Vance Brand tells tales of space exploration at museum

You never know where a passion for flight will take you. For this Coloradan, it led to multiple space flights and a very long, distinguished career.

We love stories like Vince Brand’s and as a Denver flight school, we especially enjoy watching the careers of the numerous pilots we’ve trained and the various people who cross our paths. Continue living your dreams and sharing your stories. Brand tells tales of space exploration at museum – Longmont Times-Call The first hint of looming cosmic journeys and eventual space exploration came to Vance Brand when he was a lifeguard and gatekeeper at the Boulder Reservoir.

In the late 1950s, the prospect of humans sending a functioning satellite into space was the stuff of science fiction and fantasy for Brand, who’d grown up in the largely rural, farm-based community of Longmont. Less than 20 years later, however, in 1975, the Longmont High School graduate would journey into space as a command module pilot on the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project mission. That would be the first of four space flights for Brand, who logged nearly 45 hours in spacecraft over the course of his impressive career.

For Brand, the adventures that included journeys to the cosmos had simple roots. During his early days as a Marine Corps recruit in North Carolina, he couldn’t stop himself from gazing at the jets that took off every morning. The roar of the engines and the sight of the crafts in flight proved irresistible to Brand, who quickly saw flight as a professional and personal goal.

“It was an emotional decision,” Brand said. “I thought that was about the coolest thing I’d ever seen, seeing the jets take off at Cherry Point. I immediately applied for naval flight training program.” Read more at

Northampton middle school students take flight

Do you remember the excitement of your first flight? Can you imagine what it must have felt like if you were in middle school when it happened?

Stories like this one are so inspiring for pilot schools in Colorado. Independence Aviation loves when communities get involved with the education of youth – especially when they’re allowed to explore their passion in aviation and flying. middle school students take flight | NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Dreams took flight for 17 students at Northampton Airport Monday morning. For ten weeks, the select 8th graders from JFK Middle School in Northampton learned about aviation in an after school program known as Northampton Airport Wright Flight.

The program is now in its 6th year and is also offered at schools in Chicopee and Springfield. For one hour after school each week, students learn about plane manufacturing and flying. They also toured Barnes Airport Control Tower as well as Advance Manufacturing in Westfield and Gulfstream in Westfield.

Students paired up, and like any trained pilot, they began with pre-flight inspections.

Then, with the help of an instructor, one student pilot took off from Northampton and landed at Orange Airport. Then it was their partner’s turn to fly home.

Read more…

House panel aims to finish must-pass aviation bill by August

Without getting political, we think it’s important to reflect on the bill that the House is working on right now. There could be some major changes in store for both the private and commercial aviation industry – maybe some good and maybe some bad – but the FAA has a huge role in every aspect of our business.

Rest assured, no matter what happens comes August, we will follow the situation in order to help you know what all of it means for you as you pursue your private pilot license in Colorado or use any of our services. Understanding how various regulations affect your piloting career is paramount to being a successful pilot. panel aims to finish must-pass aviation bill by August | TheHill

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is aiming to wrap up work on a must-pass aviation bill by the August recess, according to a top panel aide.Holly E. Woodruff Lyons, deputy general counsel for the committee and staff director of the aviation subcommittee, said Tuesday that the goal is to get legislation reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration “off the floor by August.” The FAA’s legal authority expires at the end of September, which would give the House and Senate less than two months to hammer out a final product.The House Transportation panel has held several hearings on the topic and is expected to take the lead on legislation.

Last year, Congress ended up passing a short-term patch after a long-term proposal to reauthorize the FAA stalled in the House.

The House FAA bill from last year is expected to serve as the model for this year’s yet-to-be-unveiled proposal, though Transportation Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) is open to making adjustments.

“The framework is the AIRR Act,” Woodruff Lyons said during a Global Business Travel Association conference on Capitol Hill. “But everything is open to change.”


Celebrating Women in Aviation

Independence Aviation’s celebration of Women’s History Month continues with this story about the new film showcasing the accomplishments of women in the aviation industry.

As the premier pilot school in Colorado, we support the encouragement of girls and women to enter STEM careers and realize their potential. To start your training, call Independence Aviation today.

Indie Atlantic film produced in Lakeland highlights women in aviation – News – News Chief – Winter Haven, FL “In modern society, we still have that ingrained — that girls don’t go into STEM (science, technology, engineering and math fields) because they don’t do those things,” said Wiatt, who’s making her directorial debut with the feature-length film “Fly Like a Girl” to dispel that myth.

Women like Mae Jemison, the first black female astronaut to fly into space in 1992; Patty Wagstaff, an aerobatic pilot; and Olivia Lisbon, a recent graduate of Polk State College; and so many more are examples of what women can accomplish. “We need to tell their story: What women were doing in history and what women are doing today,” Wiatt said. “We have to show girls there are people out there doing great things.”

Wiatt said she wants to show a variety of women in various fields, such as women in the military, drone pilots, helicopter pilots and more. “Some people are very interested in supporting this, and those who have higher-level achievements, like the first Thunderbird pilot. But there are also engineers who are part of major corporations, NASA, scientists, sociologists. We want to tell all aspects of this story.”

See more…

Flying the new Cirrus SR22 G6

Flying the new Cirrus SR22 G6

This a great story about the first experience flying the new Cirrus SR22 G6. The new Perspective+ Avionics and cockpit improvements are all explained through Stephen Pope’s perspective.

As a Platinum Cirrus Training Center, we look forward to learning more about this new model and getting some flights recorded. Fly: Cirrus SR22 G6 | Flying Magazine

My introduction to the G6 SR22 included a half-dozen flights over the span of three days in mid-December. By now the secret is out and the G6 is the talk of the Cirrus-owner community — but at that time flying the new model required stealth since it was among the most closely guarded secrets in all of general aviation.

 Read more…



Photo of Weather SeminarIA hosts a variety of aviation safety seminars designed to help pilots gain and retain proficiency.  Of particular note is our series of weather seminars that are presented by Michael Cetinich, meteorologist at Jeppesen.  We affectionately refer to him as the Weather Rock Star!

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Mike Cetinich

Mike graduated from San Jose State University with a BS in Meteorology. He has been involved in aviation weather since joining Jeppesen in 1983. In addition to being an operational forecaster, a scientific programmer, managing the operational weather office and a product manager, Mike is a self professed weather geek. He has conducted IA’s weather seminar series since 2008. He enjoys experiencing weather in the great outdoors of Colorado while cycling, hiking, skiing as well as chasing tornadoes when conditions permit.

Josh Bybee

Since Josh was six years old, all he could dream of doing was becoming a pilot. He followed that dream down to Arizona where he attended Arizona State and earned his degree in Professional Flight in 2013. After graduating Josh moved back to Colorado and became a part of the IA team to share his knowledge and enthusiasm for aviation with others. He now has more than 1,500 hours total time.