Flying Into Writing: Some Things Have Changed Over the Years…

By Eric McCarthy

Buzzard’s Bay (Courtesy Ben Nugent/Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce)Ahh…it seems like only yesterday! My long cross-country as a student pilot…

I was speaking with one of my CAP squadron-mates the other day and asked how close he was to finishing his Private Pilot license. He said he had just a couple of items left, including his solo long cross-country. Since he was training at a Part 141 flight school, his cross-country merely had to cover at least 100nm. As I look at the FARs today, it appears that the requirements may have been relaxed from when I did my long cross-country years ago. As I recall, my flight had to have three legs of at least 100nm each.

At the time I was training at Turners Falls (0B5), a remote, picturesque airport located at a sharp bend in the Connecticut River in north central Massachusetts. The airport has a 3,200-foot runway that sits on a plateau about 50 feet above the river, which to me as a young aviator provided an exhilarating view when approaching runway 16 over the river.

I had planned my flight under the supervision of my instructor and just needed the weather and aircraft availability to cooperate. That day arrived in July, 1980. I had graduated from UMass that May, and had been making the 100 mile trek from my home in eastern Massachusetts to complete my training at 0B5 since then, but that was getting tedious – especially since I lived under the traffic pattern of Norwood Memorial Airport (KOWD). This would end up being my last flight from Turners Falls.

My flight would take me from Turners Falls to Portland International (KPWM); from there to Martha’s Vineyard (KMVY); and then back to Turners Falls; total distance: about 360nm. It would take me almost five hours’ flight time to complete in the club’s Cessna 152, N49394.

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Editorial: In Flight USA Hereby Resolves ….

By In Flight USA Staff

Yep, it is time for those New Year’s resolutions. We all make them, sometimes we even remember them, but the tone turned a bit more serious for the Team at In Flight USA this year. To be sure, our annual “what’s up for the new year” roundtable started off with the usual resolution thoughts, lose 10 pounds, get more exercise, eat healthier food, and be kind to needy flight instructors, but then we got down to business. And 2018 has a lot of business to deal with. We would like to share our thoughts for 2018, as they will possibly affect all our readers.

First, In Flight USA commits to maintaining a format that is more like a monthly aviation newspaper than a slick newsstand magazine. The vast majority of aviation publications have article and news cutoff dates that are as much as 90 days before distribution date.  This means such publications are fine for reading about past events but do not carry timely news. In Flight USA typically has an editorial cutoff date that is within five days of distribution, meaning what you read in our pages is happening NOW! We encourage our advertisers, aviation event planners, and those pursuing newsworthy activities to contact In Flight USA by phone or email to let us know what they have going on, so we can help promote your event at no cost. 

Our staff monitors aviation press releases daily and stays in tune with news from the Washington “swamp,” so you will be kept up to date. Sure, this means we go through a process every month that looks something like Lois Lane turning in that last-minute report about Superman to her somewhat erasable editor, Perry White, at the Daily Planet (yeah, we are nerds), but it is worth it. Fortunately, our editors are not erasable (depending upon who you ask). So, our tradition of timely ads and news remains, but we have spotted some areas for improvement and expansion.

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Dream Machines is Back 2018

Half Moon Bay, California’s Festival of Magnificent Machines Marks 28th Year 
Pacific Coast Dream Machines Show Returns Sunday, April 29, 2018 to Half Moon Bay Airport
​A Benefit for the Coastside Adult Day Health Center
World-Class Tricked-Out Cars and Trucks, Fantastic Flying Machines, Custom Motorcycles, 
Quirky Contraptions, Warbird Flyovers, Dream Machine of the Year Award 
Headline The Coolest Show on Earth
Freestyle Motocross Stunt Shows, Monster Truck Rides, Unimotorcycle Drag Racing, Spectacular Skydiving,
Bob Senz’ Big Cacklefest, a Mass Firing-Up of the Engines!
There are car shows, airshows, motorcycle shows, tractor shows, maker fairs, music festivals, food festivals, and living history festivals galore. Mix them all together in one venue on one day and you’ve got Half Moon Bay, California’s remarkable, one and only Pacific Coast Dream Machines Show – marking its 28th year in 2018 with a massive celebration of mechanical ingenuity, power, and style.
It’s quite simply the “Coolest Show on Earth This year’s spectacular 28th annual show will be held on Sunday, April 29, a one-day mega-show, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Half Moon Bay Airport, located in the picturesque seaside town of Half Moon Bay, Calif. about 20 miles south of San Francisco.
It’s a whimsical, fascinating, amusing, curious, and absolutely unique show-and-tell spectacle featuring 2,000 magnificent driving, flying, and working machines from the 20th and 21st centuries. The world’s coolest cars of every era and style, model-T fire engines, vintage busses, custom motorcycles, tricked out trucks, sleek streamliners, one-of-a-kind antique engines and tractors, and historic military aircraft will be among the mesmerizing displays.
Headline attractions scheduled to appear include:
•The west coast’s biggest, baddest gathering of the world’s coolest cars, trucks, motorcycles, and aircraft. 
•Bob Senz’ Big Cacklefest – a mass synchronized firing-up of the engines (10 a.m.,12 p.m.2 p.m.).
•Spectacular skydiving performances from the C-47 Skytrain with military style jumps by the experts at Precision Skydiving.
•Three (3) 20-minute electrifying, high-flying 4-rider freestyle motocross stunt shows (11:30 a.m.1:30 p.m.3:30 p.m.).
•Inspiring flyovers by some of our nation’s most storied military aircraft in memory of Eddie Andreini Sr., world-renown aerobatics pilot, founding Dream Machines contributor, and pillar in the Half Moon Bay community.
Magnificent military aircraft, including B-25 Bomber, C-47 Skytrain, P-51 Mustangs, YAK Russian fighters, and an impressive array of L-39, T-6, and T-28 military fighters and trainers.
•Super sleek speed machines and streamliners in “World Record Wonderland,” including legendary builder Jack Costella’s Nebulous Theorem streamliners that have set more than 100 land-speed records.
•A special display and parade of vintage police cars.
•An array of nostalgia dragsters to honor the former Half Moon Bay Drag Strip.
•“Mustang Madness,” a spectacular display of America’s Premier World War II Fighter.
•Ultra thrilling rides in helicopters and bi-planes and heart-pounding monster truck rides.
•Refurbished fly-wheel engines from the Early Days Gas Engine & Tractor Association and meticulously restored logging equipment and artifacts from Willits, Calif.-based Roots of Motive Power.
•Thrilling zip-line, bungee jump, waterballerz, climbing wall, human hamster balls, remote-controlled NASCAR racing, and tons of awesome amusements in the Super Duper Kidz Funzone.
•Uniquely wild and crazy, side-by-side, single-wheel unimotorcycle drag racing.
•Fabulous food and drink with Half Moon Bay Brewing Company’s Classic Motor Head Ale plus Bloody Mary’s and Coastal Cosmos from Half Moon Bay Distillery and varietals from Barterra Winery.
•Stellar live music all day.
•Half Moon Bay Pilots Association Saturday Hangar Dinner at the Andreini Family Hangar (April 28, 5:30 p.m.) at Half Moon Bay Airport. Tickets are $30 per person, available at the door.


The “DRIVE Magazine Dream Machine of the Year” returns with editors from Beckett Media’s DRIVE Magazine on hand to select a winner from the thousands of magnificent machines on display. A special trophy will be awarded at a recognition ceremony during the show (3 p.m. at the music stage).
The Half Moon Bay Pilots Association Saturday Hangar Dinner will be held on Saturday, April 28 at the Andreini family hangar at Half Moon Bay Airport. Preview some of the historic aircraft and custom cars that will be displayed at the Dream Machines Show and enjoy a festive barbecue tri-tip dinner party. Tickets are $30 per person, available at the door which open at 5:30 p.m. Parking is on the airport field – enter off Capistrano Road.
Download the free Dream Machines mobile app developed by Half Moon Bay’s Phondini Partners. This fantastic app is designed to enhance the event experience for users by providing everything from a fact sheet with key details, information on special attractions, a detailed site map keyed to specific attractions, event and entertainment schedule, door-to-door directions, push messaging alerts, social media integration, and visitor information via a full-function version of Phondini’s iCoastside app. The app, scheduled to be available in mid April, is available for the Apple and Android markets.

To show a car, truck, motorcycle, aircraft, or other machine, the registration fee is $40 ($50 for entries postmarked after April 15) and includes a dash plaque and admission for two people. 
Register online here
Spectator admission is $25 in advance ($30 at the gate) for adults (age 18-64), $15 in advance ($20 at the gate) for ages 11-17 and 65+, Free for kids age 10 and under (with paying adult). Purchase tickets here.

Parking at the event is included in the admission price. There is a designated area for bicycle parking at the south end of the airport/Mezza Luna gate.
There will be specially marked handicapped parking on the airport grounds. Attendants will be on-site to direct you. 

First aid and lost and found is located at the Information Booth – please refer to the event site map. Click here for the 
event map.
A special shuttle bus is available to shuttle visitors from the auto display areas at the central/south end of the airport to the aircraft display area at the north end. 

Please be considerate. For the safety, comfort, and courtesy of your pets and festival-goers, please leave your pets at home. Large crowds and noise make it a very stressful and dangerous environment for pets.
The show is open to the public on Sunday, April 29 from 10 a.m. to 4 pm. Gates open at 7 a.m. for those who have registered their machine or plan to register the day of show.
Half Moon Bay Airport, 9850 N. Cabrillo Highway, Half Moon Bay CA 94019 – located on Highway 1, about 20 miles south of San Francisco and five miles north of Highway 92.
The show benefits the 
Coastside Adult Day Health Center. Thanks in part to fund-raising support from Dream Machines, the sparkling new Coastside Adult Community Center opened in 2014. Drop by the fabulous new facility shared with Senior Coastsiders at 925 Main Street in Half Moon Bay. 
For event information, call the info-line at 650/726-2328 or visit the website “like” our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter  and Instagram



CAF Red Tail Squadron Essay Contest 

Attention Teachers and Students! There’s Still Time to Participate in the Tuskegee Airmen Essay Contest!


The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Red Tail Squadron, America’s tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen, is the proud sponsor of an annual Tuskegee Airmen Essay Contest for students in grades 4 through 12. Entries can be submitted at any time at, with winners awarded in three grade categories after the conclusion of Black History Month each February. There’s still time to get your entry in to meet this year’s deadline of Feb. 28 for your chance to win and to see your essay published!


Participation is easy. Students, teachers, and parents can follow these simple steps:


  1. Log on to and learn about the Tuskegee Airmen through the materials and information contained in the Tuskegee Airmen tab of the website.
  2. Read about the Six Guiding Principles, based on the lessons of the Tuskegee Airmen, at
  3. Encourage the student to think critically about how the lessons of these American heroes and civil right pioneers can affect their own lives.
  4. Write an essay that describes how the Tuskegee Airmen achieved success and explain how you can use the Six Guiding Principles to achieve a goal you have set for yourself. Please refer to the contest guidelines at for full rules and details.
  5. Submit your essay online by February 28, 2018.
The CAF Red Tail Squadron created the annual Tuskegee Airmen Essay Contest to help young people gain a greater understanding of this important piece of history, and be positively affected by the Six Guiding Principles, based on the experiences of the Tuskegee Airmen: Aim High, Believe in Yourself, Use Your Brain, Be Ready to Go, Never Quit, Expect to Win.


About the CAF Red Tail Squadron
The CAF Red Tail Squadron is committed to telling the inspirational story of the Tuskegee Airmen, America’s first black military pilots and their support personnel. RISE ABOVE: Red Tail, their three-fold outreach program, includes an airworthy P-51C Mustang and the RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit mobile theater. These two exciting and entertaining vehicles tour the country year round with stops at airshows, schools, museums and community events. In addition, the group curates and provides extensive educational resources for students, teachers, youth leaders and anyone looking to learn more and be inspired by these remarkable American trailblazers. The CAF Red Tail Squadron is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization part of the Commemorative Air Force(CAF), a non-military group that restores and flies combat aircraft to remember the lessons learned from the defining moments in American military aviation history. Learn more at



PLAYMOBIL Airport Rescue 

PLAYMOBIL Airport Rescue 

PLAYMOBIL Airport with Control Tower (5338): Take flight at the Airport with Control Tower. Whether you’re headed on vacation or out of town on a business trip, you’re sure to get there quickly. Upon arrival, load your luggage onto the cart for easy transport before placing it on the conveyor belt, then head towards the security checkpoint. Don’t forget to check your departure time to see if your flight is on time. When it’s time to board the plane, check-in at the counter and watch as the control tower coordinates the planes taking off and landing on the runway. Set includes five figures, luggage, airport building, control tower, computers, and other accessories. 

Available: Jan. 2018    Age: 4-10      MSRP: $69.99


PLAYMOBIL Passenger Plane (5395): Fly off on an adventure with the Passenger Plane. All your bags will be safely secured in the rear compartment before takeoff. A removable roof allows kids to access the plane’s interior, where they can find safe seating for up to seven figures, including the pilot. Passengers can also board via the fold-down steps. Attach the Aircraft Tug with Ground Crew (5396 – sold separately) to direct you down the runway. Set also includes two figures, cups, and other accessories.

Available: Jan. 2018    Age: 4-10      MSRP: $39.99


 For more information about PLAYMOBIL® Brand Toys, consumers can visit

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