August 2012 - Page 2 Aviation Articles

Aviation Heroes Are Superheroes Too

         As I continue right along on my journey to “Pilot-hood” I’d like to discuss and share about two specific war heroes that I’ve learned to appreciate along the way. In my previous article I discussed an inspirational pilot who took me on as a private student and in turn became my very first flight instructor; Mr. Wagers. Sadly I must report, it is no longer this way, Mr. Wagers took another job and is no longer my private instructor. However, he had a plan (as I’m told all pilots should.) Mr. Wagers introduced me to an old friend of his that is also a CFI. His friend’s name is Mr. Frames, who conveniently enough also flies out of Indiana. Needless to say, Mr. Frames is now instructing me. Of course, Mr. Frames has his own style of teaching, his own habits and certainly his own punch lines; He’s a good man though and a great instructor! Throughout my time spent with Mr. Frames he has mentioned several different names of famous pilots that I should be aware of. Mr. Frames is a man very devoted to his job and yes, I have been assigned “homework.” So, on this particular day, I took it upon myself to do a little bit of research and find out just what this old bird was talking about.

         The first pilot that Mr. Frames mentioned was Captain Richard C. Mulloy; obviously I was completely and utterly oblivious. This name meant absolutely nothing to me. However, upon “Googling” his name I was astonished at the outcome, what an awesome person for Mr. Frames to teach me about! Richard C. Mulloy was known by employees and students of the Kentucky Flying Service as "Dick Mulloy," This man learned to fly in Tennessee in 1941, and once he finished his studies he entered the civilian pilot training program. Later he became a pilot instructor in the U.S. Army Primary Flying School, and eventually ended up flying C-46s and C-47s with the Flying Tigers over "The Hump" across the Himalayas in World War II.

         Following the war, Dick returned to Louisville, Kentucky and formed the Kentucky Flying Service, which was located at Bowman Field (KLOU.) He built the organization over the years, operating out of the large hanger where they overhauled, maintained, and sold aircraft. In addition, Dick is generally credited with training more pilots than anyone else in this particular part of the country. In 1987, Dick sold the Kentucky Flying Service, and 1992 he sold Helicopters Inc., completing 47 years of operations at Bowman Field. I thought it ironic that such an influential and heroic man lived out his aviation career as well as his life right here in our very own Louisville, Kentucky.

         Next Mr. Frames told me about a man named Terrence Wilcutt. Born on October 31, 1949, and a native of Louisville, Ky., Wilcutt earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in math from Western Kentucky University in 1974. He then taught high school math for two years before entering the Marine Corps in 1976 and earned his naval aviator wings in 1978. From 1980 until 1983, he was stationed in Kaneohe, Hawaii, and flew F-4 Phantoms during two overseas deployments to Japan, Korea and the Philippines. For the next three years, he served as an F/A-18 fighter weapons and air combat maneuvering instructor while assigned to Squadron VFA-125 at Lemoore Naval Air Station in California. At this time he had more than 6,600 flight hours in more than 30 different aircraft. (Wow!) Wilcutt joined NASA in 1990 as an astronaut candidate and was accepted into the corps in 1991. He logged more than 1,007 hours in space as the pilot on two shuttle missions, STS-68 in 1994 and STS-79 in 1996, and commander of two others, STS-89 in 1998 and STS-106 in 2000.

         Finally, effective as of September 1, 2011, Terrence W. Wilcutt was appointed NASA’s chief of safety and mission assurance.

         Needless to say, a search to find a hero in the aviation world is not a difficult one; you just have to know where to find them. The two men that I have met and worked with in aviation thus far were inspiration enough; however, these two veteran heroes simply blew my mind. Aside from their international achievements, they were both at one point in the very same place that I now find myself. Where there is a will there is a way.

And again I’ll say “If you can dream it, you can do it.” –Walt Disney

Buzz Aldrin Remembers Neil Armstrong

Dr. Aldrin Issues Statement In memory Of Fellow Moon-Walker
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Dr. Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon -- just scant minutes after Neil Armstrong took the historic first step, has issued a statement in memory of his friend and fellow Apollo 11 astronaut, Neil Armstrong...

"I am deeply saddened by the passing of my good friend, and space exploration companion, Neil Armstrong today. As Neil, Mike Collins and I trained together for our historic Apollo 11 Mission, we understood the many technical challenges we faced, as well as the importance and profound implications of this historic journey. We will now always be connected as the crew of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon, yet for the many millions who witnessed that remarkable achievement for humankind, we were not alone.

Whenever I look at the moon I am reminded of that precious moment, over four decades ago, when Neil and I stood on the desolate, barren, yet beautiful, Sea of Tranquility, looking back at our brilliant blue planet Earth suspended in the darkness of space, I realized that even though we were farther away from earth than two humans had ever been, we were not alone. Virtually the entire world took that memorable journey with us. I know I am joined by many millions of others from around the world in mourning the passing of a true American hero and the best pilot I ever knew. My friend Neil took the small step but giant leap that changed the world and will forever be remembered as a historic moment in human history.

I had truly hoped that on July 20th, 2019, Neil, Mike and I would be standing together to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of our moon landing, as we also anticipated the continued expansion of humanity into space, that our small mission helped make possible. Regrettably, this is not to be. Neil will most certainly be there with us in spirit.

On behalf of the Aldrin family, we extend our deepest condolences to Carol and the entire Armstrong family. I will miss my friend Neil as I know our fellow citizens and people around world will miss this foremost aviation and space pioneer.

May he Rest in Peace, and may his vision for our human destiny in space be his legacy."

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Lee Bottom $100 Hamburger Tornado Relief Fundraiser Fly-In Announced

Legendary Lee Bottom Flying Field, Damaged By Tornado, Needs YOUR Help
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Lee Bottom Flying Field, a near legendary airport favored by grass roots aviators the world over, will hold the $100 Hamburger Tornado Relief Fundraiser Fly-In on September 29th, 2012.

On March 2nd, 2012, the Indiana airport suffered a direct hit by a Tornado -- and the results weren't pretty. When the winds died, every piece of equipment, and every building, was either damaged or destroyed. Soon thereafter, it was realized the facilities no longer existed to host their well known annual fly-in, The Wood, Fabric, & Tailwheels Fly-In.

This gave rise to the idea of a much-needed fundraiser.

Lee Bottom Flying Field isn't just known for its pleasant atmosphere, it also has a reputation for unique marketing. The $100 Hamburger Fundraiser is the latest example of this. "We couldn't just have a fundraiser. It had to be something different; something that people would expect from Lee Bottom; something that they could have fun with while helping us rebuild", said Rich Davidson. "Thanks to the tornado, it also had to be something we could do with minimal facilities and equipment". The $100 Hamburger Tornado Relief Fundraiser Fly-In was born.

Playing on one of aviation's most well known themes, the fundraiser is really quite simple. Attendance is $100. Once inside, anyone attending is eligible to receive a free hamburger made by the Friends of Lee Bottom. People wishing to contribute who can't be on hand can purchase an entry ticket and the Friends of Lee Bottom will give a burger to a kid in their honor.

When recently asked about the rebuild, Rich Davidson said, "It's about more than a rebuild. We would like make this an opportunity to build a new facility that would better serve the pilots who enjoy visiting the field."

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Extending Your Fuel Efficiency

Article By: Peter Garrison
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It ought not to be true, but it is: In every pilot’s life there comes a moment when he wishes he had a little more fuel.

Perhaps the headwind was stronger than forecast; the gauges have dropped below a quarter sooner than you hoped they would; the descent and climb for an en route stop to drop off a passenger used up more fuel than you expected; you took a detour around weather; or your planning was careless in the first place. Whatever the reason, you find yourself in that awkward spot: a certain distance from your destination, with a certain amount of fuel and with a nagging worry about where those needles will be pointing when you arrive.
The cautious thing to do is to land at the next opportunity and get more fuel. But that is not always possible or convenient. There may be no intermediate place with suitable weather; you may have told someone to meet you at a certain time. And there is always the reluctance to lose time, and to give up altitude and then to have to claw it back — a reluctance so strong that many a pilot has run out of fuel rather than overcome it.

But nothing can be done about extreme pigheadedness. Let us stipulate that there are situations in which a pilot of normal maturity, competence and regard for safety might feel concerned, even conflicted, about his or her remaining fuel, but in which a decision to continue might depend on rational analysis rather than, say, how lucky he or she was feeling that day. These are the situations in which it is not irresponsible to “stretch” range.

How far an airplane can go on a given amount of fuel is principally determined by four factors: propeller efficiency, fuel consumption, speed and wind.

The role of wind is obvious. Any headwind, and even a side wind, increases the time to fly. The chart of wind components is familiar to pilots, though roofers, who have to cut their two-by-fours to match the run and rise of rafters, are more likely to remember the precise numerical relationships. But in the era of GPS no chart is needed; the wind component is obvious from the groundspeed.

Your flight time will be lengthened in roughly the same proportion as the headwind component stands to your airspeed. If you cruise at 150 knots and the wind component is minus 15 knots, your flight time will be increased by about one part in 10; it will take you 66 minutes — actually, 66 minutes and 40 seconds — to go as far as you would normally go in an hour. That is not likely to be a problem. But a component of 30 or 40 knots might be. To maximize your range you want as little headwind as possible, and so you should pick an altitude — if you haven’t already done so — where the wind component is least.

A headwind component works against you in two ways. First and more clearly, it increases the time needed to go a certain distance. Less obviously, it complicates the choice of a speed to fly.

Speed is a pilot’s most powerful tool for increasing range. The amount of speed you get in exchange for a given fuel flow — in other words, your miles per gallon — varies across the speed range. It is worst at very high and very low speeds, owing at the high-speed end to parasite drag and at the low-speed end to lift-related induced drag. Parasite drag increases with speed, and induced drag increases with slowness; they are equal at the speed for minimum drag. This is the speed at which the least power is needed to stay aloft, and therefore it is the speed for greatest endurance. It is typically about a third greater than the clean stalling speed.

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Soaring Towards A Prize In The Sky

"The engine is the heart of an airplane, but the pilot is its soul." ~Walter Raleigh

         “21 years old and I’m starting over! A new beginning entirely, my glass is half full and I am going to Kentucky” That was how I said it and that was how it started. I am Keely Mick. I have a dream of success and I plan on making that dream happen no matter what it takes. I am driven and assertive, optimistic and hopeful. I do not believe in coincidence, and I refuse to believe that there is anything in this world that is entirely unattainable.
”If you can dream it, you can do it.” –Walt Disney

         On July 20, 2011 I finished packing up my apartment in Jacksonville, Florida and moved north to Louisville, Kentucky. I was a pre-med student, specifically interested in the study of Nuclear Medicine. It was all fun and games until reality hit me for the first time. I won’t soon forget the way that first, lonely week of August in Kentucky felt, as time seemed to slow and eventually stop. I was miserable. Kentucky was hot and utterly unpleasant, I was without the ocean, I was without my hobbies, I was without my friends and most importantly, I was without my mother.

         Luckily, my aunt had a new man in her life, a man that unbeknown to me, was about to change my world. Upon meeting this man I couldn’t help but notice that he seemed a little rough around the edges, I wasn’t entirely afraid of him, only slightly unsure. He was curious and loud, rambunctious and extremely intelligent; perhaps intimidating is the better word. Come to find out, this man is a pilot! He flew an F4 Phantom in Vietnam as a fighter pilot. Today he owns a Diamond DA 40 XL private aircraft.

         A month or so went by and I was given an offer I simply could not pass up. My aunt’s new pilot friend had offered to fly me home to see my mother and needless to say, I was ecstatic. Suddenly, I found myself stuttering to find words. I was completely engulfed in a world of bravery and disbelief as to what I had just consented to. I had always been quite terrified of airplanes, the mere idea of flying 5,000 feet in a vehicle no bigger than a mid-sized sedan simply stopped me in my tracks. Nevertheless, a date was set and we were off. On the day of the flight, my feet couldn’t have been more frigid, I was terrified of heights and the fact that this was actually happening to me made me sick with fear. After loading our luggage aboard the Diamond, I sat back and watched ever so intently as the preflight check began. Surprisingly, I found this to be extremely intriguing. Preflight was followed by something called an “ATIS” report and then a radio call to the air traffic control tower. I didn’t have the slightest clue what they were saying or what it meant, as they seemed to be speaking another language entirely. Again I’m intrigued, this was profoundly interesting! Somewhere between that initial radio call and our take off from runway 31, it hit me like a train. Everything was so clear, I was sold. I knew for sure that Nuclear Medicine was never meant to be my career; it was simply the stepping stone that brought me to this very moment. Instantly, I wanted to know everything there was to know about aviation, and I knew beyond a shadow of doubt that I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing this, “this is going to be my career” I concluded to myself.

         Once I returned back to Louisville, I immediately dropped my major and began my search for a way into the aviation world. Ironically enough, Groupon was offering a special that week on a “Discovery Flight” out of Bowman Field, (KLOU) in Louisville, Kentucky. “Can this be a coincidence?” I think not. Needless to say, I purchased the coupon and I went. It was there in that private airport that I met Mr. Wagers, who would soon become my very first flight instructor. He was the director for the duration of the included 3 hour Groupon class as well as the pilot during my discovery flight. Turns out, this man is a master CFI (certified flight instructor) and the chief flight instructor for the Academy at Shawnee ( which is a Part 141 aviation program in the Jefferson County public school system. Also, he is a Marine Corps veteran; he serves in the CAP’s Kentucky Wing and is a FAASTeam representative in the FAA’s Louisville FSDO area. In a very short amount of time this man became my number one biggest influence in aviation. I could not learn fast enough as he openly shared his wealth of knowledge with me. This man truly is a heroic and a brilliant pilot. He said that he searched for a “spark” in young aspiring pilots; the same “spark” that found him when he discovered flight at the young age of 17. He also said he saw this spark in me, and because of this he took me under his wing. It is because of Mr. Wagers that I am where I am today and in only a few short months I have become completely submerged in aviation. I fear that I will never truly be capable of expressing my sheer gratitude and honest respect for this man and all that he has done in my life.

         I could not have asked for a more welcoming experience entering into the exciting world of aviation. I feel extremely lucky to have gotten as far as I have in such a short amount of time. My plan now is to work as hard as I can for as long as it takes. Thank you sincerely to everyone that I’ve met thus far along my journey. I can’t wait to continue pushing onward to the finish line.

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