David Franson
January 25, 2012

GUEST BLOGGER: Dr. Jerry L. Robinson, PhD.

Years ago, while employed at Cessna, I was “checked out” to fly single engine airplanes by one of the most capable and precise pilots I’ve ever seen.

by Former Cessna Pilot Dr. Jerry Robinson

His piloting skills were as good as his jokes were corny and bad, but I learned from him every time we flew together. Perhaps his only mistake as a flyer was to sign me off to terrorize the skies on my own. But, he managed to survive with his reputation in tact and has gone on to a have a noteworthy and productive teaching career.
Dr. Jerry Robinson knows a lot about flying. When I told him I was looking for some guest “bloggers” for the Aero Club website, he willingly accepted my invitation. Here’s the first of what I hope will be numerous offerings from an insightful and capable flight instructor who can also write a little bit, too!


We all know that sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees. But I fear that we’re approaching a point in flight training where we can’t see the trees for the forest.

I’ve been a flight instructor since 1963, and a Designated Pilot Examiner for a considerable portion of that time. It’s easy…and natural, I suppose… to look fondly on the “good old days” and argue that aviation has gone to hell in a hand basket, and that we just don’t do it like we did back in the day. Keep reading >

David Franson
January 5, 2012

BOEING: Moving and Shaking

Tough news greeted the Wichita Aviation community with the coming of the new year–Boeing will close its Wichita facilities over the next 24 months. After 83 years, the “Air Capital of the World” will be without one of its biggest aviation entities. The decision gives new, and unwelcome, meaning to the terms “movers” and “shakers” as it applies to the corporate giant. Their move definitely shakes things up in Wichita and in Kansas.

The local community feels betrayed–and congressional representatives and the Governor have all voiced a sense of dismay over “broken promises” from Boeing that they would build the KC-46 Tanker in Wichita. While these feelings are understandable and justified, based on impressions Boeing cultivated during the tanker competition, all of the government leaders would agree that a business should NOT be compelled to do something that is economically detrimental because of government perceptions. The crux of this situation is that Boeing utilized the clout and voice of the state of Kansas, its state and federal political leaders and the commitment of its workforce to influence the eventual decision…and now the company is taking another direction. Keep reading >