Wednesday, September 29, 2010


We had a very unfortunate situation occur Monday at Phoenix Deer Valley Airport (DVT). A Bonanza suffered engine problems and the plane crashed into an empty building and the lone occupant, the pilot from Scottsdale, was killed. I was unaware of this as my wife and I were taking off from San Diego back to DVT at the time. When I fly, I turn my phone to Airplane Mode as to not drain the battery. It was 105 degrees when we landed, fueled the airplane and put it back in the hangar. I was hot and tired and did not turn on my cell phone until we arrived back at the house. When my phone connected, I had 30 emails and text messages along with 40 voice mails from friends concerned that it might have been my plane that crashed. I felt horrible for the pilot that crashed and thankful to have to many friends that were concerned for my well being. My thoughts and prayers go out to the pilot's family.


I had the pleasure of attending a FAA meeting for Scottsdale (SDL) airport Tuesday. I can't publish the topic of the meeting as it is confidential at this time. There were FAA representatives from Seattle to Los Angeles to Phoenix, as well as NBAA representatives and my self representing AOPA. Everyone was there but the man who was responsible for this event. Evidently he did not deem it necessary to attend his own meeting. I did receive an excellent education of the issues and was surprised that there is so much conflict among different factions of the FAA. I also felt cheated that the ADO did not attend the meeting. When this issue is complete and public knowledge I will publish a column on the issues.

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home : features : featuresSeptember 29, 2010

9/26/2010 10:00:00 PM
Achievers: Aspiring pilot lands another scholarship

By Ken Hedler
The Daily Courier

PRESCOTT - Drew Cochran, a junior majoring in aeronautical science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University here, said he enjoys the thrill of piloting a plane.

"What do I like about flying?" he asked rhetorically. "I like being able to look down and see things from a different perspective and the dynamic of being able to take a machine and move it through the air."

Piloting is "also a mental challenge, " he said. "You have to be able to anticipate what is going to happen. It is not just the airplane. It is the weather. It is the cargo. It is the people you are carrying. The airports are your destination."

Cochran's immediate destination after graduating in May 2012 is landing a job as a flight instructor at Embry-Riddle. His career ambition is to become a commercial pilot, perhaps for a corporation.

Making it possible to attain his goals are scholarships to help pay for attending the private college. The eldest of seven children of an aerospace industry machinist and a school district librarian, he said he has been fortunate in earning scholarships.

Cochran, 20, recently received the 2010 Angel MedFlight Scholarship for Excellence in Education from Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance in Scottsdale.

"We believe that Drew is an exemplary student," Kelly LoCascio, Angel MedFlight's chief executive officer, said in a prepared statement. "We were impressed by his commitment to his education. In fact, he works two jobs to cover the cost of his tuition and flight instruction."

Angel MedFlight sponsors the scholarship through a partnership with the Arizona Business Aviation Association. The award includes $3,000 toward Cochran's tuition and a commemorative plaque.

Cochran, who grew up in Maple Valley, Wash., 20 miles east of Seattle, said the scholarship will cover half of the cost of his commercial single-engine flight training at Embry-Riddle. He said he learned about the scholarship through the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, a general aviation advocacy group.

Cochran has a promising career after he graduates, said Bill O'Hara, who chairs the flight department at Embry-Riddle and has known the student for two years.

"He is always asking questions," O'Hara said. "He is going to be a five-star commercial pilot. He will probably be running his own business in five years. He is a top-drawer guy, and he is going to be successful no matter what field he enters."

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Meeting with two wonderful pilots this week for 2 new columns. Flying a Nanchung, which is the Chinese version of the Russian Yak; and a Grumman Widgeon seaplane.

Now for some humor:

15 Differences between Airplanes and Women...

1) Airplanes usually kill you quickly - a woman takes her time.
2) Airplanes can be turned on by a flick of a switch.
3) Airplanes don't get mad if you do a "touch and go."
4) Airplanes don't object to a pre-flight inspection.
5) Airplanes come with manuals to explain their operation.
6) Airplanes have strict weight and balance limitations.
7) Airplanes can be flown any time of the month.
8) Airplanes don't come with in-laws.
9) Airplanes don't care about how many other airplanes you've flown
10) Airplanes and pilots both arrive at the same time.
11) Airplanes don't mind if you look at other airplanes.
12) Airplanes don't mind if you buy airplane magazines.
13) Airplanes expect to be tied down.
14) Airplanes don't comment on your piloting skills.
15) Airplanes don't whine unless something is really wrong.

...and One Similarity

When airplanes go quiet, just like women, it's usually not a good sign.