Best of the Web

Black Hawg Down! The AOPA Pilot Blog’s “Strange But True General Aviation News” has noted how two electrical engineers are using camera-mounted drones (one is called the “Dehogaflier”) to hunt and kill feral pigs destroying land in Louisiana. The drone itself runs around $10,000 with all the gear attached and might sound expensive, but it can be far cheaper than hog hunting using other methods. Given that feral hogs are smart and can weight as much as 200 pounds (meaning they are destructive to crops), drones and helicopters appear to be the best aides for hunting them down.

Lady Liberty’s New Balancing Act. However, one must also be careful when operating drones as a 9-inch, $1,500 camera-equipped remote-control helicopter flew into Lady Justice on the Marion County Courthouse (Ohio) on April 27 and has been there since — resting on the hilt of her sword more than 100 feet high. Video producer Terry Cline was apparently filming a promotional video for the city when the drone was caught by an unexpected breeze. However, County officials won’t pay to have it removed nor risk anyone’s life for it.


Image Credit: The Associated Press

Pioneering a Route up McKinley’s West Buttress (Naturally Using Aircraft). The Alaska Dispatch tells the story of how climbers pioneered a new route up Mount McKinley’s West Buttress during the 1951 West Buttress Expedition with the expedition hinging on the use of aviation. Bradford Washburn later told National Geographic:

We were going to try what time after time had been declared impossible—to climb McKinley’s rugged West Buttress. More exciting still, we were going to try to do at least a third of the climb by airplane.

Rescuing a B-25J Mitchell. In other Alaska aviation news, Patrick Mihalek, Todd Trainor and a handful of volunteers will be in the state next month to prepare a 70-year-old North American B-25J Mitchell for rescue. The B-25, nicknamed “Sandbar Mitchell,” sits on a sandbar in the Tanana River outside of Fairbanks and is a reminder of other downed World War II aircraft potentially waiting to be discovered or rediscovered. 

Touring a TWA Martin 404 and Lockheed L-1049G Super Constellation. The Aero Experience recently visited the National Airline History Museum at Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport in Kansas City, MO.  The museum originally began as Save-A-Connie, a group dedicated to restoring a Lockheed Super Constellation to flying status in Trans World Airlines (TWA) colors, but has since evolved into a significant aviation museum with a Douglas DC-3, Martin 404 and Lockheed L-1011 Tristar under restoration to represent some of the aircraft types flown by TWA. The blog also has a number of great interior shots of TWA aircraft to give you an idea of what it was like to fly during the golden era of airline passenger travel.

First Ph.D. In Aviation Conferred. On an aviation education note, St. Louis University’s Parks College has conferred the first-ever Ph.D. in Aviation in the US to Damon Lercel. The program offered not only an in-depth immersion in research, but opportunities to interact with both the domestic and international aviation industries.

Top Ten Amazing Air Traffic Control Towers.  Finally, Sylvia, the blogger behind the Fear of Landing blog, has compiled a list (complete with pictures) of her favorite air traffic control towers from around the world with her favorite tower being this one that stood at RAF Prestwick from 1943 to 1962 before being torn down when Prestwick Airport expanded:

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