Editorial: Choices

By Ed Downs

By the time you are reading this, the Presidential elections will be just around the corner. You will probably be making a choice that is unique to our country’s history.  According to the polls, the vast majority of American voters will not be voting for the candidate they like but voting against the candidate they dislike. Certainly, for the first time in this writer’s aged memory, both presidential candidates are immensely unpopular, with the feeling that electing either political party to office is like taking a shot in the head, with only the caliber of the bullet in question. How uplifting, eh?

So how do we decide? In Flight USA is not in the business of supporting or endorsing political candidates, and this editorial will not stray from that long-held policy. But, we will do what many voters are doing, thinking less about the candidates and more about the positions they represent. In other words, what is the party platform and how is it likely to affect our personal way of life? Virtually every person has a hot button, something that is so important to them that it drives how they feel about themselves and how the relate to life. 

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New Breakthroughs in Aviation Technology


An Interview with Michael Lam and Erik Stephansen of LAM Aviation

By Ed Downs and Annamarie Buonocore

LAM Aviation is a new aviation company that has engineered a cutting-edge flight control system that results in dramatically improved roll control, decreased stall speeds, increased climb and cruise speed performance, and a solution to loss of control. This is a remarkable achievement, especially given that some of these elusive goals conflict with one another. LAM Aviation recently announced the test results from their highly modified Columbia 300, now named the “Volant,” at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016. This is a major breakthrough, as the new flight control system integrates anti-spin and high-lift technology in one package. In Flight USA recently had the pleasure of interviewing Michael Lam (founder) and Erik Stephansen (President and CEO) of LAM Aviation. The two offered useful information about the new system, which is sure to change how we think about controlling an airplane.

In Flight USA: Tell me about the history of LAM Aviation. How did all of this get started?

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An Uprising Generation Setting Aviation World Records


An Interview with Robin Petgrave, Founder of Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum

By Annamarie Buonocore

Anyone thinking that aviation is for an older crowd needs to spend some time with Robin Petgrave, Founder of Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum. After many years of difficulties, Robin decided to make it his mission to help underachieving youth. With a background in aviation, he has found a way to inspire them in their STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) studies and even help a few become pilots. His most amazing story comes with the achievements of 16-year-old Isaiah who made his first flight around the Earth before his 18th birthday. Isaiah’s story is an inspiring one that fills the world of flight with hope for the youth of tomorrow.

In Flight USA: Tell me about the teen solo flight. How did the Museum celebrate this event?

Robin Petgrave: We had a youth air fair that exposed youth to the aviation industry. We had more than 7,500 people at the airport. There were many participants, including sheriffs, firefighters, the navy, and the local schools. We had a lot of airplanes that came down and even a job fair. Many people got jobs that day, and the entertainment was great too. We had the largest drone manufacturer in the world educating people about drones. We had lots of food and a car show too. It was a great event that educated many people. We announced Isaiah’s plan to fly around the Earth solo. He will be the youngest person to do so. He is starting with a trip around the United States to prepare him for his one around the world. It is going to be an epic journey. It will make people realize that if a 16-year-old African American kid can accomplish this, they can apply this to their lives and be more successful.

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