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!
In July, I got to fulfill a lifelong dream — to attend the EAA AirVenture air show in Oshkosh, Wisc. I could have spent a month there and still not have had enough time to see everything. I was walking down one of the main roads when I saw one of the rare Beechcraft Starships. The Starship, a unique 8-seat, rear twin prop business aircraft, was originally designed as the successor to the ubiquitous King Air turboprop. Enjoy!
My love affair with the Douglas DC-3 began the day after I started by communications job at Delta Air Lines back in September 2004. Regular readers know I’m a big aviation geek, and I was thrilled to discover that our offices were a stone’s throw away from the Delta Heritage Museum (a place you MUST visit if you have some spare time in Atlanta).
The Delta Heritage Museum features Ship 41, a lovingly restored DC-3 (right down to the period Life magazines in the seat back pocket). The airplane actually flew until 2004 (unfortunately, right before I arrived).
Jump to July 2011, when I went to EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh. One of the highlights of the show for me was to meet Julie Filucci, the author of a new book, Voices From The DC-3. Julie and I “met” on Facebook, but had never met in person (ah, the joys of social media).
She appeared on Episode 162 of the Airplane Geeks podcast, where she talked about her book and the exhaustive research she did for it. You can find Julie at her blog, the book’s Facebook Fan Page and on Twitter at @JulieInTheSky.
I plan on buying the book for my collection. Be sure and read this great review from our friends over at the Jetwhine blog — and if you’ve read the book, let me know what you think!
I’m still sorting through all my photos from this year’s EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wisc. On Wednesday, July 27, JetBlue flew in a planeload of crewmembers and guests in its “I Love New York” Airbus A320.
It was a rainy day, but I was on the tarmac with Dan Webb — both of us wearing our Embraer rain ponchos — waiting for the plane to arrive. I got the shot below as they were bringing over the air stairs. 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.
So everyone knows I’m a big aviation geek. So 2 weeks ago, I was in Oshkosh, Wisc., for the Experimental Aircraft Association’s EAA AirVenture, the world’s largest air show. You can see my July 29 post on that show here.
While I was there, I had the chance to visit the folks over at GE Aviation, which is making a push into the business aviation side of the house. You can see my Aviation Week blog post on that here. And that’s when it happened.
GE Aviation had a game — Terminal Command — at its booth. Basically, you start by handling airport operations at a municipal terminal. You do tasks including handling passengers, handling luggage, refueling jets, catering and maintenance.
It goes at a nice pace. But then you get responsibility for a domestic terminal, then an international terminal. You try juggling operations at three different terminals — it’s exhilarating and fun. At the end, GE Aviation had a big scoreboard to show off the champs. I was able to hang in there for a while, but there were far too many people who were more organized than me.
So when you have a few spare minutes, or just need to clear your mind, go over to Terminal Command and tap into your inner Joe Patroni!
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 in Oshkosh, Wis., this week for the EAA AirVenture show, so I’m pulling out some best-of. I have 2 soild weeks of travel right now, so I thought I’d do a replay of this post on what I’m carrying in my travel bag. Just for Oshkosh, I’ve added sunscreen and a hat. Enjoy!
I was chatting with a friend this weekend about travel bags and what I carry in mine. I get this question a lot as a frequent flyer, and there are things you’d have to take from my cold, dead hand before I’d leave them on a trip.
I was a Girl Scout from age 7 to 17, and I took that motto — Be Prepared — very seriously. I am the girl you want to travel with, because I’m ready for almost every emergency. I usually carry a SwissGear Laptop Backpack I scored at Sam’s Club for $40. Here’s what I carry in it:
- Laptop computer (or sometimes my Netbook, depending on the trip)
- computer cord and mini mouse
- FujiFilm S800 FinePix camera with 2 sets of 4 Kodak rechargeable AA batteries
- Allegiant Air mouse pad
- 1 4-pack each of AA and AAA batteries
- Battery-operated iPhone/iPod charger (also has USB, cigarette lighter ports)
- Olympic digital audio recorder with hand mike, USB mike and lapel mike
- Bag of plug adapters that cover the world
- Ethernet cord
- Victorinox SwissCard (thanks Bombardier) with nail file, ruler, scissors, toothpick, tweezers and screwdriver (the size of a business card)
- Medicine bag (ibuprofen, lotion, hand sanitizer, Neopsorin, cortizone cream, BandAids, Sudafed, Benadryl, Ricola cough drops and Claratin)
- 4 ink pens (1 with 1GB thumb drive) and 4 reporter notebooks
- 2 1GB thumb drives
- Baby wipes (great as face wipe, tray table/lav clean-up)
- Business cards (work and personal)
- Mini Totes Umbrella
- Belkin 3-outlet, 2 USB port mini surge protector (I’m very popular in airports)
- iPhone 4
- iPod Classic (as a back-up)
- Sharper Image noise-canceling headphones (for flights and editing podcasts)
- Apple iPod recordable headphones (for recording on the run and Skype calls)
- Universal iGo charger for Blackberry and iPods (one unit, different charging tips)
- Flip Video Camera
- Mini camera tripod (scored it for $1 at Dollar Tree)
- Blow-up travel pillow with sleep mask (thanks SITA)
- Chap Stick
- Breath mints
- Bijoux Terner pashima scarf (can be used as wrap, pillow, clothing accessory)
- Sewing Kit
- 4 different sized safety pins
- Snacks (granola bars, nuts, jelly beans and chewy Lemon Heads)
All of this fits comfortably into the back pack, with room to spare. The back pack has venting, so your back doesn’t sweat, and the shoulder straps are wide and comfy, so you don’t feel a strain as you carry it. I’ve had many friends and acquaintances mock me for my bag — until they need something. So — what are the things you must have in your travel bag?