experts’ come up with a solution.
    And if you think today’s environment discourages people from entering professional aviation, wait and see what happens if aviation user fees are put in place.