ON COURSE

AN­OTHER CHAR­AC­TER JOINS THE FLY­ING CAST

Flying - - CONTENTS -

Fly­ing wel­comes a new con­tribut­ing edi­tor to the team

Our lineup of columnists is an eclec­tic bunch. We have an air­line pi­lot who spends half the year let­ting his beard grow long on a live­aboard sail­boat in the Caribbean (Sam Weigel), an­other air­line pi­lot who writes avi­a­tion-in­spired mys­tery nov­els (Les Abend), three folks who fly per­sonal jets (Dick Karl and John and Martha King), a self-taught aero­dy­nam­i­cist with a Har­vard English de­gree who builds and pilots air­planes of his own de­sign (Peter Gar­ri­son), a mas­ter flight in­struc­tor and Ci­ta­tion jet cap­tain who’s an ab­so­lute whiz with an iPad (Bret Koebbe) and a guy with an en­vi­able amount of PC-12 time who, oh, by the way, also flies his own Robin­son he­li­copter to work when the mood strikes (John Zim­mer­man). And then there’s Martha Lunken, who’s as eclec­tic as they come (or is it ec­cen­tric?) and who I hear is spend­ing time these days at the con­trols of an old DC-3. I’m sure she’ll be happy to tell you all about it in a fu­ture col­umn.

What we don’t have among our ex­pert group of columnists is a “reg­u­lar” pi­lot, some­one who can re­late on a com­pa­ra­ble level to the ex­pe­ri­ences of our read­ers who own and fly pis­ton gen­eral avi­a­tion air­planes.

I’m pleased to in­tro­duce you to that per­son. Ben Younger is a Bo­nanza pi­lot who’s been in love with avi­a­tion since he was a kid but who learned to fly only more re­cently. In his col­umn, Lead­ing Edge, he’ll be writ­ing about air­craft own­er­ship is­sues from the per­spec­tive of some­body who knows what goes into a com­plex panel up­grade or in­te­rior re­fur­bish­ment in a grace­fully ag­ing GA air­plane. He’ll be talk­ing as much about his suc­cesses as fail­ures, never shy­ing away from fes­s­ing up to the mis­takes he’s mak­ing along the way.

Ben’s also a gear head. When he’s not fly­ing, you’ll be just as likely to find him at the track pur­su­ing an­other of his pas­sions, mo­tor­cy­cle rac­ing. And although he lives in New York, he’s a Hol­ly­wood guy. He’s been writ­ing and di­rect­ing fea­ture films for many years now, in­clud­ing 2000’s Boiler

Room, with Vin Diesel and Ben Af­fleck; Prime, a ro­man­tic com­edy star­ring Uma Thur­man and Meryl Streep; and 2016’s Bleed for This, a crit­i­cally ac­claimed true-life box­ing story ex­ec­u­tive pro­duced by Martin Scors­ese.

The idea be­hind Ben’s col­umn is for him to write about per­sonal avi­a­tion from a rel­a­tive new­comer’s per­spec­tive. There will be dis­cus­sions of first-time own­er­ship is­sues, in­clud­ing tales of search­ing for an air­plane to buy, pur­chas­ing it and, of course, fly­ing and main­tain­ing it. Ben bought his first air­plane a year and a half ago and flew it all around the coun­try. As they say in the movie busi­ness, I’ll keep the spoil­ers to a min­i­mum and leave you to search out his de­but col­umn in this is­sue on your own time. What I can prom­ise is that Ben’s writ­ing style doesn’t lack for the “eclec­ti­cism” you’ve come to know and ex­pect around here, go­ing back to the days of Richard Bach, Len Mor­gan, Gor­don Bax­ter and so many oth­ers through the years.

Please join me in ex­tend­ing Ben a hearty wel­come to the pages of Fly­ing.

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