Monday, October 26, 2009

How Can You Lose Amelia Earhart's Bones?

People have been looking for Amelia Earhart, and her plane (and, when they think about it, her navigator, Noonan!) ever since she disappeared. It's one of the great unsolved mysteries.

When her plane/bones whatever are found...then it's time to have the following headline:

Earhart's Final Resting Place Believed Found

Until that time...should this even be a newsstory? (Although, I suppose the cost of the expedition is such that they're looking for sponsors to help underwrite it, and that requires advance publicity.)

Here's a sentence in the article that puzzles me:

"We know that in 1940 British Colonial Service officer Gerald Gallagher recovered a partial skeleton of a castaway on Nikumaroro. Unfortunately, those bones have now been lost," Gillespie said.

How in the world could you lose those bones???? According to Wiipedia (not that that's an unimpleachable source), the Japanese never made it to this island, so why would the bones go missing?

And frankly, why does it take 20 years (the expedition in question has been searching this island off and on for 20 years) to find Earhart. Surely her plane would still be on the island? Or did it crash at sea and she swam for the island?

Heh my curiosity is piqued...

Here's the link for the Tighar website: The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery.

Lighspeed Aviation Zulu Headset Auction

Lightspeed Aviation is one of the sponsors of the documentary, A Pilot's Story, being put together by Wilco Films. They've donated a Zulu headset, which Wilco has put up for auction. All proceeds to go towards defraying some of the cost of the film.

A Zulu headset sells for $ here's your chance to get one for somewhat less than that! (There is a reserve on it.)

Good cause, great product. Check it out!

The auction is on Ebay and there are 2 more days left in it.

The new Zulu headset looks different because it is different. Made with magnesium and stainless steel it's extremely durable and yet weighs just over 13 ounces.

Because of its unique ear cup design, Zulu has more total noise cancellation than any headset on the market. Simply put, you get broader noise attenuation over the entire audible range.

Rather than concentrating purely on cutting decibels, our engineers looked at how pilots perceive noise at different frequencies. Their goal was to make the Zulu feel so much better than any other headset, that when someone put it on, the first words would be "Wow".


ANRActive cancellation over a deep, broad range of low frequency noise. Designed, when worn, to be the quietest headset on ever.

Front Row Center To Enhance StereoFront Row Center (FRC®) gives you a theater-like listening experience, enhancing stereo sound reproduction so that audio seems to come from all around you, not just from your right and left.

Auto MusicMute To Quiet Auxiliary DevicesWhen radio communications come in from the panel, Auto MusicMute decreases the volume of auxiliary devices by 80%. This allows you to enjoy music through your headset without missing any important radio communications.

Stereo/MonoSwitchable to match the signal from your audio panel.

ConnectivityBluetooth Enabled Allows wireless connection to Zulu from Bluetooth phones or other devices.
Cell/Music Connection Wired interface for patching in cell phone, or music devices with supplied cables.

Magnesium CupsDurable yet light weight that also is 10x more effective at blocking out high frequency noise without sacrificing comfort.

Stainless Steel HeadbandLight and comfortable. Thin to eliminate top of canopy clearance problems.

Zulu ConfigurationsZulu: straight cord, battery powered, dual GA plugs
Zulu P: straight cord, installed panel powered, single LEMO plug (same plug a Bose headset uses)
Zulu C: coil cord, battery powered, single U-174 plug
Zulu CP: coil cord, panel powered, single LEMO plug (same plug a Bose headset uses)
Zulu CD: coil cord, battery powered, dual GA plugs

Friday, October 23, 2009

Aviation News Today: October 23, 2009

The latest segment of Aviation News Today has been posted at YouTube.

Here's the blurb:

A quick look at news from Washington and from around the aviation industry for the week ending October 23rd.

From now on, I'll embed the video of each new installment of Aviation News today here.

AOPA Aviation Summit, November 5-7, 2009

The AOPA Aviation Summit is open to all (who pay the entry fee, of course!), and there will be some aviation movies/documentaries to be seen there.

The producers of "A Pilot's Story", Rico Sharqawi & Will Hawkins will be participating in the first-ever AOPA Aviation Summit "GA at the Movies" Luncheon.

To watch trailers of "A Pilot's Story", please visit:

AOPA President and CEO Craig L. Fuller will kick off this exciting event by presenting the Joseph B. "Doc" Hartranft Award and the Laurence P. Sharples Perpetual Award to recognize each winner's contributions to general aviation.

During the three-course lunch, attendees will get a behind-the-scenes look at two aviation movies, "A Pilot's Story" and "Amelia [starring Hilary Swank as Amelia Earhart]." Will & Rico will talk with Mr. Fuller about why they're making the film, what's surprised them about pilots, and the highs and lows of the production process. Then, key contributors from "Amelia" will share their insider perspective on how the freedom and adventure of the legendary aviator's life were captured on the silver screen.

GA at the Movies Luncheon
Friday, November 6
12:00 to 1:30 P.M.
Marriott Grand Ballroom

Purchase tickets online at

See you at Summit!

To watch trailers of "A Pilot's Story", please visit:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Pilot Alphabet named “Best Book” 2009 Finalist

The Pilot Alphabet named “Best Book” 2009 Finalist or call toll-free at 888‑801-6628.

October 20, 2009, Aurora, Colorado – When USA Book News announced the results of its national “Best Books” awards for 2009, Sue Hughes was flying high. The author’s first publication was among the finalists in the national contest’s Children’s Picture Book – Softcover Fiction category. Her book, The Pilot Alphabet, presents the phonetic alphabet, an international standard adapted by pilots as well as military, police, and fire personnel. Also known as the NATO alphabet, it is used for radio communications when a clear understanding is essential. Bravo, for example, is used instead of B, to avoid confusion with D, G, P, or T.

“I envisioned this book for pilots to read to their children and grandchildren, but it’s gone on to have a much wider appeal,” said Hughes, a Denver–based pilot and flight instructor. “The phonetic alphabet is one thing about aviation that even the youngest flyers can learn.” The Pilot Alphabet employs a lyrical, rhyming text to present the 26 terms in an entertaining way, drawing from Hughes’ experience as an elementary school teacher.

The Pilot Alphabet is the first in a series of picture books that features Claire Bear, a pink-clad aviatrix with an ulterior motive: to attract girls to aviation. While most airplane books exclusively target boys, Hughes’ books put a girl in cockpit, providing a role model for girls to relate to. “It also doesn’t hurt for boys to get used to seeing girls in the cockpit,” said Hughes.

On the market less than a year, The Pilot Alphabet is already in its second printing. Hughes credits the bright, whimsical, engaging illustrations in her book for its wide appeal. She contracted with International Illustrators, which matches authors with artists on a world-wide scale. “The minute I saw Wang DaiYu’s work,” Hughes said of her illustrator, a 24-year-old Chinese art student, “I knew it was a perfect match.” Ms. Wang has since illustrated the sequel, Claire Bear’s First Solo, which came out last summer, and is currently working on the third Claire Bear book, What Pilots Fly, due out next Spring.

Winners of the National “Best Books” 2009 Awards were announced by the President and CEO of USA Book News, Jeff Keen, who noted that this year’s contest yielded an unprecedented number of entries from a wide array of U.S. publishers. Hughes’ 32-page book, published by Powder Puff Pilot, was among hundreds of independent houses that competed head-to-head against publishing giants such as Simon & Schuster, Penguin, and McGraw-Hill. A complete list of winners and finalists is available online at

Powder Puff Pilot is an independent publisher and web retailer founded in November 2008 by Sue Hughes of Aurora, Colorado. In addition to the Claire Bear children’s book series, Powder Puff Pilot publishes This Day in Women’s Aviation, a page-a-day calendar that celebrates milestones and events in women’s aviation history. For further information or to order Powder Puff Pilot products, visit or call toll-free at 888‑801-6628.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pretty Pilots in Pink ... For Christmas

A press release from Powder Puff Pilot:

Powder Puff Pilot products are available at as well as about 40 U.S. retailers. For further information or to order, visit the website or call toll-free at 888-801-6628.

October 15, 2009, Aurora, Colorado – Denver-based web retailer Powder Puff Pilot is taking steps to make the airplane cockpit more feminine-friendly. Sue Hughes, owner of the company that specializes in designing and selling products targeted to women pilots, announced her new line of pink aviation headsets. She hopes to attract more women and girls to the cockpit with her line of pilot gear for women, which also includes a pink pilot logbook, pink seat cushions, and aviator sunglasses with pink-tinted lens, to name a few.

Hughes partnered with a leading aviation headset manufacturer for a unique line of FAA-approved headsets with earcups that are bubble-gum pink instead of the usual olive, gray, or black.

"I’m not so naive to think that a pink headset is all it takes to get women to embrace aviation," explained Hughes, a flight instructor herself, "but the more we can accommodate the tastes and proclivities of women, the more welcome they’ll feel in the cockpit." The Powder Puff Pilot headsets, with a pink company logo emblazoned on one of its pink earcups, comes in a Passive Noise Reduction (PNR) model and an Active Noise Reduction (ANR) model, which uses battery power to further reduce unwanted sound.

How many women pilots are there? That depends on whom you ask. According to the International Society of Women Pilots, about 5% of airline pilots worldwide are women—approximately 4,000. Of course, there are plenty of pilots besides those in the airlines.

The Federal Aviation Administration says that in the U.S., as of 2008, women comprised 6% of all pilots. That’s double the percentage of 80 years ago when The Ninety-Nines, an international organization of women pilots, was founded with 99 of the world’s 117 known aviatrixes. Nevertheless, for a variety of reasons, the strides that women have made in most other sectors have not yet translated to aviation.

Another strategy Hughes is using to attract women to aviation is by starting young—appealing particularly to the 3 to 8-year-old crowd—with a series of picture books featuring a pink-clad aviatrix bear.

"Each book in the series features Claire Bear, an aerobatic pilot that I hope girls can relate to. I want them to picture themselves in a cockpit," she said. "Of course, there’s nothing wrong with boys following along with Claire’s exploits, too!"

In the first book, The Pilot Alphabet, Claire teaches readers "Alfa," "Bravo," "Charlie,"” and the rest of the phonetic alphabet that pilots use to communicate on the radio. In the second, Claire Bear’s First Solo, Claire reminisces about the first time she flew by herself, introducing aviation terms such as "centerline," "throttle," and "downwind." Hughes has two more books in the pipeline that will debut in 2010: What Pilots Fly, where Claire describes different types and missions of aircraft, and Claire Bear Flies to Oshkosh, where the barnstorming bear attends the world’s biggest celebration of aviation.

Powder Puff Pilot was founded by Sue Hughes in 2008. In addition to children’s books, Hughes compiled This Day in Women’s Aviation, a page‑a-day calendar now available for 2010.

Visit or call toll-free at 888-801-6628.

Amelia to debut October 20

The biopic of Amelia Earhart, starring Hilary Swank, is having its advance screenings on October 20.

Could there be a poster for this movie that is any more dull? Even the one just showing clouds was more intriguing than this one! And do I have sex on the brain or is it just a little phallic? (The circular engines, with the straight form of Amelia in the center?) How about a full face shot of Amelia at the cockpit of her plane, flying, full of self-confidence?

It's interesting to see that they've decided to name this movie Amelia. Why not Amelia Earhart, for goodness sake?

Better yet, why not some decent title, like "For the Fun of It," or "Straight on til Morning," or something.

Many's the movie that has suffered dreadfully at the box office because it had a lousy title. Take The Honkers, for example. A 1971 rodeo movie... who knew what honkers were? Why not call it Rodeo Cowboys or something more explanatory! The Honkers? Makes you think of geese!

Or, slightly more recent, Ghost Town, starring Ricky Gervais. Great movie, let down by a lousy title.

Well, since everybody, hopefully, knows who Amelia Earhart is, this prosaically named movie will do good business and inspire a few flyers.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

WASP playing cards

For the last few years, the Women's International Air And Space Musuem has produced a set of playing cards featuring women pilots. This year, the entire deck will be devoted to the WASP.

They're taking pre-orders now. Want a great stocking stuffer for Christmas? Get one of these decks for everybody in your family! (The 2008 deck is still available. Great collector's item, too.)

By the way, don't forget to consider making your search engine of choice. You select a charity/non-profit, and each time you do a search, your organization gets a penny.

Okay, that's not very much, but every little bit helps.

So go to, put Women's International Air And Space Musuem into the "Who d you goodsearch for" box, and then, make your searches as normal.

(Or, of course, you can search their list of other charities/non-profits, and choose one of your own. They have hundreds of organizations you can help.)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

first female helicopter pilot in Brunei

Dayang Siti Saffawana Haji Suhaili or fondly known as `Wana' never imagined that her longtime passion would lead her to become BSP's first female pilot and also the first female helicopter pilot in Brunei.

A pretty inspiring story, and a tremendous role model for women.

Read the complete article at: