Editorial: Ready to Give ATC your Credit Card Number?

By Ed Downs

ATC privatization and modernization. Shucks, who would oppose such innovative ideas?  Everyone knows that private industry does a better job than government agencies (even airlines, which regularly court bankruptcy), and we all want ATC to work with modern technology. Given these good intentions, all airline delays will disappear, our dangerously unsafe ATC system will be vastly improved, more airlines will be able to fly into more airports, and fewer passengers will be dragged off airplanes, kicking and screaming. All good stuff, right?

Fortunately, the readers of In Flight USA know better. It had been the intent of this writer to stay out of this fight, leaving it in the capable hands of organizations like AOPA and NBAA (plus 23 other aviation support organizations) to sort out the facts. Let the “alphabet” groups make sure that the world’s finest and most citizen-inclusive national airspace system does not become a tool of the Wall Street mentality for increased profits at the expense of private individuals and small businesses. But this writer is now required to speak out, given exposure to incredible exaggerations, lies, and name calling being put forth by entities in support of “modernization” legislation, due to be voted on this month, Sept. 2017.

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Cover Story: The Story of Major General Joe Anderson

By Art Nalls

Major General Joe Anderson (Courtesy of Nalls Aviatlion)After nearly 50 years in the cockpit, planning for that final flight is a bittersweet thought, but eventually we all reach TBO. But what’s the best way to do it?

By all accounts, Joe Anderson had a remarkably successful military career, most of which was in the cockpit of fighters or attack aircraft. Receiving an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy is a huge deal, especially for a kid from Detroit, but to get it with a baseball slot is even better. There, he met—and later married—his Annapolis sweetheart, Marcia. It didn’t hurt Joe’s chances of graduation that Marcia was the daughter of a USN Captain, stationed at the Academy, either. Graduating with the class of 1968, Joe was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the U.S. Marines. He and Marcia then embarked on the adventure of a lifetime, heading for Quantico, Virginia, and other exotic Marine stations all over the world, raising two fine daughters along the way. Exotic may be a slight exaggeration.

Joe attended flight school at the height of the Vietnam War, and a U.S. Navy training slot was not available, so he received his flight training, courtesy of the U.S. Air Force. With his Air Force wings, he transitioned to F-4 “Phantoms.”  Wearing Air Force pilot wings, on a Marine base, Joe was certainly a stand out from the crowd. Joe didn’t fully earn his wings of gold until he completed the additional required training for a Naval Aviator—most importantly carrier qualification. He remains one of the handful of Naval Aviators awarded BOTH USAF and USN wings.

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