Tag Archives: Blue Angels




The greatest aviation extravaganza on earth has come to an end but before it concluded, Ace Abbott and Peter Buffington got to rub elbows with the current aviation icon, “Sully” Sullenberger. The photo-op session was followed by a brief chat and Sully revealed that he is even cooler in person than he is on TV. A calm placid demeanor emanates from him and he exudes a quiet confidence that is part of having “the right stuff.” Sully’s ongoing work with the enhancement of aviation safety is very important to the aviation world. When he speaks, people listen, as they did when he stood in front of the Aviation Congressional Sub-committee three years ago and very emphatically stated that increased pilot salaries were necessary to attract the best quality people into the cockpit of commercial airliners.

The EAA AirVenture once again proved to be an exciting venue for anyone remotely interested in aviation. Although the Thunderbirds or the Blue Angels were not allowed to perform—local area residential safety considerations—the Blue Angels had one of their pilots and aircraft available for the masses to ogle over. The Air Force had an F-16 on static display that also provided the hordes of aviation aficionados with ear-shattering fly-bys and spectacular aerial demonstrations. The many hangars were filled with aviation paraphernalia and bags of “swag” were being toted by most of the attendees. A nice review of the event is available if you click on the following link: http://airventure.org/live/.


Meanwhile, in the continuing saga of commercial aviation chaos we will take a look at just a few of these bizarre scenarios:

An Alaska Airlines passenger may face charges after police say he launched into an expletive-laced tirade against a fellow flier who declined to turn off her reading light.

The incident happened early Saturday morning on an overnight Alaska Airlines flight from Honolulu to Bellingham, Wash. Washington State Patrol spokesman Keith Leary tells The Bellingham Herald the passenger – a 50-year-old man from Tacoma whom police did not identify – apparently became upset when a woman seated in front of him refused to turn off her overhead reading light.

Police tell the Herald the man then went to talk to the flight attendants to demand that the woman’s reading light be turned off. When the attendants told the man that the woman was entitled to keep the light on, he flew into a rage, Leary tells the Herald.

Leary tells the Herald the man is accused of shouting expletives at both the woman and others on the plane. He also threatened to annoy the woman for the duration of the flight by hitting the back of her seat over and over again, a ccording to

Other than the threat of being a nuisance, however, Leary says the man apparently didn’t make any other explicit threats against passengers or the flight. “(B)ut he did drop a few F-bombs,” the Herald adds.

The man, who was traveling with his adult son and daughter, was met at Bellingham International by five sheriff’s deputies, according to the Herald. He was questioned and allowed to continue on to his home in Tacoma

For additional lunacy please read the following account of chaos in the clouds:

A man was kicked off of a Spirit Airlines plane at O’Hare International Airport
in Chicago after getting into an altercation over his wardrobe with a flight attendant.

CBS Chicago reports that the man and a female companion were boarding a flight fromO’Hare to Orlando, Fla., over the weekend when an attendant asked him to pull up his saggy pants.

According to a Spirit Airlines spokeswoman, the man became “verbally abusive” andthreatened physical harm after he was told that his pants were “excessively low”as they were hanging below his buttocks. The airline requires passengers to wear”adequate” clothing in its code.

There is more!

Camera In Air Sickness Bag Causes Airplane Scare

Last night, a United Airlines flight from Newark, headed to Geneva Switzerland, was diverted to Boston’s Logan Airport when a suspicious item was found in a seatback pocket. Fighter jets were summoned to help escort the plane to Logan-but it turned out that the suspicious item, inside an air sickness bag, was a… camera.
So, is this better or worse than a flight being diverted due to a cellphone chargingin a bathroom? Or a game of backgammon?

The camera was found in an unbooked seat, and the flight was diverted “out of an abundance of caution,” according to the TSA. NORAD confirmed that “two F-15 fighterjets were scrambled to intercept the flight at about 9:00 p.m. Eastern, shortly after it departed from Newark,” saying, “The fighters were scrambled, then interceptedand shadowed the aircraft.”

Now that we have taken the meaning of overreact to its highest level, would you care for a nice chicken salad sandwich?

Another sewing needle has turned up in a passenger’s airline meal, this time on
a Monday night Air Canada flight from Victoria, British Columbia, to Toronto.
(The previous italicized anecdotes are excerpts from the Curt Lewis & Associates newsletter).

This blog is prepared by Ace Abbott, the author of The Rogue Aviator and Dead Tired




All roads— and many airways— lead to Oshkosh, Wisconsin where the greatest aviation show on earth is in full swing. The EAA AirVenture is an experience that no attendee will ever regret or forget. If you are not there now, start making travel plans. One need not be an aviation aficionado to enjoy the biggest and best air show in the world. I have been to Sun ‘N Fun in Lakeland Florida and it was kind of like the county fair in Central Illinois compared to EAA AirVenture at Oshkosh. Furthermore I have been to the Paris Air Show—at Farnborough, England (the alternating site)—and that event pales in comparision to Oshkosh.

If you have not been there, immediately Google EAA Air Venture and you will be provided with a good overview of this fabulous gathering of aviation—and non-pilot-people as well—soaking up more airplane encounters than is barely imaginable. There are numerous webcams on site which provide a current view of the festivities. The static displays of aircraft alone, is worth the price of admission. Expect to see: numerous military aircraft such as the C-5A, the F-16, an array of helicopters; antique airplanes such as the old Ford Tri-Motor, gussied-up DC-6s, P-51 Mustangs, and of course, the fabulous “Douglas Racer/ Gooney Bird/DC-3 (still operational throughout the world, particularly in Latin America and the Caribbean). You will have the opportunity to get up close to a Blue Angel aircraft and its pilot at a static display—a great photo-op scenario.

The many hangars are filled with aviation-oriented products that will amaze and entice. Every form of aviation paraphernalia imaginable can be purchased. Last year I took a simulator flight in the ICON amphibian aircraft and I could have ponied up a few thousand dollars for a “purchaser’s slot.” If you did not bring your platinum American express or MasterCard, fret not, for you shall be able to accumulate bags and bags of vendor, give-away “swag.” One could spend the entire week perusing the cool aviation products. It is the ultimate cornucopia of pilot goodies.


If you are mechanic of any sorts there are more seminars than you can attend relating to many aspects of aircraft building and repair. When you leave the highly informative seminar you can go outside and watch one of the many aerobatic events that will leave the average viewer slack-jawed in awe. Some of the maneuvers that are performed by these world class aerobatic pilots seem to defy all elements of physics. Many of the basic tenets of aerodynamics such as angle of attack, stall, lift, drag, yaw, and gravity appear to be defied.

For a more sedate experience, The Warehouse, (adjacent to the control tower) will provide a wide variety of souvenir items but more importantly, you can access author’s corner where nearly every aviation book ever published is available for purchase. You can also interact with some of these authors as they provide signed copies of their book along with free “hangar-talk.” Ace Abbott (yours truly) will be in attendance for the third straight year selling and signing his book, the third edition of The Rogue Aviator: in the back alleys of aviation, as well as his just released book, Dead Tired: Pilot Fatigue: Aviation’s Insidious Killer. Aviation literature can provide the surreptitious joys of aviation while sitting in the recliner.

This blog is prepared by Ace Abbott, the author of The Rogue Aviator and Dead Tired (www.therogueaviator.com)

Hire An Ex-GI

Would you consider hiring this “steely -eyed killer?”  Yes, that was one of the monikers for us wannabee fighter pilots during flight training. They then brainwashed us with another catch-phrase, “If you ain’t a fighter pilot, you ain’t shit.” Thus and therefore we had pilots standing in line to become “Wild Weasel” pilots whose mission was to effectively fly down the gun barrel of North Vietnam SAM (surface-to-air) missile sites. The bright side of all this will be extrapolated on as you read the following excerpt from my book, The Rogue Aviator. (this statement was the finale’ for when I left the Air Force)  Also, despite his roguish nature, 25 civilian employers hired the guy in the Dress Blues.

 An excerpt from page 56 of THE ROGUE AVIATOR

“The quality of people that Ace worked with, measured in terms of accountability, responsibility, ethics, and integrity, was at an infinitely higher level than that of the civilian world norm. It is very clear to military personnel that they are an integral part of the whole, and this perspective will usually result in people who will dedicate themselves to the highest level possible job-performance. The flight lead of the Thunderbirds or the Blue Angels, for instance, does not have the option of going half speed or being lackadaisical during his group’s aerial demonstration. He must be totally prepared and committed. When hiring, most employers will wisely give the ex-military person the nod over those who have not served in the military.  The unfortunate other side of the coin is that government bungling and Pentagon malfeasance have resulted, particularly in the last 50 years, in far too many dedicated military people dying unnecessarily.

As the Iraq and Afghanistan vets return to their homes they are finding it difficult to gain employment. After all of the flag flying and “support our troops” rhetoric it is now time for all employers everywhere to stand up and be counted. SEEK OUT AND HIRE AN EX-MILITARY PERSON!