Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Birthday Beach Flight

Yesterday we enjoyed a lovely flight to visit friends. It was our friend, Darren's, birthday and he was celebrating with many people over on Assateague Island which Bob and I had just had an impromptu visit to last month. We invited our buddy Kyle, who I flew in his Rans with to take aerial photos of a Pitts with earlier this summer

 Since we have quite a bit of speed on Kyle, we gave him a bit of a head start then took off ourselves. The visibility was unlimited and we could see for miles in all directions. As usual, upon arriving near Ocean City Airport, we enjoyed a quick aerial tour over the boardwalk then came in to land. Kyle was behind us, not more than 15 minutes later. 

Our day consisted of driving up and down the beach and watching friends fish while roasting hot dogs and corn over the fire. The flight home had equally good visibility and with the headwind, landed a half hour before Kyle made it back. However, we did enjoy some great chit chat on an air-to-air frequency before flying through the SFRA and into Frederick. 

Best things heard over the radio yesterday?
Tower to us:  Will give the Rans a bit of room so you don't run into him.
Us: That's OK we're flying with him.
Tower: Sometimes he thinks he's a Glasair!

Us: Turning left downwind, Ocean City.
Kyle: No one cares!

This was probably our last flight to the beach for the year and it was a good one!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Air Fare Maryland

September 24, 2012

Oct12 Airfare story
Melissa Grimes Guy

Eastern Shore. Florentine. Bombay. Parisian. Skimming the menu’s insert, I quickly count 17 varieties of eggs Benedict—including one featuring the diner’s headline, “Sugar Buns.” There are more twists to the classic brunch dish than there are tables in this petite, sun-dappled café.
Scanning the crowd, I notice sprays of daisies springing from tiny vases atop blue gingham cloths. A large china hutch painted a pale goldenrod displays antique tea caddies. A triple-tier dessert tray—piled high with baked goods—invites patrons to take a seat at one of a dozen tables.

Welcome to Sugar Buns Airport Café and Bakery, Susan Leonard’s culinary nest serving “upscale comfort food” in Talbot County. Opened on St. Patrick’s Day 2010, this delightful restaurant might well be found anywhere in America.

But Leonard’s café isn’t located on Easton’s main street, in a mall, or at any number of strip centers dotting the landscape.

It’s in the airport.

Fortunately, you don’t need to be a pilot or plane owner to experience Sugar Buns or to explore Maryland’s aviation heritage. So, recently, I decided to take to the Free State’s byways with my trusted wingman of 25 years to meet some of the pioneers, pilots, and proprietors who keep these airports humming.

Eggs in Easton


Mid-morning on a beautiful Saturday and Newnam Field (named for decorated WWII Marine aviator and Easton native William “Bill” Newnam Jr.) is humming. Literally vibrating with dozens of aircraft landing and leaving over the course of an hour.

“We’re Easton’s best-kept secret,” Leonard tells me as we settle in for brunch. The rising sun streams through a broad window running the length of her Sugar Buns Airport Café. Overlooking the tarmac, it provides the perfect plane-spotting lens for the three-dozen customers talking, eating, or lingering.
A favorite fly-in destination, this popular airport serves as a hub for local aviators, CEOs, celebrities, and Mid-Atlantic power brokers. The café shares space with a pilots’ shop and lounge, fixed base operator, and management offices.

Thirty minutes east of the Bay Bridge, it’s a great place to stop, stretch, and satisfy your hunger on the road to Ocean City.

Born and raised in Silver Spring, Leonard graduated from the University of Maryland intent on becoming an FBI agent. She put her dreams on hold to help raise her family following her mother’s death at 48.
Enrolling in TWA’s flight-attendant training program, Leonard spent 20 years globetrotting before touching down on the Eastern Shore in 2006.

She laughs recalling her early interest in cooking.

“I made my first apple pie for a Brownie badge when I was 7,” she says.

But it was flights to France that burnished her passion for classic dishes and professional techniques.
“I would talk my way into restaurant kitchens during layovers. I learned to make lemon roasted chicken, quiche Loraine, and ‘proper’ pastry dough.” Her specials today feature French-inspired favorites such as Croque Madame and crab and asparagus quiche.

She landed at the Easton airport after the management put the lease out for bid in 2009.

Leonard credits her extensive list of eggs Benedict to a bout of insomnia spent typing out the 17 varieties as homage to the many places she travelled.

“We make everything using fresh—never frozen—ingredients, including our hollandaise sauce made in small batches five times a day,” Leonard says.

“Each order is served with our crisp but tender home fries and a slice of orange to prevent scurvy.”

America’s Longest-Operating Airport


Leaving Easton, we head west on Route 50 for the 90-minute drive (a 20-minute flight) to College Park, the birthplace of aviation in Maryland. (But we won’t be eating, alas. The beloved 94th Aero Squadron, a popular nearby restaurant, is no more.)

Less than a mile off the always busy Route 1 is a national treasure now threatened with extinction. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977, College Park is the country’s oldest continuously operating municipal airport.

This “Field of Firsts” takes its nickname from a storied history of aviation pioneers and inventors beginning in 1909, when Wilbur Wright trained the first military aviators here. Further honorifics include, among others, the first woman to fly in an aircraft; the first military aviation school; and the first controlled helicopter flight.
No one in Maryland is more familiar with College Park’s rich heritage than airport manager Lee Schiek.

His story began in May 1973, when Prince George’s County purchased the airfield. Then employed by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission—and moonlighting as a flight instructor—Schiek’s part-time passion became a full-time profession when he was tapped as the county’s first airport manager.

“I left College Park in 1978 and spent the next two decades managing municipal airports across the country,” he explains.

“When I returned here in 2000, my plans were to help the county develop and construct a new terminal and to retire and enjoy travelling.”

Any retirement plans were quickly suspended in the wake of September 11th, which rendered this historic airfield inoperable and threatened to extinguish it permanently.

“The best way to understand the dire blow that horrible day dealt to our airport—and to aviation in general—is to understand how vibrant College Park was in the days and decades before 9/11,” Schiek says.
“This once bustling airport was a vital cog in the town’s economy, with 120 aircraft based here and 35,000 flight operations served by maintenance technicians, flight schools, and small businesses.”

But in the six months following the terrorist attacks, “only government aircraft were allowed to fly in or out,” Schiek says. “Every plane was grounded, all business ceased, and no aircraft were allowed to leave.”
Restrictions were so severe that most tenants hastily departed later in 2001, when a small window opened to move their planes. That window quickly closed, however, remaining shuttered until February 2002, when the airfield was allowed to resume operations for a small number of pilots completing a rigorous and restrictive multi-day, in-person background check mandated by the TSA.

Despite these enormous setbacks, Schiek hopes that improved technologies will ease the most restrictive rules and is moving ahead with the Maryland Aviation Administration to construct a replacement for the 30-year-old “temporary” trailer terminal. The new facility will open in February 2014 and includes a planned Maryland Aviation Hall of Fame and a covered breezeway connecting it to the museum.

Departing this small but significant site, I imagine its future may depend, in part, on inspiring budding aviation enthusiasts to become tomorrow’s pilots and advocates.

Dinner, Dessert, and Ditties


Following the sinking sun, we journey 80 miles northwest to our final destination: Hagerstown Regional Airport for dinner at Nick’s Airport Inn.

A Hagerstown institution for 50 years, Nick’s has been owned and operated by three generations of the Giannaris family since the late Nick and his wife, Tina, purchased the diner in 1961. The restaurant’s half-century legacy is rivaled only by the area’s renowned aviation heritage.
What the “Field of Firsts” is to military aviation and WWI, Hagerstown’s airport is to plane design and manufacturing in WWII.

Founded in 1928, when the city purchased 60 farm acres for the Krieder Reisner Aircraft Company, the airport was notable as Fairchild Aircraft’s headquarters from 1929 to 1984. During its heyday, Fairchild employed 10,000 people to build military and civilian cargo planes. The mammoth metal hangars that once held this massive manufacturing operation still stand.

In 1998, the airport was christened “Richard A. Henson Field” to honor Hagerstown native Dick Henson, a Fairchild test pilot, flight-school operator, and founder of the commuter airline now known as Piedmont.
Hagerstown’s storied aviation history, from pioneers such as Krieder, Reisner, Fairchild, and Henson, to the planes once manufactured here—including the C-82 “Packet” and the world-famous A-10 “Warthog”—is preserved by the all-volunteer Hagerstown Aviation Museum.

Located near the FBO runway opposite the commercial terminal, Nick’s white clapboard building backs up to the surrounding fence and is flanked by two glass observatories perfect for plane spotting.
Stepping into the foyer, I notice a large mahogany bar and baby grand piano to the right and make a mental note to check it out before we leave. The many small dining rooms quickly fill with couples enjoying date night, families and friends celebrating, and regulars looking for a quick bite or drink.

Tess Giannaris Tiches, Nick and Tina’s daughter, now runs the restaurant with her two brothers, Paul and Constandino. Literally growing up in the business—the family lived upstairs until she was 12—she fondly recalls her dad’s insistence on preparing their signature dishes using fresh, seasonal ingredients.
“My father was an early advocate for serving locally produced food,” Tess says.

“At one time, we farmed our own vegetables and, even today, we use only local purveyors for our eggs, meats, and produce.”

These days, the 250-seat restaurant continues to serve a devoted and diverse clientele. From Airport Dinner Clubs (where pilots fly to dining destinations) to special occasions, the Giannaris family has hosted generations celebrating life’s milestones over beautifully prepared meals.

Seated under a glass canopy, we enjoy a house appetizer of toasted crostini and cheese while perusing the menu, finally settling on soft-shell crabs and salmon Oscar, both served by Nick’s classically trained French chef. As expected, the food is wonderful.

Eager to enjoy the piano before heading home, we shift to a seat at the bar for dessert. Ten feet from the ivories, we share a decadent pumpkin confection with vanilla ice cream and cheekily request the Sinatra standard “Come Fly with Me” to close an inspiring day on an entertaining note.

Driving home on I-70, we pass one last aviation bastion: Frederick Municipal Airport, headquarters of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the world’s largest such association.

With fantasies of flying lessons and sky-born adventures dancing in my head, I pledge to return someday soon to further explore the people, places, and stories along Maryland’s flyways.

Taking off on your own airborne excursion? Find Sugar Buns Airport Café and Bakery at Easton Airport (ESN) at coordinates 38-48-15.00N/076-04-08.40W. Nick’s Airport Inn, at Hagerstown Regional Airport (HGR), is at coordinates 39-42-15.60N/077-43-35.40W. Those preferring terra firma can learn more at or

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Announcing FDK's 2013 Fly it Forward Event!

"My girls were thrilled and will remember this for the rest of their lives.  I believe it really did have the desired effect of stirring their interest in an aviation career." Tim, father of two young participants - Fly it Forward 2011. 

 "My young daughter now knows that flying is not 'just a boy's thing'." 
Keith - Fly it Forward volunteer 2012.

There is one week out of the year that the world recognizes women of aviation's past, present and future.  There is one week when thousands of non pilot women are introduced to the possibilities that the aerospace industry has to offer.  In that single week countless of volunteer pilots and aviation enthusiasts are rewarded after changing the lives of many non pilot women.  It is March 4-10, 2013 and it is Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week.

Over the past two years during Women Of Aviation Week (WOAW), Frederick Municipal Airport has hosted Women Fly it Forward on the last Saturday of WOAW.  Through these events, Frederick has introduced over 400 girls and women to aviation and has taken home the 'Most Female Pilot Friendly Airport Worldwide' trophy in 2011,  and the 'Most Female Pilot Friendly Airport in the United States' and 'Most Female Friendly Airport Worldwide 1st Runner Up' trophies in 2012.

Frederick is pleased to host Women Fly it Forward 2013, this time with weeklong activities with the help of Frederick Flight Center! Flights will be give to girls and women of all ages who have not flown in small aircraft before.  The week will culminate with 'Pink - Women Fly it Forward' on Saturday, March 9th for a marathon event introducing women with and survivors of breast cancer, their daughters and gal pals to aviation.  

The Frederick Women Fly it Forward event website is now up!  Please visit for more information.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fly it Forward Participant Starts Lessons!

"My mom is taking flying lessons. I'm so impressed," said Erik Michaelson. 

His mother, Toni, had earned the flight award sponsored by Aviation Insurance Resources through the Fly it Forward event that introduced 244 girls and women to aviation this March.  Enrolled at Frederick Flight Center, her first lesson was Monday.

Teaming up with a female flight instructor, Toni says her lesson was "awesome" and that her flight instructor, "immediately made me feel right at ease in the cockpit and after take-off had me flying the airplane in no time."  

Toni met many challenges common with student pilots, "The hardest part was taxiing out to the runway - my feet and legs were not cooperating with my brain, namely trying to stay on top of the yellow line."

Toni will be continuing lessons throughout the year and is excited to share her journey with us.  Toni's son proudly displayed a photo on Facebook after her lesson.  Many friends quickly commented:

"Most people do not realize that Toni has a really adventurous spirit and can do absolutely anything she sets her mind to." and "I am impressed and want to fly with her some time!!!"

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Life changes...

...and over the course of this blog, so have I!  My "About" section has been updated!

Calling on all girl budding rocket scientists

Calling on all girl budding rocket scientists

10 September, 2012 in Headlines, Latest News by Intl Team Leader

If you met a real astronaut, what questions would you ask? Some lucky teenage girl(s) will have a chance to ponder about that in April 2013 but, first, they need to conceive a winning invention.

After discovering the world of science during her preparation leading up to her flight in space in 1963, Valentina Tereshkova studied to earn a doctorate in physics. However, as we prepare to celebrate this important milestone, the lack of female scientists continues to be reflected in the women unfriendliness of many products.

As a salute to all the pioneer female scientists and to spark vocations, we are launching the ‘You are an inventor’ contest. The top prize? A conversation with real astronauts.

To win this amazing once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, teenage girls from around the world will have to fulfill a mission: conceive a new padding system or a new type of adjustable space suit that improves freedom of movement for tomorrow’s space explorers.

Whether their concept is selected as the winning concept or not, each participant will receive an official Inventor Certificate that includes from female space scientists and astronauts from around the world. If their concept makes it to the finals, their work will be exhibited at museums around the world.
What a rewarding opportunity to practice being a rocket scientist!

To learn all the details about entering the contest or download a poster, please visit the ‘You are an inventor’ contest webpage.

Entry deadline is February 8 2013.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Recall your first flight...

Your heart is pounding and palms are damp, all from a mix of nervousness and excitement. The four seat aircraft rolls upon the runway and quickly gained speed. Before you know it, you are soaring with the birds as buildings and cars begin to diminish to the size of ants. I think all pilots will agree that the memory of their first flight in a small aircraft is as vivid as yesterday. Now envision girls and women of all ages: high school students, retired professionals, moms and daughters. See them bound out of small aircraft with great enthusiasm. There are over 200 girls and women in total, a scene witnessed each year that Frederick Municipal Airports hosts a Fly-It-Forward event to celebrate Women Of Aviation Week.

That captivating scene will come to life March 4th through March 10th, 2013. Women Of Aviation Week celebrates the women of aviation, past, present and future during the week the first women earned her pilot certificate. Throughout this inspirational week, events are hosted to raise awareness to all the opportunities available for women in the air and space industry. To achieve the WOAW mission, there are no limits to the creative activities event hosts can offer participants. Free flights, static displays and special guests are just several things that can inspire a future pilot.

Last year 1,104 girls in seven countries received their first flight during Women Of Aviation Week. Awards brought on friendly competition between events to keep the number rising. With every article making it to the media and with every girl and women introduced, organizers and pilots earn points that could lead to great prizes and the honor of Women Of Aviation Week titles for the year. Who will earn the ‘Most Female Pilot Friendly Airport Worldwide’ title? Who will be named the ‘Most Female Pilot Friendly Training Center Worldwide’?

Although the official week will end and awards will be presented, WOAW's mission continues. It is more than a week; it is a constant movement that continues throughout the year. Businesses and organizations who partner with Women Of Aviation Week activities receive Women Friendly Aviation Business seal to let their customers know of their support. Pilots are encouraged to continue inspiring new women to reach for the sky and, in turn, earn more points throughout the year to collect beautiful VIP WOAW Member pins.

It is time to form that image of our first time flyers in your head once again. Now it is your turn to bring magic in a girl or woman’s life. You are coming out of the plane, meeting your newly inducted female flyer around the other side. Feel what it would be like as they shake your hand with wholehearted gratefulness. Imagine how this will affect your day. Think of the change it could have on that passenger's life. Can you imagine the impact of having such an event in each and every state?

Participating in Women Of Aviation Week is no longer a distant idea. March 4-10, 2013 is your turn to make an impact as we celebrate 50 years of women in space. If you are interested in hosting or volunteering at an event at your airport, please contact me at and visit for more information.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Countdown to Women Of Aviation Week 2013 Started

In exactly six months from today, several more thousands girls and women will wear a glow on their faces that, for some, will last for a lifetime.

Yes, today is exactly six-month to the last day of the upcoming 2013 Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week. 

What a week it is shaping out to be!


In 2013, we will celebrate 50 years of women in space and we are already planning out-of-this-world events in the United States, Canada, and Europe, with the goal of welcoming astronauts at each major event.

No country harbors as many female astronauts as the U.S. does. The goal is to welcome a female astronaut at each major U.S. event because... most astronauts are first, pilots. What could be a more exciting inspiration for a young woman to earn a pilot license? 

U.S. Team Leader, Victoria Neuville has a personal goal to encourage someone to organize an event in each of the 50 states of the USA while Canada's Team Leader, Lesley Page, plans to ensure that flights take place in each province and territory of Canada. 

Will your state, province, territory be counted? What about your country? Your continent?
What is your personal goal?


All the team leaders were first event organizers. We know a couple of things about the dedication and work that it takes to make a fun event come to life.

That's why we wanted to reward those of you who really go the extra mile. The result? The event organizer's contest. Using a point system that accounts for the size of the event, the number of people involved, the level of media coverage, and more, each organizer will accumulate points. 

The top point earners will win great prizes! In clear, if you were planning to apply for scholarships, you might want to consider organizing an amazing WOAW week event instead.

To make your event planning easier, the team leaders have compiled a WOAW Week Organizer Handout. It will not only give you ideas and guidance to plan your event but also recommendations to run your event smoothly and file your event report properly. Don't delay requesting your copy.

What's more? Each event organizer that announces an event on our website by December 15, 2012 will receive a WOAW week t-shirt. So get planning.


Did you noticed? No, it is not a typo.There is indeed a 's' at the end of title. 

That's because in 2013, we will not only crown an airport community for being the world's most female pilot friendly, we will also crown a training center.

What's the difference between the two titles? Individuals, businesses, associations can organize an event to win the "Most Female Pilot Friendly Airport Worldwide" title.
To win the "Most Female Pilot Friendly Training Center Worldwide" title, a training center must organize and manage the first flights (that does not necessary mean pay for them).

Who will win the titles in 2013? 

We do know that the numbers to win the titles increase every year. Last year, the Yellowknife Community introduced a whopping 421 girls and women to flying to win the title. The runner ups, Frederick and Peterborough, introduced well over 200 girls and women each.


Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week's ultimate mission is to change perceptions and to engage girls and women, one flight, one community at a time, worldwide. 

But while reaching out to girls and women on a personal level is wonderful, let's not kid ourselves; we will never be able to offer a ride to each girl and women on the face of the Earth.

So let's do the next smartest thing. Let's make the experience of each girl and woman we introduced so exciting that they will share it in an appealing manner with their familly, friends, and acquaintances and let's engage the media to bare witness to our enthusiasm for sharing our passion. 

In that spirit, one well planned flight can be as impactful as several hastened ones. The quality of the experience and the message are what makes the effort both rewarding and effective.


Women Of Aviation does not equate to Women Pilots. All team leaders are pilots and, yes, we would like to see a lot more women getting in front of the controls of aircraft. 

But, we would also like to speak to more female controlers, get our aircraft repaired by female mechanics, and may be have more of the products we use designed by female engineers. Guess what? If more women designed aircraft, I bet less of us would have to bring a cushion to fly them.

That's in part why, today, we announced a new contest, the 'You are an inventor" contest.
This contest is opened to teenage girls worldwide and challenges them to conceive an invention.

Space, space, and more space.

Their mission in 2013 is to conceive a new padding system or a new type of adjustable space suit that improves freedom of movement for tomorrow’s space explorers. 

Their reward? The winner(s) will enjoy a one-hour conversation with several astronauts from around the world. The entries of finalists will become a roaming exhibit presented at Air and Space Museums around the world. How cool is that? 

More fun than ever! Counting down the days to the 2013 Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week.
Together, we are better.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Grandpa's Apollo

As I have mentioned in previous blogs as well as on the podcast, my grandfather played a critical role in the Apollo missions.  I created a blog to keep track of articles and interviews about his work with this program so places that ask him to interview have a bit of background information.  It also is a great way for our family to understand the history more and his part in it.   I thought I would share this with you today, just keep in mind it is still a work in progress :)

Harlan's Apollo

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mireille Goyer Wins the COPA Presidents Award

Since I recently shared a video of an excellent wing walker who participates in Women Of Aviation Week, I thought I would share with you two more of my favorite flying females.  Mirielle Goyer, founder of WOAW, and Lesley Page, the Canadian Team Leader of WOAW.  Mireille recently won the COPA Presidents Award.  Watch below as Lesley accepts on her behalf.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Video: Jane Wicker Wing Walking!

Jane has come to the Fly it Forward event each year in Frederick and has been an excellent role model for all girls who consider entering aviation.  You can check out her website at and her most recent performance below!

Friday, September 7, 2012

New Aviation Podcast

My buddy and co-host on the Stuck Mic AvCast, Carl decided he had too much time on his hands.  Between the podcast, his blog and his airline pilot life, Carl managed to start a new podcast which focuses on aviation careers.  It's called the Aviation Careers Podcast and here's what Carl has to say about it:

This podcast is for those interested in discovering more about the many careers in aviation. By listening to this podcast you will:
  • Discover the various aviation career fields with a focus on becoming a pilot.
  • Determine if a career in aviation is for you.
  • Learn how to advance your aviation career.
  • Discover jobs which allow you to work in your current profession while being able to enjoy a part time aviation career.
  • Learn the various paths toward reaching your aviation career goal.
My name is Carl Valeri and I have over twenty years of flying experience. Currently I fly as an airline captain and flight instructor.  For over ten years I have been assisting pilots find jobs and obtain interviews with numerous airlines in the United States and throughout the world. I have discovered some helpful resources for those considering an aviation career or trying to advance in their career.

To truly be successful you should pursue a career that will fulfill your inner sense of purpose.  Once you understand your purpose and why you have chosen your career you must start down the path towards your goal with the flexibility and anticipation to change course often.  If you keep your eye on the goal choosing the correct path becomes easier. You will soon know whether your path is leading you closer or further away from your career goal. I hope this podcast will help you define your career ambition with more clarity and help you reach your aviation career goal.

Your goal may be to one day teach people how to fly. It might be flying passengers around the world in a large and sophisticated jet. It might be maintaining or building airplanes. Maybe you want to write about aviation. You may want to pursue a part time career in aviation.  Whatever path you choose in aviation I hope you find this podcast helpful.
Each episode will include three main segments:
  • Career advice and answers to listeners e-mails.
  • Interviews with aviation professionals including pilots, mechanics, and recruiters.
  • Recommended aviation career products and services.
Aviation Career Podcast hopes we can help you define your dream and start living your dream!
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at the website You can also reach me at my aviation blog and on Twitter and Facebook,

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ten Reasons Ford Motor Should Buy Hawker Beechcraft

Being from MI, having always purchased cars made in the USA and as a fan of the Henry Ford Museum, I love love love this blogger's idea:

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Oshkosh Review on Stuck Mic #31!

Bob joined me on the Stuck Mic AvCast this episode and we took over the show to tell you all about our 2012 EAA AirVenture experience!  Listen now!