Blog Archives

Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)


“For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”

Statement released by the Armstrong family

I feel quite remiss in not mentioning some of the biggest–and saddest–news to come from the science and aviation worlds this past week.  Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on another world, has passed away due to complications from cardiac surgery.  The man was a hero to many people around the world and across generations; his historic journey happened nearly fifteen years before I was born, but he instantly found himself among my pantheon when I learned who he was and what he did.  To this day, I credit his story for my desire to fly, to discover, and to understand the universe around us.

I think my tardiness in this number has been due to a want to make a “proper” eulogy for someone who was monumentally important not only to me, but to human history.  However, from what I know of Mr. Armstrong, he was not a man of fanfare. Armstrong was a uniquely humble man, and wanted only to lead by example; a larger-than-life hero who was more down-to-earth than his achievements would insinuate.  Besides, I think Luna herself provided the most fitting tribute to the first human to visit her:

Neil Alden Armstrong passed away August 25 and was laid to rest on August 31, the night of the second full moon of the month.

Farewell, Mr. Armstrong, and godspeed. #WinkAtTheMoon

TSA: Grope & Pillage (An Infographic)


TSA Waste

This pretty much says all.

Afterburn 1×01: The Pilot Episode


Here is the (not so) long-lost pilot episode of Afterburn, uploaded with pictures for your enjoyment!  As always, do us a solid and comment, rate, like, follow and/or subscribe!  Much appreciated!

In this episode of Afterburn, Drake imbibes alcohol, Hammy’s dad flies a B-1, and Atari still doesn’t have a job.

Check out more at http://afterburn.podbean.com/

Afterburn 2×02: Tusken Raiders Ride Zombie Ponies On A Battleship


To me, the image is really funny…I just picture them on horseback with their scimitar swords and their man dresses on…on a ship, out in the water.

Hammy, Afterburn

Today’s episode of Afterburn analyses Iran’s naval power (as well as the merits of Tusken Raiders having a navy).  In addition, Hammy and Drake argue about guns and whether helicopters or aeroplanes are better.  Meanwhile, special guest Blue reviews AMC’s orginal series The Walking Dead and Atari recounts an encounter he had in LA traffic.

Opening theme by Wixor.

Closing music by Jonathan Mann.

View on YouTube

Listen/Subscribe at Podbean

Creativity Juice


So, Drake, Hammy, and I–on a lark–started a new podcast last night. Entitled Afterburn, so far it’s a humorous look at aviation news while we rant about various topics and whatever happens to come to mind. Think Top Gear meets Diggnation but about planes and helicopters instead of cars.

I came to an all-too-important realization today while I was trying to write up bios for each of us, and that was that I should always do my word processing in a local file before typing directly into a browser window. Yes, internet common sense, I know, but I was running on some 3 hours of sleep, nursing a hangover, and fueled more by mania than anything else. That being said, I’m typing into a TextEdit window now before I do all the nifty formatting things in the WordPress publisher.

I’ve been on a little bit of a creative kick as of late–doing various projects that seem to satisfy that little creative spark I get every so often. Sketchuary, I guess, was a warm-up. For those of you who don’t know, I tried to start the Sketchuary project of a sketch a day for all of February. I made it about seven days, then promptly lost any time and energy I had set aside for it as the production of Anna In The Tropics drew ever-closer. I tried to catch up while on vacation in California (mainly by sitting in the relative comfort of Disney California Adventure’s Animation Workshop and being taught how to sketch various characters), but still only managed another three or four sketches.

Needless to say, this blog post is coming out of this creative mania. I have a few artsy projects lined up, and a few completed. I’ve already done a few frame jobs, and I have a couple of collages to do (one of Las Vegas souvenirs, another of Tron stuff from DCA, and yet more of squadron patches I got tired of keeping locked away in my firebox). I’m seriously considering more podcasty things to do, but I think the blog is pretty effective right now. Maybe if I get more interesting posts, I’ll be able to attract some followers?

I know I keep saying “expect more,” and rarely deliver; I’ll refrain from that this time, and simply say that I’m excited to stay busy with more creative projects–maybe my natural zest for showmanship will fuel a desire to keep showing off even the most inane things.

Meanwhile, keep an eye open for Twitter posts and feel free to browse my plethora of diversions scattered about to the four winds:

http://afterburn.podbean.com
http://victor70.comicgenesis.com
http://twmfrntman.deviantart.com
http://www.youtube.com/user/SuperJeeves83

More Tower Speak


Another fun quip heard over 124.55:

TOWER: “‘Copter One-Hotel-Gulf, cleared for the option. Use caution. Traffic is a golf cart chasing a stray dog northbound on runway two. Advise in sight.”

ATARI: “One-Hotel-Gulf has the traffic in sight. No factor.”

Tower Speak


This is the, no kidding, actual exchange when I was returning to Eastman today:

TOWER: Cessna Four-Hotel-Gulf, traffic is a helicopter approaching right downwind. Make LEFT close traffic. You are clear for takeoff.

CESSNA: Roger, left close traffic and clear for takeoff. I have the helicopter in sight. Four-Hotel-Gulf.

TOWER: Copter Two-Hotel-Gulf, use caution, you’ve got a bird off your left about 11’o-clock.

ATARI: Roger, tower. I have traffic in sight. ID is a crow at 12’o-clock. I have a shooting solution, permission to engage?

TOWER: Negative, Two-Hotel-Gulf, I think he got the message. Looks like he’s bugging out. Your orders are to return to base. Repeat, DO NOT ENGAGE.

ATARI: Wilco, Tower. Turning right base. Two-Hotel-Gulf.

TOWER: Two-Hotel-Gulf, clear to land

First Solo Cross-Country Flight


Well, I did it! I flew 86 nautical miles straight. All by my self.

I flew my first of three solo cross-country flights: Kennesaw to Cedartown to Cartersville to Canton and back to Kennesaw. Nice day, except that it was too damn hazy. Interestingly, though, it happened to be cool enough that I could cruise about 100 kts (very fast in an R-22) thanks to the denser air today.

Night flights coming soon!

Then Stage III Check and Private Practical Exam.

"Helicopter One-Three-Eight-Sierra-Hotel, please state your intentions…."


“I’d like to enter the pattern, sir, to do touch-and-go’s”

“I already gave you clearance to take off from the taxiway, but you said you were unable to comply!”

“Yes, sir. I am a student pilot and our policies and procedures strictly forbid me from taking off or landing on taxiways.”

“Roger, stand by….”

Such was the tone of my second solo flight today. One fun new trick after another thrown at me from the tower boss at McCollum. Apparently, though, I was more composed than the tower during my flight–according to Greg (who was flying patterns behind me) and Marcus (who was monitoring on a hand-held radio).

“Copter Eight-Sierra-Hotel, have you made your crosswind turn yet?”

“Affirmative, tower, I’m–uh–actually on the downwind, following that Cessna like you told me to.”

“Oh, I see you now, just–uh–continue your downwind following that Cessna.”

“Wilco, following the Cessna. Eight-Sierra-Hotel.”

This guy is the Air Traffic Control Tower manager. At least it wasn’t “Darth” in the tower today (he was controlling ground).

“Darth,” however, is a subject for a whole ‘nother set of stories.

It Took 7 Minutes….


I took my FOI (Fundamentals of Instruction) exam today. Got a 100% on it! Now to study for my AGI (Ground Instructor–Advanced) exam so I can get my AGI rating and actually get my career started!

w007!