China and the Flying Tigers

By Nina Jobe

The C-47is still painted up with Normandy D-Day white stripes and Buzz Buggy. The hope is to get the decals changed to CBI/CNAC in China - the new CBI/CNAC decals are already aboard for transport. (Barbara Bussler)The Chinese Theater in WWII is most famous for the Flying Tigers, a story that began with the formation of the “American Volunteer Group” or “AVG” in April of 1941, well before Pearl Harbor, under Claire Chennault through secret arrangements authorized by President Roosevelt. Pilots from the U.S. Army, Navy, and Marine Corps were permitted to resign from the military to head to China to train pilots for the Chinese Air Force under Chinese Nationalist leader, Chiang Kai-shek. Incentivized by the lure of adventure and/or high pay (approximately three times what they made in the U.S.), the first group arrived in Burma in Nov. of 1941. Once the attack on Pearl Harbor had occurred, their motivation changed to patriotism against Japan.

Japan began their invasion of China in 1931 in the far Northeast section known as Manchuria and grew to full conflict by 1937, marked by the clash at the famous Marco Polo Bridge. Japanese occupation of eastern China left the only route for bringing food and military supplies, etc., to China via the Burma road into Kunming. Once Burma also fell to Japan, the only way left was by air transport from India over the Himalayas known as the “Hump”– initially by C47s (DC3s). China National Aviation Corp. (CNAC), in which Pan Am held a 45 percent ownership, pioneered the routes and was later joined by the U.S. Army Air Forces. This operation was later successfully copied as the pattern for the Berlin airlift. 

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Editorial: A New Pilot Certificate, With No Written Exam of Flight Test?

By Ed Down

Absolutely, existing pilots with a current Flight Review can now obtain a new pilot certificate by taking a short, web-based, instructional course and filling out a form on the FAA website. And yes, you too, can become a “Drone” Pilot! The long-awaited FAR 107 is now in play, and as an instructor for the weekend training experts at Aviation Seminars, I have just received a course update that enables “0” time “Drone Pilot” wannabe’s to attend a weekend course, take a written exam and, with a simple application, become qualified to operate a Drone commercially. As a currently certificated pilot, you can enter the commercial Drone market with ease.

It has been my intent to quickly undergo the web-based training course (which I did, very nicely done) and then apply for my Drone Pilot Certificate, yet another “notch in my log book.” Regrettably, while FAR 107 (this is the rule for commercial Drone operators) is up and running and the training and test are in place, the required FAA application forms will not be online until after Aug. 29, so this “Drone Pilot” wannabe is just going to have to wait. While seemingly not connected with big plane flying, it should be noted that FAR 107 commercial Drone operations in Class “G” airspace are permitted with no special permission from the FAA. Remember, about 85 percent of all public use airports are in Class “G” airspace. It should be noted that failure to understand how this new FAR works could end up with you receiving a fine of up to $27,500 in civil penalties if you fail to operate even a recreational drone incorrectly. Fines of up to $250,000 and three years in jail are possible if a drone is involved in something that turns out to be illegal. Yep, the fine print can hurt!

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