Digital Charts & AFD for Free (No Kidding and No Strings)

I don't know about everyone else out there, but I'm not a fan of paying $8 or $9 a piece for sectionals and other publications that expire every few months. The worst is when I'm taking a long cross country flight and have to buy pubs that I'll probably only ever use on that trip. Thanks to ever-improving technology and some much appreciated support from the FAA, we now have some options in these situations.

We can now download digital copies of Sectionals, IFR Low Enroute Charts, Airport/Facility Directories and more for free from the FAA's own website!

Civilian MiG-29 Flies at Quincy

FlightPrep vs Runway Finder - All's Fair or Money Rules?

I used to frequent a flight planning website called It was a really nice interface for basic, big-picture flight planning or just perusing aeronautical charts online. I tried it recently and the page wouldn't load. I didn't think much of it at the time, but it turns out that Runway Finder has been involved in a huge and very unfortunate battle.

Another company called FlightPrep filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Runway Finder. This action effectively forced Runway Finder to shut down (though FlightPrep will never concede that fact.) FlightPrep also makes flight planning software and seems to think that Runway Finder's existence is hurting their business.

The Road Back From Oshkosh

Nearly a year and a half ago I wrote about The Road to Oshkosh. It was one of those trips you'll always remember...VFR solo across the country. Ted and I thoroughly covered Oshkosh and it was a great time. My wife also met me there. She enjoyed the show enough that she said she'd be ok going back...even though our anniversary always falls during that week.

Weather Humor

If you're a geek like myself you've no doubt hear of the comic strips found over at XKCD. It's quintessential nerd humor and I can't stop reading it! So I had to share the following link to my fellow pilots... seems like this always happens to me.

XKCD Weather Humor

John Monnett Flies Electric Waiex

Bird Ball?

The perspective on this shot makes it look like the birds are surrounding the plane, but if you look at the shadows you can see they're safely off to the side. Still probably too close for comfort!

Book Review: Jet Age

We don’t get many requests to review books here at AviationBull, so I was nervous when the publisher for “Jet Age” contacted me to do a review. I hadn’t even heard of the book, and honestly from the dust jacket excerpt I kind of expected to be reading the running narration from the “Wings” channel. You know, the voice-over accompanying the faded videos of the golden age of flight. What I found instead was a story that drew me into a part of aviation history that I had largely ignored, and I enjoyed every minute of it!

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