Your Subtitle text

"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 and videos on topics to keep you learning, growing and
staying engaged in the aviation community."



to the FREE blog and receive,

"5 Ways to Save Money on Flight Training" ebooklet.
Excerpts from, "How to Save Money On Flight Training" ebook.

 ******************************************************** BLOG #54: July 21, 2014 


     If you didn't see the story link from our Facebook page on aircraft ownership I suggest you check it out.* Even if you’re not in the market for an aircraft at this point, like myself, it is one of the most simple and straight forward assessments I have seen to date.

     There are a lot of deals out there in this buyers’ market if you know what you want out of an aircraft. As with our ground transportation needs, many are weary of gas guzzling aircraft despite the “fire sales” you see for high-horsepower aircraft, light twins in particular.

     I have concerns with low utilization times of aircraft in light of the fact that most sport aviation pilots only fly 52 hours a year. Since the majority of aircraft sit in the hangar or tie-down for the majority of the time, it may be time to consider clubs or partnerships. While I'm not going to beat the well-worn “flying club” drum, a good partnership (or small flying group/club) can drive costs down through maximum utilization. However, partnerships, be it clubs or small groups, can be like a marriage, for better or worse.

~TC Freeman
“Keeping the fun in flying!”


Your opportunity to continue the dialog is on Facebook:

PILOT SAFETY MINUTE VIDEO #55 ~ Have You Seen Inside Your Fuel Tank?

Need a Speaker for your Next Event? We Can Help. See the Article; 

How to Afford a Speaker for Your Group




     I am a big fan of unique marketing ideas, especially ideas that get people away from the computer and in an interactive environment. One analog marketing tool, I say analog because it’s a physical product, is a ground aircraft taxi simulator made by the Labor family, a small aviation business located in Snyder, Texas. The Labor's taxi simulator is a go-kart looking device with only three wheels and works much like an aircraft.

     The original story, seen on AOPA Live (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association), depicts the interviewer taxiing the simulator. The interviewer was having a tough time mastering the device but was fortunately under the watchful eye of a young Labor family member. Never the less, new pilots can work on communication skills without the expense of renting a real aircraft! Depicted as a taxi simulator, I could see this being used as a great way to promote learning to fly. Imagine the general public going to an airshow or fly-in and having the opportunity to experience taxiing a aircraft. This device could include miniature wings and tail with a cut-away design and moveable controls to further explain how aircraft fly.

     This story reminds me of the BD-5 mini-jet wings and fuselage that was donated as a project to convert it to a ground-based aviation education tool. I had seen a few BD-5s converted into powered rolling aircraft used for parades, rides and static display. If you are not familiar with this aircraft, it was popularized in the 1980s via a James Bond film and later in airshows as a marketing tool for a major beer company. Sadly, for my case, the project was too ambitious for our organization at the time and sat dormant in my backyard. Eventually an Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Chapter took on the cause to initiate the project. I really like the concept of creating a "hands-on" kind of aircraft for aviation education.

     Another industry that is using analog simulators is the motorcycle industry. If you haven't seen one of these they are pretty cool. Consisting of a regular motorcycle that is stabilized over a rotatable drum on the back wheel, riders get to crank-up and shift gears on the stationary bike.


    This is a great way to take the fear out of a new experience by getting them to focus on just a couple of skill areas necessary for riding a motorcycle. We could stand to learn a lot from the motorcycle industry about marketing!**

     I commend the Labor family for creating a great product that helps pilots save money by allowing new pilots to practice taxi and communications skills without turning on a Hobbs meter.* In addition to being an aid to student pilots, this would also make an awesome tool for inspiring future pilots. Time to get to work!

Author's Note: I was unable to find any additional information about the taxi simulator from the original AOPA Live story or from an Internet search. Any supporting information will be posted to the website in a future blog.

*A Hobbs meter is used to track aircraft rental cost and are sometimes called an "hour meter." I break into a sweat every time the Hobbs meter starts on a rental multi-engine aircraft, whew!

               Photo: Aircraft Parts and Salvage

**Special thanks to for the use of the motorcycle ride simulator picture. I especially like their mission to bring women into a historically male sport. As mentioned previously, we can learn a lot about bringing more people, especially women, into aviation by the example this organization sets for women.

About the author:
TC Freeman has 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.”


Discuss OP: Fly NC with fellow pilots on our Facebook page at:

Upcoming Events: Good for OP: FLY NC stamp/signature, most posted to:


… for pilots flying just for the fun of it.

With the issue of sequestration, the shut-down of many Air Traffic Control Towers is a possibility.
Regardless, it is important to know how to safely and efficiently operate at Non-Towered Airports.
In this audio book TC Freeman discusses; straight in approaches, dealing with aircraft on
extended downwind and traffic pattern entries. 

(Run time: 34 minutes)
Brought to you by:


eBook by WingsOfun Media



EXPRESS YOUR OPINION: Find your senate representatives by visiting:

~ Fed-Ex Diversions to Memphis 8/23/03


An insightful look at the huge scope of operations at the Fed-Ex hub in Memphis, TN as crews
navigate around Summertime thunderstorms. Even the big cargo pilots keep their distance
and then scurry away when the cell is centered over the airport.


*Aviation Presentations (live)

*Special Event Announcements
*Operation: Fly NC program

Questions? Contact:


Proud Member of:

"Free Your Work, Free Your Life!"

Free Agent Uprising

Website Builder