Aviation novels and novelists are rare. Even more rare are aviation novelists who are also corporate pilots and fighter pilots.
AIN’s editors offer their opinions, observations and thoughts on everything aviation.
Bedeviled by political gamesmanship and misfortune, it’s a wonder the FAA gets anything done—never mind accomplishing the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). With the latest transition in FAA leadership, we’ve come full circle to the situation that prevailed when President George W. Bush left office three years ago, with an interim administrator and no reauthorization.
The self-admitted “father” of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is driving another nail in the coffin of his “bastard child.” But this time he has other House chairmen and subcommittee chairmen working with him.
During my journalism career, I’ve interviewed everyone from Bruce Springsteen (back when he could walk down the street unrecognized) to a Ku Klux Klan leader (who was arrested on kidnapping and weapons charges soon after we met). But none of my interviews have been more fascinating than the ones I’ve conducted with prominent bizav users at Business Jet Traveler, AIN’s sister publication.
After sending reporters back and forth from canceled press conference to canceled press conference, the organizers of this month’s Dubai Air Show clearly appeared as frustrated as the press corps by the shifting messages sent by OEMs and their customers at the Middle East’s preeminent aerospace event.
While on my way to work a couple of weeks ago, I stopped at a gas station and filled up my car. As I headed back onto the parkway, the engine started running rough and less than two miles later it shuddered to a stop. Knowing the eight years of wear and tear I had put on the car, I sighed as I called the tow truck, believing the grasp of mechanical old age was finally putting its inevitable squeeze on my car and wallet.
Here we go again. Three years after the bottom dropped out of the economy, and just months after a long, slow and painful climb toward recovery seemed to be producing results, the flooring is starting to feel awfully flimsy again.
I’ve been reading and thinking a lot about the late Steve Jobs. One thing that strikes me is how strange it sounds to precede his name with “the late.” Another is how few people like him are running companies today. I believe the number might be approximately…zero.
Last month I stored the body armor on the top shelf of the closet for the last time, unloaded the gun and put it away, turned in my badge and gave up the donut and free coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts. After 20 years as a part-time county deputy I certainly had doubts about pulling the plug–it’s a mindset, a way of life. The world is composed of sheep, wolves and sheepdogs: I’ve always been a sheepdog.
So often in the course of covering events, journalists hear statements that never make it into published accounts. Space is limited, time is limited, or the comment is peripheral to the rigid formula of news reportage—who, what, where, when and possibly, why.
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