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"Keeping the Fun in Flying!"
"Whether you are inspired to learn how to fly or a seasoned pilot looking for the best way to stay
in the game we are here to help. We give sport aviation pilots FREE weekly articles,
podcast and videos on topics to keep you learning, growing and
staying engaged in the aviation community."  ~ TC FREEMAN BLOG #80: March 24, 2015     



This week I have included pictures from the March 12, 2015 kick-off of the Multi-State Challenge during the Air Safety Institute (ASI) seminar in Raleigh, North Carolina. The photographer was good enough to re-send the pictures in a smaller file format that was not beyond the capabilities of my computer.

                                               Jay Darmstadter  (K. Warner, NCDOT)

    L to R: TC Freeman, David Williams, Jay Darmstadter and R. VanBenthuysen
                                                                                    (K. Warner, NCDOT)

                        L to R: TC Freeman introduces Cindy Carter (AOPA ASI) 
                                                                         (K. Warner, NCDOT)

     Our article this week discusses the potential engine failure I came close to having during a check-out in a Piper Dakota. This is one of my favorite aircraft for a variety of reasons, but my initiation in the plane began with a hard lesson.

“Keeping the fun in flying!"

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Good for Operation Fly NC Seminar Credit!

* Pilot Safety Minute #80 ~ Not All Aircraft Are Created Equal


*Feel free to link our podcast and videos to your website
or use at an upcoming safety seminar. All we ask is for a little credit!

Need a Speaker for your Next Event? We Can Help. See the Article; 
How to Afford a Speaker for Your Group

All Aircraft Are Not Created Equal



     I had spent the last week reading over the Pilots Operating Handbook (POH) for the Piper Dakota. It was impressive that this aircraft was capable of hauling four 200-pound people and full fuel.

     After flying aircraft that had four seats, with one seat that played more of a decorative role than functional, it was great to see an aircraft that was a literal “four seater.” The Dakota is what I would call “idiot proof.” If you had four people under 200 pounds each and full fuel you were good to go weight-and-balance wise.* Getting checked out in a different type of aircraft can remind pilots that all small aircraft are not created equal despite their similar shape and size. Every aircraft, even of the same type, has their own unique traits that can “bite you in the butt” if you are not careful.

About the author:

TC Freemanhas been flying since he was a teenager and is now an aviation speaker and author. Being employed as an Aviation Safety Specialist for state government, he has a passion for spreading the thrill of flying just for the fun of it via the website,


“We are excited to donate this segment of the WingsOfun BLOG to this great
program that promotes; airport visitation, education and tourism.”


* Congrats to our latest OP Fly NC Winners:

Tim Johnson, Chapel Hill, NC (Bronze Level Award)
Max Coates, White Lake, NC (Silver Level Award)
Timothy Riddick, Smithfield, VA (Gold Level Award)
Stephen Gooding, Stedman, NC (Silver Level Award)
Martin Heller, Southport, NC (Gold Level Award)

* The staff at the Shelby - Cleveland County Regional Airport, Shelby, NC have created a special area in the preflight planning room for the rubber stamp. Look for the framed noticed for OP Fly NC with the stamp box located just below on the counter.

* If you close to finishing Operation Fly NC think about completing a pilot ambassador program in another State. We have a new web site to help pilots easily find airport visitation programs. Go to

* Great News! You can get a seminar credit for the seminar requirement for Operation Fly NC by taking our online audio course,
“Flying Into Non-Towered Airports.” We are offering “Pay What You Want” pricing via PayPal for a short time. While this has been available previously in an audio presentation format, the course has been upgraded to allow pilots to access the audio without any external log-in pages and passwords. After listening to the course, there is a link to the quiz with seven questions about the material. It is graded to 100% for maximum learning. At the end of the course attendees will get a unique code to place in the “seminar” portion of the Operation Fly NC booklet.
Join us on the Operation: Fly North Carolina Facebook page at:
Note: Contact your elected officials to support
pilot issues that matter to you at:


*Click on the ad above to purchase the book.

 It's a first-class seat aboard the most recognized plane in the world, Air Force One.
Howie Franklin made history serving five presidents as an Air Force flight attendant. (Click the picture for a link to purchase).

I am proud to know Howie Franklin, who is also the manager of the Cape Fear Regional Jetport (KSUT) in Southport, NC. The book is co-written by good friend and editor, Mark Grady.

IPanel PSA (AOPA Air Safety Institute)

Be sure to watch to the end. I commend AOPA ASI for taking
some chances with this creative safety video.

*Aviation Presentations (live)
*Special Event Announcements
*Operation: Fly NC program

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