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5 Life Lessons I learned from Bob Hoover October 25, 2016

Posted by Abingdon in Flight, Uncategorized.
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Today a legend in the aviation world passed away. He was known as the greatest pilot that ever lived. He was also a standup human being. I had the pleasure of knowing Bob for the last four years. Through every interaction with him, I came away a better person. He was a leader in life, not only for his flying skills, but also his character. The world has lost a true gentleman. 

Bob, Colleen, and I at the Opening Ceremony of the Santa Monica Museum of Flying

Bob, his lovely wife Colleen, and I at the Opening Ceremony of the Santa Monica Museum of Flying

Here are 5 lessons I’ve learned from knowing Bob Hoover that have helped me be a better person. 

1. Always be learning. I remember coming back to Los Angeles from ferrying a Twin Commander to Australia. I was going to an event at the Jonathan Club in downtown LA to honor Clay Lacy (another living aviation legend). It was a formal event. When I arrived, a few friends of mine were asking me how my ferry trip had gone. Word got around the party that there was a young girl who just flew an airplane to Australia. Bob asked to speak to me privately. I went over to his table and sat down with him. He recognized me right away and asked how I was. Then he wanted to know all about my trip. How did I transfer fuel? How was the HF radio hooked up? What was my speed and how long did it take to fly such a slow plane from California to Hawaii? He loved learning, and though he was clearly the better pilot in the conversation, he was learning something from me. I don’t know if I taught him anything that night, but it was such an amazing thing to have such a great aviator eager to learn something new. 

2. No matter how great the world thinks you are, be gracious. Bob Hoover is known as the greatest pilot to have ever lived. And after seeing countless videos on YouTube of his air show performances and hearing him tell the stories that he’s had in his flying career, I agree. Aviation lost a legend – nobody will deny that. But he wasn’t just a legend for his skills in an airplane. He was a legend because he kept it classy. Always kind and gracious, I would see him at different events throughout the years from private functions to the famous Oshkosh AirVenture and he always had people coming up to him asking for photos or wanting to tell him how they were influenced by him. He would always lend his ear to them. He would always pause and gave them time. He probably heard the same stories over and over and over from thousands of people young and old, and yet he still smiled, still listened, and still engaged with them. It didn’t matter how amazing everybody told him he was, he still kept it down to earth and was one of the most gracious celebrities I have ever met.

3. Write your own rules. This is a man who, in World War II stole a German airplane and flew back to Holland to get back to safety. This is a man who picked up a fellow soldier who had crashed his plane in Northern Africa.  He put his friend behind him in the same seat in a tiny cockpit and flew hours back to the base, saving the soldier’s life. This is a man who helped another pilot get his stuck landing gear down by talking to him over the phone and giving him tips on how to manipulate the airplane to force the gear down. There was never a rule book for Bob. Throughout his life, he wrote his own rulebook.

4. Tell stories. I never had a chance to see Bob fly at an airshow, but I did hear dozens of stories from him. Entertaining, exciting, thoughtful, and valuable, I could listen to him talk for hours. What made Bob so magnetic is that he brought you into his world. He was passionate about the way he spoke. He always spoke from the heart. It is through his stories that people connected with him. We lived with a legend that was still alive, and through him sharing his life stories with us, we felt connected to greatness. 

5. You can pour a glass of iced tea while doing barrel rolls. The video tells 1000 words. Rest in peace Bob. Bob Hoover pouring tea in a barrel roll

Gift Guide: For Your Favorite Gal Pals December 21, 2015

Posted by Abingdon in General Ramblings, Uncategorized.
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Ah, it’s that magical time of the year again! The time that you spend hours scrolling through online shops and giving your feet a pick-me-up massage in the middle of a shopping mall, only to find a bacon-scented candle that your favorite vegan may (or may not) like. Finding the perfect gift for your beloved gal pals is not easy, but hopefully my gift guide will help you find the perfect present for them.

  1. For Your Comedian: Comical Embroidery

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Embroidery is a trendy way to send your jocular bestie a good laugh. It combines the “grandma chic” and “funny girls rule” trends effortlessly. Etsy has a plethora of shops offering lovely handmade embroidered gifts, a bonus for your friend that loves to support small businesses. Whether your friend chooses to make the piece the center of the living room or a hidden gem in her closet, I can guarantee it won’t be a throwaway gift.

2. For Your Tardy Gal: An Abingdon Co. WatchScreen Shot 2015-12-21 at 11.30.16 AM
We all have that girlfriend that arrives fashionably late to absolutely everything. Help her arrive on time and in style this holiday season with a watch from yours truly, Abingdon Co. Plus, with your hands on her new watch, you may just be able to set the time forward a couple minutes—let’s see who’s late to your next GNO.

3. For Your Party Girl: A Spa Day

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As cliche as it may sound, everybody needs a spa day every once in awhile, especially your party girl. And what’s in it for you? An excuse to join her as you melt away the stress of a long week in the office (or the air). Isn’t that what gift giving is all about?

4. For Your Hopeless Romantic: A Personalized Chatbook

Nothing says, “Look at how you make my life better: Merry Christmas,” quite like a personalized book of photos with you and your sentimental BFF. This is a gift she can cherish forever, remembering all the wild, intimate, and hilarious moments you’ve shared throughout your friendship. The process of making a Chatbook is simple; you can either pull photos from your own Instagram account or create an incognito account for some fresh pictures. And for those late Christmas shoppers, never fear—your custom Chatbook will be printed and sent on its way to your tree in just a couple of days.

5. For Your Politician: A Wearable Political Statement

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We all have that friend that brings politics into every conversation, and we either love or hate them for it. Gift your politically conscious gal with my favorite feminist tank; it’s a real conversation starter.

The holidays are a time to show your love and appreciation for the special women in your life. I hate to give a gift that isn’t thoughtful. When giving, I’ve found that thoughtfulness is more important than price or quantity. I hope I was able to guide some of you ladies in the right gift giving direction. Happy Holidays and happy shopping!

Ariel Passed! July 20, 2012

Posted by Abingdon in Flying Wild Alaska, General Ramblings, Uncategorized.
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I just have to give a quick note and say how great it was to teach Ariel to fly. With doing turns around a moose, landings on frozen seas, searching for seals, and enjoying the beautiful landscape of Alaska.  You did a great job and worked so hard – you deserve it all.  Well done grasshopper!

Ariel is a Pilot

So much fun training Ariel Tweto