The flying business was
big business in the early days of aviation. From the beginning, specialized
training and certification was needed to be trusted in the air with mail, cargo,
and the lives of strangers. As with today, a flyboy could teach himself to fly
and put his own neck on the line (only with ultralights now, though), but
anything more meant graduating from a college curriculum and/or getting training
from the military. The
Aeronautics Authority (CAA, now the Federal Aviation Administration cum
FAA), oversaw non-military flights and its
Pilot Training Program (CPTP) regulated and certified private schools for
teaching aspiring pilots aerodynamics, mechanics, weather phenomena, airframe
and powerplant maintenance, rules and regulations, public relations, and other
necessary skills. This "Youth Air Movement News" column from the December 1939
issue of Flying Aces magazine reported on the progress of the program,
and mentioned here that women were being permitted into the flying schools as
Youth Air Movement News
Here's our bright clearing house of info regarding the CAA pilot training program
and kindred subjects. Brief, newsy bits - of interest to casual fans as well as
actual candidates - will be our specialty each month in these columns.
College Goal Reached
Just as we went to press, the 300th American college was approved by the CAA
for pilot training. That meant that the Authority's goal for the 1939-1940 scholastic
year had been reached. So "Contact, colleges!" is now the cry. Originally, the CAA
plan called for revving up 10,000 new pilots by next June; however, new word from
Washington has advanced this figure to 11,000.
It now develops that these schools may, by way of experiment, permit girls to
take the flight training up to 10 percent of their quotas. Two of the approved colleges
are girl schools, as a matter of fact. Moreover, two of the universities are Negro
institutions. As for that meager 5 percent of non-college applicants, 550 of these
will be trained by university extension courses covering ground school work, then
they'll get their flying at university-named airfields.
Non-College Man Holds Bag
We still don't like the punk deal given non-college men - and we won't like it
as long as the airminded fellows-in-the-street belonging to that group called the
backbone of the country gets such starvation fare as a 5 percent crumb of this Government-backed
training. College women are now figured for 10 percent, twice as good a "break"
as the non-collegians - in the face of the fact that the avowed first purpose of
the program is to develop a reserve pool of flyers for use in a possible national
military emergency. You figure it out. We can't.
Pity the Frosh!
Another point calling for raising of the eyebrows is a report that the CANs statement
to the colleges "strongly urged that freshmen be dissuaded from the flight courses."
Why? Is this an aero version of the common collegiate three year athletic rule against
fresh playing on the varsity? Are they afraid that some non-college lad will furtively
sneak into a university just to get flight training? If some such poor gink does,
it looks like they'll fix him in a hurry - by putting him away on the shelf until
he's a soph.
NYA Doing Grand Job
Meanwhile, we applaud the National Youth Administration for the aero industry
opportunities it offers American youth. Many chaps who showed mechanical ability
under the NYA program are now in the Administration's aircraft training projects
at Charleston, W. V., and Algiers, La. The NYA also contemplates aviation projects
at Quoddy, Me.; Weiser, Ida.; Port Townsend, Wash.; Buchanan Dam, Tex.; and Muskingum
Conservancy District, Ohio. All phases of airplane mechanics are taught, thus fitting
the fellows for future jobs in ground branches of commercial aviation.
CAA Grads Fine Ducks
The 19 CAA college pilots who won an additional seaplane course at E. W. Wiggins
Airways, Boston, certainly took to the water like ducks. Flying pontooned Piper
Cubs, they chalked up a total of 285 hours in 21 days, received their ratings, and
had no trouble or breakage of any kind during this "sailor" term.
Low-Wing Trainer Approved
Abandoning its former scheme of all-biplane primary training, the Army Air Corps
has now Okay'ed the new Ryan YPT-16 low-wing trainer. This job is already being
used by the Ryan School's Air Corps Training Detachment, at San Diego. Use of low-wings
by cadets simplifies the transition from primary to advanced flying stages which
used to demand a change from biplanes to monoplanes.
Pep Up Mechanic Recruiting
Outbreak of the new European war has decidedly sped up preparedness in this country.
And that means there will now be many more opportunities in the American military
aero services for airminded fellows who'd like to see their names on a Government
pay roll. The Army, for instance, has accelerated its recruiting program which calls
for 25,139 additional aircraft mechanics.
We Welcome the AYA
Air Youth of America is the name of a new national agency now being formed to
assist the hundreds of thousands of airminded lads in this country with their model
building and other junior aero activities. Winthrop Rockefeller is temporary chairman
of the group's organizing committee. This movement is heartily welcomed by Flying
Aces because its purpose is the promotion of more openings for youths in the aviation
field. We might also add (this in a whisper) that the AYA intends to make its program
so attractive that it'll lure a bunch of non-airminded boys away from the corner
pool rooms. Get each of 'em to trade in his cue for another kind of stick - one
with wings and a prop on it, you know. But we don't figure this particular angle
applies to any F.A. readers. Or are there really some 8-Ball players in our audience?
Domestic Aviation Zooms
Figures from Washington indicate that since August, 1938, our aero industry has
climbed at a rate unparalleled in our history. Airlines carried 170,913 passengers
last July, 55 per-cent better than in July of 1938. The first half of this year
saw 1,627 civilian planes produced and sold, against 850 for the same period in
'38. This September 1st saw 1,109 more certified aircraft and 6,000 more pilots
than a year ago. And there was not a single fatal airline accident in the U.S. during
the first half of the current year.
Very Few Get "Green"
Maybe you'll be interested to know that only three sky passengers out of every
1,000 get air sick. Dr. Ralph Greene, Director of Eastern Air Lines' Aero-Medical
Department, discovered this fact. And he points out that sea, train, and auto sickness
are much more common. As for ear aches, which sometimes occur due to fast ascents
or decents, the Doctor prescribes yawning or swallowing to equalize the inner-ear
pressure. He goes on to say that "thrusting out the jaw with the mouth open, and
rocking it from side to side also helps." It would be a swell show for some lurking
candid camera fiend, too.
Becoming a college football player may soon be another standard way to get in
some flying. The Pitt Panther team recently hopped via TWA to the West Coast to
grapple with Washington, and the College All-Stars flew from Chicago to New York
to take on. the New York Giant grid aggregation. Flying keeps the pigskin men in
better condition than the more grueling long-distance ground travel.
Sport Flying Flourishes
Private flying is advancing by leaps and zooms, and we hope a lot of you readers
are "getting aboard." The growing popularity of the light plane sport model is indicated
by the fact that Taylorcraft enjoyed a twenty percent increase in the sales of its
ships during the first six months of this year, while Piper turned out its one thousandth
1939 Cub as early as the 19th of August.
Posted August 6, 2022