American Heroes Airshow Coming Soon


Breckenridge Airshow 2017

By Nick Viggiano

Zero (Nick Viggiano)It was a long wait, but after 21 years, the return of the Breckenridge Airshow finally took place on Memorial Day Weekend! By all accounts the show was a huge crowd pleaser.

Breckenridge, a small west Texas town, (60 miles northeast of Abilene and 100 miles west of Ft. Worth) put on another great show. And just like the old days, first time attendees were amazed at the number of warbirds (70), the precision of the flying and the size of the crowds.

According to FaceBook posts, there were people attending the show from all over North America, and also Australia! I personally met people from South Bend, Indiana and Parker Colorado. 

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Have Couch, Will Fly

By Bert Botta

For those of you who love to fly, you know that once “it’s in your blood,” the passion for flight never leaves. As a retired TWA and NetJet pilot, the passion for flight was still there so I recently began training pilots in aircraft simulators to fly in instrument weather conditions and to get hired at the airlines.

During one of my training sessions, I met a fellow pilot who told me about Gilbert Kliman, M.D. and his wish for a co- pilot to support him in his far-flung travels.

It appears that Gil and I seemed pre-destined to meet, one might even say serendipitously, around some combination of aviation and psychology from the get-go since I am also a Licensed Professional Counselor, in addition to my professional piloting career.

The Meeting and The Man

Gilbert Kliman, M.D.I met Gil at his home in San Francisco recently to interview him for this article. Up to that point we had flown together a few times, with me as his co-pilot and he as the pilot in command.

As I drove over the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco to meet him, years of memories from being raised in “The City” flooded through my mind as I pulled up in front of his beautiful home on Divisadero Street, in one of the most beautiful and stately neighborhoods in San Francisco.

Gil lives in a beautiful, totally remodeled, tri-level Victorian home that he and his wife have creatively set up as both home and office where, in addition to running the daily affairs of the Children’s Psychological Health Center, they each see patients on a separate level from their home.

From the first time I met Gil, I knew there was something special about him. His measured, concise, clear manner of speech and lively sense of humor conveyed to me his attention to detail and his deep commitment to and love of his work.

Gil has a “mentoring” quality that I immediately felt and connected with. This is something that is in short supply in most modern day men. It’s something that, as a man, I treasure and most often unconsciously seek out.

Before we started the interview in the lower level cubbies that serve as his agency’s Executive Director’s and video editing offices he leaned over and, true to his pilot persona, gave me a “pre-takeoff briefing” on the importance of protecting the privacy of his clients and the necessity for the strictest confidentiality during our interview.

The seriousness of his tone and his commitment to his clients’ privacy came through to me in somewhat of a contrast to my own, more relaxed code of confidentiality when I was in private practice as a professional counselor. I was impressed and immediately felt a respect for this man that would continue to grow the more I spent time with him.

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Test Pilot Briefs T-6 Nation

By 1st. Lt. Geneva Croxton, Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs

An F-16 Fighting Falcon’s sustained 9 g-force break turn is no small matter on a normal day. Imagine yourself there. Your head weighs 180 pounds and your arms are pinned to the stick and throttle; let go of your breath the wrong way, and you watch the world fade from gray to black in an instant. Now add to this situation a corset-tight upper vest built to restrict lung inflation and an oxygen hose with half the normal flow rate – on purpose.

This is the situation Maj. Justin Elliott, Air Force Strategic Policy fellow, experienced for two weeks in 2015 while trying to identify the array of physiological problems affecting Defense Department fighter pilots.

Currently working South Asia strategy for a deputy assistant secretary of defense, Elliott’s flight experience is uniquely suited to communicating the complexity of physiological problems affecting the DoD’s fighter fleet.

A graduate of both U.S. Air Force Weapons School and Test Pilot School, Elliott has flown over 2,000 hours and 255 combat hours in more than 30 aircraft from the MiG-15 to the F-15SA Advanced Eagles. His flight test experience spans from early F-22 Raptor “work of breathing” testing to managing the development and testing of the Air Force’s first “smart” cockpit pressure gauge, fielding this year.

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Editorial: Meet Genny

By Ed Downs

No, this writer has not misspelled the name of the legendary Curtis JN-4 training plane of WWI. The “Genny” in question is a drone, or more specifically, the Lily Next-Gen (, marketed as a “personal camera drone.” Naming a drone?  Sure, I also owned an airplane named “Whiskey” and a pistol named “Mike.” My stuff gets names. When you can take your drone for a walk, following you like a puppy, it gets a name… so there! But I am ahead of the intent of this article, so let’s go back to the beginning.

Several issues ago, In Flight USA recognized that our National Airspace System had a new arrival, by the tens of thousands… drones. This writer obtained a sUAS Pilot Certificate in 2016 and began teaching FAR 107 sUAS classes shortly thereafter.  Following attendance at a major drone trade show in 2017, the management of In Flight USA decided to embrace this new side of aviation and include a dedicated drone section in our publication. Knowing that the first major trade show of the 2018 flying season (Sun ‘n Fun) would probably have many drone manufacturers represented, it was felt that having an sUAS certified pilot on staff who also had actual drone flying experience would be a good idea. 

Go figure, the boss wanted genuine drone flying experience to back up our new column.  This writer got the nod to saddle up and learn how one of these things works. In Flight USA recognizes that our readers are contemporary pilots and airplane owners, not necessarily computer lovers or gamers. So, the assignment, should I choose to accept it, was to share the experience of learning how to fly and use a drone from the perspective of a contemporary CFI, while at the same time, learning more about the integration of this new-fangled technology into our world of flying. Yep, it’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it.

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