Tag Archives: pilot

Community Human Interest Lifestyle

Hensley Airpark Puts on a Show

Hensley Airpark Puts on a Show from Ashley Coffey on Vimeo. On June 11, 2016 Hensley Airpark located in Chuckey, Tennessee invited locals and anyone interested to come to the private airstrip for an entertaining afternoon. The Wings & Wheels Fly-In event drew in a crowd. Airplanes landed one by one on the airstrip and were parked neatly in the grass fields. Friendly pilots were more than willing to give visitors information regarding their airplanes and their motivations behind such an investment. Mazda Miata's rolled in on their four wheels and caught the eyes of all those who attended the event. Hensley Airpark is a flying community that comes complete with a private airstrip and grass landing strip. All homeowners are required to be private pilots.
Community Human Interest Lifestyle

Tom Tschantz Flies Through Life

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Tom Tschantz stands next to his propellor while discussing his home built ultralight. (Photo by Ashley Coffey/Full Sail University)
Tom Tschantz was born in 1947. He was raised in northern Ohio. He was the child of hardworking parents that taught him the importance of using his hands. He did poorly in school and has the saying, “I brought home a D one time and my dad bought me a new bicycle.”
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Tom Tschantz flips through old photographs of his hometown in Ohio. (Photo by Ashley Coffey/Full Sail University)
Tom eventually dropped out of school in the tenth grade, and joined the Navy. He spent two years active and two years inactive. He was stationed on the USS Oriskany (CVA 34) aircraft carrier, in Vietnam, where it was his job to work in the boiler room. During his last year on October 27, 1966 the worst fire in 20 years broke out on the Oriskany. 44 men died that morning. He said, “We would fire off aircraft 24 hours a day; we were always launching and receiving aircraft, but I worked down in the boiler room because I didn’t have any education, didn’t know anything about aircraft, so that’s where they put me”.
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Tom Tschantz sits in his home while telling the story about the day the USS Oriskany (CVA 34) aircraft carrier caught fire.
After returning home from Vietnam, Tom found himself a job as an ironworker. He worked structuring steel for 22 years, of which he enjoyed. Eventually he found an interest in oil field work, which then led the way for him to work on constructing and painting water towers. He built his own rigging equipment, “With my background in construction and iron working I knew the rigging end of it”.
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Tom Tschantz holds old photographs from when he would work inside water towers. (Photo by Ashley Coffey/Full Sail University)
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Tom Tschantz does a walk around his homemade ultralight. (Photo by Ashley Coffey/Full Sail University)
When it comes to flying airplanes, Tom has an abundance of knowledge. He has built three Kitfox aircrafts. Tom has an appreciation for ultralights, and has been featured in multiple magazines and newspapers. “I taught myself how to fly an ultralight and I loved it. From there, I went and got my private ticket in general aviation, got my instrument ticket, and then bought a big airplane, a Cessna 206 six seats with 200 horsepower”. He took the first single seat ultralight he built to Oshkosh and won Reserve Grand Champion. He qualified to teach for flying ultralights from Quicksilver in California for four years.
Community Human Interest Lifestyle

Achieving Childhood Dreams: Beverly Barnett

Choosing a career can be difficult. The struggle to find a career that provides a combination of a sense of personal accomplishment and financial dependability lessens when a person has knowledge about their own desires. A way to determine a fitting profession is by looking back to a person’s childhood and determining what was particularly fascinating to them as a child. The imagination of a child holds a key to what would make them happiest as an adult; regardless of the financial stability that one would hope comes along with a personal passion. The one thing about following a childhood dream is that there is a great potential of turning a job that starts out with low income into a booming business because of the personal drive that is put behind making the dream come to life. untitled-infographic_block_1 untitled-infographic_block_2 untitled-infographic_block_3 untitled-infographic_block_4 untitled-infographic_block_5 Created by: Ashley Coffey via piktochart.com When children are asked what they want to be when they grow up their answer more than likely stems from the knowledge of careers that are presently exposed to them. A child who is gunning to be a firefighter or a doctor may have the desire to pursue this career because of a mention or a career of a family member or family friend. There are some exceptions to this rule which is proven to be true by Beverly Barnett, who is the head flight instructor and founder at Advanced Flight in Johnson City, Tennessee, says, “When I was young, I fell in love with flying, and so I pursued aviation and I loved that forever. I’ve been involved in aviation since I was a young teenager”. Barnett’s parents were more inclined to encourage her to “go to church and to go to work, but they never put any emphasis on creating a type of career”. As a young girl, Barnett found herself in a position where she was able to learn how to fly airplanes by researching what she loved and falling into the hands of people who steered her in the right direction. By following her childhood dream, Barnett has had “the opportunity to meet many, many nice people and to also help many people”. Now she has created a life long career out of her childhood passion that has generated an abundance of friendships, created jobs for her community, and provided financial stability throughout her life.   Many people feel that destiny is the cause of success in business and in life. This may be the case on some level, but without an understanding of the desires that one has during their youth, a person may never discover a career that is fulfilling to an exponential degree. Linking the creativity of a child’s mind with the abilities of an adult mindset and tools, a career can be both fulfilling and rewarding. This does not mean that hardships will not come about, if anything, there will be tough times that lay ahead when following an aspiration, but the outcome will be far more worth the effort once a dream career is achieved.
Articles Community Human Interest Lifestyle

Steve Fisher: The Man Who’s World Is In His Hangar

He could easily be described as the man who could never have enough airplanes. Once he builds one airplane he is already designing the next one. He was born on June 27, 1949 in Moline, Illinois. “I was happiest as a kid so I wanted to grow up doing nothing and playing” said Fisher. He worked for a company that constructed products used by NASA and the United States Air Force. As an engineer, he spent most of his life studying. In college, he was an aerospace engineering student. A professor that he looked up to with the most respect guided him towards furthering his dream, “I had an instructor, and he taught drafting classes. He instilled engineering in me.” His life has been guided by his love for physics and his obsession with engines and propulsion. “I don’t know that I specifically wanted to be a pilot when I was young, but I was always interested in building airplanes. As I got a little older that went over to wanting to be an engineer,” said Fisher. “I always worked with mechanical stuff when I was a kid. I was always interested in mechanisms and motors and cars and motorcycles.” Fisher lives in a small, gated community in Chuckey, Tennessee where a paved runway runs through the subdivision and airplanes are seen taxing down driveways and into the streets. FullSizeRender Along with Fisher’s love for airplanes and propulsion he treasures his family life. Paula, Steve’s wife, met him when he was 16, “We started talking, you know, how high school kids do, and I did give him my phone number.” She smiles and looks at Steve, “We just hit off. I finally met someone who looked pretty interesting. Plus, he was a lot of fun. We kind of looked at each other and knew.” Over the next several years they moved from place to place for his job. While he worked on engines used by NASA, they both continued building a family together. Steve reminisces while mentioning his father, “My dad, when I was young, I remember him building a couple model airplanes. I got into building model airplanes from then on for the rest of my life,” as Fisher glances towards his airplane that is currently being designed and crafted. “He was a contractor and to me he could build anything. If you wanted it he could build it. I was always amazed at how he could build stuff.” He puts a great amount of emphasis on continuous learning, trial and error, and community involvement – shared knowledge of learned experiences. FullSizeRender “I have played with some neat toys,” said Fisher. The East Tennessee community is lucky to have such a brilliant man flying over them in his home made airplanes.