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Patty Wagstaff to Appear at Build A Plane’s Teachers’ Day

April 17th, 2014, Los Angeles--Three-time national aerobatic champion and International Aerospace Hall of Famer Patty Wagstaff will speak at Build A Plane’s 2014 Teachers’ Day event on Tuesday, July 29th at EAA’s AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI. The annual event brings teachers together from across the nation to examine ways to use aviation to motivate kids to learn science, math, engineering and technology.

"We cannot tell you how excited we are to have the first lady of aviation come to our program and share her experiences with teachers from all across the United States," Build A Plane’s executive director Debbie Phillips said.

Wagstaff is a six-time member of the US Aerobatic Team and the first woman to ever become the national aerobatics champion. Her airplane now hangs in the Smithsonian Museum in the Pioneers of Flight Gallery. Patty also donates a tremendous amount of her time to charitable endeavors, including travel to East Africa to train pilots for the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) who protect Kenya’s elephants, rhino and other natural resources from poachers.

Now in its fifth year, Build A Plane’s Teachers’ Day provides teachers with ideas and insight to use aviation as a way to motivate America’s youth to learn subjects such as science, technology, engineering and math. Teachers will hear a series of presentations from a variety of aviation alphabets, including AOPA, EAA, GAMA, FAA as well as from the National Air & Space Museum, Honeywell, Aviation Explorers and more.

"Teachers’ Day is free and open to any teacher who’d like to participate," Phillips continued. Participants can register at BuildAPlane.org. By participating in the event, teachers get free admittance to AirVenture compliments of EAA as well as a free lunch and free parking.

Build A Plane is a non-profit organization that gives kids a chance to build real airplanes in school, placing more than 200 general aviation aircraft into schools across the United States since 2003.

For more information on Teachers’ Day or Build A Plane, contact Debbie Phillips at 505-980-5915 or by clicking BuildAPlane.org.

Help Build the "One Week Wonder" at Airventure!

At the Zenith Builders in September, Charlie Becker (Director of Communities & Homebuilt Community Manager) spoke about the return of the One Week Wonder! project to AirVenture (Oshkosh) next year. Photo © Sabastien Heintz

EAA’s unique building project is focused on building a Zenith CH 750 kit aircraft during the seven days of EAA AirVenture 2014, beginning on July 28 and continuing through completion or the event’s final day on August 3. The goal is to completely construct, inspect, and taxi test the aircraft by the end of the weeklong event.

"We want people to discover that building an airplane is not that complicated and is within the reach of just about anyone, by watching this project take shape during the week and participating in it themselves," said Charlie Becker, EAA’s manager of the organization’s homebuilt programs. "This Zenith kit will arrive at Oshkosh just as any builder would receive it. The One Week Wonder will show how today’s advanced kits and technology make aircraft building accessible and affordable, especially with the support from many EAA programs and members. It’s a fun, interactive opportunity that will show thousands of people exactly how an airplane goes together."

The One Week Wonder project will also allow EAA to showcase how a person can build their own airplane, the technical achievements along the way, and EAA support programs for aircraft builders. AirVenture attendees will be able to add their own "hands-on" moment in the construction project and sign the logbook as one of the builders.

In the One Week Wonder display area, which will be located near the EAA Welcome Center in the main crossroads of the AirVenture grounds, other displays will include the completed Zenith CH 750 built by EAA employees – including many who had never built an airplane previously. There will also be interactive displays that highlight the aircraft construction process, the variety of aircraft available for builders, and information on getting started on an aircraft project.

More details about the One Week Wonder project will be announced as they are finalized. You can also learn more about building Zeniths at Sabastien Heintz’s blog

Soaring with Tubreaux Over the Seabase at Oshkosh

This year was my first trip to Oshkosh for EAA AirVenture. I knew going in that there would be too much to see in one week – especially when I was seeking great stories to take in and put to print. But volume wasn’t my goal – a rich experience was what I needed. And on Thursday, I received the richest experience that many people don’t – even experienced pilots. I took my first ride in a seaplane!

I rode out to the Seabase, wondering how many patrons have never set foot in this area of Oshkosh. After all, it is a bit of a drive – about 20 minutes by bus (free to get there, $3.00 to return), and since the warbirds and airshows are all right there and easily accessible, the temptation to "go with what you know" is strong.

But once I emerged from the walking trail from the parking lot and campground to the base itself, I couldn’t help but wonder what those that have overlooked it know what they’re missing! The lush green land overlooking Lake Winnebago exudes a naturally relaxing atmosphere. The shelter house, built to handle maybe a couple hundred visitors at once, plus a giant fire pit on the shore still smoldering, reminded me of many of my scouting experiences. If Henry David Thoreau was alive today, this is where he’d hang his hat.

While there were docks around, all were in use. So when pilot Jeremy Williams of Tubreaux Aviation (pronounced "Two Bros") landed and floated up in his 1959 P-18 Super Cub, I shucked my shoes and socks and waded on out. It’s no easy trick for a large guy like me to slide into the rear seat, but I wasn’t deterred! Once I was strapped in and headset was in place, we glided out into the lake, accelerated, and off the water a moment later.

Now I’m not a big fan of heights (I know, I picked an odd profession then, didn’t I?), but Williams’ skill on the stick made the ride as smooth as glass, and I never once felt uncomfortable. He offered to let me try my hand, but I was enjoying myself way too much to change it up. As with anything that’s truly great, the ride was over way too soon, and I climbed down the float back into the water.

Shortly thereafter, I sat down with Wyche Coleman, co-owner of Tubreaux Aviation, to find out more about what makes them tick. I was surprised to find that giving fluffy journalist seaplane rides was just one thing they do!

"Luke Lambard and I built a hanger together. I was constantly being approached by people wanting to learn how to fly, since there wasn’t a place in Shreveport at that time training for licenses. So rather than sending people to Dallas for instruction, we decided to branch out. Jeremy was our first instructor – now we’re up to five full-time instructors."

Coleman and Lambert didn’t stop there, however. "When crew chief Dax Wanless expressed a desire to open his own maintenance shop, we saw the need and made the investment. Now we have three full-time mechanics with 20+ years of experience as an A&P/IA, we’re seeking a fourth, and looking to add avionics as well. We recently added acquisitions and sales to services offered, although we’ve been doing this for years already. There is no other place in Northern Louisiana that can teach you to fly, help you buy your aircraft, hanger and maintain it, all in one place!"

Coleman, an ophthalmologist by trade, has been coming to Oshkosh for a while, first flying there as a part of the 2003 Stars of Tomorrow (all pilots under 30 at that time). Now his brother Kevin, at 23, was flying in the airshow for his second year.

Once our conversation had ended, I wondered around to get a few photos, take some more video, change batteries in the camera, etc. – anything I could think to do to remain at the Seabase just a little longer. When we return in 2014, you’ll likely find me there again!

Check out the video of the Super Cub coming in for a landing, from the open door cockpit!

180 degree panoramic view of the Seabase in Oshkosh, 2013

We Have a Winner for Airventure 2013 Drawing!

GlobalAir would like to extend our thanks to everyone that stopped by our booth last week at EAA AirVenture! Our new Mobile ARC (Airport Resource Center) was VERY well received, and we made many new friends (as one always does in Oshkosh)! You can check it out from your mobile device right now!

We would also like to extend a congratulations to Jim Corbin from Winona, MS – he was the lucky winner in our drawing for a $100 gift certificate to Aircraft Tool Supply. His name was drawn from over 450 entries!

Jim brought his daughter to the show for a few days, flying in his 1953 Pacer, and had a wonderful adventure. Congratulations, Jim!

It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's a...Where is It Again?

Like everyone at Oshkosh, I was most looking forward to Ives Rossy, aka Jetman, take to the skies with that jetpack we've all been promised since the 50's.  That's the 1950's to you kids.  

 

It was a huge crowd gathered to witness history for the festival, with dads all around me forcing their kids to sit down and watch - the same way my mom made my sister watch the moon landing.  Didn't matter that she was only 5 months old - Mom just wanted to say "she saw it".  Everyone KNEW they were going to see something special.

 

Shortly, Rossy took to the sky in his launch helicopter, climbing higher and higher.  The announcers kept us entertained with the details of how Rossy arching his body changes the direction of flight, or how he normally does a 6-point landing (feet, knees, then hands), but sometimes adds a 7th point (his nose).  We also learn that every jump is different, because the air is different, the wind is different, his frame of mind is different, etc.  I morbidly joke that the ground is always the same - hard.

 

Suddenly, he was out.  You only knew he was freefalling because of the big screens showing the view from Rossy's wing.  So we're all scanning the sky, seeking this miracle worker.  And we're looking.  And we're looking.  And we're...WAIT! Nope, that's a seagull.  And we're lo..THERE!  We see an arrow-shaped pinpoint move swiftly across the sky, darting from cloud to cloud.  This is cool!  This is great!  This is...happening 2,500 feet up in the sky, and I barely see him.

 

Don't get me wrong, it was cool to be there, and everyone around me was rightly awe-inspired.  However, I didn't really get that "I'm a part of this" feeling I went to receive.  I blame my own build-up - kind of like going to the opening night midnight showing of "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace".  At least this was cooler technology than what brought Jar Jar Binks to life!

 

After 10 minutes of occaisionally getting a glance of the world's smallest stealth bomber playing hide-and-seek, suddenly the parachute was out, and he was on the ground three minutes later.  I think I finally got him on camera at that point. My work here is done!

 

So what did I learn today?  I learned I STILL want my jetpack I was promised in the 50's - just so I can finally get a good picture of Jetman.

Check out the attached video!

Jetman2.MTS (9.66 mb)

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