Newest OpenAir Tailwheel Pilot

Flying a tailwheel airplane is something that truly sets aviators apart. Flying a tailwheel airplane well is that much more of an accomplishment.

On Tuesday afternoon, Ben Brannaka proved he could do just that in the Super Decathlon N878AC. He doesn’t just fly to the standard – he exceeds the standard. After working his way through 3-point and wheel landings, crosswinds, slips, and a few go-arounds, I’m happy to count him as the newest tailwheel pilot here at OpenAir. You can rest assured that he knows his way around a few aerobatic maneuvers as well!!

Congratulations, Ben!

Adam Messenheimer – CFI

A Very Memorable Christmas Gift

Congratulations to Nathan Kacur for completing his 1st Solo this past week in his beautifully repainted Cirrus SR-20.

This event was even more special since his father, John, was there to cheer him on.

Nathan and his dad, who is also a pilot, enjoy sharing the “Gift of Flight” with one another at every opportunity.

Congratulations Nathan and Merry Christmas!!

Bob Garity – CFI

“Chase Your Dream, and Don’t Let It Get Away”

The subject above is a quote from Patrick Stump posted on LinkedIn today following the successful completion of his Private Pilot flight check this week.

Early in his training, Patrick contracted a viral ear infection, which grounded him for three months. Later on, he struggled with air sickness and nausea.

But Patrick had a Mission and a Dream and never gave up. He used wristbands and took ginger supplements and gradually built up his airsickness tolerance. Today he is healthy and rock solid, and a proud Cirrus Pilot.

Congratulations Patrick!!  Your determination and perseverance are an inspiration to all of us.

Bob Garity – CFI


More Fun Flying than Fixing

Rob was a former avionics technician working on C-130’s and B-2 bombersin the USAF. He selected the USAF because he always wanted to fly, but his vision kept him out of the cockpit.

However, he never gave up on his dream and, on Sunday, Rob achieved the1st major step of his long desired goal, by completing his 1st Solo in in Cirrus SR-20 Perspective.

Never lose sight of your dreams.  Congratulations Rob!  The best is yet to come.

Bob Garity, CFI

“Perseverance Personified”

Last December Patrick Stump came to Open Air to fulfill his long time goal of learning to fly.  As much as he wanted to continue his instruction, he had trouble with his inner ear, causing severe motion sickness and balance problems.

Never giving up, he consulted with his doctor, ordered special wrist bands to control motion sickness, took ginger supplements, etc.

At first he could only fly for short periods or 2 or 3 patterns before he had to land. Gradually the flight time were extended and his motion sickness symptoms began to subside.

As a result of his determination and unbelievable perseverance, Patrick was able to overcome his issues, a1snd we are proud to report that last week he completed his 1st Solo in an a Cirrus SR-20 at KJYO.

He is now confidently on his way to earning his Private Pilot certificate.Congratulations Patrick!! You provide a great example to all of us onovercoming adversity and never giving up.

Bob Garity, CFI

“Seven Week Wonder”

On July 14th Probir Goyal took his 1st flight in a Cirrus, which was also his 1st Instrument training flight.

His goal was to achieve his instrument rating as quickly as possible in his new aircraft of choice – a Cirrus SR20 Perspective.

Probir was dedicated to his goal, flying two or three time a week and studying in the evenings.  It was concentrated and intense training, but very rewarding as he accomplished his mission in record time.

last Friday, August 31st, Probir was awarded his instrument rating by DPE, John Somiak, completing his goal in less than 7 weeks – an unprecedented accomplishment in the world of aviation.

Congratulations Probir.  You are awesome!!

Bob Garity, CFI


“Riding on Cloud 9”, aka, his beautiful Cirrus!!

Mike Justus has been working on his Instrument rating for a couple of years. He continued his pursuit with a passion, util he
could fly the various instrument procedures in his sleep.

His dedication and perseverance paid off today as he earned his from long coveted Instrument ticket DPE, John Somiak, at KJYO.
It was a long but rewarding day for Michael, who said he actually enjoyed his four hour oral. He can now visit his family in Butler, PA
without worrying about a few low clouds.

Congratulations Mike!!

When You’re Ready, You’re Ready!

Congratulations to Tim O’Neil for earning his Private Pilot Certificate in aCirrus SR20 Perspective on Friday. Tim got hooked on flying after taking aDiscovery flight a couple of years ago, and this was the culmination of a major goal for him.

DPE, John Somiak, said his aviation knowledge and flight skills were “outstanding“, making the debrief short and enjoyable.

Tim plans to fly with his mother as his 1st passenger and to use his new certificate to visit relatives in Raleigh and Charlotte.

We expect to see a lot more of Tim and his friendly smile around Open Airas he exercises his new wings.

Bob Garity, CSIP