Sunday, July 01, 2012

Delaware: Students experience flight, explore career; Summer program offers instruction in aviation topics

CHESWOLD — When he was in the air, Chiebuka Emeinke, 15, tried to look down and find his house. 

The Dover High School student flew for the first time Saturday in a Piper Warrior airplane. A pilot was at the controls, but the student was given instruction on what it takes to fly and had a chance to get a feel for the controls.

“I felt some butterflies in my stomach,” he said. “It was amazing.”

Emeinke was one of about 30 students who are taking part in a summer camp at Delaware Airpark that aims to encourage youngsters to think about careers in aviation. The Aviation Career Education Academy is one of 20 offered across the country by the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals.

On Friday, students at the weeklong camp got a chance to fly. The day was just part of the instruction. They also heard from National Guard pilots and other speakers. Participants in the camp also have gone on field trips and received assistance from the Delaware State University flight training program run by Steve Speed.

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Arlington Fly-In July 11-15: Arlington Municipal Airport (KAWO), Washington

When: July 11-15. The main gate will be open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. July 11-12, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. July 13-14 and 8 a.m.-2 p.m. July 15.

Where: Arlington Airport, Arlington

What: This annual event is a mix of flying and driving machines. There will be air shows, guest speakers, festivities and more.

Air show: Performances will be 2-5 p.m. July 12-14. Among the performers will be aerobatic pilots Ken Fowler, Eric Hansen and Vicki Benzing; John Mrzaek flying his Harvard Mark IV; glider pilot Paul Hajduk; and Hans von der Hofen, who is know for importing Czech Aero L-29 and L-39s into the United States

Airplane highlights: This year’s show will include a 75th anniversary of the Piper Cub airplane; a collection of planes on display from the Flying Heritage Collection, based at Paine Field in Everett; an appearance by a 1933 Stinson Model O; and there will be a hot air balloon night glow on July 14. Visitors also can take a ride onboard a 1930 D-25 biplane or the World War II B-17 heavy bomber Sentimental Journey. The cost of those rides is in addition to the admission price.

Other events: There will be an expanded car show on July 14. Visitors will have the chance to board a Vietnam era river patrol boat. There will be displays of military vehicles and a demonstration by a tank.

Tickets: Admission is $15 on July 11, $18 July 12-14 and free on July 15. Children 15 and younger are admitted free. Online discounts are available. A weekly pass is $40.

Information: Go to

Pilots focus on mountain training

ASHEVILLE — Civil Air Patrol pilots doublechecked their equipment before takeoff during the annual Mountain Fury Pilot Training on Saturday. The five planes used during the training exercise were painted red, white and blue. 

“It’s a great refresher for mountain flying,” pilot Bill Hawke of Winston-Salem said. “We get the feel of it again.”

Challenges to flying in the mountains include the winds. Observer Rich Auger of Asheville said the heat also can be a challenge.

“An airplane doesn’t fly so well when it’s hot,” Auger said. “Air gets thinner. The airplane doesn’t perform as well.”

Capt. Clint Parker, spokesman for the Asheville Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol, said about 15 pilots took part in the training, which started Friday and was scheduled to conclude today.

Parker said the Civil Air Patrol’s mission includes aerospace education, search and rescue, and disaster relief. Nationwide, Civil Air Patrol squadrons helped find 58 people in 2011 — mostly in downed aircraft. Parker said in North Carolina, the CAP has participated in 10 to 12 search-and-rescue operations. Parker added that the pilots also have assisted with disaster relief and have helped to determine the extent of damage during disasters, which they did during Hurricane Katrina and following the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Burnett County (KRZN), Siren, Wisconsin: Fly-in to show value of airport to community

SIREN—The annual fly-in at the Burnett County Airport on July 21, according to Jeremy Sickler, is meant to show what an asset the airport is to the county.

Sickler, airport manager, made his comments to the county’s infrastructure committee last week.

“Even though it’s called a fly-in, we want people to feel comfortable driving in — the public is more than welcome,” he said.

He said a new club at the airport has raised about $4,000 for the fly-in.

“The newly-formed Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) is attempting to bring in new attractions such as vintage military aircraft and vehicles,” Sickler explained.

In addition, committee chairman Chuck Awe said the sheriff’s department will have its evidence trailer and a SWAT vehicle at the airport plus the Webster Fire Department will have its ladder truck on scene.

“We are trying to get stuff out there so we can draw people to the airport to show it’s an asset,” he reasoned.

Wisconsin State Patrol maintains aerial program

Agency: Flights to nab speeders, improve safety worth cost 

MADISON — Tight state finances haven’t clipped the wings of the Wisconsin State Patrol. 

This year, a decade after state budget cuts temporarily grounded aerial patrols, officers are up in the air clocking speeders.

In 2011, as the state wrestled to balance a $3.6 billion deficit, the State Patrol spent about $54,000 flying the planes, Gannett Wisconsin Media found in reviewing the program.

State Patrol officials defend the flights as an important part of making roads safe. In March, the agency announced it was stepping up aerial enforcement in construction zones, which many motorists will contend with this week on Fourth of July getaways.

“It’s one of those things that nobody would ever realize how vital the program is until it’s gone,” said Maj. Brian Rahn, director of the State Patrol’s Bureau of Field Operations.

Last year, the State Patrol flew its three planes for a total of 453 hours at a cost of $120 an hour, not including ground expenses in speeding enforcement stings that can involve up to eight squad cars, Rahn said.

For the past several years, the agency has not closely tracked the number of speeding citations issued during aerial patrols, he said.

But at the height of the flights in 2000, the state had four planes that flew for more than 600 hours. Officers wrote 4,681 tickets, or about seven per hour, according to an unofficial count provided by pilots for the State Patrol’s annual report that year.

Based on the 2011 costs and the 2000 ticket-writing pace, it’s possible the agency caught some 3,200 speeders last year.

John Bowman, communications director for the National Motorists Association, a group that encourages drivers to fight speeding tickets in court, questioned the Wisconsin program’s cost and effectiveness.

“Common sense would tell you … that it has to be incredibly expensive compared to having a couple of patrol cars working the side of the road,” Bowman said. “Fuel costs, the cost to operate the plane, insurance, you have to have a qualified pilot flying, none of that is cheap.”

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