The House of Rapp

Flying is Not Driving

Posted by in Safety

The mid-century era was a wonderful time for design, architecture, and even aviation. Unfortunately, it was also the top of a slippery slope in pilot proficiency which just happens to have coincided with a proliferation of nosewheel designs… and a maddening late 50′s advertising campaign by Cessna based on the concept that flying = driving. Every time I see this ad, all I can think is “no, No, NO!” I don’t care how many flying cars or roadable airplanes they build, flying will never be anything like driving.

Year of the Tailwheel

Posted by in Blogging in Formation

My wife and I just returned from a fun and relaxing flight along the Southern California coastline in a vintage 1947 Stinson Voyager. It was a perfect start to what will hopefully be a safe and prosperous new year. It also got me thinking about what would make this trip around the sun a positive one for the world of aviation.

In the Chinese zodiac, this is the year of the horse. Conservation groups have designated it the year of the salamander. CNN claims it will be the year of the blame game. For aviators, I firmly believe 2014 should be the Year of the Tailwheel.

Vintage Flying

Posted by in Aviation, Instructing

Do you ever get the feeling that you were born in the wrong era? I do. It’s ironic because I have a natural affinity for computerized devices and other high-tech elements. Nevertheless, they don’t hold a candle to the mechanical brilliance and timeless design ethos of vintage aircraft like this 1928 Travel Air biplane.

Stick & Rudder Skills Are Important

Posted by in Opinion Leaders, Safety, Technology

A highly experienced airline captain and ERAU aviation professor has opined that automation management skills should be receiving more focus than basic stick-and-rudder aptitude. Wanna guess what I think of that idea?

Taming the Beast

Posted by in Aerobatics, Blogging in Formation, Instructing

My most memorable flight? There are many to choose from, but one of the most indelible was soloing a Pitts biplane for the first time in the unexpectedly high winds of the desert southwest. Here’s how it happened.