The Flight of the Century

A new book on Charles Lindbergh’s historic flight across the Atlantic has just been published by Oxford Press.  Authored by Thomas Kessner, it has the standard details of Lindbergh’s transatlantic flight in the Spirit of St. Louis on May, 21, 1927 and his personal life.  However, the author also delves into how this flight established America’s reputation as the leader in the aviation industry. 

Some interesting facts are that the frame of the aircraft weighed less than a modern day Honda Civic without fuel.  To save weight he even clipped the margins off his charts (something I’ve also done when air racing.)  With his success, Lindbergh’s adulation was international.  When Lindbergh landed at 10:22 P.M. the French crowd of about 150,000 people went wild and broke down fences and overcame the soldiers and police that were trying to keep order.  In America he flew to 82 cities in 48 states and was seen by roughly 50 million people.  At the time that was about 40% of America’s population.  In Mexico City he was greeted by over 200,000 people.  The book is 313 pages.

See our Spirit of St. Louis airplane model here

Wishing you Blue Skies & Tailwinds!™

Innovative 787 Dreamliner

Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner took its first flight outside the U.S. on July 18, 2010 to land in Farnborough, England.  The annual Farnborough Airshow is one of the largest in the world and an important mecca for the aviation industry.   The approximate nine hour flight arrived from Seattle with a crew of sixteen. 

There is a lot of excitement about the 787 Dreamliner because it is made of a newly developed carbon-composite material.   The carbon-composite material makes the aircraft much lighter.  Add in the Dreamliner’s innovative design and the aircraft will have much greater fuel efficiency than today’s commercial aircraft.

The first deliveries of the 787 Dreamliner will be to Japan’s All Nippon Airways. Projected delivery is by year end 2010.
See the Boeing model airplanes at  

Wishing you Blue Skies & Tailwinds!™

Flying is the 2nd greatest thrill – Landing is the First

It is said that any landing you can walk away from is a good one.  Here are some pilots who followed that adage.

Late last week a pilot landed is a backyard outside Sacramento, CA & walked away.

 A father & daughter landed in tress in the Rocky Montains.  They used parts of the airplane for survival until rescued.  They both walked away with only minor scratches.

Fortunately, I’ve never had an emergency landing but kudos to these pilots for quick thinking in emergency situations.

See Flying is the 2nd greatest thrill sign2nd-greatest-thrill at

Wishing you Blue Skies & Tailwinds!™

Gifts for Pilots

Many times we are asked to make recommendations of a gift for a pilot.   These are always fun conversations because the callers are always so excited about the large and diverse selection of aviation themed gifts items that we offer at Tailwinds.

One of our newer items is the Airplane Propeller Letter Opener (G800).  Priced at under $15.00 this quality, classy looking letter opener is useful and also has bearings that allow the propeller to turn.  As someone that is fidgeting with items on the desk while on the phone, I must say I enjoy spinning this prop.

One of our staple pilot gifts is the enduring poem High Flight woven into a 3-ply throw (AG400).  The High Flight poem, by John Gillespie Magee Jr.,high flight throw captures the spirit and purity flight.  His poem simply encapsulates the freedom of flight that many of us feel when we go aloft.  This airplane throw or small blanket is perfect for the den when you need a little something extra to fend off the cooler night air.

Our Pilot Wine Caddy (G167) can be the next hit at your party.  This item is so unique that at my last get-together it became a fun conversation piece.  People loved the wine caddy and they weren’t even pilots!  I like it even more because it is one of the “green” products that we sell.  It is crafted from 100% recycled steel and copper. 

Wishing you Blue Skies & Tailwinds!™

My Gift of Wings

Many times I’m asked how I became involved in aviation.  I was lucky, as my mother, Marion Jayne, was my CFI.  Marion started to fly when her husband wanted his pilot’s license for business purposes.  Like many in the uninformed public arena she thought “small planes” were dangerous.  However, when she began her flight training she caught the flying bug.  She earned her ratings quickly and became the 12th woman in the U.S. to earn her ATP.   Marion had a strong competitive streak and started cross country air racing.  Ultimately she won more air races than any pilot in the U.S. and was inducted into the Smithsonian Aviation Hall of Fame.  In 2003, at the Centennial of Flight at Kitty Hawk, she was honored as one of the top 100 aviators of the century.   

 Having a competitive nature as well, I initially wanted to earn to my license just to I could compete in air races.  After some solo flights, when I learned to relax, the thrill of flight quickly became part of me.  During my college years, I passed the FAA written exam during one summer.  The next summer I passed the flight test and earned my wings becoming a private pilot rated for airplane single-engine land.  Thanks mom for giving me the gift of wings. 

 Wishing you Blue Skies & Tailwinds! ™

See our first solo plaque here.

Always looking for and appreciating your thoughts.