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Wednesday
Jan062010

Low Flying with the Swift Intruders

By Russ Albertson

Close pass by LCAC 33 (Mel Turner)

“Just because you don’t have wings, doesn’t mean you can’t fly.”  The US Navy’s hovercraft designated the LCAC (Landing Craft Air Cushion) is the perfect example of this.  This machine combines the qualities of a boat and a helicopter. It can hover on land or water, float or fly across the wave tops. 

The LCAC was built to fill the Navy’s need for rapid delivery of men and equipment from ships to shore. This craft can carry up to 75 tons of cargo or vehicles at 60 knots up to the beach and even further inland if needed.  It can fly over wet or marshy ground, and snow and ice or no barriers as long as the surface is fairly flat. 

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Wednesday
Jan062010

New to Flying?

By Ed Downs

Let’s assume the reader of this month’s column is not an aviator, but would like to be.  Perhaps you are a pilot and know of a friend who would like to learn to fly, but just can’t afford it.  Is a Sport Pilot certificate really worth looking into?  Would it be better to simply wait until you can get into private pilot training and be a “real pilot?”  You have a lot of company if those questions are floating around your enthusiastic, but confused head.

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Wednesday
Jan062010

Random Thoughts on Preventing Runway Incursions

By Charles Jackson

Those of us who fly out of Hollister (California) Airport are fortunate to have a very good general aviation airport with a long, wide main runway and a very much needed crosswind runway.

But, like many uncontrolled airports with crossing runways, runway incursions are an ongoing threat, one that must be guarded against constantly. Because of this, a look at our hazards and the precautions we take might be helpful to those flying out of similar airports.

We have quite a mix of traffic – light airplanes coming and going as well as doing flight instruction, fire fighting aircraft, gliders being towed and landing, even a few jets. It can be busy, especially on weekends, and there have been close calls, but so far no runway accidents.

Probably our biggest handicap on this airport is the fact that the approach ends (the ends from which takeoffs begin) of the two runways are not visible from each other due to the hangars on the main ramp. Add to this the fact that the firefighting aircraft, because of their weight, cannot use the crosswind runway for takeoff.

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Wednesday
Jan062010

WWII Instructor Rebuilding Flying Machine

Just like the one he used to teach pilots

By Gerald Lush
Hardin County Magazine

John Raptis with his World War II era Stearman PT-18 (Gerald Lush)John Raptis drives to the Elizabethtown airport almost every day - not to fly, but to work on the airplane that he will pilot.

Raptis, who will turn 90 in January, is rebuilding a Stearman PT-18, a biplane used in World War II as a military trainer. Based at Morton Air Academy, Blythe, Calif., Raptis used similar airplanes to teach Army Air Corps pilots to fly during the war.

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Tuesday
Jan052010

Chambliss, Goulian Blame Low Power Engines for Poor Season

By Kirsten Corrigan

The two American pilots in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship will be happy to draw a line under the 2009 season but neither former world champion Kirby Chambliss nor super focused Michael Goulian will be wasting a moment in the off season as they prepare to stake a claim on next year’s title. Chambliss finished 4th overall in the championship, making up for a slow start in the second half of the year, while Goulian had to settle for a 10th place result despite a career-first win in Budapest.

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