Soaring With Sagar - May 2011

Air Force One

By Sagar Pathak

(Sagar Pathak)How does the most powerful man travel around the world? Any way he wants. And in the case of the President of the United States (POTUS), he travels aboard one of two specially modified Boeing 747-200s,  affectionately known as “Air Force One.” Operated by the 89th Airlift Wing out of Andrews Air Force base, these fortified aircraft are tasked to transport President Obama and the White House staff all over the globe and allow him to execute the full powers of the Office of the President of the United States.

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Soaring With Sagar - August 2010

Fear of Flying

By Sagar Pathak

As pilots we often take for granted the luxury of being able to jump in a plane and taking off on a whim. What we believe is a sense of freedom is a grip of fear to others. While physics and science reassure us that our steel bird will stay airborne, to others it’s a steel cage of death waiting for gravity to take over and plummet to the ground.

Even to this day, when I am lined up on the center line, barreling down the runway approaching my rotate speed, I pull back on the yoke and for a split second wonder if we are going to leap towards the sky or stay locked to the earth. But for many, this fear is more pronounced and a lot more debilitating. A few weeks ago, I had a chance to help a friend and fellow writer, Jean Dupenloup, out with his own fear of flying. I asked if Jean would be kind enough to share his experience with our readers in the hopes that others who are afraid can use this and overcome their own fears.

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Soaring With Sagar - May 2010

Destination: Moffett Field Museum

Moffett Field is the home of the massive Hangar One. Measuring nearly 1200-feet long, it can fit 10 football fields inside. (Sagar Pathak)By Sagar Pathak

Chances are if you’re a pilot, you love aviation. From loud jets, to classic propellers, pilots are into all things aviation. While simply just being in the air is a blast, I also get a lot of joy planning my flights around fun and exciting places. And other the the classic “$100 Hamburger” or in my case the “$100 Slice of Pie”, one of my favorite places to visit is the local aviation museums.

Ever since I fell in love with aviation, I’d look forward to going to airshows and seeing the planes in the air. But the reality was that airshows come around only once a year. So I went out to fill my addiction elsewhere and found myself at the local aviation museums. It truly is the best “hangar flying” that one can get.

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Soaring With Sagar - April 2010

With it’s 4 crossing parallel runways, SFO is one of the world’s busiest airports. (Sagar Pathak)Navigating “Class Bravo” Airspace

By Sagar Pathak

When looking at your favorite sectional map, the most intimidating part seems to be the concentric blue lines of the Class Bravo airspace that surrounds 39 of the nations busiest airports. In Northern California, our Class Bravo airport surrounds San Francisco International (SFO), with nearly 400,000 operations in 2009. And a mere 10 nm north of SFO lies one of the most beautiful skylines in the world, one that hundreds of millions of people visit every year. But to get to that paradise, you have to transition through the dreaded Class Bravo airspace.

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Soaring With Sagar

Literally hanging out the door of our photoplane, a harness safely secures me from falling out of the airplane. (Sagar Pathak)You Spin Me Right ‘Round

By Sagar Pathak

You look outside and all you see is the ground flying past you; greens and browns all blurring into one shade. A second ago you were performing an “immelman” in your new Pitts Special S-2B, and now you and your plane are in a spin hurdling towards the ground. Your instincts kick in, you pull the power back to idle, let go of the stick, look over the nose and figure out which direction you are spinning, full opposite rudder, stop the spin, and recover.

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to get a taste of flying a high-performance aerobatic airplane with airshow great Tim Decker in his immaculate S-2B. In his sixth year of airshow flying, Tim has perfected flying at the edge of the envelope and invited me out to his hangar in Lincoln, CA (KLHM) for a weekend crash course (no pun intended) of unusual attitude recoveries, spin training, and a taste of some basic aerobatics.

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