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Trivia Testers

Subject: Methuselah's Wings - Who is the world's oldest pilot?Subject: Methuselah's Wings

Question: Who is the world's oldest pilot?

  1. Ebenezer Prendersnarf of Concord, New Hampshire is 99 and still an active CFI.
  2. There are actually two. Both are 98, although they do not fly alone. Their licenses require that they each fly with a safety pilot.
  3. Jeanne Calment, who lived to age 122, not only was (for a time) the world's oldest person, but retained her French sailplane license until the age of 109.
  4. Gimme a break! No, you lose a little finesse when (if) you get THAT old! The world's oldest active and current pilot is Roger Joseph Gagne, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. At age 99, he still holds a second class medical, and also has an Airline Transport Pilot certificate and multiengine land rating, with type ratings in the 727, 757, and 767, as well as a flight engineer certificate. (These date back to the 1960s.)

The answer is 4. The oldest pilot who ever lived however, was Ralph Lang Charles. He worked for the Wright Brothers, knew Lindbergh, and flew an Aeronca Defender out of his own private airport located on his 25 acre property in Somerset, Ohio. Born in November 1899, he was flying until nearly his 102nd birthday. He died on February 2nd, 2003, at age 103.

Subject: More Location Identifier Trivia

Question: Location identifiers, once assigned, tend to stick---especially at busy major airports where changing the identifier would mean major headaches. What major metropolitan airport had a change in BOTH its identifier AND its name? (And that's a hint.)

  1. This has never been done.
  2. Miami changed its identifier from 2FL6 in 1947.
  3. Washington National was known as WAS up until 1958, when it was switched to DCA.
  4. In December 1963, Idlewild Airport changed its name (and identifier) to JFK.
The answer is number 4. I should know. I grew up on Long Island, under one of (then) Idlewild's approach paths.

Subject: Water, Water, Everywhere

Question: Under what circumstances is water lighter than air?

  1. Under conditions of extreme pressure, water will compress ever so slightly. Air however will compress until it is a liquid, and at a pressure of 610 atmospheres, it has a specific gravity greater than one.
  2. When it's water vapor.
  3. Inside a waterspout, the extreme low pressure actually causes water to exist in a quasi-gaseous state where, although technically still a liquid, its specific gravity becomes about one ten-thousandth that of liquid water on the surface---about ten times lighter than air!
  4. Don't be ridiculous. Water is NEVER lighter than air!
The answer is number 2. When you think about the atomic numbers of hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen, it makes sense, after all!

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