2 episodes

Aviation buzz and bold opinion

Podcast – Jetwhin‪e‬ Unknown

    • Business
    • 3.5 • 2 Ratings

Aviation buzz and bold opinion

    A Unique Around-the-World Journey Heads East

    A Unique Around-the-World Journey Heads East

    A Unique Around-the-World Journey Heads East

    As you read this story, Mason Andrews should be winging his way eastward out of Italy toward Croatia while sitting in the left seat of his dad’s Piper Lance (a link to the full podcast is at the bottom of this story).

    Andrews was one very lucky young man when he asked his dad to borrow the airplane for a trip and received a thumbs up. OK, that’s not completely accurate unless you understand the context, that the senior Andrews did actually express a few reservations when young Mason mentioned the length of the trip … around the world.

    And yes, his dad definitely raised an eyebrow when Mason told him he wanted to make the trip alone. Mason Andrews, a newly minted instrument pilot and Louisiana Tech student just recently turned 18.

    When Mason Andrews completes his round-the-world trip, he should become the youngest person to complete a global trip solo. Mason wasn’t making the trip to become famous, although he likely will. The trip was actually designed to raise money for MedCamps of Louisiana to fund summer camp for kids with special needs, a summer event where Andrews also serves as a counselor.

    About the Aircraft

    The Piper Lance Mason will fly has been modified to carry enough fuel for legs as long as 18 hours. The Lance cruises at about 140 knots burning 13.5 gallons per hour. The first leg of the flight began last week from Republic Field on Long Island NY. The first leg took him from Republic to St. Johns Newfoundland. Mason’s flight plan includes a stop at Paris LeBourget, site of Charles Lindbergh’s arrival following his record-setting solo flight in 1927. Mason Andrews said he believes the flight’s biggest challenge will be “weather.” The Lance is much better equipped to keep him informed of the weather than Lindbergh could have ever imagined.

    My EAA Radio co-host Amy Laboda and I managed to convince Mason to join us for an interview last week during our regularly scheduled “Attitude Adjustment,” show at AirVenture 2018.

    One of the first things Mason mentioned the day I met him was that he was still celebrating the two-year anniversary of his first solo as a student pilot from Monticello Airport (LLQ) in Arkansas.

    I think you’ll find Mason’s story worthy of 10 minutes of your time. Click here to give it a listen. You can also follow Mason’s journey on Facebook.

    If you enjoyed Mason Andrews’s story, brought to you by Jetwhine.com, in collaboration with EAA Radio, we invite you to subscribe to Jetwhine.com. It’s free. You can also follow Jetwhine on Twitter @jetwhine and EAA Radio @eaaradio. Enjoy.

    Rob Mark, Publisher

    Can Airports Help Revive the Aviation Industry?

    Can Airports Help Revive the Aviation Industry?

    Can Airports Help Revive the Aviation Industry?

    Dear Reader / Listeners – You now have the option to listen to The Aviation Minute podcast or just read the script of the show below. If you receive Jetwhine via e-mail, you can click here to listen as well.

    If you’re not yet a subscriber to The Aviation Minute, Click Here to sign up … it’s free.


    I knew we had a lot of landing areas here in the United States … but 19,315 according to the FAA? Wow. That number is of course broken down into traditional airports, heliports, seaplane bases.

    No matter what you call them or what they look like, they all have one thing in common. They represent a place where airplanes, helicopters and seaplanes come home to roost from time to time.

    Some of those airports represent much more of an opportunity to me than simply as landing areas though.

    The aviation industry is still suffering from an economic recession of sorts.

    In the early 1980s, we produced 15,000 piston aircraft. Last year we produced 1,328. In the 1990s we had over 700,000 pilots on the FAA register. Today that numbers in the high 500,000s.

    Student pilot starts are down from the old days too with nearly 7 in 10 students quitting long before they ever earn a pilot certificate. Aircraft maintenance technician numbers have been flat since 1990, which equates to zero growth. Worst of all, 75% of the AMTs today are over the age of 50.

    As an industry, our ship has been taking on water for sometime despite a number of conscientious initiatives to increase the pilot, mechanic and airplane supply, most of which haven’t moved the needle much.

    If we don’t figure out a way to start bringing new blood into the industry soon, there won’t be enough people to fly the airplanes we build, or fix them, or service them at those thousands of U.S. airports.

    The question is how to fix the problem we all know about, but that many people still seem to believe is someone else’s problem?

    Rather than another national initiative, what if we focused our triage efforts locally … at our neighborhood airport? When people think of learning to fly, they go to the airport. If they want to buy a plane they often visit the airport first. When they need one fixed, or they want a hangar, they head to the airport.

    This is where I think airport managers can help. Traditionally, they focus on keeping the airport alive with solid pavement, newly mown grass and runway lights that work … all very necessary tasks. But marketing the industry is not something airport people normally think about.

    But what if airport managers started thinking a bit more about marketing, I think they might just transform their airport into a local industry beacon of sorts, one that encourages people to learn to fly, or become involved in any of a half dozen other careers within the industry?

    I’m not asking airport managers to fix the industry’s personnel woes all alone, just help coordinate local efforts with the airport tenants whose companies need the boost as much as the industry. Imagine organizing a couple of career days, or a Young Eagles Rally or two to stimulate interest.

    What about an airport Facebook page or a blog to tell the local community about the value of the airport, one that regularly posts photos or stories gathered from airport tenants? Before you know it we might even convince the community around our airports to ignore those 8-foot barbed wire fences and stop in for a visit.

    I think airport managers are up to the challenge of coordinating the local marketing efforts for our industry. We’ll talk more about the actual tactics in another episode too.

    And for those naysayers who are already saying that will never work … tell me what you’d suggest instead because I haven’t seen much working lately.

    If we don’t all start realizing that fixing

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