I’ve blogged before about the effects of the Part 23 rewrite on the general aviation industry and how technology advances in this industry have increased in the past couple years under the new rules. All of the manufacturers are bringing certified products to the market at a faster pace and aircraft owners have the opportunity to make significant improvements to their aircraft with these new products. The things that we pilots used to sit around and complain about are now finally approved and we have a chance to bring more situational awareness and automation to an aging aircraft with technology similar to that of a modern automobile instead of the technology of a World War II Sherman tank.
Over the past couple of weeks, I have been training another Sparkchasers employee, Kristian Butler, so he can begin a transition from a technician in operations into a sales role. Many people would ask the question why he would ever want to do that, but that’s another discussion for another day. Kristian is outgoing with an awesome personality and he will interact well with customers, and I’m excited to have the additional help in sales.
In late July of every year pilots, aircraft owners, and aviation enthusiasts make an annual pilgrimage to Oshkosh, WI for the EAA AirVenture Airshow. It is a time to connect with old friends, see absolutely crazy air shows daily, and to see the most recent product developments for aircraft. A half of a million people come to this small Wisconsin town every year for an “everything aviation” experience and it’s something I really look forward to every year.
As I was flying back to Sparkchasers, I was looking back over my first Oshkosh experience (it will not be my last!). I learned some interesting things from sitting in seminars, talking with pilots, and just observing everything going on as well. Some of the things I heard the most about were:
Today I thought we would do a little something different. Rather than writing a blog for the person sitting in the pilot’s seat, I thought I would write something for the people sitting in the passenger seat or in the back, this one is for y’all. In all honesty, I don’t know a whole lot about the in’s and the out’s of aviation, but what I do know is how it has impacted my life heavily over the last seven or eight years. What I also know very well, is what it feels like to be the person sitting in the passenger seat or in the back of the plane not really knowing what’s going on, but hoping that everything is alright. For those of you who don’t know me - Hi my name is Avery Oetjen; I am the Marketing Coordinator at Sparkchasers and I am also the oldest daughter of Ron and Jenna Oetjen, who most of you know very well. My dad, Ron Oetjen, is a pilot just like our customers at Sparkchasers and our family has been involved in aviation for a while. See, my dad is a man that is always looking for his next challenge, the next thing that he can learn, the next thing that he can get better at - so about 5 years ago, he set his mind to getting his pilot’s licence and his instrument rating. We were all kind of excited about it - who doesn’t want to avoid having our schedules heavily dominated by Delta Airlines, being patted down because you had a pair of tweezers in your carry-on, and buying $12 bottles of water at the airport. My dad used to fly commercially all the time for business and he was gone a lot longer than he should have been because of it. After he became a pilot, what used to be 4 day trips to Ohio turned into overnight trips. What used to be a 12 hour drive turned into a 3.5 hour flight, and not a flight dictated by Delta, a flight dictated by us and our schedule. That changed everything. General Aviation allows pilots and families the freedom to be on their own schedule, that is what’s so amazing about it.
Is it time to get connectivity in your aircraft? This blog focuses on Bluetooth connectivity from your mobile devices to your avionics equipment. We show you one of the simple solutions on the market that people are using. If we want to modernize your aircraft with connectivity, you should watch this vlog!
Are you thinking about replacing some of your old analog instruments with the new electronic flight instruments? In this vlog, we discuss the Garmin G5 and the Aspen E5, and then we go flying so we can fail the Garmin G5 while in flight. Check it out!
Are you trying to figure out all these new digital auto-pilots that have hit the market in the last 12 months? Sparkchaser devoted this video to talking about three of the more popular options including the Garmin GFC 500, the Garmin GFC 600, and the S-TEC 3100. Think we missed the TruTrak Vizion in our review? Think again, because we'll have a video on that auto-pilot soon.
One of the most trending topics in the world today is Cyber Security and/or Cyber Terror. Hacking and cyber exploits have been around for a very long time, but the sophistication of these attacks are what scares me. We’re not talking about hacking someone’s Facebook account or illegally gaining access to their computer so you can watch the camera built-in to the computer. We’re talking about State sponsored, foreign and domestic, cyber attacks as a primary means of combat or terror. Let’s face it, it hasn’t been long since the US allegedly used the Stuxnet attack as a “cyber weapon” against the control systems of Iranian nuclear power plants. We now live in a cyber world and we should all be be concerned about Cyber Security because these exploits are very common and the entire world is worried about them.