Tragedy in Georgia

A Tragedy in Georgia


24246334_BG4It is always sad to hear of any aircraft mishaps especially when it results in a fatality but it seems a little more personal when it’s in your own back yard.

There was 2 fatalities in a small private jet crash northwest of Atlanta on Tuesday night December 17th. That is just a few short mile east of my home airport, The Paulding Northwest Atlanta airport.

According to the FAA, the flight departed from the Fulton County Airport and was headed for the New Orleans Lakefront Airport. The aircraft was a Raytheon 390 Premier jet which crashed just after 7 p.m.

A Medical Examiner identified one of the victims as Peter Mallen, 67, of Atlanta. Peter was CEO of the Norcross-based Mallen Industries. The second victim was identified as Brittany McAuley, 23, of New York and a former Emory University student.

It looked as if it was headed straight towards some local homes but according to an eye witness it appeared as if the pilot made a deliberate turn to the left just before the plane hit the trees. No homes were struck by the plane according to the fire department.

Officials are still currently investigating the cause of the crash.Raytheon-390-Premier


Tommy Eldridge


Salute America 2012 update

The Paulding North West Atlanta Air Show


General Admission Parking

On-site paid parking is available at the Paulding-Northwest Atlanta Airport for guests. Parking cost is $10.00 per car/truck; there is no RV/Bus parking available on site. The number of parking spaces on-site is limited and is offered on a first come, first serve basis.

Shuttle Buses will run continuously from the designated parking areas to the Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport. Bus service begins at 9:00 AM and runs through 5:30 PM, or until all guests have been returned to the parking lots.

Those guests requiring special assistance may park at the Paulding County Senior Center (Cars must display a Handicap Hang Tag or License plates). There will be ADA accessible buses available to shuttle guests from the Paulding County Senior Center to the Air Show.
The address for the Paulding County Senior Center is:

Paulding County Senior Center
54 Industrial Way North
Dallas, GA 30132

Salute America 2012 Air Show parking lots will be opened on a scheduled basis. The primary parking lots will be opened at 8:00 AM. The primary parking lots and addresses are listed below:

Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport
570 Airport Parkway
Dallas GA 30132

Poole Elementary School
1002 Wayside Lane
Dallas, GA 30132

Paulding County Government Complex
240 Constitution Boulevard
Dallas GA 30132

Once the primary parking lots are completely occupied, the secondary parking lots will be opened. The secondary parking lots and addresses are listed below:

Chattahoochee Technical College
400 Nathan Dean Boulevard
Dallas GA 30132

Chattahoochee Technical College
300 Nathan Dean Boulevard
Dallas GA 30132

Paulding County Chamber of Commerce
451 Jimmy Campbell Parkway
Dallas GA 30132

Paulding County Park and Ride lot
Adjacent to 169 Thomas Murphy Drive
Dallas GA 30132

Once the secondary lots are completely occupied, the contingency parking lots will be opened. The contingency parking lots and addresses are listed below, and the parking lots will be opened in the following order:

Oasis Church
210 Paulding Lane
Dallas GA 30132

103/105 Village Walk
105 Village Walk
Dallas GA 30132

Simmons Engineering
91 Simmons Industrial Place
Dallas GA 30132

Bagby Property
336 Bagby Path
Dallas, GA 30132


The Paulding North West Atlanta airport Salute America 2012 air show

Salute America 2012 air show

Salute America 2012 air show

Air shows offer specifically unique, world-class, family entertainment, at affordable prices! From the earliest barnstormers of the 1920s and 1930s to today’s highly professional aerobatic experts, air show pilots have demonstrated that the public’s interest in aviation entertainment is not a fad. Year-in and year-out for more than 100 years, air shows have been among North America’s largest spectator events.

Salute America 2012 is presented by the Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport (PUJ). This airport of the future is the first jet-capable airport to be built in Georgia in over thirty years. Its design was created to provide a foundation for the growth in aviation and industry in Paulding County.

We are so excited to have this high flying act coming to our air show Salute America.  Team Aeroshellhas been performing all over North America for over twenty years.  They have won professional awards in all the major air shows and are widely recognized as one of the best performing groups in the entire industry.

The Rower air show is one of the most exciting Stearman air shows on the circuit today.  Gary Rower displays the power and beauty of this vintage aircraft.  Spectators have described it as “ballet in the air”.  Gary, a former USAF F-16 pilot trainer, has accumulated over 18,000 hours of flying time all over the world in a vast variety of planes.  His love for flying and talent for aerobatics is unmistakeable in his remarkable performance.

Visit the official Salute America 2012 air show web page at


Private Pilot Insider Frosted Mug


Frosted Glass Mug

This brilliant custom Private Pilot Insider drinking mug is designed and posted by a creative Seller called JFVisualMedia. Our custom mugs make great presents for all of your  relatives and friends. You will find this designer’s stunning “Private Pilot Insider” mug in JFVisualMedia’s shop with many more amazingly creative customized designs created online in the marketplace at Zazzle.

The most superior private pilot gift for anyone you can think of, this personalized Private Pilot Insider drink ware will look positively impressive in your aviation collection. Made for printing in a countless number of colors, Zazzle’s Private Pilot Insider mugs are very sturdy, so you can reuse them every day. After it’s made, this Zazzle Seller’s stunning personalized drinkware will definitely become a favorite piece in your aviation selection of mugs.



Thank you,

Tommy Eldridge 

Private Pilot Insider



Aviation Instrument Panel Placards

The following video is a demonstration of the designing and cutting of an aviation instrument panel placard by Sean Hachem of Hawk Aviation Maintenance in Calhoun, Georgia.

The machine is now prepared. The rotor is removed and the engraver is installed and adjusted.

The placards are first designed on the computer.

Once the machine and placard design is complete the cutting begins.

Water is applied to keep both the engraver bit and the placard material cool.

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The Placard lettering will be cut first.

The progress can be followed on the computer screen.

Once the lettering is cut out the machine is now ready to cut the outer edges of the instrument placards.

After all cutting is complete any rough edges are smoothed with a file.

The edges are further smoothed with a razor knife.

After the edges are complete the letters will now be filled in with a paint stick.

The excess paint will be removed.

This is the finished product.

For more information on custom cut aviation instrument placards or for ordering information visit Hawk Aviation Maintenance at or call Sean Hachem at area code 706-659-4254.

Tommy Eldridge

Private Pilot Insider


The Do’s and Don’ts of Maneuvering Flight

FAA Safety Team | Safer Skies Through Education
The Do’s and Don’ts of Maneuvering Flight

Notice Number: NOTC2999

Nearly one-third of all fatal accidents occur during maneuvering flight, in part because maneuvering at low altitude limits the amount of time a pilot has to recover. Maneuvering flight is basically any type of flying performed close to the ground — even the traffic pattern is considered maneuvering!

Do’s and Don’ts that can help keep you safe.


• Do remember that the majority of fatal stall/spin accidents occur at low altitudes, because the closer you are to the ground the less time you will have for a successful recovery.
• Do practice stalls or approaches to stalls at a safe altitude. If you’re rusty take a CFI with you.
• Do fly at a safe altitude so that you won’t be surprised by obstacles that may require abrupt maneuvers to avoid.
• Do remember that turns and sudden climbs increase the wing loading which will increase the stall speed, sometimes dramatically.

• Don’t explore the flight envelope close to the ground.
• Don’t exceed 30 degrees of bank in the traffic pattern.
• Don’t buzz or otherwise show off with an aircraft. Not only are you putting yourself at risk, but your pilot certificate too. The FAA gets lots of complaints that include cell phone pictures and videos.
• Don’t attempt maneuvers for which you have not been trained. Get an Instructor on board the first time!
Want to know more? Go to the Courses page on and look for Course ALC-34, Maneuvering: Approach and Landing
This notice is being sent to you because you selected “General Information” in your preferences on If you wish to adjust your selections, log into where you can update your preferences.

Over 136,600 pilots earned WINGS credits last year. Will you, this year?

Material of


Too young or Too old?

This week I have been at the hospital with my ageing father
whom is having a rough time with his health. I was called very early now 5 days
ago and had to rush to his bed side. I am very pleased however to be able to
announce that today his condition is improving rather quickly. As I and some
other family members sat, waiting for results we could not help but noticed how
young most all of the medical staff appeared to be. I’m not sure if it was
because they were actually young or if it’s just the fact that I’m getting
older and everyone appears to be younger.

As I dwelt upon our thoughts I was reminded of a conversation I overheard between a couple of
pilots. The topic was on their fear of ageing pilots in the cockpit and their
possible lack of ability to perform as Pilot in Command of an aircraft. The
argument between the two young pilots was as we grow older our reflects could
tend to slow down which in turn could cause a slower response in a rapidly
changing environment. My thoughts were why does a doctor have to be old and a
pilot have to be young?

As far as the doctor goes I lean back to the thought that
it’s just due to the fact that I’m getting older. On the other topic however, I
have to be honest and say that at one point in time  I would have
sided with the two young pilots. That’s not so much the case anymore. I have
watched and even had the opportunity to fly as first officer with some 20K +
hour pilots. I guess I can’t very well speak for all but as for the pilots I have flown
with all I can say is WOW. One opportunity I had was with a 20K + hour pilot
which is a former Delta airlines captain among various positions and is still
an active A&P inspector. We flew a piper Cherokee and he scared me to death
when he asked me how to start it. I later come to find out he was just pulling
my chain. When this veteran pilot buckled in, he strapped that airplane on and
it became an extension of his body. That airplane obeyed his every command.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not speaking for every older
pilot that may step into the right seat. Heck, I have seen some pilots who don’t
even need to be at the airport. The truth is I can show you both young and old
doctors and pilots that are masters of their fields.  What is the key? Well I feel it’s where your
heart is. That’s just my thoughts.


What are your thoughts? Leave me a note
below. What do you think KEEPS a pilot flying in their golden years?


Tommy Eldridge


Porsche Aircraft Experience

WOW! What a day it was at the Porsche Aircraft Experience this year at Peachtree Dekalb Airport (KPDK) in Atlanta, GA. I was there with the Super Hawk as a static display. Sean Hachem with Hawk Avionic and Mo Holcombe with Discovery Flying Club was also on hand as many interested spectators poked their heads in the door to view all the Super Hawk had to offer.

This year the Super Hawk sported it’s new Garmin GTN650. I am truly amazed at what Garmin has done with this new unit. With little pre-training I was able to pick right up on and use the GTN 650 like it had always been there.


For more information on the Super Hawk or any of it’s equipment feel free to contact me at

Also on hand was some of the coolest jets around. Some of them included Cessna with the Mustang, CJ3, the 400 and Sky Catcher. I was also able to tour and just for a moment sit left seat of a Gulf Stream G3.  

Now that’s arriving in style!

Some of the other aircraft’s represented included Pilatus PC-12, King Air and Daher-Socata.

I  must say however I was most impressed with the Total Eclipse Jet. I had the opportunity to talk with Rich Hayes the business development officer for the Atlanta, GA division of North American Jet Charter about the Total Eclipse.

With a 41,000′ ceiling and a range of over 1100 miles this single pilot jet proves to be both luxurious and efficient.

Rich Hayes and North American Jet Charter are currently operating in several location across the USA and in the process of opening a new division at my home airport, Cobb county Georgia’s own McCollum field KRYY.

Of course I can’t forget the 4 wheel beauties that was present as well. Unfortunately I was unable take the time to drive any of the Porsche’s that was on hand but I did sneak the opportunity to see how a few of them fit me.

It sure was hard to keep my focus on the task at hand with so much style, power and craftsmanship. Sitting in the seat of the Boxster S I could just feel all it had to offer without even moving. From the way the seat wrapped around me to the details of it’s instrument panel it’s not hard to see all the perfection these cars had to offer.



As I departed KPDK that day avoiding the wake turbulence of a G5 departing on a parallel runway I had to say it was a great day. The event was organized very well. As nice as the cars was I still lean toward the air. The left seat of the Boxster S compared to the left seat of the Gulf Stream G3………I’ll take the G3. No brainer , huh!

Thank you,

Tommy Eldridge




Cessna Preflight Exterior Inspection

Cessna preflight exterior inspection

NOTE**the following information is a general inspection tool. You should use the POH preflight inspection check list that is issued by the aircraft manufacture for the aircraft in which you are flying.

Visually inspect the aircraft for general condition during the walk around.

In cold weather, remove even small accumulations of frost, ice or snow from wing, tail and control surfaces.
Also be sure all control surfaces contain no internal accumulations of ice or debris.

If night flight is planned, check operation of all lights, and make sure a flash light is available.

Check aircraft documents (AROW) A – Airworthiness Certificate, R – Registration,
O – Pilot Operating Handbook (specifically the Operating Limitations),
W – Weight and Balance.

1) Start in the front left seat. Set parking brake
A) Remove control wheel lock and Pitot cover.
B) Check ignition switch off.
C) Turn on master switch and check fuel quantity indicators and lower flaps.
D) Check fuel selector valve on both.
E) Turn on all lights and pitot heat.
F) Check pitot heat and lights to be working.
G) Turn off pitot heat, lights and master
H) Check baggage door for security.

2) Tail section.
A) Remove rudder gust lock, if installed.
B) Disconnect tail tie down.
C) Check control surfaces for freedom of movement and security (Check all connection nuts, keys and cables).
D) Check counter weights
E) Stabilizer leading edge
F) Check antennas.

3) Right wing.
A) Check Ailerons for freedom of movement and security (Check all connection nuts, keys and cables).
B) Disconnect wing tie down.
C) Check main wheel and tire for proper inflation and leaking fluids.
D) Before the first flight of the day and after each refueling, use fuel sampler cup to drain a small quantity of fuel from the tank sump quick drain valve to check for water, sediment, and proper fuel color.
E) Visually check fuel quantity; then check to be sure fuel filler cap is secure.
F) Check wing leading edge and strut.

4) Engine area.
A) Check oil level. Refer to your aircraft manual for required quantity.
B) Before the first flight of the day and after each refueling, pull out the fuel strainer drain for about 4 seconds to clear fuel strainer of any water or sediments. Check strainer valve to be closed. If water is observed, the fuel system may contain additional water. Further draining will be required.
C) Check the propeller and spinner for nicks and security.
D) Check belts for tightness.
E) Check air inlet for obstructions and cleanliness.
F) Check nose wheel tire for proper inflation and any leakage.
G) Check static source opening.
H) Check cowling to be secure.

5) Left wing
A) Check main wheel tire for proper inflation and leakage.
B) Before the first flight of the day and after each refueling, use fuel sampler cup to drain a small quantity of fuel from the tank sump quick drain valve to check for water, sediment, and proper fuel color.
C) Visually check fuel quantity; then check to be sure fuel filler cap is secure.
D) Remove Pitot tube cover, if installed, and check pitot tube for stoppage.
E) Check fuel tank vent opening for stoppage.
F) Check stall warning vent opening for stoppage.
G) Disconnect wing tie down.
H) Check Ailerons and flaps for freedom of movement and security (Check all connection nuts, keys and cables).
I) check leading edge.