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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.

http://www.timescall.com/news/ci_30979618/vance-brand-tells-tales-space-exploration-at-museumVance 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 timescall.com

Colorado to get Aviation License Plate!

On May 3,  2017, HB17-1212 passed its 3rd and final reading in the Colorado Senate, and moves on to Governor Hickenlooper’s office to be signed into law. The Support Colorado Aviation License Plate Bill was introduced into the 2017 General Session after getting its start 3 years ago.

Colorado aviation associations first sought support for an initiative that would allow Colorado residents to flaunt their passion for aviation by way of a “Support Aviation” license plate in 2014. Led by the Colorado Aviation Business Association (CABA), an online petition was created in order to collect the necessary 3000 signatures needed to be eligible for introduction to legislation.

Chris Swathwood, who is a CABA board member and the designer of the plate, came up with the idea and said it “just sort of popped up one day when I was driving down the road”. Swathwood said he thought of other states’ aviation license plates and the impact of aviation in Colorado and wondered why his state didn’t have one too.

According to the license plate’s website www.SupportColoradoAviation.com, General Aviation in Colorado contributes $2.4 billion to the state’s economy, supports 265,700 jobs, and has a payroll of almost $11.2 billion. It has an estimated 1.8 million visitors, and proudly boasts 76 public-use airports, serving 17,819 pilots and 5,483 general aviation aircraft. There are 40 charter flight companies, 69 repair stations, 70 FBO’s, and 16 flight schools. There are also several colleges that provide aviation degrees.

Any Colorado resident with a registered vehicle in the State of Colorado may purchase the plates for the standard $50 special plate fee at the DMV, with no additional charges. At this time, CABA expects the plates to become available in Sept 2018.

We can’t wait to see these out on the road soon!

Click here to learn more about our Colorado flight school training program.

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.

http://wwlp.com/2017/04/24/northampton-middle-school-students-getting-early-intro-to-aviation/Northampton middle school students take flight | WWLP.com 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.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaredmeyer/2016/05/31/uber-for-planes/#4ca487ab4fd4House 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.”

Read more at thehill.com

FAA BasicMed Checklist

FAA’s BasicMed Regulations Start May 1, 2017

Starting May 1st, the FAA has created a BasicMed rule written into the new Part 68 of the FARs. While every pilot is still required to obtain an FAA medical certificate at least once (including student pilots), a pilot may choose to continue to operate under the BasicMed rule even after that medical certificate has expired.

In order to operate under BasicMed, a list of requirements MUST be met:

  • Possess a valid US driver’s license. Any restrictions on a driver’s license also apply.
  • Must have held a most recent (unrevoked, unsuspended, unwithdrawn, un-denied) medical certificate that expired July 15, 2006 or after.
  • Complete a BasicMed medical course every 24 calendar months.
  • Complete a comprehensive medical exam and checklist signed by a licensed physician (NOT their assistant) every 48 months.
  • Be under the care of a physician for certain medical conditions.
  • Found eligible for special issuance of a medical certificate for certain specified mental health, neurological, or cardiovascular conditions (if applicable).
  • Consent to a National Driver Register check (given during BasicMed education course).
  • Carry no more than five other passengers with you.
  • May operate VFR or IFR, but may not fly internationally unless authorized by the country in which you will be flying.
  • Operate at less than 18,000 feet MSL and MUST NOT exceed 250 knots.
  • Cannot fly for compensation or hire unless as a CFI.
  • Airplane cannot exceed a certificated takeoff weight of 6000 pounds or be authorized for more than 6 occupants.

Medical course certificate and physician checklist documents are required to be kept in a pilots logbook, but may alternately be kept as a digital representation easily accessible on demand by an FAA inspector.

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…

2017 Outstanding Aviator Award

Major Heather Penney given 2017 Outstanding Aviator Award

Major Heather Penney will be awarded the 2017 annual Outstanding Aviator Award! The award will be presented by the Wings Club Foundation at their annual meeting, and International Aviation Womens Association (IAWA) during a presentation that will take place on March 29, 2017 at The Yale Club in New York City.

As soon as Congress opened combat aviation to women, Penney applied to the Air National Guard to fly F-16’s, and was the first woman in the 121st Fighter Squadron.

Penney is being recognized for her service to our country when on September 11, 2001,  she was one of two pilots asked to take action and protect the airspace over Washington D.C that morning. Her mission was to take down the hijacked airliner United Flight 93 by any means necessary. However, because of the urgency of the situation, there hadn’t been enough time to actually arm her F-16. It was obvious she had been sent on a suicide mission.

When asked about being ready and willing to fly a kamikaze mission, she stated, “Because there are things in this world that are more important than ourselves.”

Today, Penney works for Lockheed Martin as the Director of Air Force Aviation Training Systems, specializing in capture management, government relations and strategic business development. She has worked with the F-16 and F-22, and is currently working on the F-35 project.

Since it’s commencement in 2010, the annual Outstanding Aviator Award has been presented to exemplary recipients such as the Tuskegee Airmen, the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), the Doolittle Raiders, Patty Wagstaff, and Bob Hoover.

Independence Aviation would like to say Congratulations!

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.

http://www.flyingmag.com/we-fly-cirrus-sr22-g6We 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…

 

Mountain Flying Course

Flying in the Mountains

If you’ve never flown in the mountains, you don’t know what you’re missing. Our instructors fly in the mountains all the time and we’d love to share the experience with you.

Visit us and we’ll talk about mountain weather, density altitude, A/C loading, route selection, survival gear to carry, planning, communications, and we’ll get you to as many airports as your schedule allows. Our specialty is operation in and out of high altitude airports close to skiing, hiking and fishing.

Mountain flight experience programs are tailored to your needs and wishes using your plane or one of ours. Our simulator will enhance the experience to demonstrate high density altitude operations, terrain avoidance using ODP’s and planning.

IA’s Mountain Training Options

Our mountain training course includes a ground discussion of topics specific to mountain flying safety and survival techniques. Then we go out and fly!

Typical Scenarios

  • Obstacle departure procedures in the mountains
  • Challenging mountain instrument approaches
  • Equipment failures & emergencies
  • Mountain range crossings
  • Circle to land approaches

The typical flight plan can include stops in Buena Vista (KAEJ), Leadville (KLXV, the highest airport in the continental US), Aspen (KASE), Steamboat Springs (KSTS), and Eagle (KEGE, Vail).

The fun can be accomplished in one of our fleet aircraft or your own aircraft that meets some minimum mountain requirements. The training may also qualify for a flight review, instrument proficiency check, or part of a Cirrus Transition Training.

Feel free to call the Independence Aviation office for information on all we offer at our Colorado flight school locations.

Chuck Gensler Named 2017 Flight Instructor of the Year

Chuck Gensler Named 2017 Flight Instructor of the year

Photo of Chuck GenslerEnglewood, Colorado, February 16, 2017 – Veteran Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) Chuck Gensler has been named 2017 National CFI of the Year, one of the highest honors bestowed in private aviation, by the FAA’s General Aviation Award Committee. Based out of Centennial Airport in Englewood, Colorado, Chuck is a co-founder of Independence Aviation (IA), which Cirrus Aircraft recently honored as Cirrus Training Center of the Year for 2016.

In 2004, Chuck became a Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot (CSIP), one of the first in Colorado, but his dedication to flight instruction began long before with a 25-year career in the United States Air Force Air Training Command (ATC). Unlike most Air Force pilots who relish travelling the world, Chuck was content early on to dedicate himself to the ATC where he could indulge his passion for teaching.

Today Chuck shares his love of flight with students in all Cirrus model types including the SR20, SR22 & SR22T with enhanced navigation systems such as Garmin® Perspective and Avidyne®.

“Chuck is always looking for ways to help pilots improve their skills and knowledge,” said IA President Robert Stedman, who has known Chuck since 2004. “He’s an active leader and participant in our pilot proficiency programs. I’ve never known anyone to have greater dedication, professionalism and passion to do everything possible to advance flight safety.”

Stedman said that when he was launching his aviation business in 2006, Chuck was the only person he considered to work alongside as co-founder. “Chuck helped us grow from a small company with two instructors and one aircraft, to a robust company with 15 instructors, 16 aircraft and simulators, and a variety of focused programs designed to improve the aviation experience.”

Chuck serves today as IA’s Chief Flight Instructor Emeritus, dedicating his time to helping students become better pilots and working with other CFIs to help them become better teachers. He’s also an avid volunteer, supporting activities such as Challenge Air, a non-profit dedicated to changing the perception of special-needs children through the gift of flight. He also volunteers with the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association Pilot Proficiency Program and the Pilot Proficiency Center at EAA AirVenture.

The National CFI of the Year award is presented annually at AirVenture, the “World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration,” based in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. “When I found out that I was nominated, I figured someone else with better credentials would win. I was not expecting this!” said Chuck in his typically modest style. Stedman said that with more than 9400 hours and counting, Gensler has long been a standout among his peers and is extremely deserving of the honor.

About Independence Aviation

Independence Aviation (IA) provides aircraft rentals, aviation instruction and pilot mentoring programs, plus aircraft and hangar management. Founded in 2007 by two veteran Certified Flight Instructors, the firm is guided by a philosophy that relationship-based flight instruction produces superior private pilots. Key elements of IA’s approach are to teach students in airplanes they’d be willing to fly cross-country, and mentor them as they evolve to aircraft that fly faster and higher. All IA planes are used for instruction and rentals to qualified pilots. The entire fleet is equipped with modern avionics and current databases, and each aircraft is impeccably maintained in both mechanical operations and appearance.