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Views and comment from some of the leading figures & writers in business aviation including Jay Mesinger, Mike Potts, John Brodeur, Mike Vines, Mike Chase, Dave Higdon and Gil Wolin.
One of the most famous aviation movie quotes, from Top Gun, a film that helped inspire countless mid-1980s teen to pursue flying as a career, was “I feel the need… the need for speed.” After all, flying is all about speed…isn’t it? Perhaps – but perhaps not in all aspects
I had about finished writing this month’s column about Massachusetts’ commitment to supporting aviation – in my mind a model for other states – when we were confronted with the tragedy at the Boston Marathon. So forgive me if I pause for a moment, and think about something other than aviation.
Back in our school days Econ 101 first introduced a basic theory of macroeconomics, the allocation of a nation’s scarce resources. But the simplistic “guns or butter” model used to illustrate a nation’s decisions as how best to allocate spending between defense and food came back sharply into focus last month, thanks to a relatively new, but now-ubiquitous macroeconomic term: “sequestration”.
The heading of this month’s column seems to be the current mantra for many FBOs – at least, when it comes to handling fees, according to various aviation manager email threads. Fees range from $700 to $1,200 per FBO arrival, depending upon the airport location, aircraft size – and whether or not there is FBO competition on the airfield.
Given a free moment or two, we like to wander, whether traveling a road not previously taken, or in the library, leafing through unread books. You never know what’s on the next page – or in this case, around the next corner. And that autumn afternoon’s wandering found us comfortably ensconced in Nancy’s Airfield Café at the Minuteman Air Field in Stow, Massachusetts, about 23 miles west of Boston.
October’s devastating superstorm Sandy not only shuttered the US East Coast and delayed my departure for the NBAA convention – it also highlighted one of the most significant challenges facing our industry today. For more than a decade, aviation consultant Jim Haynes has hosted The Aviation Leaders’ Dinner on the eve of NBAA.
It’s a phenomenon I’ve observed now for some forty years; the “executive decision paralysis” which seems to occur in virtually every US Presidential election year since the early 1970s – with the possible exception of 1984, when there was little doubt that Ronald Reagan would be re-elected.
A funny thing happened on the way to Columbus last month. When I booked my flights on Delta Airlines’ website, I found that the flights weren’t aboard Delta aircraft. They were with the Delta Connection, Delta’s hub-and-spoke code-sharing arrangement with various regional operators - and I would be flying not one, but two different regional carriers: the outbound flight aboard Chautauqua Airlines on either an Embraer RJ 135, 140 or 145, and the return leg aboard Shuttle America on an Embraer 175.
How many aviation careers were launched during the second half of the last century while the pilot was tethered to his aircraft? Powered by a Cox Thimble Drome Super Bee .049 engine, these methane-fueled model aircraft, tethered to the “pilot” by a control line some fifteen feet long, enabled a young pilot-to-be to take-off, climb and perform a limited range of aerobatics via remote control.