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


XM satellite for the GTN650

With an optional XM satellite receiver and subscriptions, the Garmin GTN series can display NEXRAD radar, lightning data and other aviations weather information. It can also play satellite radio stations.

For pilots who want a fully integrated solution in a small, 2.64-in.-tall package, the GTN 650 is the perfect choice. The system combines GPS, COMM and NAV functions with powerful multifunction display capabilities like high-resolution terrain mapping, graphical flight planning, satellite weather, traffic display and much more.

Cincopa WordPress plugin

This is just one of the pieces of equipment you can find in the Super Hawk by Hawk Aviation. For more videos and pictures of the Cessna Super Hawk you visit 


If you personally own a Garmin GTN 650/750 or have experience with either of them I want to invite you to leave a commit below. Also if you have any question about either feel free to ask that as well.


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




Porsche Aircraft Experience

For all of you that live in the Atlanta, GA area, come out and visit me this Friday May 6th at Peachtree Dekalb Airport (PDK). I will be there along with the “SuperHawk” in a static display at the Porsche Aircraft Experience. You will be able to meet Sean Hachem with Hawk Avionics and Mo Holcombe with
On Friday May 6th, 2011, Epps Aviation at Peachtree Dekalb Airport is hosting the 2011 Porsche Aircraft Experience from 10 am to 4 pm.

The Garmin G600

click here to play the demo video of the Garmin G600 in action.

The following video is an example of an instrument approach using the Garmin G600 which is installed the Super Hawk. This equipment was installed by Hawk Avionics of Calhoun, GA The Garmin G600takes all the guess work out of flying. If you would like to personally test the Garmin,  the Avidyne EX 600, the Auracle CRM2100 or any of the instruments in the Super Hawk you can contact me at to schedule a demo flight.


A Pastor in need of a Pilot.

Pastor Matt Evans of Dalton, GA is in need of transportation between KDNN – DALTON MUN, GA and KLGA – LA GUARDIA, NY. Pastor Evans wife Beth Evans has a rare blood disease and is currently living in New York awaiting a bone marrow transplant. Pastor Evans needs to be home in Dalton on Thursday for a church service and broadcast for Sunday AM. The Evans has two young boys they adopted this past spring from Ethiopia that he needs to spend time with as well. We are looking for anyone who has a plane that would be willing to donate your time and aircraft or if you have an airplane you would be willing to donate time in we have a commercial pilot who has offered his time to fly pastor Evans for free. If you can help or may know someone who can please call Angie at 1-706-463-6877 or e-mail Tommy at

Thank you and my God bless you,

Tommy Eldridge


Preflight Passenger Briefings

     How well do you brief your new passengers before you depart. Do you take for granted they know how to buckle or exit an airplane in an emergency.  Here are just a few areas that should be covered before you leave.

BY: Blake Crosby of
This document satisfies CAR 602.59
Before passengers are allowed to be carried in an aircraft, a passenger briefing must be performed. This
is the law. It is similar to the ones you see the flight attendants do when you fly in commercial aircraft.
The pilot will go over the passenger briefing with you on the day of the flight. If you have any questions,
that would be the time to ask them.

There is no smoking in or around the aircraft as well as on the tarmac at any time.

First Aid
There is a first aid kit located behind the rear seat. It is either a white box or a red pouch that says “first
aid” on it. Survival equipment will also be located in this area if equipped.



FAA Safety Team | Safer Skies Through Education

Topic: Aerodynamics of stalls and spins, and scenarios in which they may be encountered inadvertently, plus recovery techniques.
On Monday, November 8, 2010 at 6:30 PM
Preferred Jet at McCollum Airport
1800 Airport Road
Hangar #1
Kennesaw, GA 30144

Select Number:

Fun up high but dangerous down low! Stalls and spins are responsible for too many aviation accidents. Ms. Cavagnaro will discuss the aerodynamics of stalls and spins, scenarios in which they are encountered inadvertently, and recovery techniques. Most importantly she will offer suggestions for training to avoid them in the first place.

To view further details and registration information for this seminar, click here.

The sponsor for this seminar is: GA FAASTeam


Merger shows aviation industry on road to recovery

By John Nolan, October 25, 2010 Springfield News-Sun

PIQUA — Tailwind Technologies Inc.’s purchase of an engine accessories manufacturer to complement Hartzell Propeller Inc. could get a boost, now that the piston-powered aircraft industry is starting to recover from a three-year slump.

Tailwind Technologies on Sept. 30 completed the purchase of what was then known as Kelly Aerospace Energy Systems LLC, of Montgomery, Ala., for an undisclosed sum. Tailwind, the Piqua-based parent of Hartzell Propeller, has renamed Kelly Aerospace as Hartzell Engine Technologies and structured it as a sister company to Hartzell Propeller.

It is part of a trend in the aviation industry that allows component suppliers to expand their business by offering a broader menu of parts and services to aircraft manufacturers, industry analyst Brian Foley said.

The piston-powered aircraft industry is showing signs of beginning at least a modest recovery after a severe worldwide slump that saw deliveries of planes for general aviation fall by 65 percent from 2007, as the recession took hold. Industry billings for general aviation airplanes have increased for two consecutive quarters, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.