e d i t o r ’ s N o t e | Column
Equinox By Jeff Berlin
s I sit to write this, my first editor’s letter for the new PilotMag, it’s not just another sunny day in Los Angeles, it’s the Vernal Equinox. I do some of my best writing at this small café, sitting at the intersection of left and right and north and south. It bustles with people ordering lattes, cokes, and breakfast served all day. It’s not a Starbucks. It seems fitting on numerous levels that starting on this day of renewal, when the shorter and colder days of winter gradually transform into the longer, warmer, sunnier, and more colorful days of Spring, we’re bringing you a renewed PilotMag. Last year at the Reno Air Races, in between thunderous heats of tricked Mustangs and Sea Furies battling for the Unlimited Gold, PilotMag’s CEO, Brad Irwin, offered me the reigns of the magazine in an effort to help take the magazine to the next level. It was a great opportunity and I look forward to bringing you not only a revitalized PilotMag, but an aviation magazine that’s entertaining, absolutely relevant to your aviation experience, and not the same old deck, reshuffled year after year. So if you’re a seasoned old salt that has been there, flown that and has the t-shirt, a sleek turbine owner, a pre-solo student looking forward to kicking their instructor out of the plane, or even a pilot like me, who tools low and slow one day and high and fast on another, PilotMag is for you. I also hope that on these pages we can impart some of the passion for flight that we feel here at PilotMag. For me, flying has always been about the people. Don’t get me wrong, I love the tech and planes too, but it’s the people that make aviation so special and a privilege to be a part of. In my years as a contributor to most major aviation magazines, and as an editor of this publication and a couple others, I’ve had an extraordinary opportunity to fly some pretty exotic planes to some rather exotic places. It’s hard for me to even pick one flight as my most favorite. It seems a common problem as my friend, uber-writer Lane Wallace, recently came out with a book called “Unforgettable: My 10 Best Flights.” If I were to recount mine, would I choose my gut-wrenching sortie flying air combat 10
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maneuvers in an F-16, my first takeoff and landing in a DC-3, my two trans-Atlantic crossings in Daher-Socata TBM 850s, my other longest flight, when I hopscotched my way to Sao Paulo, Brazil in a brand new Cirrus SR22, or my first water landing in a Cessna Caravan on New York City’s East River with the Empire State Building visible just across town. And then there was the time I was just cavorting with friends in an Aviat Husky. That was such a fun afternoon, just flying along, following roads and the contours of the countryside. Now that was flying - pure, simple, low and slow. Knowing Lane, I really wonder how she picked just 10. I could really keep going. Over the past few months as we’ve worked to put this first new issue together, some friends have suggested we’re crazy to be launching, or relaunching, a magazine in this economy. Besides our feeling at PilotMag that aviation found its bottom months ago and is now on the upswing, please notice that we bill ourselves on our cover as the Future of Aviation Media. We’ve got big plans at PilotMag, are constantly looking forward, and plan to be the vanguard of how quality aviation content is delivered. Ultimately, none of this would be happening without you, so please don’t hesitate to drop us a line anytime with your ideas, comments, questions for the experts at Sporty’s, or just to say hello. Or maybe you’d like to tell us about one of your favorite flights. Regardless, we’d love to hear from you, so drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.