Friday, September 28, 2007

Getting the website homepage up to date

Things have been so busy in UCAP-land lately, that there's been barely enough time to get out the audio for the episodes. I've had to push the home page updating to a back burner.

The show notes are there. If you use the RSS feed, you can click the link there. Or just edit the URL from a previous show, and you'll find them.

I'll be getting things caught up real soon now.

Thanks for your patience.

UCAP#48 Behind the Mic

Just posted UCAP #48.

Once again, we were trying some new things with the phone connections. The first 10 mins were a little rocky, but it settled down after that.

For extra credit, can you hear the two spots we had to re-record later, due to the really bad connection?

What happened was, we had three people in Atlanta sitting together. One on Skype, and two on cell phones. But the fact that each of their voices was being picked up by more than one mic was introducing really odd echoes, because each of their connections was slightly out of sync time-wise.

When we paused, and had everyone spread out (we edited out that part), things got much better.

It's a good episode, and we were happy to have Bolen and Poberezny join us.


Friday, September 21, 2007

Another worm turns

Looks like Jacksonville may come to what's left of its senses:

September 18 2007 - Chalk up another positive development for Jacksonville, Florida-area EAAers and homebuilt aviation enthusiasts. The city’s Land Use & Zoning committee voted 5-1 in support of City Bill 955, which would repeal the city ordinance that prohibits parking, storing, repairing, and operating flying craft and airboats in residential districts.
Again, more from the EAA...


U.S. House: No user fees


September 20, 2007 - The legislation endorsed by EAA and the rest of the general aviation community to fund the FAA - HR 2881 - was approved by the House of Representatives Thursday afternoon on a 267-151 vote, setting the stage for a crucial conference debate with whatever legislation comes out of the Senate. That bill (S-1300) introduces user fees, which GA steadfastly opposes, while HR 2881 preserves GA-preferred and time-tested excise taxes as the funding mechanism for the system.
More from EAA...


Friday, September 14, 2007

Farewell, Madam Administrator...see you soon, we're sure...

Marion Blakey ended her five-year tenure at FAA Thursday...

Since she's only leaving public service at a federal agency and not completely leaving aviation -- in fact, she's not even leaving The Beltway, as most by now should know -- it seemed worthwhile to post the final comments she sent to FAA staff on her final day.

As she prepares to take over the reigns at the Aerospace Industries Association in November we want to wish her well in her new, considerably more lucrative post. She's paid her dues, no way around it. Past disagreements were never personal -- perspective differences, perhaps. Few FAA administrators can claim to have put the energy and patience into their tenures.

Interestingly, it's worth noting that Blakey's last week at FAA brought about a level of public awareness and media attention more on par with an administrator in the midst of an air disaster or near-disaster relative to the attention most administrators engender on their way out of 800 Independence. Her parting advisories to the airline and general-aviation communities at the an aviation-club luncheon Tuesday provided a blend of surprising, awing and not-again moments -- again, of which much has already been made. It only hit me just how widespread the attention was to her luncheon comments on airlines reigning in their scheduling abuses -- before the FAA does -- and the need for G.A. to pay a higher share until I heard her distinct Southern voice giving few minutes to National Public Radio Thursday.

But, I came to snitch on the administrator, not to praise her or rehash what's been widely reported. She had something to say before she left and here it is:


Dear Colleagues:

It’s hard to believe my five-year tenure as FAA Administrator has come to an end. It has been quite a run, and I wanted to share a few thoughts with all of you as I depart. When I first came to the agency, I began meeting employees who had been with the agency 30 and 40 years, some even 50. Others were second-generation FAA, some even third, and that level of commitment to this agency struck me at the time as unusual. Now, I still see it as remarkable, but I understand it completely.

The work the FAA does involves tremendous day-to-day challenges – but at the same time it gives us as employees a unique chance to support a cause that is bigger than ourselves. These are two key ingredients of a meaningful career, and that makes the FAA a very tough act to follow. I have been blessed with many interesting, rewarding jobs in my life, but when I look back I doubt any will ever compare to my time here at the FAA.

For me, it has been time very well spent. Together we have helped deliver the safest period in aviation history, expanded our presence and advanced safety around the globe, run the FAA on a more effective, business-like basis, and firmly put us on course to the Next Generation Air Transportation System.

My role these past five years has been small compared to the job that so many thousands of you did — day in and day out, around the country and around the world. You have helped build and maintain the safest aviation system in the world, and I am extremely proud to have been associated with that effort.

These past five years have been filled with many challenges, but I leave with a deep satisfaction in the work we have done together. Like FAA employees have always done, you came through like champions. You are a very special group of dedicated public servants, and I will never forget the time I spent among you.

Marion C. Blakey


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Cheap Wings...Not Luxurious, but airworthy...

Bringing this up for a couple of reasons: First, to answer the challenging assertions that there's no inexpensive way into flying; second, to show what's out there to get you started...

So, after a recent swing through no less an authority than the Trade-A-Plane Third Issue July 2007 -- the one handed out at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh -- I quickly found about a dozen birds from a cross section of two- and four-place machines priced from $40K, down...

All were at least 30 years old...most were older. Some were classic tailwheel birds suitable mostly for low-and-slow cruising; some were IFR and cross-country capable. Eight were under $30K, one was under $20K. None were showpieces, none were what we'd call fast for airplanes.

Nope, not a Cirrus or Columbia, nor even a highly modernized version of a Skyhawk, Arrow or Bonanza...

But the larger, newer, nicer ones would get you up the airways at 110, 115 knots carrying two to four and a little to moderate luggage, VFR and IFR...And all would make decent investments if (a) flown regularly (b) maintained appropriately and (c) upgraded appropriately...

And they would fly whenever and wherever you might want to fly at a livable cost level...

Just add the will to fly, a smaller financial commitment and stir...

Friday, September 07, 2007

What happened to UCAP#45???

It was delayed.

I could make all sorts of excuses, but as Amy says, it's like her kids coming up with stories for being late with their homework.

But finally it is done! Your podcatcher should have downloaded it by now, and the shownotes are here.

Leave your feedback about this episode as comments to this blog post.