View of Whiteplains Plantation

View of Whiteplains Plantation
Over Head View

Friday, December 29, 2017

Ron Greenfield - Final Resting Place - Arlington National Cemetery


Click on any picture to see full size.

Ron Greenfield is in his final resting place, Arlington National Cemetery. Such a beautiful and peaceful setting and one so fitting for a man that loved his country as much as Ron did.
                                                    I Love You Ronald Barry Greenfield! RIP

By: Pam Greenfield


Workhorse SureFly Octocopter

Things are moving fast in aviation.  Check this out. If you want one,
just put down a $1,000.00. the other $199,000.00 on delivery.

How GE Will Laser Print Turboprop Engines

They have come a long way in engine building.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Party Get Together 2017


Slideshow from last nights get together at the Gardner's.  Thanks John and Vicky for hosting this event. 

Friday, December 15, 2017

AVwebFlash 12-15-2017

Blue Origin Test-Flies Crew Capsule

Blue Origin, the company funded by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos that’s working to develop sub-orbital space tourism, successfully launched a rocket from a west Texas site on Tuesday. The 60-foot-tall rocket carried crew capsule 2.0 on its first flight, to an altitude of about 322,000 feet, or 61 miles, in about two and a half minutes. The capsule then separated from the rocket for a few minutes of free fall, and then returned to the surface under three canopies. The rocket returned to its launch pad in a controlled vertical landing. The pressurized crew capsule, which features several large windows (about 2.4 by 3.6 feet), was occupied by a test dummy and a dozen payloads containing commercial, research and education projects.
The capsule can accommodate six astronauts in comfortable seats, and is roomy enough for tourists to experience weightless floating and even turn somersaults, the company says. The altitude of 61 miles, or about 100 km, is generally considered the boundary between the atmosphere and the edge of space. During the parachute landing, a retro-thrust system adds extra cushioning, for a contact speed of about 1 mph. The entire system is fully reusable, the company says.

From AVWeb Flash 12-15-2017 Drone Update

NTSB Blames Drone Operator In Collision

The operator of a drone that collided with a U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter in September didn’t see the aircraft because he was flying the drone beyond visual range, the NTSB said on Thursday. The operator also lacked adequate knowledge of the regulations and safe operating practices for drone flying, the safety board said. The incident occurred in New York, at an altitude of about 300 feet. The helicopter crew landed safely. Parts of the drone were lodged in the helicopter’s engine-oil cooler fan, and a 1.5-inch dent was found on the leading edge of one of the four main rotor blades. The drone operator was flying for fun, the NTSB said, and was unaware of the TFR in place at the time. He did not hold an FAA remote pilot certificate. Also this week, the FAA’s rule requiring owners to register small drones was reinstated.
The rule, which had required drone operators to register online, display a registration number on their drone and pay a $5 fee, was tossed out by a D.C. court in May. The new rule was attached to a defense policy bill that was signed into law this week. Also this week, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University said it will offer a free, two-week online course for drone operators. The course, “Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Key Concepts for New Users,” will run from Jan. 22 to Feb. 4. Participants will learn about equipment, airspace, legal requirements and flight planning, as well as how to become commercial drone operators. “We have had consistently great feedback about this course,” said Prof. Kristy Kiernan, lead educator for the class, which has been offered annually since 2015. “We are especially excited about the updates and changes we have made to reflect the most up-to-the-minute information in this rapidly changing part of aviation.” The instructors for the class include full-time ERAU faculty and experts from the unmanned aircraft systems industry. Registration is now open.

Monday, December 11, 2017

SCBC video retrospective of Gerald Ballard 12/11/2017

FAA Safety Team | Safer Skies Through Education

"Six Steps to the Perfect Preflight Brief"
Topic: How to Conduct a Safe, Expeditious and Thorough Preflight Brief.
On Tuesday, December 26, 2017 at 16:30 Pacific Standard Time (17:30 MST, 18:30 CST, 19:30 EST, 14:30 HST, 15:30 AKST, 17:30 Arizona, 00:30 GMT)
Select Number:
In this 60 minute webinar, Delia Colvin, aviation weather expert, international bestselling author and 15 year veteran of Air Traffic Control will walk you through her favorite sites and tools for conducting a SAFE self briefing;
    •    Learn the 6 elements you MUST CHECK in any brief
    •    What hazardous weather doesn't qualify as an "Adverse Condition"
    •    How to significantly reduce needless data
    •    The proposed replacement for Area Forecast
    •    When severe weather doesn't qualify as an adverse condition
Plus we'll walk through a standard weather brief, followed by Q&A
Click here to register today

To view further details and registration information for this webinar, click here.
The sponsor for this seminar is: FAASTeam

The following credit(s) are available for the WINGS/AMT Programs:
Basic Knowledge 3 - 1 Credit
Advanced Knowledge 1 - 1 Credit

Click here to view the WINGS help page
Invite a fellow pilot to the next WINGS Safety Seminar in your area.

Steve Sanderson - Guest from Whiteplains

Chilly Sunday greetings from South Florida, where the temps have dipped down into the mid 40s this morning.  46 as we speak, the locals have gone crazy and are wrapped up in their blankets, while the Northerners are only mildly amused.

Jenny is off on another assignment this weekend, but I was honored to have dinner here last evening with our former South Carolina neighbors, John and Vicky Gardner, and Ann Cargile and Bobbi Crimm:

Reported by: Steve Sanderson

Friday, December 08, 2017

Obituary for Gerald Ballard

Gerald Ballard

  • "Gerald touched many lives with his stories, antic's and..."
    - Larry Garner

Mr. Gerald M. Ballard, Hephzibah, GA, entered into rest on Monday, December 4, 2017. 

Mr. Ballard was born to the late Arthur M. Ballard and Eleanor V. Ballard in Fredericksburg, VA on September 30, 1939. He was preceded in death by his former wife, Frances Louise Skillman. He was a veteran of the United States Air Force (1959-1964). He was the owner and President of Ballard Truck and Tire Company in Augusta, GA since 1968. He was the President of the South Carolina Breakfast Club since 1979. He was awarded the 1998 Aviator of the Year at the Boshears Memorial Fly-In. His proudest and most honorable accomplishment was when he was inducted into the South Carolina Aviation Hall of Fame in 2004. 

He is survived by his daughters Janet Ballard Frazier (Russell) and Rebecca Ballard Wyles. And Michael Ballard. He is survived by four Grandsons; Derek Touchstone, Dalton James, Alex Wyles and Noah Wyles. Additionally, he is survived by three sisters; Marita K. Broussard of Columbia, SC, Sally B. Hill (Ken) of Indian Harbor Beach, FL, and S. Kay Taraschi (Peter) of Indiatlantic, FL and numerous nieces and nephews. 

Visitation will be held on December 10, 2017 at Platts Funeral Home, Belair Road Chapel, Evans, GA from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 PM on Monday, December 11, 2017 at Platts Funeral Home, Belair Road Chapel, Evans, GA with the Reverand Ben Bartlett officiating. Burial will follow at Westover Memorial Park.

The pallbearers are Derek Touchstone, Dalton James, Alex Wyles, Noah Wyles, Kerry Hale, and Ernest Tukes. Honorary pallbearers are All Members of the S.C. Breakfast Club.

If so desired, memorial donations may be made to Vaucluse First Baptist Church, 2 Church St, Vaucluse, SC 29850. 

Please sign the guestbook and send condolences at



Thursday, December 07, 2017

Gerald's Final Arragement Completed

All - Gerald's final arrangements have been completed and will be published in The State and The Augusta Chronicle tomorrow thru Sunday.

Both the Visitation and Funeral 

will be held at Platt's West Funeral Home,
 337 North Belair Road, Evans, GA 30809.

The Visitation will be Sunday, 
December 10, from 4-7pm.

The Funeral will be Monday, December 11 at 2pm - followed by interment at Westover Cemetary, 2602 Wheeler Road in Augusta.

Logistics would not allow us to have the funeral at Twin Lakes (much as Gerald wished); however, a Memorial gathering will be held at Twin Lakes in the Spring - date to be determined.

Please continue to hold Gerald's family in your thoughts and prayers - and keep those stories coming...

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Robot Vs. Human Pilot: Drone Challenge - Plane & Pilot Magazine

Robot Vs. Human Pilot: Drone Challenge - Plane & Pilot Magazine: Recently, researchers at NASA’s JPL tested out an autonomous drone vision-based navigation system for by racing them against a human drone pilot.

Gerald Ballard - Passed

I am sorry to announce that on Monday evening Gerald Ballard passed away. We all know him as the master of ceremony for the South Carolina Breakfast Club for many years.

A memorial service is being planned in his hangar on Monday.  Time to be determined.  For more information contact Stoney Truitt at 803-603-1140.

Posted 12/6/2017