American’s New Livery is Growing On Me . . .

American 767

I wanted to hate American’s new look. The boring grey. The arial font. The apparent lack of imagination on the part of the designers, lazily draping the word “American” across the fuselage instead of stylizing it. But despite a style that might be more at home with other stellar designs such as the Yahoo! home page, I find that I hate it less and less every time I see a plane all dolled up in the new colors. It’s clean, modern, and hopefully over the years the scuff marks from the apron of the jetway won’t be as apparent as it is on the current fleet.

I still think they should have gone all retro and gone back to the 1930’s design . . .

American Airline’s Computers are Mocking Me…

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As I was checking in for my flight to Tulsa this morning, the computerized terminal spat out an extra slip of paper. There were the customary two boarding passes (one to Dallas, one to Tulsa), but where normally I would expect a receipt for checking my guns and gear (except there wasn’t one, because I was traveling sans firearms for once), there was a voucher for a “premium beverage” on my flight today — and expiring as soon as I stepped off my flight in Tulsa. There’s just one slight problem: neither of my flights today serve “premium beverages.”

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Cheating On Your Airline

 

There’s a reason that I prefer American Airlines. Several actually, including the nicer terminal in San Antonio and the Dallas hub being only a 40 minute fight away. But when other people are footing the bill, I don’t have much control over which airline I’m flying. Which is why I recently found myself on a Delta flight, feeling a little like a cheating lover . . .

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Video: F-35B Carrier Operations

Naturally, Lockheed wants to pimp the F-35B. They’re the manufacturer of the thing, and their continued profitability depends on the F-35 being purchased by the government — despite the planes being over budget, behind schedule and slightly dangerous. The best way for them to keep the attention on their new bird positive is to make it look sexy, which this low-light video definitely does.

One of the Coolest Airstrips in Texas

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I was riding on a train from Dallas to San Antonio recently, and somewhere along the line we passed by this pretty cool looking airstrip. I believe it was just outside Fort Worth, but I was pretty heavily into my next beer at the time and can’t recall for sure. While the strip itself is reminiscent of the typical rural strips you’d expect to see in the middle of Texas, what I wasn’t expecting was to see one where the runway is so close to the brand new looking houses. And as if that isn’t challenging enough, especially if there’s a train rolling by next to the strip, I can imagine that landing becoming a little more interesting than, say, a clear day at KSAT.

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Traveling Without a Safety Net

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I knew it was going to be close when I packed the bag, but I didn’t expect it to be quite this close. The bag read 53 pounds as it sat on the scale at the check-in desk, but the agent didn’t seem all that bothered. I didn’t even want to think about what the rifle case weighed, but my guess is somewhere in the 80 to 90 pound range. Needless to say, I didn’t let that one anywhere near the scale. I had barely squeaked under the weight limits, but in doing so I left behind a relatively crucial piece of equipment — my laptop computer.

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The Hidden Cost of Volunteering to Be Bumped

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They reel you in with promises of $400 in free travel and food vouchers, and that’s all fine and dandy. There’s a lot of things I’m willing to endure for a free trip to a destination of my choosing, and the prospect of being on an oversold flight isn’t very appetizing to begin with. But the real price of volunteering to be bumped from a flight is measured in the mind-numbing boredom you experience waiting for your new flight. Which explains why I’m sitting at an airport bar at 7 in the morning.

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With Blackjack! And Hookers!

My name is Nick Leghorn, I’m one of the writers at The Truth About Guns. It’s the single most popular firearms publication in the world, with more monthly readers than any other blog or magazine. And while guns are my life, flying is a dream that I’ve always had. I’ve been flying around the world since before I was 1 year old, and while commercial aviation is nice my dream has always been to become a private pilot.

I tried to get a spin-off of TTAG running, one that would focus on flying, but there wasn’t much interest. I even tried hooking up with existing flying blogs, but again no one seemed interested. So just like TTAG did a few years back, I’m starting my own blog. With blackjack. And hookers.

With this blog, I plan to document my journey from pilot wannabe to IFR rating, along with documenting my travels and things I’ve learned about the aviation industry. I love talking about flying in all of its flavors, and hopefully you (my future readers) will love hearing about it just as much.