Best of the Web

Even Han Solo and Chewie Used Checklists! Aviatrix has recently noted on Cockpit Conversation just how important checklists are. In fact, she pointed out that Boeing first introduced checklists in 1935 after their test pilots forgot to remove a gust lock and crashed a prototype B-17. She also pointed out that even Han Solo and Chewie used checklists in Star Wars! Launches. For history buffs interested in an often forgotten chapter of aviation, American Airlines has launched a new website called The site includes interviews with pioneering black aviators, biographies, a photo gallery, a timeline and resources for today’s pilots.

Society of Air Racing Historians. History buffs may also want to check out the website of the Society of Air Racing Historians which includes in-depth coverage of the air races between 1929 and 1949 along with plenty of must-see historical photos.

1943 SNJ-5 Flying an 1943 SNJ-5. In addition, General Aviation News has recently had a story about Shawn Knickerbocker of Jacksonville FL (a pilot for 40 years who has done everything from fly Blackhawk helicopters to being a pilot examiner) who has recently purchased an old 1943 SNJ-5 warbird whose previous owner had kept in pristine condition. Knickerbocker noted that ferrying the airplane from San Diego to Florida apparently had taken 13.3 hours with seven stops – no doubt one memorable cross country trip!

Visual Approaches. Meanwhile, the Airline Command blog has recently posted the forth part in a serious about visual approaches and whether or not they are a threat. The final installment offers a quick summary and overview of Visual Approaches and hence is well worth reading.

Aerial Shots of Northern Queensland and the NT. On a different note, Mike of Mike’s Flying blog has recently posted some great pictures of flying around the far north of Queensland and the Northern Territories.

Cessna Rolls Out 300th Citation Mustang. Meanwhile, Aerotrader Insider has noted that less than three years after the first Mustang delivery in 2007, the Cessna Aircraft Company has recently rolled out the 300th Citation Mustang at its assembly facility in Kansas and this plane is destined for Australia. The Citation Mustang costs around US$3 million.

Light Sport Aircraft Market Shares. In addition, a recent General Aviation News article has noted that general aviation was off by more than 50% in 2009 while light sport aviation was down with 42% less registrations in 2009 than in 2008. However, the article included an interesting chart listing the market shares for special light sport aircraft and the article also mentioned that the top 10 brands with the most FAA registrations for 2009 were the following: Remos (32); Czech Aircraft Works/Czech Sport Aircraft (31); CubCrafters (24); Flight Design and Tecnam (tied at 20); RANS (18); Jabiru US (11); American Legend, Aerotrek (Aeropro), and Skykits (tied at 7).

Are Pilot Reports Becoming a Lost Art? And finally, the AOPA Pilot Blog has recently asked some interesting questions about PIREPs: “Do you think pilot reports are becoming a lost art? Do you remember any times when a good pirep really help you out? What’s the most unusual pirep you ever heard–or made?” So far, the post has gotten a few interesting responses, including this comment: “Pilot’s are treated like dogs for the 1st part of their career in general aviation in Australia. You can only kick someone while they are down so often!”

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