Monday, June 25, 2012

Hendricks County Aviation: Adventuress Leslie Bailey flies an airplane - Hendricks County Airport-Gordon Graham Field (2R2), Indianapolis, Indiana

Written by Leslie Bailey, Star correspondent 

Over the hum of the plane engine, I can hear Richard Stevens' voice through my headset loud and clear: "We've gone through the checklist, and you're ready for takeoff."

Stevens, 65, Indianapolis, is my instructor for my first flight school lesson at Hendricks County Aviation.

I sit motionless for a moment before realizing that Stevens is telling me that the plane is ready to fly and I'm the one who will be responsible for getting it into the air.

Less than an hour earlier, I didn't know the difference between a flap and an aileron, and now this man wants me to lift a 2,500-pound Cessna 172 SP off the ground?

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Plane spotting, the new fad among Japanese women

Years after women Japanese train spotters were given the nickname “Tetsuko,” which loosely translates as rail girl, officials of Narita airport and nearby Narita city recently coined the word “Sorami” — air girl — to describe members of Japan’s growing band of women plane spotters.
Just as a Tetsuko would crisscross the nation to photograph different trains, so a Sorami such as Ayumi Fukuda, a 34-year-old public servant from Takaishi, Osaka Prefecture, travels from Hokkaido in the north to Okinawa in the south to capture images of airplanes.

In May she was one of 27 participants in an event organized for Sorami in Narita, Chiba Prefecture.

“I don’t understand why airplanes can fly, and that’s why I’m attracted to them,” said Fukuda, a plane spotter of five years. The event was organized by “Narita Kuentai,” a group consisting of employees of the Narita municipal government and of Narita airport that works for the development of the local community.

After gathering at a hotel in the city, the participants, mostly in their 20s and 30s, were given a tour of a park close to the airport and taken to a Japan Airlines hangar to photograph planes.

“It’s huge!” “Beautiful!” the assembled Sorami exclaimed as they entered the hangar and set eyes on JAL’s Boeing 787, the state-of-the-art passenger jet nicknamed Dreamliner. Some lay on the ground to photograph the plane from a certain angle, while others posed in front of the jet for photos with mechanics, who were acting as tour guides.

Millville, New Jersey: Boeing facility at milestone with helicopter

MILLVILLE — The 100th CH-47F to enter the work line at the Boeing Company helicopter modification center here now is ready for its first assignment with the U.S. Army, although no one was saying where that might be. 

Boeing held a rare public event at its municipal airport facility Friday morning to mark the moment. The facility has been open only since February 2010.

Its opening gave a badly needed lift to the economic outlook for the city and for the city’s airport operator, Delaware River Bay Authority.

The center employs 50 people and leases a major industrial space at a facility that still mourns the loss of Dallas Airmotive’s plant.

The twin-rotor cargo and troop transport helicopter is in heavy demand worldwide, with multiple nations, and particularly in Afghanistan. The Chinooks passing through Millville, though, are only for United States Army use.

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