FAA Christmas Present

By Eric McCarthy 

It was cold and gray, as I recall. Christmas Eve in Boston often is, but the ceiling was a respectable four or five thousand feet with no precipitation forecast for the afternoon. I’d be flying from my home base of Lawrence Municipal Airport (KLWM), about 30 miles north of Boston, to one of my prior home bases, Norwood (KOWD), about 13 miles southwest of Boston, to pick up my mother for Christmas. It’s an easy half-hour flight, replacing an at-least one-hour drive on the crowded Massachusetts highways 93 and 128, and besides, it’s way more fun to fly! My mother might think otherwise…

I had flown N2313M, an underpowered 160-horse Cherokee, many times in my pursuit of the coveted Instrument Rating, which I had secured just a few months earlier. I knew that this particular airplane didn’t like to start after being shut down, so I told my mother, and my brother who would be driving her to the airport, that I wanted to keep the engine running when I picked upMom – under no circumstances is anyone to move forward of the wing!

The flight was easy and uneventful. While Boston’s classic “upside-down wedding cake” Class Bravo airspace is basically comprised of several concentric circles rising as they extend outward from Boston, we generally fly straight lines rather than arcs to reach various waypoints. Departing Lawrence, a heading of 220 for 17nm takes us to Hanscom Field (KBED) where we turn to a heading of 180 for the remaining 18nm to Norwood. Simple. It can get a little congested over Hanscom, as apparently I’m not the only one to have figured out that KBED is a good waypoint to circumnavigate the Class Bravo, but the tower at Hanscom does a good job managing traffic through their airspace. The only other concern, besides other aircraft, is the Needham Towers, 1,200-1,300 foot radio and television towers that pierce the sky halfway between Hanscom and Norwood. They’re well lit, well known, and easy to avoid so not too much of a problem.

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Guest Editorial: EAA Envisions a MOSAIC to Benefit All of GA

By Jack J. Pelton, CEO/Chairman of the Board, EAA

Jack J. Pelton, CEO/Chairman of the Board, EAAIn 2013, EAA helped create a portion of the Part 23 aircraft certification reform aimed at supporting the general aviation legacy fleet. The proposal was known as the Primary Non-Commercial Category and was among the final recommendations coming out of the process, but unfortunately was never adopted within the final rulemaking. With your best interests in mind, it was time to refocus on how EAA could continue to advocate and push forward change that would benefit an even wider segment of our membership, and, specifically, the amateur-built and light-sport categories. 

Fast forward three years to the fall of 2016 when Sean Elliott, EAA’s vice president of advocacy and safety, and myself  met with the FAA’s Small Airplane Directorate in Kansas City, Missouri, to brainstorm concepts that eventually formed the foundation of FAA’s MOSAIC, or the Modernization of Special Airworthiness Certificates (formerly known as Permit to Fly). During these meetings nearly two years ago, EAA was the first to comprehensively explore modifications that would help the light-sport category reach its full potential and further build on the successes of the amateur-built regulations that EAA has been championing for decades.

That Kansas City meeting was indicative of how EAA has led the way advocating for major change in recreational aviation since Paul Poberezny started going to Washington, D.C., in the 1950s to set in motion development of the homebuilt rules that still benefit us today. Our conversation with the FAA squarely focused on problems and solutions to help all of us. We didn’t wait for a blue-ribbon commission or a 300-page report. Instead, as we’ve always done, we focused on how we can continue to make reform even stronger and more advantageous for our membership.

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Preparing the Next Generation for Flight: An Interview with I Hart Flying and EAA Chapter 43

By Annamarie Buonocore

For many In Flight USA readers, starting a career in aviation was exciting and full of possibilities. Mostly everybody in aviation can see the benefits in choosing such a career, but many pilots and aviation enthusiasts are also aware that there is a pilot shortage. Pilots, aircraft mechanics, and air-traffic-control professionals are needed and in high demand, but some say that we are losing the younger generation. While some blame the escalating costs of flight training, there are many reasons why Millennials are hanging around too close to the ground, including lack of community outreach and STEM programs that fall short of aviation. 

Luckily, there is one hardworking organization that has partnered with another association that has given so much to the aviation community. I Hart Flying consists of a dedicated group of individuals who care about aviation, and they have partnered with EAA Chapter 43 of Denver, Colo. to make flight training a little more affordable and attainable. These groups work hard to inspire the youth of tomorrow to engage in aviation-related careers. Here at In Flight USA, we often try to bring scholarship information to young readers, and we are proud to have had the opportunity to interview Rachelle Spector of I Hart Flying, Eric Serani of EAA Chapter 43, and their dedicated PR liaison, Lyndse Costabile. 


IF: How long has the program been around, and how much have you given in scholarship funds to date? 

IH/EAA: I Hart flying is a year old now, and we just had our one-year partnership with EAA. To date, we have had three scholarship opportunities. The last one included giving two scholarships away, as we had a silent donor come in. So far, we have given away almost $20,000 in less than a year. 

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The American Museum of Natural History Looks to the Stars with Exhibits Full Moon and Dark Universe

By Mark Rhodes

It is likely that most associate The American Museum of Natural History with dinosaurs, the jaw dropping habitat dioramas and the 94-foot-long blue whale that looms in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life. There is good reason for this as these are iconic treasures in the museum’s collection that have helped educate and fascinate museum goers about the natural wonders of this world in generations past and no doubt for generations to come. 

Alan Bean at Sharp Crater with the Handtool Carrier Michael Light, from the project FULL MOON, 1999 Photographed by Charles Conrad, Apollo 12, November 14-24, 1969What some might be unaware of is the fact that the museum also celebrates wonders beyond this world. At present, the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) has an exhibit entitled Full Moon: Apollo Mission Photographs of the Lunar Landing.In this exhibit, Artist Michael Light is the curator and has digitally processed photos taken by the astronauts during the Apollo missions. The public is aware of only a handful of the more than 30,000 photographs taken as part of the scientific exploration that was the Apollo program. The result is moving and the most striking and intimate images of space exploration the public has ever seen. 

Another current program that looks toward the stars at the AMNH is Dark Universescreening at the Museum’s Hayden Planetarium. The film, a history of the discovery and study of the origins of the Universe, aka “The Big Bang,” is scripted by Timothy Ferris, directed by Carter Emmart and narrated by Hayden Planetarium Director and Celebrity Intellectual Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. 

The film clocks in at a brisk 25 minutes and jumps from the Mount Wilson Observatory in California where in the early 1920’s Edwin Hubble discovered that the Universe is expanding (which also paved the way toward learning how the Universe was formed) and how it is evolving. From here the audience is whisked away past the Space Station through the clouds of Jupiter via the Galileo probe to attempt to get confirmation that the Universe in its entirety was once hotter than the center of the sun. 

While much of the film concerns itself with scientific discovery, past, present and possible future much of Dark Universeunderlines the inherent mysteries of the Universe still undiscovered and/or not understood. For instance, the film theorizes that the Universe is composed of only 5 percent of “ordinary matter.” In other words, this 5 percent are atoms that are identifiable. Fully a quarter of the universe is made up of “dark matter” that is invisible and unknown in nature. 

As might be imagined Dark Universeis pretty heady stuff for the laymen. The filmmakers make great use of visual touches to explain the theories and move the narrative along without getting mired in science that is complicated even to physicists and astronomers.  

For more on the American Museum of Natural History and their exhibits see




Flying on an Empty Stomach? Refuel at Brackett Field at La Verne, California

By Donia Moore

Flying can make you really hungry. Or at least it can make you want to visit those enticing little airport restaurants that sit out by the taxi ways where you can watch the airplanes land and take off. I have really enjoyed this part of the sport since I was a child and am proud to say that I have passed that love on to my own children and grand children.

One of our favorite places to eat is the charming restaurant at La Verne’s historic Brackett Field. “Norm’s Hangar Coffee Shop,” as the restaurant is called, sits right on the taxi way. The patio is less than 300-feet from runway 26L and the Cafe pipes in Bracket Tower and Ground Control.It’s not in a hangar and it’s not run by “Norm,” but great tasting breakfasts and lunches are served by family-friendly weight staff from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. The menu is extensive and the food is great. Not gourmet, you understand, but tasty omelets, juicy burgers and steak sandwiches.  If you’d look for it in the diner of your dreams, Norm’s probably makes it.  Everything on the menu is fresh and homemade and the suppliers are small local businesses that owner Cathy (Norm’s daughter) supports to keep the mom and pop market strong. The tables next to the big picture windows and the outside patio give unobstructed views of all the activity on the air field. If you have any budding pilots along, they will be fascinated for the duration of your visit and will love the large model airplanes hanging from the ceiling of the coffee shop. 

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