Revised 2009 Airshow Season Coverage

This is a regular blog post. You can fild show mores and links to show audio in the other posts.

Airspeed has revised its airshow coverage schedule for 2009. Look for Stephen Force strolling the grounds, MP3 recorder and camera in hand and wild look in his eyes at these premier US airshows.

Indianapolis Air Show – 4-7 June (with CAP squadron event appearance Thursday 4 June at Jonathon Byrd’s – 100 Byrd Way, Exit 99 off I-65, Greenwood, Indiana 46142 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.)

Battle Creek Field of Flight Airshow and Balloon Festival – 2-5 July

Thunder Over Michigan 18-19 July 2009 (with Cole and Ella Force)

AirVenture Oshkosh – 30 July – 1 August (with Cole Force, including Podapalooza)

Selfridge ANGB Air Show – 22-23 August 2009 (Volunteering with CAP)

Note that dates are those that Airspeed plans to cover the shows and not necessarily the dates of the shows. Check the show websites for more information.

As ever, with a day job, clients depending on me, and two kids to wrangle, everything’s naturally subject to change, but this is a big part of Airspeed’s gathering of material for the show and a big part of the inspiration that drives both the show and the producer.

Get to your local airshow and take your kids! There’s no better way to ignite imaginations and stoke the fires of science, aviation, poetry, and song that to get your offspring a good snootfull of recently-combusted 100LL and JP-8.

If you make it to one of the above airshows, please keep your eyes out for Stephen Force and introduce yourself! We love meeting listeners!

Gathering of Aviation Podcasters 2009

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These are the show notes to an audio episode. You can listen online right here by clicking:

As many of you know, Airspeed participated in the Gathering of Aviation Podcasters at Sun ‘N Fun last week. Jack Hodgson of Uncontrolled Airspace just provided the audio file that Dave Shallbetter of Sun ‘N Fun Radio was kind enough to capture. Thanks, guys!

This version is unedited and unvarnished. Heck, I’m going to be listening for the first time on my own show. But that’s how we roll here at Airspeed. Enjoy!

Sun ‘N Fun 2009 – Saturday and Sunday

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Ella and I are back from Sun ‘N Fun 2009 and a side trip to Kennedy Space Center. Heck of a good time.

Ella’s least favorite (and one of my most favorite) of the day was the USN F/A-18F Super Hornet East Demo Team, shown above in the Heritage Flight phase of the flight. Sun ‘N Fun is a little easier to photograph because the sun is a bit more behind you and you can shoot to the right from the announcer’s stand and get a much better sun angle than some other venues.

Matt Chapman flew his Eagle 580 to the edges of the envelope again. Really nice low-energy maneuvers and masterful handling of the aircraft. I’m not sure that many of those watching really understand what it takes to do some of the really slow stuff, but I was amazed. Embry-Riddle Eagle 580. Lycoming IO-580 engine, 330hp. 1,300 lbs. 400 degrees/second roll rate. +/- 10 gees. Yeah!

The Uncontrolled Airspace team was in full attendance for two episodes of its show and to run the Gathering of Aviation Podcasters on Friday. Good to see Jack, Jeb, and Dave all in one place!

Ella and I took Sunday and headed over to Kennedy Space Center. She’s not huge into the whole space thing, but, then again, she’s four years old and was a champ about everything. Here she is in the rocket garden just after arriving. There’s a dearth of family rest rooms throughout the center (rough for daddy-daughter pairs trying to navigate the premises), so we rode the fine line between not needing the facilities too often and dehydration.

I have pictures of her with the Saturn V from a January 2006 visit to KSC when she was 13 months old. I took another few of her in roughly the same position at the aft end of the first stage for comparison and I think we’re going to try to keep doing that for years to some. In the meantime. Here’s one of the both of us (which might also develop into a tradition).

Second Day at Sun ‘N Fun

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Day two here at Sun ‘N Fun in Lakeland, Florida. We got up at 4:30 a.m. yesterday to make the flight to Orlando and didn’t get to the hotel until around 10:00, so no blog post yesterday.

But we’re back at a reasonable time tonight, so here are a few views of the day.

Rod Rakic, the mastermind behind, got to hold Sean Tucker’s pole (at least one of them) for one of the ribbon cuts at the show today. Ella and I talked our way up onto the announcer’s stand and shot this picture of the moment. That’s Rod in the orange shirt holding the near pole.

Yesterday, we hit the Splash-In at the Fantasy of Flight museum on the way to Lakepand. We hooked up with Will Hawkins and Rico Sharqawi of Wilco Films and got to help set up for Kermit Weeks’ interview for A Pilot’s Story. Ella was the stand-in for Kermit during the setup phase.

The Viper East Demo Team was there with a single-ship F-16 demonstration. I shot what I could of the demo, but this was the first time I could get really close to the announcer end of the presentation. Here, the major is handling the communications with the aircraft during the demo while the chief did the announcing.

Be sure to join me on the Sun ‘N Fun Radio porch tomorrow right after the airshow (approx. 5:30) for the very first live rendition of Airspeed! I’ll tweet as we get close to airtime. See you there!

Post-Holiday Phase – On with Planning for 2009!

This is a regular blog post. If you’re looking for show notes or links to show audio, please check out the other posts.

New blog header image, first officer gets a tricked-out helmet to go with his STS pressure suit, I finished up the year at the office with a little to spare, and I can finally pull my head out of my butt and start planning in earnest for the coming year of aviation.

As many of you know from following along for the last couple of months, I’ve been pretty grim about the mouth (thanks, Herman Melville!). That’s the way it usually works in my law practice. I slack a little in the first nine months of the year and then face a massive push at the end of the year to get all of my work done. The annual member’s meeting in Chicago and being sick a couple of days in November didn’t help much and I ended up facing (and completing) the biggest December of my career.

But the good news is that I got it all in and, with any luck, I’ll bonus sufficiently to be able to afford some really cool flight activities this year. So, yeah, it’s worth it.

Lots of stuff in the pipeline.

I think I’m going to go get my seaplane rating in April in a PA-12 with Tom Brady at Traverse Air. I had a great time getting my multi with Tom in April 2007 and I think the seaplane rating will be a gas.

I’ll probably start the transition training to fly CAP’s C-182 with the G1000 out of KPTK. That’ll probably begin very soon. Probably a session or two on the ground, then we get into the air.

I might well head down to Griffin to do my recurrent training for the DC-3. If I do, I’ll probably go get some time in the Sky Arrow 600 to the north of Atlanta while I’m down there.

I’ve been invited to C-47 ground school at the Yankee Air Museum in March or April and will likely go do that.

I’ll keep on training with Barry in the Citabria for Aerobatics and additional tailwheel competency. Sutton also has a Super Decathlon on the line that we’re going to go fly soon. It has a smoke system (!) and, although Barry says that doing smoke makes the airplane dirty, I’m going to offer to buy the smoke oil and wash the plane if we can go fly with smoke at some point.

I’m planning to fly my mom somewhere while I’m at Jekyll Island this March. Probably go for a $100 hamburger or something. Should be fun.

I’m planning on five airshows this year, including Sun-N-Fun (Ella’s airshow debut) and Oshkosh. I’m also very excited about adding the Indianapolis Airshow this year. Roger Bishop has some really great plans for Indy and for the time surrounding that show, and I’m going to get him on the sow to do the annual airshow prep episode.

There’s lots more as well. I’m really excited about the upcoming year. I hope you are, too. I’ll see you out at the airport!