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Tom Wilson

Tom Wilson
Pumping avgas and waxing flight school airplanes got Tom into general aviation in 1973, but the lure of racing cars and motorcycles sent him down a motor journalism career heavy on engines and racing. Today he still writes for peanuts and flies for fun.

On Getting Dark

Tyrants make memorable flight instructors, a good thing when the lessons being imparted need remembering. And I must say, my primary flight instructor was a very memorable man. One recollection was after a late in the day winter’s training session when he was filling out my logbook. Explaining out loud as his pen scrolled through […]

On Thanksgiving

One of the compelling reasons to aviate is it can demand the ultimate payment, and with an impartiality Hemingway appreciated. That alone elevates flying above a game and tends to focus our interest in favor of increased professionalism. In a world made safe to the point of never really thinking about it, at least on […]
Mojave airport aerial image

Cutting It Short

Recidivist readers will recall last month I went on a bender over a breeze in Mojave and how a single chock saved the day. That is, in a steady 35-mph wind gusting well over 40 mph, a single chock proved sufficient to hold my otherwise untethered Starduster from wandering off on its own unsupervised investigation […]

A Chock Talk

About a year ago my son whittled us some traveling chocks, just bits of 2-inch aluminum angle Swiss-cheesed to save weight. We’re a performance family, so everything from boiling pasta to petting the iguana gets the treatment. Recognizing the little wedges could come in handy, I dropped two of them in the Starduster’s headrest. And […]

2020 Engine Buyer’s Guide

Get your aero motivation here!

Long-EZs and More

If there’s a chance to meet or hear an aviation celebrity speak, it’s my observation it’s worth the effort. Much of this is just feeding an interest skewed to history, and I understand my more successful friends who file such field trips in the “nice but not necessary” folder. But I always seem to learn […]

Living With RVs

For the last 20 plus years any person who’s thought of building their own airplane has had to get past one big question: “Why should I build anything other than an RV?” Well, really, why should you build anything other than an RV? It’s where all the lines cross on the chart. They’re affordable. They’re […]

Cracks, Both Foreign and Domestic

Perhaps like me, you missed the big show this year. That is, they ran AirVenture without me, and I’m not sure anyone really noticed. A bit sobering, that, but confirmation none of us is indispensable and that airplanes will go on until Google releases e-Flight goggles, where you soar virtually just by stretching out your […]

Findlay Dominates

Weather was a factor on Sunday for the final Gold races at Reno. High winds were forecast and materialized just long enough mid-morning to cancel the Biplane Gold which had somewhat inexplicably scheduled for a later 11:00 a.m. start. Awards were presented on the basis of the heat racing results, meaning Andrew Buehler in Phantom […]

Anticipating Sunday in Reno

Depending on where you look, the racing this year at Reno ranges from decline to epic. Luckily for KITPLANES readers the epic contests are in the airplanes we’re most interested in: Sport, Formula One and Biplane. For sure 2019 is a fabulous year for Sport Gold racing. A full slate of blindingly fast Sport Gold […]

In Case You Missed it

Wind Tunnel

Its an age-old duality: stability versus maneuverability. Many factors go into developing and building any aircraft, and the designers choices will affect a pilots workload, for good or ill. Among the topics discussed are trim, pitch stability and yaw stability;

Light Stuff

Dave Martin finds a Light Sport seaplane at the 2009 Sebring LSA Expo that made a real splash.

What’s New

MGL Avionics announces its new XTreme EMS engine monitoring system, the RANS S-19 Venterra has joined the FAA’s official 51% eligibility list, and Wicks Aircraft Supply adds a new Dual XGPS150 universal Bluetooth Receiver to its product lineup.


Overpowering Sentiment (Best Letter) I agree that the folks at...