Friday, March 24, 2017

Navigating the Far East . . .

. . . at the Baker Aviation Museum.

While snooping around in Brother Baker's hangar earlier today (looking for a 10mm socket) I came across a book of vintage approach plates that, for some unknown reason, was not in a display case.  

USAF Far East Booklet, 1956.

Now close your eyes and imagine . . . You are tracking outbound on the 138 degree bearing from Waglan Island NDB, with a thirty-five knot crosswind . . . Typhoon Martha is 100 miles east of Hong Kong . . .

Kai Tak, Kowloon, (Hong Kong) China.

Too bad the ice cream machine at Wake Island was out of service.

Wake Island

Back cover.

Now on display . . .

A few of Brian "Poppa B" Baker's models.  Folks he's built more than 1,200, give or take a few hundred, mostly 1/72 scale.  

Saturday, March 18, 2017


[suh k-ses]


1.  the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishment of one's goals.

2.  the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like.

3.  "getting up, and showing up." - Toni Wysong 

Followers of Jellystone Air Park know I like to ask the people I fly with what got them started in the flying business.  For many, it was just something they always wanted to do, for others, it was the family business---Grandpa flew in the war; Mom and Dad were pilots; so they became pilots.  For more than a few of my colleagues flying was not their first choice of careers.  Two gentlemen wanted to be doctors, but medical school, for whatever reason, was not in the cards.  One guy wanted desperately to play college football, but a knee injury during his senior year of high school squashed that dream.  His "next best" option was an appointment to the United States Naval Academy, and subsequent flight training.  That was an interesting conversation.  I desperately wanted to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, but got "sidetracked" by a football scholarship at Appalachian State University.

Landing a flying job is not easy.  There are no "pilot apprentice" positions in the US aviation industry.  You have to have the certificate before you can apply for the job. And that requires training---and time, and dedication, and nowadays, boatloads of money (taxpayer money if you are fortunate enough to learn to fly in the military.)  For women, and other minorities, not knowing the job is open to them too is a major obstacle.  But all of that is changing. . .

Be nice to your co-pilot, one day she may be your chief pilot.

My friend and colleague, Toni Wysong, is a 767 pilot based in Atlanta, Georgia.  She is also one of our chief pilots.  Before the siren call of the wide-body fleet she was a MD-88 First Officer grinding it out on the New York-Boston-Washington, D. C. shuttle, with yours truly.  When I asked if there were other pilots in the family, Tony, who is a very funny lady, said:  "My grandfather was a pilot in the Royal Air Force, we are the two black sheep in the family."  After I stopped laughing, I asked if she had had been in the RAF too.  She said:  "No, I started my career as a flight attendant at United Airlines.  It's a long story."

And inspiring!  See it all in living color here:  TEDxCentennialParkWomen.

Then one day, out of the blue. . .

Toni received a letter.

Click on image to enlarge.

Click on image to enlarge.

Sir Thomas Pike