Best of the Web

Youngest Solo Glider Pilot in Scotland. Galloway News has reported that Connor McIver, 14, recently took to the skies on his own to become the youngest solo glider pilot in Scotland, Northumberland and the Borders for over a century. Connor comes from a line of pilots as his dad Ian and grandfather John McIver are both experienced gliders with the Dumfries Gliding Club.

A Midnight Solo for a New 16-Year Pilot. Over in the USA, 16-year old Drew Gryder of Hampton, Georgia, needed an early start to solo in his single engine Cessna 150 aircraft. That’s because Federal aviation regulations specify that an individual be 16 years of age to fly as the sole occupant of an aircraft with the threshold occurring at 12:01 a.m. Hence, it was a midnight solo for Gryder.

90-Year Old Has Emergency Landing After an Engine Failure. In Indiana, 90-year-old pilot and World War II veteran Vernon E. Bothwell Jr. experienced complete motor failure on his 1986 fixed wing, single engine, model Woody Pusher that forced him to make an emergency landing on an open field. He was treated for an ankle fracture and a head laceration after the aircraft turned over.

Hitching on GA Aircraft Around the USA. The AOPA Pilot Blog has noted a story in the Seattle Times about Amber Nolan who is hoping to visit all 50 US states by hitching rides on general aviation aircraft. So far, she has visited 11 states in aircraft ranging from a Piper Lance to an Eclipse 500.

Group Captain Sir Richard Kingsland. The Telegraph recently had fascinating obituary for Group Captain Sir Richard Kingsland, who died at age 95 last August. Kingsland is credited with being the youngest Australian group captain at age 29 and he had an adventurous career as a pilot with the RAAF in World War II starting when he was sent to Morocco in 1940 in a seaplane where he rescued two of Britain’s most senior leaders, Duff Cooper and John Vereker, 6th Viscount Gort, from French headquarters as the French there were siding with Vichy. Kingsland later went on to serve in the most senior levels in Australian public service.

New Zealand Aviation Pioneer To Visit the UK for an Award. New Zealand war hero and aerial top-dressing (as in the aerial spreading of fertilizer) pioneer Guy Robertson will be flying all the way to the UK at aged 96 to receive an award from the Guild of Aviation Pilots and Aviation Engineers. After piloting Kittyhawk and Corsair fighter aircraft over the Pacific during World War II, Robertson helped to kick-start the top-dressing industry by flying Tiger Moth biplanes off makeshift landing strips over New Zealand’s steep terrain. Robertson had also helped to establish Air Parts (NZ) which evolved into Pacific Aerospace, the country’s largest contemporary plane-maker.

Bahamas Pilot Challenge. US based pilots take note: General Aviation News has reported a new Bahamas Pilot Challenge has been launched for 2012-2013. Pilots who document landings at 12 of the 20 Bahamas airports of entry before November 30, 2013, will be eligible to win a total of 23 hotel nights at top resorts on various islands of the Bahamas.

The Weather Channel’s Plane Xtreme. Finally, the Weather Channel has launched a new aviation reality show called "Plane Xtreme" which the channel describes as an adventure show that chronicles the escapades of "an elite group of pilots who deliver small aircraft to points across the globe." The Oddball Pilot blog has a review of the first episodes while the excerpt below has been posted on YouTube:

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