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Tuesday
May062014

In Memory of Eddie Andreini

By Annamarie Buonocore

Eddie in the hanger with his P51D Primo Branco. (Photo courtesy of Sagar Pathak)It is with great sadness that In Flight USA lost a beloved supporter and member of its family on Sunday, May 4. Civilian pilot, Eddie Andreini, 77, of Half Moon Bay, CA, crashed at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, CA while performing an aerobatic stunt in his vintage plane during the Thunder Over Solano Air Show with more than a hundred spectators watching. The accident is still under investigation by the FAA and the NTSB. It was not clear exactly what went wrong.

According to www.eddieandreiniairshows.com, Eddie started flying an L-2 Taylorcraft while still in high school at the age of 16. He was a commercial instrument rated pilot and possessed an FAA aerobatic Ground-Level Waiver. Eddie had accumulated over 6,000 hours of flight time in a variety of diversified aircraft, including P-51’s, Yak 55’s, Pitts Specials, and the Russian AN-2!

Eddie in the skies over Half Moon Bay. (Photo courtesy of Sagar Pathak)According to www.eddieandreiniairshows.com, Eddie had mastered Stearman performances to perfection! He was one of only a handful of pilots capable of extracting such a remarkable performance from the Stearman. His shows were an astonishing array of twisting and tumbling maneuvers of speeds from 0-200 mph. His fast-paced and colorful show was an exciting event that left audiences asking for more.

Eddie performed over 1,000 air shows in his lifetime and was a veteran aerobatic pilot. He died doing what he loved, and he will be missed greatly by In Flight USA and the aviation community. He was in the Air Shows Hall of Fame and kept a collection of vintage airplanes at the Half Moon Bay Airport.

–Blue Skies, Eddie

(Photo courtesy of Sagar Pathak)

Wednesday
Apr092014

A Mighty Mouse’s Flight

A Review of Lindbergh: The Tale of a Flying Mouse

By Annamarie Buonocore

By Torben Kuhlmann

Published by NorthSouth Books Inc. New York 2014

46 Pages; paperback

Price: TBA

For anyone who has ever dreamed of flying, and certainly everyone has at one point or another, Lindbergh: The Tale of a Flying Mouse, will be one of the most inspirational children’s stories of all time. The short story is truly one of overcoming obstacles and the limiting ideas that small size can stand in the way of a big accomplishment. With beautiful and intriguing illustrations created by author-illustrator Torben Kuhlman, the children’s storybook is one that will be enjoyed by children and adults alike.

One day, a curious mouse in Germany finds that mousetraps have annihilated the mouse population in his home country. He no longer has friends in Germany and decides to migrate to America, the land of opportunity. After first electing to travel by ship, he encounters many obstacles, including more mousetraps, owls, cats, large human travelers, and large pieces of equipment. Despite these enormous challenges, he remains persistent and thinks of innovative and creative ways to achieve his dream of immigrating to America, the land of opportunity.

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Wednesday
Apr092014

Contrails: The Winter of Our Contentment

By Steve Weaver

Morro Bay, California. (Steve Weaver)’m having the same problem with time that you often hear older people complaining about. It seems to pass faster each year than it did the year before, and about a dozen times faster than it did when I was in school. Then, a school year stretched ahead like a life sentence and once winter arrived it seemed that it probably wouldn’t leave until I had passed away from old age, still seated obediently at my desk.

Now I’m looking at the end of my six-month sojourn in California and in terms of elapsed time, it seems as if I arrived from West Virginia only a month or so ago, and that I should still be settling in for a pleasant winter on the Central Coast.

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Wednesday
Apr092014

My Scary Event in Cow Country

By Charlie Briggs

It all started out very routine.  The plane was a new model 150 hp, Mooney Mark 20 with less than 100 hours TT.   The trip was for buying cattle.   The weather was clear and calm.  The route was direct from Amarillo, Texas’ Tradewind Airport to a ranch just south of Springer, N.M. on the east slope of the Rockies. Springer is on Highway 56 and approximately 90 miles west of Clayton, N.M. This route was to play a role in this event.

Landing on a smooth, grassy pasture near the ranch headquarters, I was met by the rancher. We spent the day looking at various sets of cattle.  As evening drew near, nothing would do but “stay for a steak.” After an evening of exchanging “cow country tales” it was time to get home.

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Wednesday
Apr092014

The Smithsonian Book of Air & Space Trivia is a Godsend for the Aviation and Space Travel Buff

By Mark Rhodes

What was the world’s first military airplane? (Smithsonian Air and Space Museum)Serious space history and aviation geeks are not an easy group to stump.  However, with The Smithsonian Book of Air & Space Trivia (www.smithsonianbooks.com) there will be ample opportunity for even the most sophisticated and well-read space and aviation buffs to be challenged.  This concise but thoroughly researched volume covers a wide range with categories such as pioneers of aviation, commercial flight, aviation and space travel in popular culture, female aviation, military aviation and controversies in aviation history and lore.  

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