Saturday, July 07, 2012

Five Key Stories to Track at 2012 Farnborough International Airshow

Guest post by Damien Lasou, Accenture

The aviation industry’s top influencers and decision makers will soon convene outside London for the 48th Farnborough International Airshow. The event, which occurs from July 9 through 15, marks an opportunity to discuss the latest developments in civil aviation, aeronautics, air defense, manufacturing and innovation. To prepare for the event, Accenture has examined the latest industry trends and developments. Following are five stories we expect to be prevalent during Farnborough.

One: Concerns about fleet delivery delays, cancellations of orders, and the latest news from major manufacturers

Several airline carriers have recently cancelled orders of new planes from major airplane manufacturers. Other carriers have begun to express concerns publicly about extended delivery delays for the new planes. Large manufacturers remain bullish on their industry, but some rising and increasingly formidable competitors may come to Farnborough with more optimism about their own growth potential. The state of the manufacturing sector, and future market share fluctuations, will be a major storyline this year.

Two: Russia’s unrealized potential

There were bold predictions and initial optimism during the past few years about Russia’s potential to become a major aerospace manufacturing player. But recent crashes of Russian airliners are the latest in a series of challenges that have hindered the Russian airline industry from realizing that potential.

The country’s aviation industry has yet to obtain the level of success some predicted. To be a new entrant in a mature market such as commercial or defense aviation, a safety record is a priority and prerequisite. Russian manufacturers are not convincing the market when it comes to safety, and it has kept the nation’s industry down as other markets have emerged. Russian corporations and those seeking to do business with them will be looking to Farnborough to determine whether the country will ever soar to the heights some once thought it could reach.

One recent development of note may turn out to be significant for Russia. Russia and China are reportedly planning to build a new long-range aircraft. This will likely be a hot topic of conversation at Farnborough.

Three: Revisiting China and Brazil

The potential emergence of China and Brazil as major aerospace companies was one of the major themes at last year’s Paris Air Show. Although industry discussions of these two competitors have cooled somewhat, both nations continue to issue strong economic reports. A&D companies from both countries are strong suppliers as well as increasingly eager consumers, and the trend will likely continue for the next several years.

In particular, China’s Comac and Brazil’s Embraer are well positioned to excel in the turbo prop and business jet markets for regional travel; both markets are poised to recover. The future continues to look bright for these two major nations, and this future prosperity will be a prevailing theme at this year’s Farnborough.

Four: Tablets in the cockpit and cabin

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is considering replacing paper instructions and filings for pilots with customized tablet computers. This could eliminate voluminous paperwork associated with flight planning, thereby reducing costs, decreasing environmental impacts, improving record-keeping and reducing errors.

Similarly, some airlines are starting to consider tablets as a tool to provide in-flight entertainment and disseminate safety messages. This idea has significant appeal. The current trend in in-flight entertainment entails use of wires linking a personal entertainment system into each cabin seat. Although these individual systems provide flyers with a various options, they cost millions of dollars per plane and require extensive networking infrastructure. Innovative and economical ways to use tablets on airplanes will be an important business technology issue at Farnborough.

Five: Austerity --- a challenging foe for the defense sector

Many nations face massive budget deficits. With war conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq lessening and governments seeking to make cuts palpable to their voters, many Farnborough attendees will be looking for opportunities to reduce defense spending. At the same time, aging fighter jets need to be replaced and some countries such as China seem to be continuing to ramp up unabated.

In recent years defense aviation has viewed by some as a buttress against the impact of the global recession. But defense spending may start to scale back in several countries. Companies will be talking about how to reassess their commercial and defense aerospace investments.

Damien Lasou is the managing director of the Aerospace and Defense business within Accenture’s Electronics & High-Tech industry group. He can be reached at Damien.lasou@accenture.com.

Friday, January 13, 2012

What is it like to be a flight attendant?


This from Baltic Aviation Academy:

Marius Brazys, who has recently joined Baltic Aviation Academy as a sales project manager in the Initial Pilot Training School, has a strong background and extensive experience in working within the aviation industry. Having worked as a senior flight attendant on Boeing 737, Fokker 50, Fokker 100 and Dash 8-Q400 types of aircraft for a total of over 4 years, Marius is just the right guy to explain us what it really means to be a flight attendant.


1. There are many people dreaming to become flight attendants; however, they rarely act on their dreams. As I know, you have a bachelor’s degree in Automotive Transport Engineering which is absolutely unrelated to aviation. How did you get the idea of becoming a flight attendant? What were the reasons for choosing the sky highways?


I have fantasized about flying since I was a little boy. It so turned out though that I went on to study engineering. After my graduation I set off to visit my friends in Japan. I spent my flight back watching flight attendants and enjoying the comfort of B747. The idea that then crossed my mind was ‘Now or never’. As soon as I got back I left my previous job and started to search for Cabin Crew positions in airlines operating in Vilnius.


2. Was it hard to get a job as a flight attendant? Could you tell us more about how one starts seeking a career in this area? What are most airlines looking for?


Airlines are on a constant lookout for new talent. However, the selection is very complex. The main requirements include being at least 18 years old, a good swimmer, knowing several languages and having experience in customer service. Physical state is also very important – each candidate must pass the 2nd class medical commission and receive a required health certificate).


After sending out an application and all required documents you must wait until you are invited to attend either an Open Day or Assessment Day. During the day you are required to perform a number of tasks: sit through a personal interview, participate in a group interview and be involved in a group discussion, pass the English test. After every round candidates who fail to demonstrate adequate skills are automatically sent home, others proceed further. If you are lucky you receive an invitation to attend a final interview in the airline‘s headquarters. After that, a candidate must undergo the aforementioned medical checks and, if everything is alright, he/she is accepted and may place the first steps in aviation as a Cabin Crew trainee. Then, of course, there is an intensive training where one must be able to absorb a lot of information in a very short period of time and pass a large number of exams.


3. From an outsider’s view, the flight attendant job seems adventurous and fun but as we know every profession has its challenges. Please tell us more about the qualities a person willing to become a flight attendant should possess.


He or she must love flying, be a rather easy going person, flexible, excellent team player, honest, responsible and hard working.


4. You have a 5 years’ experience working onboard – what are the most attractive features of being a cabin crew member?


First and foremost – the flight itself! When here on the ground we are sometimes faced with rain or snow, up there the sun is always shining! Even if you tried, you could not spend two days alike. Every day you meet new cabin crew members, pilots and passengers, go to different destinations and see new places. Naturally, there is always a number of frequent fliers when you already know much about – for example, what kind of drinks they prefer onboard.


5. On every flight you have to provide excellent service to at least 90 passengers. Not everybody gets on the plane in their best mood. How do you deal with aggressive or snappish clients? Any memorable situations you could tell us about?


The main rule is to keep yourself in high spirits. Usually all that it takes to solve most of the issues is a sincere conversation, an explanation of why certain behaviour might be inappropriate. In more extreme cases one may apply stricter measures – usually in the form of captain warning. Passengers who understand the gravity of situation tend to be apologetic and cease to behave inappropriately. If no such measures are effective, after landing the plane is greeted by a police car. And that results in a very expensive ‘escort’.


6. What measures can cabin crew take to calm down aggressive/hysteric clients? I’ve heard you are even able to twist an arm and call the police. Did it ever happen to you?


A flight attendant must have nerves of steel. Most importantly he/she must understand that an aggressive passenger is not only a danger to himself but also to other passengers onboard. I can recall a situation when an overly intoxicated passenger went on to harassing other passengers and overly demonstrating his emotions. Having paid no attention to any cabin crew warnings the troubled flier ended up being arrested as soon as he landed and escorted from an aircraft in handcuffs.


7. We also know that cabin crew duties involve helping with the safety operations – we watch them demonstrating the proper use of oxygen masks and safety belts, the whereabouts of lifeboats and emergency exits, etc.. Did you ever face an emergency situation?


This is the first task that a flight attendant must complete after entering an aircraft. We must check whether all the needed equipment is onboard and we can proceed with the flight. I always watch the safety demo as a passenger myself and highly recommend doing that for every air traveler. For those not paying attention I explain that flight attendants are indeed well trained to help passengers in case of emergencies. Needless to say, they would never leave a passenger in a critical situation on his/her own.


Most serious situations onboard are related to passengers feeling unwell or losing consciousness. Then a flight attendant needs to demonstrate sharp reaction and the entire crew is required to coordinate their actions. The crucial thing is to determine the problem as quickly as possible and to provide the first aid accordingly. The captain must be also informed about the seriousness of situation so that if needed, the aircraft can be landed in the nearest available airport and the passenger can be provided all the necessary medical help.


8. Do flight attendants have enough time between flights to visit and actually see their flight destinations? During your career were you ever surprised by cultural differences in other countries?


It really depends on where you are going and how the schedules are arranged. Some flights are turnaround. Then the aircraft is only tidied and takes passengers for a return flight almost immediately after landing. Sometimes there are gaps of 12 to 48 hours or even longer. These are known as ‘city breaks’. Flight attendants often have their favourite cafes and bars they go to in different cities. Moreover, they often share their experience with passengers visiting those cities: places of interest, what-to-do’s, what-to-see’s, nice catering establishments, etc.


9. What type of relationships do crew members usually maintain among themselves: do flight attendants get along with pilots? Are the relationships between flight and the cabin crew – mostly professional or friendly?


Mostly relationships are strictly professional. However, as in any other workplace, people form friendships and find people they feel comfortable spending their free time with, for example, in a disco or a bar after work.


10. What was the most memorable flight you worked on and why?


It must have been the presidential flight to Brussels under the presidency of His Excellency Valdas Adamkus – mostly because of exceptionally high requirements, both regarding food and service. It was also memorable due to the fact that it was the last official visit of His Excellency as the president of Lithuania.


11. Hearing stories about flight attendant’s life makes you think that it is a very romantic profession. Maybe you could share some interesting stories from ‘behind the scenes’?


Customers, seeing smartly dressed and well groomed flight attendants, sometimes leave their contact numbers, invite them on dates, etc.


12. A cabin crew member – is it a feminine or a masculine position?


Historically speaking, it has always been a female flight attendant with a signature hat and a scarf streaming in the wind. Nowadays, however, the job itself has changed and there have been more and more guys wishing to fly for a living (most of them – future pilots). Statistically an average airline employs 80% of female and 20% of male flight attendants.


13. What would be your last word to all of those dreaming to become cabin crew members?


If you are bored from your 9 to 5 job, enjoy flying, working within a team and are a service oriented person – look no further! Just become a flight attendant!


Thank you for an interesting interview.


Baltic Aviation Academy has so far trained more than 10 000 aviation specialists. On the 6th of February, 2012 it is set to welcome a new group of students wishing to become certified flight attendants.


About Baltic Aviation Academy


Baltic Aviation Academy provides 45 training courses, including type rating training for Boeing 737 CL, Boeing 737 NG, Boeing 747-400, Boeing 757, Boeing 767, Boeing 777, Saab 340/2000, Airbus A320, Airbus A330/340, ATR 42-72, Embraer 135/145, Embraer 170/190, Bombardier CRJ 100/200, Bombardier CRJ 700/900 types of aircrafts. Baltic Aviation Academy is part of the Lithuanian aviation company group Avia Solutions Group. Since March 2011, Avia Solutions Group has been listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (ASG index).


More about Baltic Aviation Academy: www.balticaa.com


Friday, May 20, 2011

Donate to Cancer Research, Get Delta Skymiles

Press release:


Delta Skymiles Awarded to National Foundation for Cancer Research Donors

The National Foundation for Cancer Research has launched a program in which donors can choose to receive Delta Skymiles when making donations of $25 or more. Donors receive 10 Skymiles for every dollar donated to cancer research.

“Our donors are very important to us, and we appreciate every dollar they can give to help us get one step closer to finding a cure for cancer,” said Franklin C. Salisbury, Jr., President of NFCR. “By working with Delta Airlines, we are very pleased to award Skymiles to donors to express our gratitude for their generous giving. We are thankful to Delta for joining hands with us and making this program possible.”

Skymiles can be redeemed for Delta flights as well as hotel stays, magazine and newspaper subscriptions, car rentals and more.

To make a donation and receive Delta Skymiles, visit www.nfcr.org/delta. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

About the National Foundation for Cancer Research

The National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR) is a leading cancer research charity dedicated to funding cancer research and public education relating to cancer prevention, earlier diagnosis, better treatments and, ultimately, a cure for cancer. NFCR promotes and facilitates collaboration among scientists to accelerate the pace of discovery from bench to bedside.

Since 1973, NFCR has provided over $288 million in support of discovery-oriented cancer research focused on understanding how and why cells become cancerous, and on public education relating to cancer prevention, detection, and treatment. NFCR’s scientists are discovering cancer’s molecular mysteries and translating these discoveries into therapies that hold the hope for curing cancer. NFCR is about Research for a Cure—cures for all types of cancer. For more information, please visit www.NFCR.org.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Investors Waiting On Cirrus Counter-Offer

NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 26, 2011

In March, industry consultant and investment banker Brian Foley published a report exploring the buying up of US general-aviation companies by foreign entities. In doing so, he unwittingly discovered a widespread penchant for getting one particular company, Cirrus Aircraft, back under US control.

Cirrus, based in Duluth, Minnesota, designs and manufactures small, single-engine aircraft that are highly regarded for their modern technology and innovative safety features. Cirrus is viewed by many to be part of America's aviation heritage, but its sale to China is pending in a deal that might be approved as early as May.

Although formed in 1984, Cirrus has been 58% owned by the Bahraini concern Arcapita since 2001. The current Chinese deal, for a reported $210 million, would be for 100% of the company -- leaving no US ownership, which has been a major cause of consternation.

Struck by how passionately the community wanted Cirrus to be back in American hands, Foley saw a window of opportunity to at least to try and assemble a group of investors and organize an eleventh-hour unsolicited bid.

“The initial investor response was swift and encouraging,” Foley said. "We’ve since had time to follow up, and even contact those on our own aerospace investor list. While we continue to identify and vet more prospective investors, the general consensus thus far is to see first whether the Chinese offer currently on the table proceeds to fruition. There is some element of doubt on this, but many believe it probably will. If it doesn't, however, we have investors waiting to reevaluate the situation. We acknowledge our investors’ viewpoint in following this approach.”

Foley believes that other possible investor groups are also working on contingency plans for Cirrus. “Some have been in contact with us, while others are more low-key. What’s important is knowing that the merits of our concept are shared by others, which hopefully boosts the odds of restoring Cirrus as an American-owned fixture.”

About Brian Foley Associates (BRiFO)

Brian Foley Associates are recognized thought leaders and management advisors to the general aviation industry. Primary practice areas include industry analysis and forecasting, market research, strategic planning, new product evaluation and transaction support. The firm was formed in 2006 by industry veteran Brian Foley, a former executive at a major business jet manufacturer for over 20 years. Mr. Foley is also a licensed securities representative of John W. Loofbourrow Associates, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC, MSRB, who helps find buyers and growth capital for general aviation companies. For more information visit www.BRiFO.com, www.LoofInc.com, or follow @BrianFoleyAssoc on Twitter.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Women of Aviation Worldwide Week

This press release was received by Thirty Thousand Feet:

Calhoun Air Center Soars Above and Beyond

Port Lavaca, Texas - March 8, 2011 marked the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, in celebration, the aviation community proclaimed the entire week to be Women of Aviation Worldwide Week (WOAW). Calhoun Air Center embraced the main goal of the event which was to show females worldwide that they care capable of achieving their dreams; specifically that a career in aviation is an advantageous outlet for them.

This weekend, airport manager, Dianna Stanger offered free helicopter rides to 104 passengers from our community, of those 98 were females! “It was two fantastic days of girls and women in every age group!” commented Stanger. “Mrs. Annette Pfeil, 79 years old, was by far one of the most unique women to take flight. She had this on her bucket list to fly in a helicopter; she loved it so much she flew both days!”

Indeed, Annette returned on Sunday with her great grandson, Mason Taylor and his cousin, Ellea Boyd. Mrs. Pfeil said, “I thought, ‘This is too good to pass up!’ It was a great family experience and they’ll have a lot to say when they go back to school next week. It was a wonderful experience, I really enjoyed the ride, it’s neat to see Port Lavaca from the air, a whole different view. I loved being able to look down and see the buildings, their shapes and in the bay you could see all of the shallow areas.”

The air center emphasized the multiple options available to kids and girls. “The main goal of the event was to give back to those young women who are volunteering their time to better themselves and their communities and to introduce them to a portion of society that is severely under populated by female participants.” said flight school manager, Steve Plunkett. In fact, female aviators only make up six percent of the total pilot demographic which can be vastly improved!

They concentrated on two organizations, the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and Girls with Wings (GWW). The EAA has a summer camp, an array of awards and scholarships for kids interested in aviation. The girls were given the opportunity to use this flight as their Young Eagles First Flight, which is a part of the EAA, and have their names entered into the world’s largest logbook plus gain access to a wealth of aeronautical knowledge tailored to youth aspiring towards a life involving aviation including scholarship funding that can be applied directly towards flight training costs.

One passenger, 15-year-old Grace Carr said, “I haven’t researched if it was possible to find scholarships, but yesterday I filled out a form for EAA Young Eagles, and the air center sent me home with a packet about learning to fly and Girls With Wings, so it\'s awesome.”

GWW opens the world of aviation up to young women and is a fantastic way for girls to find a mentor pilot in their area, follow the online education process to get active in aviation and has a scholarship program available. Both groups have fantastic websites that are gold mines of information to keep young people interested in aviation.

Dianna proudly stated, “It was an eye opener to many of the girls to ride in a helicopter. They had the opportunity to fall in love with flying; that was heartwarming to share my love of aviation with so many others who could do it too.”

Many of the girls and women had never been on a helicopter, for some their excitement was uncontrollable. Michele Kuester saw the advertisements and decided to treat her daughter to an unforgettable experience.

Michele said, “My daughter, McKinsey was in complete AWE of the whole experience. Dianna was so inspiring, so encouraging and the love she has for flying just radiated from her. When we drove away from the airport McKinsey said ‘Mom, that was soooooooo cool…when I grow up I want to be just like Miss Dianna and fly helicopters too!’ Not only did it open my daughter’s eyes to a whole new career option it was literally a once in a lifetime experience.”

Everyone at Calhoun Air Center is glad that the mission they set out to accomplish was achieved far beyond their expectations. As the girls’ left the airport, their beaming faces were overwhelming.

Calhoun Air Center - PKV
4876 FM 3084
Port Lavaca, Texas 77979

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Pilot Exposure to Criminal and Civil Liabilities on the Job

The following guest post was written by Michael W. Johnson, the President and CEO of Paramount Aviation Resources Group. It was motivated when Continental Airlines mechanic John Taylor was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for the crash of the Concorde flight AF4590.

The recent ruling by the French Court convicting Continental Airlines mechanic John Taylor for involuntary manslaughter for the crash of the Concorde flight AF 4590 in July, 2000 brings to light the vulnerability airline personnel face as part of their job. One of the interesting aspects of this case was that Taylor, an aircraft mechanic, lives and works in Texas. He was charged and convicted of a crime without ever entering the jurisdiction of the court that ruled on the case.

This is not a standalone case of crewmembers being criminally charged for negligence following an aircraft incident or accident. Other examples of crewmembers being criminally charged following accidents or incidents include:

  • A Lebanese court convicted the captain of UTA Flight 141 in October 2010 and jailed him for 20 years following a crash in December 2003. The aircraft took off up to 20,000 pounds over the maximum allowable gross takeoff weight and crashed shortly thereafter. Authorities ruled that the cause of the crash was “[uneven] distribution of the load.”
  • An Italian court convicted the captain and co-pilot for the Tuninter Flight 1153 crash off the coast of Sicily in 2005. Both pilots received jail sentences. The court ruled that the pilots failed to take adequate emergency measures before the crash.
  • Two U.S. corporate pilots were charged by a Brazilian court following a mid-air collision that resulted in the crash of a B-737 over Brazil in 2006. Prosecutors insist that the corporate jet was flying at the incorrect altitude (even though the evidence supported the pilot’s assertions that the altitude was assigned to them by ATC).
  • A Japan Airlines (JAL) MD-11 pilot was indicted for professional negligence in the death of a crewmember following a 1997 in-flight turbulence incident. The pilot was later found not-guilty of the charges, but his career and reputation were irreparably damaged.

There are many more examples. These cases all support the notion that crewmembers cannot succumb to complacency and be must remain vigilant at all times while on duty. Even though a pilot may not be directly responsible for the cause of the crash that does not preclude him/her from being charged or even jailed following an accident or incident.

It is also important to remember that countries do not share common laws in regard to the rights and trial procedures of someone charged with criminal liability, especially non-citizen defendants. In general terms negligence is defined as, “The failure to exercise the standard of care that a reasonably prudent person would have exercised in a similar situation.” This legalese translates into, “any conduct that falls below the legal standard established to protect others against unreasonable risk of harm.” [See Black’s Law Dictionary, Garner p. 1061.]

The usual standard by which action or inaction on the part of the crewmember is measured against for a professional pilot would be that of generally accepted procedures in the aviation industry (such as an ICAO standard) or that of the jurisdiction in which the incident occurred. In the latter situation it is difficult to ascertain exactly what the standard of measure will be; however, factors that will be considered include: company operations specifications and policies as well as the rules set forth by the governing authority for the jurisdiction you are operating in. On a long international flight this will encompass several jurisdictions.

Even by following all of the proper procedures there is no guaranty that charges will be not brought against a crewmember in the event of an accident or incident. It is important to always have access to legal counsel. Crewmembers should check with their operator as to what legal support services will be supplied on their behalf or identify their own counsel with knowledge and experience in aviation cases.

Remember too, that all crewmembers may be subject to the same liability for the actions or inactions of fellow crewmember. Whether you are the Pilot in Command (PIC), Second in Command (SIC), Pilot Flying (PF) or Pilot Not Flying (PNF) your actions and inactions will be closely scrutinized.

To mitigate potential exposure to legal liability I suggest crewmembers follow this non-exhaustive list of good operating practices:

  1. Follow your company’s standard operating procedures;
  2. Strictly adhere to all rules and regulations (a common example is eliminating non-essential communications below 10,000 feet);
  3. Use and adhere to all normal, abnormal and emergency checklists;
  4. Adhere to MEL and CDL limitations;
  5. Go around if you are not stabilized as defined in your company’s operational specifications on final approach;
  6. Do not attempt a takeoff or landing into know or suspected conditions that exceed the limitations for the aircraft you are operating;
  7. Use good CRM skills;
  8. Use accepted ICAO phraseology when communicating with ATC;
  9. Put the seat belt sign on before entering areas of known or suspected turbulence;
  10. Expect and demand the same level of professionalism from your colleagues as you do from yourself.
In summary, be conservative, be professional, and be safe. In aviation it is always better to be safe than sorry.

About Michael W. Johnson
Mr. Johnson is the founder, President & CEO and a member of the board of directors for Paramount Aviation Resources Group. Mr. Johnson’s flight experience includes international and domestic operations throughout Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and North America. Mr. Johnson served as the Chief Pilot in Honolulu, Hawaii for JALWays (a subsidiary of Japan Airlines). Mr. Johnson holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Clemson University and a Juris Doctorate law degree from Concord University School of Law.




Saturday, February 05, 2011

The Joy of Flight

The following article was submitted by Stan Taylor, Workshop
Presenter, Scientists in School:


The Windsor Airport always held a fascination for me. I used to ride my bike up to the fence where the aircraft used to take off or land, depending upon which way the wind was blowing, in total fascination. “What got them off the ground? What kept them in the air?” are questions I would ask myself with my head cranked skyward. The answers to these questions would come much later during my senior years.


I taught elementary school with the Toronto Catholic District School Board for 23 years. My last four years were spent teaching Grade 6 students at St. Barnabas in Scarborough how to build balsawood gliders to scale. We would start off using a 1:1 scale on 1 cm2 grid paper.


On an overhead projector I would show them how to draw the top view, side view and front view. We would put in all the measurements, and make out a materials list. We made the airplanes and it was such good fun.


When I retired, I joined a group called “Scientists in School” (www.scientistsinschool.ca). This not-for-profit organization began in 1989 in 40 Durham Region classrooms as a pilot project of community scientists. Today about 600 000 children and youth participate in 65 curriculum-aligned workshops across the Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, Guelph, Waterloo Region and Niagara Region, with outreach into rural and remote communities in other parts of Ontario. We are also doing a pilot project in Lethbridge, Alberta. We have the largest elementary student reach of any science promotion organization or any science centre across Canada. We are, in essence, the field trip that comes to the school.


I teach a workshop with Scientists in School called “Air and Flight.” In this workshop, the students do experiments to demonstrate the four forces that govern flight, namely: Thrust, lift, gravity and drag. I am in my 10th year doing this workshop and it is as much fun for me now as it was when I first started.


Scientists in School has allowed me to go beyond the organization with my flight activities. I have been involved in the “Malls of Science” through “Science Rendezvous” for the past three years teaching children from 8 to 15 how to build balsawood gliders. Three years ago I was privileged to do an all-day workshop on “Things That Fly” for a school of the deaf in Toronto. During the Summer of 2009, I took part in the 100th Anniversary of powered flight in Canada with COPA 70 at the Oshawa Airport. I do my workshops with 10 school boards in and near Toronto. During the second week of November, I gave a workshop to Ontario educators on “Building Balsawood Gliders to Scale” at the Annual Conference of the Science Teachers Association of Ontario.


What was really fascinating about the Conference was the hotel’s close proximity to Pearson International Airport. Whenever I went out to my car or returned to the hotel, I could hear a jet overhead and I looked up.



On December 12, I was at the Canadian Air and Space Museum teaching children how to make hovercrafts and balsawood gliders. Although I now comprehend the physics of flight and comprehend how aircraft get off the ground and stay airborne, I am still in awe of these beautiful flying machines. I daydream and I think back to the days of my youth, well spent at the Windsor Airport.

Stan Taylor,

Workshop Presenter

Scientists in School