Over this past weekend I saw a young man named Zachary Drum stand at the front of a packed room and command the attention of every person in it. At 21 years old, Zachary is not tall or physically imposing. He doesn’t have the booming voice of an evangelical preacher and he never gestures wildly in an attempt to draw attention to himself. No, what this young man brought to the audience at the James West Army Reserve Center in Lakeland, Florida, was a confident composure, an undeniable command of the subject matter at hand, and a willingness to listen.
Arguments, discussions and peace: These are not incompatible terms, even if they may appear to be at first glance. Keep that thought in mind.
Last week I attended a webinar. The topic was Airport Compatible Land Use. Now, if you’ve never been to a webinar, you’re really missing something — at least in theory. [Read more...]
Given the option of taking the pessimistic view or the optimistic view, I’ll more often than not take the brighter alternative. I prefer to believe that one person who is willing to put in significant effort can make a difference. There are plenty of examples of this phenomenon in our history, and I will refrain from listing them lest someone get the mistaken impression that I am hoping to somehow link myself to greater men (and women) who have come before me. The point is, you can do great things if you try.
Every summer, I face a decision that millions struggle with as much as I do. Should I go to Oshkosh to be a part of AirVenture? If the answer if yes, another set of decisions follow: If I go, how should I get there? Once I’m in the neighborhood, where should I stay?
I am fortunate to be based on an airport where there are many truly talented, well credentialed people who really want to make a positive difference. One of those people is Janeen Kochan, a force of nature who also happens to be a designated pilot examiner, an A&P with Inspection Authorization, and a heck of a nice woman. More important than that, Janeen is laser focused on the importance of safety in aviation. For that I thank her with all my heart and soul. We could use a few more like her.
Two of the main alphabet organizations focused on general aviation include the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). They both offer something of real value to each of us who works or recreates in the realm of general aviation.
OSHKOSH — While riding the tram back to show center from the seaplane parking area, I met Graham. He was interested in taking a seat in my row, yet I was unwilling to give up the outside seat, because I was taking photos of the people and airplanes on Wittman Regional Airport as the tram rolled along. So I stepped off and allowed him to settle into the middle of the car. We spoke just a simple exchange of “Thank yous” which caused my ear to pick up on the subtle queue of his accent, which was decidedly non-Wisconsin-ish. It wasn’t American at all.
The truth is simple, and weird. I am a refugee. Not by force, or circumstance, or because I am caught between two warring factions that are sworn to smite me should I show my face. No, it’s nothing so dramatic as that. I am a refugee by choice, as are thousands of others who are slumbering nearby in tents and campers, and all manner of temporary housing.
This is AirVenture. Or at least, this is a part of the AirVenture experience that can only be understood, or explained, by those who pitch a tent, or roll into town with their RV, [Read more...]
I was a very experienced camper when I was a kid. That’s not so much because I was a naturally adventurous youngster. The Boy Scouts showed me how to camp, explore, and make it back safely. I lived in New England then, and I have fond memories of waking up in a toasty warm sleeping bag, even though it was 3° Fahrenheit outside. I’ve seen driving rain, sleet, snow, and more than my share of heat, humidity, and bugs. Now, I’m packing for my first camping trip in over 35 years — at next week’s Oshkosh.