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2020’s news flow has been a DOWNER

The year in AVIATION not much better

Here are some stories with a POSITIVE ATTITUDE

The story line of 2020 has not been filled with uplifting stories. We all could use a few positive aviation stories to maintain enthusiasm and energy:

  • Aviation has a friend in Indiana:

State Sen. Eric Koch Receives Aviation Indiana’s Senator Of The Year Award

OCTOBER 16, 2020




(INDIANAPOLIS) – Aviation Indiana recently announced at its annual conference that State Sen. Eric Koch (R-Bedford) has been awarded Senator of the Year for his work on Senate Enrolled Act 257 during the 2020 legislative session.

“I’m honored to be named Aviation Indiana’s Senator of the Year for 2020,” Sen. Koch said. “Our local airports are important assets and their continued safe operation will be enhanced by this legislation.”

SEA 257 protects Indiana’s airspace from projects having an adverse impact on military operations and readiness. The legislation also allows airports to have a voice in local zoning issues where aviation safety might be negatively impacted.

During the presentation at the conference, held virtually on Oct. 15, Aviation Indiana Executive Director Bart Giesler said, “We appreciate Sen. Koch for introducing SEA 257, but more importantly for making changes that provide even more safety for the flying public. By requiring state and federal agencies to better coordinate on tall structures and by giving airports a voice in zoning cases for other types of safety issues, SEA 257 provides the right balance between development and safety.”

Brian Thompson, president of the Seymour Municipal Airport Authority, also offered his thanks.

“The Airport would like to thank Sen. Koch for his work on SEA 257, which will enhance the safety of all airports. The senator’s contribution to the integrity of aviation will have an impact for many years to come. Thank you Sen. Koch!”

Aviation Indiana has been an advocate for aviation interests since 1983 and represents all regions of Indiana providing a network for general aviation, support industries, aerospace educators, airports, fixed base operators, aircraft owners and operators and pilots at all ratings levels. For more information on Aviation Indiana, click here.

Sen. Koch, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, serves Senate District 44, which includes all or parts of Bartholomew, Brown, Jackson, Lawrence and Monroe counties.


  • Airports are tense, uncomfortable places with no relaxing amenities—As Ed McMahon would have said to Johnny Carson “WRONG!!! Jet Engine Exhaust Breath!!!”

JFK Airport’s heated “pool-cuzzi” overlooking the runway has reopened

Take in retro Alpine vibes at the TWA Hotel without leaving the city.

JFK TWA Hotel Pool

By Shaye Weaver

Posted: Friday October 23 2020, 2:21 PM


By now, you may be craving a ski trip to the slopes, but TWA Hotel has just reopened its pool-cuzzi and Runway Chalet, offering up retro Alpine vibes within the city limits.

As of this week, TWA Hotel guests (whether they’re staying overnight or just for the day) can use the heated infinity pool, which is cranked up to a toasty 95 degrees and overlooks JFK’s runway 4L/22R, visit the observation deck or dine on the hotel’s rooftop.

If you’re worried about germs in the pool-cuzzi, it’s good to note that the water in the 63-by-20 foot pool completely purifies itself every 30 minutes, instead of once or twice a day. Pools were allowed to reopen across NYC in August.

JFK TWA Hotel martini

Photograph: Katrine Moite

The Runway Chalet at The Pool Bar, a cozy 1960s après ski-themed rooftop hangout, is open from 4 to 10pm while the pool-cuzzi is open from 7am to 10pm daily. From here, you can order one of the hotel’s seasonal cocktails like the Altitude Adjustment (spiced rum and hot apple cider garnished with a cinnamon stick.)

That being said, the Runway Chalet has limited seating like any other NYC restaurant. If the weather is good, it’ll place tables on its outdoor pool deck. Either way, hotel guests should make a reservation via email to dine at the Runway Chalet. Of course, social distancing and masks are required to take part.

The 512-room TWA Hotel opened in 2019 with great excitement—its glamorous retro interior has made it a must-visit for New Yorkers and tourists alike. Since its pool-cuzzi is only open to guests, it may be a nice stay-cation idea for those looking for a change of scenery.










Charles Lindbergh Flies Virus Serum To Quebec


“In recent years, the reputation of Charles Lindbergh has taken a number of hits. Many people who were alive just before World War II have not forgiven him for his praise of Nazi Germany and all his anti-war efforts on behalf of the America First movement. To Lindbergh’s credit, he abandoned the anti-war activities right after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and went on, as a civilian, to fly combat missions in the South Pacific. Much more recently, we learned of Lindbergh’s separate German family—a secret kept for many years after his death and one that was never mentioned by his principal biographer, Scott Berg. Very few people approve of bigamy.

But whatever his personal flaws and shortcomings, there are some traits of Lindbergh’s that have never been questioned: he was a brave, distinguished, and incredibly capable aviator and he always demonstrated enormous loyalty to his friends—especially friends who were fellow pilots. These characteristics were on full display on April 24, 1928 (not quite a year after his historic flight to Paris), when Lindbergh flew anti-virus pneumonia serum to Quebec City, Canada, in an attempt to save the life of his aviator friend, Floyd Bennett, who was desperately ill in a Quebec hospital. He made the flight through heavy snow in blizzard conditions with gale-force winds in a single-engine, open cockpit Army biplane, the Curtis Falcon. He landed in early evening, not at an airport, but on the Plains of Abraham in downtown Quebec. The story is a fascinating one, but it does not have a happy ending.

The Mission

The decade of the 1920s was one of the most important in world aviation history. Flying records were being set on a near-daily basis. Pilots were often lionized by the press and the general public. In the mid- to late-1920s there was an unending fascination (we might now call it almost an obsession) with trans-Atlantic flight. Lindbergh was the most prominent of these aviators for his 1927 west to east solo crossing of the Atlantic, but there were many others, prominent then but largely forgotten today.

Floyd BennettFloyd Bennett was a decorated Navy pilot.

This story begins with a flight by German aviators that crossed the Atlantic east to west (recall Lindbergh’s 1927 flight was the easier west to east route) in a German single-engine Junkers W-33 airplane named “The Bremen.” Even that flight had a multi-national component. The two pilots, Ehrenfried Gunther Freiherr von Hunefeld and Herman Kohl, were German but their navigator, James Fitzmaurice, was an Irish Army major. The Bremen flight departed Baldonnel Aerodrome in Ireland around 5 am GMT on April 12, 1928, and after some considerable navigation error that nearly doomed the flight, landed on Greenly Island just off-shore the Canadian province of Quebec around 5 pm GMT on April 13. The Bremen itself was damaged and unflyable. After giving up on trying to repair their airplane, the Bremen crew was flown off the island to Quebec City in a Ford Trimotor piloted by Bernt Balchen and Floyd Bennett.

The trans-Atlantic flight was confirmed as successful. The three Bremen aviators were celebrated in North America and Europe for their achievement. Sometime later, President Calvin Coolidge awarded the US Distinguished Flying Cross to the three Bremen crew members. But tragically, one of their rescue pilots, Floyd Bennett, became gravely ill and was hospitalized in Quebec City. Bennett was himself a distinguished US Naval aviator who flew a number of sometimes controversial Arctic missions with Admiral Richard Byrd. For his Arctic flying with Byrd, Bennett was awarded the Medal of Honor (for non-combat achievements) and the Navy’s Distinguished Service Medal. He was serving as a Naval aviator warrant officer during the flight to evacuate the Bremen crew.

There is some question as to exactly when Bennett contracted the pneumonia that eventually put him in the Quebec hospital. Bennett was apparently quite ill even before he left to do the Bremen flight and became even sicker when he returned to Quebec City. There are a few totally erroneous reports that he died in flight while rescuing the Bremen crew. Learning that Bennett was seriously ill, a call went out to John D. Rockefeller and the Rockefeller Medical Institute in New York City for serum to treat Bennett’s pneumonia. Mr. Rockefeller had directed that all possible assistance be given to help Bennett.

The original plan was to send the serum by train, but it was quickly determined that the train would take far too long. Rockefeller then reached Lindbergh, who was in New York and asked him if he would be willing to fly the serum to Canada. Lindbergh did not hesitate. He simply said, “I’ll go, if it will help Bennett.” Back then there was a loyalty and affinity among aviators that those of us pilots alive in the twenty-first century can only guess at.

Twelve bottles of the virus serum and three white mice were delivered to Curtiss Airport on Long Island from the Rockefeller Institute by a principal assistant to Rockefeller, Thomas P. Appleget, who then flew on to Quebec as Lindbergh’s passenger. The white mice were to be sacrificed in Quebec to determine exactly what type of pneumonia Bennett had contracted. The serum would then be administered.

The Airplane and the Departure Airportairplane at departure airport

The Curtiss Falcon was not exactly an all-weather airplane.

In New York, Lindbergh had his own airplane, the Spirit of Saint Louis, but apparently decided that it would be better to fly to Quebec in a Curtiss A-3 Falcon. This “unequal span” biplane with an aluminum tubing fuselage and a wing-span of 38 feet was powered by a Curtiss V-12 liquid cooled engine turning a two-blade fixed pitch propeller. The A-3 model was eventually sold to both the US Army and Navy and after some modifications was re-named the “Helldiver,” becoming the Navy’s first dive bomber. It was a two-seater with a cruising speed of around 100 knots, a range of about 650 miles, and a 14,000-foot ceiling. Lindberg’s Falcon was borrowed from the United States Army at a point in time when then-Colonel Lindbergh could have just about anything he wanted from the Army.

The departure airport, Curtiss Field, was then a civilian dirt strip near Mineola, New York, immediately adjacent to the much more prominent Roosevelt Field. Roosevelt Field was named in honor of Quentin Roosevelt, the son of President Theodore Roosevelt. Quentin had been killed as a US Army pilot in France during World War I. Lindbergh had flown from Roosevelt Field to Paris less than a year earlier and was very familiar with it. Roosevelt Field and Curtiss Field were consolidated by the Army during World War II and closed in 1951. As of September, 2020, the site comprises commercial buildings and shopping malls.

The Route and the Weather

The route from Mineola, Long Island, to Quebec is roughly 440 miles on a direct magnetic heading of about 020 degrees. Contemporary newspaper reports suggest that Lindbergh first flew directly north towards Albany, New York, and then took a slight dogleg right to Quebec. Lindbergh took off a little after 3 pm local time, anticipating a flight of around 3 hours 30 minutes to Quebec City. The weather was atrocious. He encountered gale force winds, snow with blizzard conditions at times and freezing cold in an open-cockpit airplane. The Falcon’s instrumentation was minimal, with Lindbergh relying almost entirely on his magnetic compass for navigation.

To try to test all of this out, I flew this same route in my flight simulator, trying as best as I could to replicate Lindbergh’s flight. I’m only an amateur pilot with slightly over 1000 hours of flying time, but I doubt I could have made it in real life. For a pilot like me, the trip would have verged on the suicidal. I suspect most pilots, even high-time professionals, might have refused to go. But recall, Lindbergh’s good friend, Floyd Bennett, was dying of pneumonia in a Quebec hospital. Charles Lindbergh went.

Lindbergh’s Arrival in Quebec City

Lindbergh in Quebec

Lindbergh was greeted as a hero when he arrived in Quebec.

Lindbergh made it in slightly less than four hours, landing on the snow-covered grass of the Plains of Abraham, a large park in central Quebec City, now known as “Battlefield Park.” The Plains of Abraham was the site of a crucial 1759 battle fought between the French and British forces during the French and Indian War in which both commanding generals were killed on the field.

The landing area, a section of the park known as “The Playing Field,” appears on modern maps to be around 1000 to 1500 yards in length. In the hands of Lindbergh, the master aviator, the Falcon—clearly a well-designed, well-engineered airplane—had no trouble handling the landing or the subsequent takeoff a day later. The serum was immediately rushed to Jeffery Hale Hospital in downtown Quebec with the highest hopes, only to have these hopes dashed for medical reasons, notwithstanding Lindbergh’s heroic efforts.

The Sad Conclusion

As it turned out, there were several types of deadly pneumonia virus in existence back then. The sacrificial white mice disclosed that Floyd Bennett had virus type three; the serum carried by Lindbergh worked only to treat virus types one and two. Lindbergh had carried a treatment that was useless and was not administered to Bennett. There was nothing more to be done, given the state of medicine in 1928. Even though he was in an oxygen tent, Bennett was told that Lindbergh had arrived and apparently smiled at him when Lindbergh was permitted to look into Bennett’s hospital room. But they had no conversation.

Bennett died a day later in the hospital, at 37. His wife and Admiral Byrd were with him at the time of his death. Bennet’s death made national headlines. He was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.

Lindbergh’s efforts to save Bennett triggered separate newspaper headlines and his bravery was given a good deal of recognition. His landing on the Plains of Abraham was greeted by a large crowd. While still in Quebec City, the city fathers hosted a dinner for him. He spent the night in one of the suites at the famous Hotel Frontenac in Quebec and flew the Curtiss back to New York the next day.

And before you finish reading this article, spare at least a few ounces of gratitude and appreciation for Lindbergh’s passenger, Mr. Appelget. He was there under direct orders from his employer, John D. Rockefeller. He was not a pilot. This was probably his first time in an open-cockpit biplane. He flew four hours through a blizzard. He probably held the vials of serum and the three white mice on his lap the whole time to keep them from freezing. There are no further reports on Mr. Appelget’s activities, but my guess is he took the train back to New York City.

Shortly after Bennett’s death, New York mayor Fiorello LaGuardia identified a site in Brooklyn for New York City’s first fully functional commercial airport, to be named “Floyd Bennett Field.” Floyd’s wife was present at the dedication of the airport in 1930. Before and during World War II, Floyd Bennett Field was one of the busiest airports on the East Coast. It now comprises a helicopter pad and a short runway for radio-controlled aircraft.

Eighty years later, in 2008, as part of a celebration marking the 100th anniversary of Battlefield Park, Charles Lindbergh’s grandson, Erik Lindbergh (himself an outstanding pilot), was flown in a helicopter to the exact spot on the Plains of Abraham where Charles set the Falcon down in 1928. During this ceremony, the City of Quebec unveiled a plaque commemorating Lindburgh’s virus serum flight. The plaque can be seen while walking along the northern edge of Battlefield Park, near the middle of the park.

  • When an airplane part falls into your back yard, a family could react by hiring a lawyer to sue for emotional distress, but the High’s react positively. “it was cool.”

Mystery Solved: Phoenix family learns why airplane part landed in their in backyard

The 2-pound, square plane part landed in the backyard of Charlie and Jaclyn High’s house, which is located near Bell Road and 44th High's with airplane partStreet.

On Tuesday, the Phoenix couple and their two young boys stopped by the Scottsdale Airport to return the plane part to its rightful owner.

“For the past few days the boys have been carrying it around the backyard, playing with the tabs and talking about their plane part,” said Charlie High. “They’ve been liking it. They love airplanes.”

The High family had expressed how scary it was to have something like that fall out of the sky – so close to home and so close to where their kids and dogs play.

Hours after our Arizona’s Family story aired Monday night, a pilot from the Gemini Air Group at the Scottsdale Airport reached out to to say the part came from one of their small planes and they’d like to have it back.

“It’s nice to know, nice to know it didn’t just come from some a random plane,” said Jaclyn High. “Nice to know it was close to our house.”

Greg Laabs is general manager of maintenance at the Gemini Air Group. He said the plane belonged to one of their clients and the part that fell off was a servicing door for the lavatory system. “It’s a Challenger 601, which is a little smaller than the airplanes behind us,” said Laabs. “Based on where it was found, it was probably on take off.”

“It has latches like other doors,” said Laabs. We’re not sure what caused it to come off. At this point, we know the latches are latched. It could have been a failure. We’re investigating that right now.”

The Phoenix family was a little surprised by how quickly someone came forward to claim the plane part. They’re certainly happy to give it back, but say their boys may have wanted to hang on to the souvenir a bit longer. “We kind of talked up giving it back, so now they think its cool to put it back on the plane,” said Jaclyn High.

The FAA has also been notified about what happened.

vi— Good social practices can have good financial impacts


Embry-Riddle panel

Women in Aviation: Diversity Boosts the Bottom Line

Female aviation leaders representing the airline industry, Urban Air Mobility, safety and academia all agreed, in an Aviation Outlook virtual event Oct. 7, that workforce diversity is foundational to any sound business model. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, however, the need to diversify is even more pressing, as organizations struggle to meet unprecedented challenges.

“We have to have all different thoughts at the table, because we have to stay innovative right now,” said Crystal Barrois, alumna (’04) and Delta Air Lines first officer. “Things are changing every single day.”

“Having a gender-balanced workforce … makes the environment better,” added Dana Donati (’19), general manager and director of Academic Programs at the Leadership in Flight Training (LIFT) Academy for Republic Airways. “There’s a different thought process … and different decisions are made.”

Those differences mirror the differences throughout a company’s client base and employee pool, Barrois said — “so that we think like our customer, we think like our employees and we can become the airline of the future.”

Diversity is not just about increasing the number of minority workers in a given industry, the group stressed. It’s about increasing the number of perspectives, backgrounds and, ultimately, ideas.

“Your workforce should represent your customer base,” said Dr. Rebecca Lutte (’91), associate professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha Aviation Institute. “Diversity enhances the bottom line for organizations.”

Sponsored by Embry-Riddle’s College of Aviation and Office of Alumni Engagement, the event, which featured members of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Women in Aviation Advisory Board, served as the 10th in the ongoing free and interactive Aviation Outlook webinar series.

Next Webinar

The next free and interactive Aviation Outlook event will feature alumnus Peter Cerdá, regional vice president in the Americas for the International Air Transport Association (IATA), who will discuss his organization, the future of aviation and field audience questions. Register now to reserve a virtual seat at the event.

“When you were young and excited about aviation … it was really frustrating to feel like you didn’t belong,” said Kate Fraser (’18), head of safety at Joby Aviation, adding that one way to increase the number of women in the industry is to rethink the way in which they’re recruited.

Most pilots, Lutte added, are drawn to the field because of the sense of excitement and adventure it offers; yet, outreach often focuses on a student’s involvement in STEM.

In spite of projections from Boeing’s 2018 Pilot & Technician Outlook, which predict a need for 790,000 new civil aviation pilots and 754,000 new maintenance technicians over the next 20 years, currently only 7% of the total pilot population is female. Only 2.4% of all aircraft maintenance technicians are women. There is clear opportunity within the industry, and it remains the primary goal of the Women in Aviation Advisory Board, Fraser said, to “move that needle.”

One way they plan to do so is to meet students where they are, and at as young an age as possible.

“We kind of put unfair expectations on girls and women,” Fraser said, adding that math was never her strongest subject in school. “But I still ended up in aviation, and I’m happy I did. … We just want smart, capable people.”

These changes in outreach translate into working to incorporate aviation into education standards; partnering with groups like the Girl Scouts, AOPA, Junior Achievement and EAA’s Young Eagles program; and offering aviation experiences at events and schools.

“I think we all have a role to play,” Lutte said, citing a 2019 Women in Aviation study that found that 54% of all female aviators were introduced to the industry as a kid. “Outreach is important.”

“We’ve gotten much more intentional,” Barrois added. “I think airlines have a tremendous ability to impact the pipeline, in terms of diversity. It’s just getting those pilots in front of the students, and giving them the message to inspire them.”

For Donati, it’s about identifying the “gaps,” or barriers that keep women from pursuing careers in aviation.

Currently, cost, workplace culture and work-life balance are the three major deterrents to women entering the field. Those are the areas the board are committed to addressing.

“When only 4% of your constituency are female, the issues that are important to them don’t get addressed at the negotiating table — or, at least they haven’t historically,” Barrois said, adding that she couldn’t find a uniform that fit her when she was a pregnant pilot earlier in her career. “If we continue to treat small percentages like small percentages, that will perpetuate itself.”

Affecting change starts with community, the group agreed, and that’s what the Women in Aviation Advisory Board is all about.

“You do belong, even if there are some days where it feels like you don’t,” Fraser said, addressing early-career workers and aspiring aviators. “Just keep pushing, and you’ll find it incredibly rewarding.”

vii — Old planes never die; they get scavenged into a million spare parts. GOOD NEWS: this Queen of the Skies will be kept whole and live in a mice safe museum.

Historic British Airways plane to become exhibition at Cotswold Airport

By Sam Krayem-Wood  @SamKrayemWoodNQReporter

Historic British Airways plane to become exhibition at Cotswold Airport

B-747 landing


One of the last two British Airways Jumbos is to become a permanent exhibit at Cotswold Airport.

Victor Bravo arrived at the former RAF Kemble earlier this month and now Kemble Air Services, the airport operator, has signed a contract to buy her, promising she will be “preserved and exhibited in the graceful manner she deserves”.

Plans for the aircraft include converting part of interior for a unique business, conferencing and private hire venue, as well as a cinema for locals people and an educational facility for school trips.

Airport chief executive Suzannah Harvey said: “It is great news for locals and visitors who will be able to see and experience one of the most iconic passenger aircraft of its time.

“We’re absolutely delighted to make this happen following its final flight from London Heathrow to Cotswold Airport on October 8.”

British Airways chief executive Sean Doyle said: “It was with great sadness that we retired our two final 747s based at Heathrow earlier this month, so we’re glad Cotswold Airport is able to give one of these aircraft a new home and a new lease of life.

“The 747, and the Negus livery, are iconic in British Airways’ past, and we hope locals and visitors will enjoy seeing this slice of history for years to come.”

Since entering the British Airways fleet on February 15, 1994, it made 13,398 flights and flew 118,445 hours over nearly 60 million miles.

Its last passenger flight was from Miami to Heathrow on April 6, 2020.

On social media the airport revealed it is looking for volunteers to help maintain the aircraft. “We already have a few ex-747 pilots and crew helping. At this stage, any volunteers MUST be former 747 pilots, stewards or engineers/ground crew, preferably BA. Engineers would be particularly welcome.”

It explained: “At present, she remains on North Apron; as this is airside, it does not allow public access for reasons of aviation safety. The plan is to move her onto a bespoke concrete pad on the grass at the back of AV8/The Control Tower, which will allow ease of access for the public.”

It is not expected the move will happen before the new year.

After paying for her upkeep, money raised from events on the aircraft will be used to support Cotswold Airport’s scholarship programme and charities.

Every year the scholarship helps 10 students who have an interest in aviation-related sectors or careers to undertake instructional flight time or experience various aviation career environments.

viii– FAA’s HBCUs Unmanned Aircraft Systems Collegiate Training Initiative

The purpose of the webinar is to brief Historically Black Colleges and Universities on an exciting new program the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has established called the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Collegiate Training Initiative (UAS-CTI). This program will be available to both four-year and two-year institutions of higher education, as well as technical schools. Additionally, we will also be establishing a Consortium for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Technology Training which will be available exclusively to public two-year institutions of higher education that become designated as a UAS-CTI.

HBCU drone training

These new programs have been established pursuant to congressional direction in Sections 631 and 632 of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, P.L. 115-254. In the legislation referenced above, Congress directed the FAA to establish a similar CTI program for unmanned aircraft, commonly referred to as drones.

aviation good news


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