Last Updated March 14, 2006
Several of WestWind's virtual pilots are also real-world pilots who hold an impressive variety of ratings/certificates. This section will feature photos of these pilots and their planes. It will also feature photos of WestWind's pilots or student pilots and their rented planes.
In a nutshell... If you have a pix of you and your ride -- owned or rented, internal shots or external shots -- we'll post it here
|Mark Chapel, Hub Manager,
"I'm finally back from overseas and I'm still getting over 8.5 time-zones worth of jet lag. That's me in the left seat of of the highest-time Hercules still flying (over 45,000 hours & now on its third set of wings!). The picture of me in the cockpit was taken enroute to Kandahar at 17,000 feet over southern Pakistan.
|Somehow the camera's shutter speed sync'd with the refresh rate of both the HSI and GPS displays and they appear to be blank in the picture. The weather radar was turned off, because in that part of the world between April and December, it's very rare to see clouds of any kind! The pictures on the ground were upon arrival in Kandahar.||
|A proud moment for WestWind's Tom Brayford, A9449. Tom sent us this
photo and had this to say:
"This is a picture of my wife and I posing in front of a 1976 Cessna 172 M, right after I flew it for my first solo flight back in April of 2005. It is now October of 2005 and I am just about to take my flight test for my Private Pilots License. I'm taking my lessons at Lake Simcoe Regional Airport in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. This is something that I'd wanted to do for some time and thanks to the support from my wife and the motivation gathered from the many hours of flying at WestWind, I've finally done it! The skies the limit, I can't wait to see what the future holds."
|WestWind's Nick Cooper, aka "Rodger Weatherall", sent this photo in to us. Here's what
Nick has to say;
"I started my real life flying back in July 24th of 1996. The first student pilot flight was in a C152 at the Smith Reynolds airport in Winston Salem, North Carolina. I just received my student pilots license on May 5 of this year (my 16th birthday). I went to (UAL's Denver Training Center) for "ATOP", the Airline Training Orientation Program on March the 18th and 19th. There, we did one day of classroom work, procedure trainers, and another day of simulator time on the Boeing 737-200. We have learned just the basics on the aircraft, and we all know how to start up, fly, and shutdown the aircraft from a "cold" (powerless) cockpit. I'll never forget my time there. I hope to become a airline pilot for a major carrier."
|WestWind's Bert Heikens sent this picture in to us. Here's what Bert has to say about
This photo was taken in october '98 at a little dutch airport called
Eelde, in the north of Holland. I'm standing next to a Cessna just before my first
I would recommend it to everybody!
|WestWind's Andrew Webb (our static scenery guru) provided us with this photo and
This was taken at the end of August at Welshpool, in Wales. I am a member of the Lancashire Aeroclub at Barton Aerodrome (grass runways) in Manchester, England. I get to hire Cessna 172s and PA28s. This Cessna 172 is G-BOIL and the PA28 is G-KITE - certainly memorable call signs.
|WestWind's Thomas Wolff standing beside a Piper Turbo Arrow
that his father has an partnership in. Notice the "N" number on the fuselage
begins with a "D" -- as in Deutschland... Thomas'
home base is Landshut, Germany.
Thomas said, "If you want, you can add [the photo] to the WWAL pilot gallery. Got no problem with that <very big grin>."
Editor's note: If my pop owned a ride like a Turbo Arrow, I'd have a very big grin too ;-)
Here's a picture of Brad Nadolny pre-flighting his trusty (rented) Cessna 172 Skyhawk II on the day of his solo.
|WestWind's Brad Nadolny currently has his Student Pilot
rating and shared...
I took my first flight lesson in a glider on my 11th birthday. I started training, and logged my first 15 hours, in Cessna 152s a few months later at Scottsdale (SDL) Airport, located about 12 miles Northeast of Phoenix Sky Harbor International (KPHX). I didn't fly that often because I had to pay for it from my $5 a week allowance. About 3 years ago I started training in Cessna 172s and, on my 16th birthday, I soloed in a Cessna 172. The picture is of my solo.
I currently have about 57 hours logged in a few different aircraft including Cessna 152, Cessna 172, Katana, Bonanzas and some small Pipers. The main training aircraft is the Cessna 172 though. I currently have my Student Pilot's Certificate, and plan to get my Private Pilot's License when I turn 17.
Dad is VERY supportive of my flying. He loves airplanes himself but he gets very sick in them. Mom is typical. She cares and just wants me to be very careful when I fly.
I want to become an instructor or go through the military to build up my hours to eventually become an airline pilot.
|WestWind's Chris Mueller -- the envy of all
WWAL airmen -- sitting in United Airlines' B777-200 simulator.
In May of 2000 Chris and WestWind's SFO Hub Manager, John Schumacher, met (for the first time) at United Airlines' Denver Training Center for a two hour training session in the B777-200IGW full-motion simulator. You can see a review of Chris and John's B777 experience here.
There is a rumor floating around that Chris is working on a session in the B757-200 for early 2001.
||Chris (alias "Captain Static") is a former Police
Officer and currently a private pilot living in the Chicagoland Suburbs. He
shared the following...
"Although I don't own a plane or get paid to fly one, I am partial to the Piper Warrior II and Archer because I find that they are easy planes to fly (for some reason, Cessna's 172 and 182 models and I don't get along). I have recently left my career in law enforcement to pursue an aviation-related career. I am currently a fulltime student studying Electronic Engineering and hope to work for either an avionics or commercial aircraft manufacture. I plan on continuing my aviation passion as a private pilot."
WestWind's Bill Irvine stands proudly beside his Mooney M20E.
Check his web page for more info on this plane and on his old Cherokee.
Would you fly with this man? <G>
Look mama, no hands <g>
|Fabrizio Magnatantini of WWAL's CYVR hub checked back in a year after he sent us his
Finally, after almost a full year of line flying, I found the time to send a couple of new photos. This picture is of me in the cockpit of an MD80, flying over Zurich, Switzerland on the way from Brussels to Milan. Alitalia's 90 MD80s are used on the European network, and the longest stretches are flights to Amman and Cairo in the Middle East, Moscow up Northeast, Casablanca to the Southwest and Dublin and Edimbourgh to the Northwest. Anything else in the middle, well, "been there, done that!" There are 97 destinations for MD80s. With a growing fleet of Airbus 321 (and the forthcoming 320) though, we are most often flying domestic Italian routes.
|While the typical airports we fly to are the "usual" ILS equipped international destinations, from time to time (non piu' spesso, eh Giorgio?) we reach some interesting spots. This pix was taken turning final to Rwy 33 at Reggio Calabria, in the South of Italy, where a straight-in approach cannot be used because of hills to the South and the East just outside the fence. So, a pattern "a-la-Kai Tak" is made every time wind dictates its use. Day or night, it's really impressive! Captains require special training and a rating to land there.|
"The PA 42 is a wonderful airplane, and the configuration at the school reflects the one we could find on MD80's or Airbuses, though not those of the last generation."
|Fabrizio Magnatantini pictured with his Alitalia PA42 trainer. (He's
the one on the right in the tail photo).
He sent these photos and said, "The training is hard, and the lessons are one after the other -- on a tight schedule. We are based in Alghero airport, Sardinia, Italy. Our flights take us all around southern Europe, to peek at the typical flying environment we will experience as line pilots on MD80's or A321's. We are supposed to have fun, but actually we are so busy trying to keep everything going straight while the instructors are having FUN cutting engines, starting fires, pulling breakers, closing airports etc. that I don't know what fun is yet."
|Thierry Wellemans, a commercial SEL & MEL instrument rated pilot, beside his flight school airplane: A Beech Bonanza. He is now flies the Beech Baron and is working on his Second in Command training for the King Air 200. He got all his ratings in the USA but originally took up flying a Cessna 150 in Belgium, his home country.|
|WWAL's Chris Witzke beside a great looking Cessna 152.
"I am working on my PPL and hope to have it by next year. It's been difficult 'cause my job as an air traffic controller eats up most of my time," said Chris.
"I've spent almost all my time in this plane. I know all its quirks. I love flying around Hawaii in it."
|This Air Labrador DHC-8 100 is the aircraft that
WestWind's Terry Burt flies. AL serves all of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Terry has over 3,600 hours under his belt -- 800 of them on this aircraft.
Terry says, "This is a great machine to fly, very docile with excellent x-wind capabilities. I landed her in St. John's with a 45kt x-wind component, used every bit of rudder. It flies at a max altitude of 25000ft at 250kts TAS."
|A few of us are lucky enough to own our own plane or -- in Gene Popma's
case -- Live on an Airport a mere 50 feet from your machine.
Here's a shot of Gene in his 1948 Luscombe. This is perhaps the best '48 Luscombe flying today!
This ride boasts a full IFR setup and a tweaked power plant with plenty of horses under the hood. Gene flies it everywhere.
If you'd like to put your real-world aircraft on display or if you'd like to submit a photo of yourself beside a favorite plane, Contact Steve Canham
Warp to our Real World Flying Stories.
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