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Friday, March 14, 2014

Virginia Art Contest Winner Takes National Title

The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) and the National Association of State Aviation Officials NASAO) announced the national winners of the 2014 U.S. Aviation Art Contest. Congratulations again to Virginia's own Justin Lee of Herndon, Virginia. He not only won first place in the senior category of the state level competition, he also won first place in the same category at the national competition.

2014 U.S. Aviation Art Contest judges

The artwork for the national competition was judged for its originality, creativity, and use of the theme "Flying Saves Lives" by a distinguished panel including: Margaret Finch, a well known artist who specializes in aviation art; Debbie Gallaway, former U.S. Representative to Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) and former NASA Education Coordinator, Art Greenfield, the Director of Contest and Records for NAA. The winners will receive ribbons and a framed reproduction of their artwork. Their original artwork has been
forwarded to FAI headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland for the international judging in April.

"The National Aeronautic Association is so grateful to the thousands of students across the United States who contributed their art to this distinguished panel for review," said Jonathan Gaffney, President and CEO of NAA. "We congratulate all the winners on this great accomplishment." NASAO received artwork this year from 29 states with some 4,800 students submitting their work in those contests.

The contest sanctioned by FAI and NAA and managed by NASAO, is designed to motivate and encourage young people of FAI member nations to become familiar with and participate in aeronautics, engineering, and science.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Lake Country Pairing – Seaplanes and Wine Coming to Clarksville


Building on the great success of the Lake Gaston seaplane splash-in back in October of 2013, the Virginia Seaplane Pilots Association (VSPA) has paired with Mecklenburg County Tourism, the Clarksville Chamber of Commerce and the Lake Motel to bring a splash-in to Clarksville on Saturday, April 12th from 10am-5pm.  This is the same day as the increasingly popular Clarksville Wine Festival; people will be able to attend the festival and then stroll right down to the lake to see these beautiful aircraft and meet the pilots.  “This will be a great opportunity for the Virginia Seaplane Pilots Association to work together with the community and the Corps of Engineers in addressing compatibility issues and expanding seaplane use on the lake.” 


 Image by Justin Kerns/Mecklenburg Tourism.

Since the wine festival will remain a 21+ event as in years past, this new dimension of the seaplanes opens the weekend up to a whole new audience of families.


Factor in the great collection of shops and restaurants in the downtown area between the wine festival and the seaplane area, the nearby Occoneechee State Park, and the availability of boat and kayak rentals from the Occoneechee harbor, and “you’ve got a little of something for everyone,” says Sheila Cuykendall, director of the Clarksville Chamber of Commerce.
The seaplanes will primarily use the beach below the Lake Motel, which has been a critical partner in planning for this event.  Their generosity in clearing the beach area and allowing the seaplanes permission to pull up there “has really made the difference between this event happening and not happening,” according to Mecklenburg County Tourism Coordinator Justin Kerns.  “We’re really rolling out the red carpet for them.”
While the number of attending seaplanes relies heavily on the weather, the wine festival will take place rain or shine.  Safety is always a major consideration for seaplane events, and professionals from several aviation organizations have checked out the site and are working in conjunction with the Corps of Engineers, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, and others on the lake to ensure a fun, safe and successful event. 

Overnight accommodations are available at the Lake Motel, the Magnusson Hotel in Clarksville, Cooper's Landing Bed & Breakfast, the cabins at Occoneechee State Park, and the Bay View Efficiencies. 

For more information on the splash-in, please contact Steve Harris (DOAV), Bill Fosdick (VSPA), or Justin Kerns (Mecklenburg Tourism). For updates visit Mecklenburg County's website and facebook.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Wright Experience, Inc. and the Discovery of Flight Foundation gives Virginia a Tour

The Wright Experience, Inc. and the Discovery of Flight Foundation gave the Virginia Department of Aviation, the Virginia Aviation Board and members from Liberty University’s School of Aeronautics a guided tour of the facilities in Warrenton, Virginia last week.  Those in attendance were given the details behind the construction of the Wright Model-B Flyer and were actually able to hear the engine run from that aircraft.

Ken Hyde sharing with the group the historical background and make-up of the Wright Model-B Flyer

The Wright Experience is planning to restore the original 1911 Burgess-Wright Model F, the first aircraft to fly over and land on the White House lawn in 1911 by Harry Atwood.  Wright Experience founder, Ken Hyde, has a team dedicated to this restoration in the near future.

Paul Glenshaw instructing VAB Member Dave Young and DOAV Director Randy Burdette on flying the simulator

The Discovery of Flight Foundation’s Paul Glenshaw presented the Virginia organizations a hands-on STEM program for museums, teachers and students which highlighted the Wright Brothers’ discoveries of the principles of flight, invention of the airplane and the establishment the aerospace industry, and how they are all relative to math education.

Click on the links for more information on The Wright Experience, Inc. or the Discovery of Flight Foundation.