Airshow Pilot for a Day!

Mike Goulian and Ann CurryMike Goulian was recently featured on NBC’s Today Show. They profile non-traditional careers in a series called “Moonlighting”.

For this episode, Goulian took Today correspondent Ann Curry up for a demo in an Extra 300L and had her flying a primary level sequence after only one flight.

The media so often portrays general aviation in a poor light, sensationalizing even the most routine gear up landing as a near-death event. And that goes double for aerobatic and airshow stories. So it’s nice to watch Ms. Curry really enjoy herself and connect with the passion so many of us feel for this thing called flying. She starts off by noting that airshow pilots often seem “at the edge of their sanity”, but by the end of the segment has learned that Goulian and his ilk are a reminder that “not giving up on your true passion can lead to a life of joy.”

It’s very well produced, almost as if AOPA had put it together rather than a mainstream news program. Watch it here.

They also aired an outstanding segment on Angel Flight last year as part of a series entitled “Who We Admire”. The video is still availble online.

Today seems to be one of the few media outlets to treat general aviation decently. I wonder if someone on their staff is a pilot. Whatever the reason, I hope they keep up the good work.

  4 comments for “Airshow Pilot for a Day!

  1. March 24, 2005 at 9:58 am

    Gear up Landing…Routine????

  2. Ron
    March 24, 2005 at 2:11 pm

    Routine in the sense that it’s not a big deal.I’ve never heard of anyone getting hurt in a gear up landing, inadvertent or intentional. It scratches the bottom of the fuselage and curls the prop tips. That’s about it.

    But to watch it on the news, you’d think it was the end of the world and that the airplane was sure to burst into flames, wiping out the entire airport in the ensuing explosion.

  3. March 25, 2005 at 9:47 am

    You are absolutely correct. There isn’t much damage to a plane from a reg gear up landing and if its done right, there is no injury as well. I guess we could say instead of routine, non emergency.

    But yes, the media will MAKE it into an emergency. Of course, maybe they are still thinking about the Gear up./hydro failure of that DC – 10 des moins.

    Now that thing BURST into flames and of course made for Good media. I supopse you could say there IS a potential for good media.

    But lets talk about 325Z for a while. In October, when it made a nose wheel-less landing, there was NO damage and it is already back on line! So yeah, can be done

  4. Ron
    March 26, 2005 at 12:05 am

    I wasn’t around for the 25Z incident, but when doing the Cirrus transition ground, James mentioned something about it having had a prop strike.

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