I’m still feeling nostalgic for Memorial Day, so today’s photo is one I took at last year’s EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wis. Despite my military upbringing, I never felt the love for military aviation like I do commercial aviation — until I saw all the warbirds at Oshkosh. Below is Miss Geraldine, a gorgeous and pristine North American P-51D Mustang. Enjoy!
As a travel buff since almost birth, I’m old enough to remember when airlines did destination posters that I thought were works of art. When I was old enough to start buying my own art, I went straight for the art deco travel posters.
Back on Feb. 21, I did a post on how I’m using Pinterest to show off all my travel obsessions. A funny thing has happened since then. My board, “Art Deco Travel Posters – Cool!” has caught on like wildfire. As of today, I have 93 posters and a whopping 239 followers of said board. I only have 118 total followers.
It seems I’ve struck a nerve with a lot of folks who are like me, nostalgic for a time long since past, or lovers of travel art. And I’m just delighted by the folks following me and repinning my pins, including: Chris McGinnis, Johnny Jet, Chris Elliott, Meena Thiruvengadam, Sebastian White, Mira Lowe and Debbie Swiatek, to name a few.
Still not on Pinterest? Email me at benet AT aviationqueen DOT COM and I’ll send you an invite!!
Yesterday, my regular flight instructor was a bit under the weather, so she suggested I fly with my original instructor. Dave Hirschman has one of the best jobs at the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. Not only is he the senior editor of AOPA Pilot magazine, but he’s also the handler for our sweepstakes aircraft, the Aviat Husky.
Two Huskys (one owned by our CEO Craig Fuller) were the stars at the AOPA Tent at the recent Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In. Folks stopped by to take a look, have a seat at the picnic tables and even chat with Craig, who was there most of the time.
The views from the Husky can’t be beat, with large windows. Because you fly slowly, you can actually fly with window or the door open. And I had the smoothest landing ever — in the grass! Below are some pictures I took during the flight. Enjoy!!
I went to Austin, Texas, last month for a data journalism geek unconference. The first night we had dinner at Stubbs BBQ, and my dinner companion was Lauren Young, owner of Little Lamb web design (she’s currently redesigning this site). She started talking about how much fun she was having with Pinterest. For the uninitiated, check out this article in the Wall Street Journal profiling the website.
I love using Pinterest to show off many things, but my favorites are my aviation and travel boards. The first board I created was one with pictures of my beloved Boeing 747, which has 101 followers. My next board was Cool Aircraft Liveries, which has photos of some of the best aircraft paint jobs of the present and past, with 97 followers. I work across the street from Frederick Municipal Airport, so I created Seen At Frederick Airport (FDK).
I am a BIG fan of art deco airline/travel posters, and have them hanging in my home and office. My Art Deco Travel Posters has 92 followers. I created a board made up entirely of the graphics I use for my Strange But True Aviation News column. And then I have boards entitled Lord, I Was Born A Ramblin’ (wo)Man and Places I REALLY Want To See, with 94 followers each.
Tomorrow’s post will be on 10 folks you should be following on Pinterest. Not on Pinterest yet? Drop me an email at AuntBenet AT Gmail DOT com and I’ll get you an invite. Enjoy!
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of appearing on my friend Mario Armstrong’s SirriusXM radio show covering digital/tech issues. I was on for my embrace of social media technology and my all-around aviation geekiness.
One of the topics we discussed was one near and dear to my heart — the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen. Two weeks ago, I attended the EAA AirVenture show where a trailer for the new George Lucas film on the Airmen — Red Tails — was screened, along with a panel discussion. And last week, I was in Philadelphia for the National Association of Black Journalists annual convention, where Lucas did another screening and panel with Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. and Oscar-nominated Terrence Howard.
As the daughter and granddaughter of Air Force officers, I grew up listening to tales of the exploits of the Tuskegee Airmen. When we lived at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala., we went to Tuskegee to see where the Airmen trained.
I hope that this documentary will bring this important piece of aviation, military and civil rights history to the forefront yet again. I don’t want the generations to forget just how amazing they were in their time, a time when a man — and his abilities — were judged basically by the color of his skin.
So I hope that when this film is released in January 2012, you will support it. Take your friends, your children and your family to learn about an amazing piece of American history! And enjoy the trailer, below.
It’s been a week since I was at the EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wis., and I’m still floating on air. I was in aviation geek heaven last week, and I’m still going through all my photos. But below are two I want to share now.
The first photo is the tail of the I Heart NY JetBlue Airbus A320 that came into Oshkosh last Wednesday. The flight was full with JetBlue employees and interns there to enjoy a day of the show.
The second photo is a shout out to my friend and Airplane Geek David Vanderhoof, who is my military expert. It’s the military version of the DC-9, the C9. It was in a combi configuration-cargo in the front, a few rows of passenger seats in the back. Enjoy them both!
Kids, let’s be real – we all know that Aviation Week actually pays me to cover my hobby, my lifelong passion. This past week, I was smack in the center of the aviation geek universe, covering the annual Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture Air Show in Oshkosh, Wis. For the uninitiated, more than 500,000 people and more than 10,000 aircraft converge on the headquarters of EAA, based at Wittman Regional Airport and go into an aviation bacchanal. Folks fly and drive in from across the globe to meet, learn and have fun with like-minded people. You can check out AvWeek’s Oshkosh coverage here.
Thanks to my friend and Airplane Geeks host Rob Mark (@Jetwhine), I stayed in the Fairfield Inn Oshkosh, a stone’s throw away from the show. But the VAST majority of folks actually camp, on the airport grounds and surrounding areas. You see everything from a tarp slung over an aircraft wing to tents, to RVs to tricked-out, rock-star-looking tour buses.
But I digress. I’m giving myself the nearly impossible task of ranking my top 10 events from Oshkosh, God help my soul. Airplane Geek David Vanderhoof (@dmvanderhoof) said I’d have to expand to 20, but I love a good challenge. So here goes.
10. The Wittman Regional Airport Tower. For one week, this average-looking air traffic control tower becomes the busiest in the world – busier that Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta, busier than London Heathrow and busier than Singapore’s Changi — handling the in-and-out flights and daily air show demonstrations.
9. Fifi, the only B-29 bomber still flying AND The Beechcraft Starship. The Commemorative Air Force has lovingly restored this titan of World War II, and Oshkosh attendees, for a donation, could take a tour of this piece of history. The Starship, a 6- to 8-seat business aviation turboprop, was designed to be the successor to the popular King Air. According to Wikipedia, FAA has nine active registrations on the Starship.
8. MyTransponder.com. The aviation podcasting/video/blogging universe is lovingly overseen by Rod Rakic and Mike Miley. And they were out in full force at Oshkosh, in a tricked-out RV that doubled as a mobile studio, coffee/food dispensary and hangout for those documenting the events at Oshkosh. I was honored to hang out with a great group of folks the night before I departed.
7. Embraer Executive Jets. Wednesday it rained cats and dogs at the show, and it was a touch chilly. We were all scheduled to attend a breakfast press conference being held at their tent. Not only did they have hot coffee and hot chocolate, we got rain ponchos that protected us for the rest of the day.
6. Fly-In Theater. Across the street from Camp Scholler (probably the most popular campground), was this outdoor movie theater, sponsored by Ford. You bring a blanket or chair and sit out among the stars to see a different movie every night. And did I mention the popcorn is free? Monday night’s feature was “Top Gun,” a film, amazingly enough, I had never seen. And the bonus was we had an actual Top Gun instructor introduce the film. My fellow Airplane Geek Dan Webb (@danwebbage) is now the only person on earth not to see this movie.
5. JetBlue Airways. The New York-based carrier flew in its “I Heart NY” Airbus A320 into the show on Wednesday and did free tours all day, complete with a bag of Blue Chips. I was thrilled to see some friends that work there who came on the flight, including COO Rob Maruster, who I worked with at Delta Air Lines. And a BIG bonus for me? I got a Twitter shout-out from CEO David Barger for all my #OSH11 JetBlue Tweets and photos!
4. What Just Flew By?I felt like I was actually living Airplane Geeks Historian David Vanderhoof’s blog. There were planes on the ground and planes in the air, making it really hard to decide where to focus!
3. The photos/videos of Jo Hunter (@futureshox). A group of us went to have dinner at Red Robin Oshkosh (if you go, get Robin to be your waitress), and I met Jo, who happens to be one of my Twitter followers. She showed me her ubercool time-lapse video of Oshkosh preparations. And check out all her aviation films, on YouTube, here.
2. The Australians. Regular listeners of the Airplane Geeks podcast know that Steve Visscher and Grant McHerron (who literally sees the world through rose-colored glasses) offer up an informative, but funny take on all things Australian aviation with their Plane Crazy Down Under podcast. They also do the Australia desk for the Airplane Geeks podcast. I’m a BIG fan and we’ve corresponded by Twitter and Skype, but we had never met – until Oshkosh. If you think they’re funny on the air, they’re even better live. And check out the July 25 edition of Airplane Geeks, which has them all together.
1. And speaking of Steve and Grant, the number one entry is the people attending Oshkosh. I met literally hundreds of folks, many who shouted “Aunt Benet” when we met. I met so many of my Twitter fans that I’ve admired for years, and it was very humbling to me when people came up and said they were fans of my work. I want to list every one of them, but I’m afraid I’d miss someone and offend them. But I WILL give a big shout out to the 2 guys who pushed my Chevy Aveo out of the mud at Camp Scholler around midnight Wednesday.
Editor’s note: I’m on vacation this week, so I have some of my aviation/airline/travel geek friends doing guest posts here this week. So next up is my social media/avgeek friend Dan Webb. Young Dan attends Bryant University and writes the Things In The Sky blog. He is also one of the hosts of my beloved Airplane Geeks podcast. And last — but not least — he’s an editorial intern at FlightGlobal (I know I should say something snarky about my competitor, but I can’t). Enjoy!
I’ve been blogging about the airline industry for just over three years now. When I started as I was graduating from high school, I had plenty of enthusiasm for the industry but didn’t really know where to find the latest news about the airlines. Since then, I’ve found a few favorite websites that can provide a treasure trove of information – for free!
There are, of course, plenty of wonderful news sources (like Aviation Week or FlightGlobal) that provide the same information. The websites below are best for those who are interested in getting their hands dirty with research.
So, if you’ve an airplane geek like me, you might find some of the websites interesting:
Airline Investor Relations Pages
Investor relations websites are a wonderful source of information, as you’ll often find press release archives, SEC filings, investor presentations, and earnings call replays.
Lately Twitter has become my primary news source, mainly because of the wonderful aviation community there. There are plenty of people sharing interesting news stories, and it’s likely I’ll be interested in what my fellow #avgeeks are discussing. Twitter’s also a wonderful place to discuss the news of the day with those who have an obsession with airlines. Most airlines now have their own Twitter accounts for sharing news as well.
This basic website is simply a compilation of press releases and news stories about the airline business. If you can this place a couple of times a day you’ll easily get caught up with the latest news.
The airline route blog is a simply fantastic resource. The author is constantly scanning airline schedules to find new, adjusted, or cancelled service. The summaries of airlines’ seasonal changes are especially helpful, as it translates airlines’ high-level strategies to individual routes.
While the domestic market was deregulated in 1978, there’s still plenty of red tape in the airline industry, especially on the international side. In many cases airlines might have to apply for the authority to operate service to a foreign destination or to codeshare with a foreign airline. Just search on the site for filings with the Department of Transportation and you’ll find a treasure trove of information.
This website is the Securities and Exchange Commission’s official database for company filings. You’ll often find the same stuff on airline investor relations pages, but I just find EDGAR to be easier and faster to use.