05.26.2013 Uncategorized 1 Comment

Solar Impulse flies acros the U.S.

Speaking Eagle witnesses first flight across America

Solar Impulse has taken up yet another challenge in preparation for its 2015 round-the-world flight to cross the United States, from coast to coast, this spring. Bill Johnson, who qualified for his private pilot’s license in the early ’50s and is also the original executive director of the National Speakers Association, recently had a chance to see the solar powered, fuel-free aircraft in Phoenix, AZ.

“I was fortunate to spend an hour visiting the Solar Impulse as she did her first U.S. flight from San Francisco to New York, said Johnson. ”

“The solar power drove the four electric motors with 12k solar cells on the 747 length wings. The first stop was Phoenix for two days of public viewing while charging the solar panels with the Arizona sunlight. It continued to Dallas then on to St Louis, DC and to NYC. The one man flight took 19 hours at the astounding speed of 45 MPH. Solar Impulse left SFO at sunrise and arrived at Sky Harbor at 1 a.m. the next day. The pilot was one of the Swiss builders and I was surprised to learn the aircraft has been touring in Europe and Africa since 2009.”

“I find myself reflecting on the 1938 Aeronca Champ I bought with Pat Luby and Bob Pace while at SMU. Pace and I got our40 hours for private license in the $250 investment.”

04.22.2013 Uncategorized No Comments

Two Speaking Eagles meet in the sky

...or at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport

Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour became America’s first African-American female combat pilot. Recently, she ran into one of her heroes, USAF Col. (Ret) Lee Ellis at the Cleveland airport.

Ellis was shot down over enemy territory during the Vietnam War and became a prisoner of war. He was held in various prisons in the Hanoi area for over five years. After repatriation,his assignments included duty as a pilot, flight instructor, staff officer, chief of flight standardization and evaluation, flying squadron commander and supervisor in higher education before retiring as a colonel. He was awarded two Silver Stars, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star with Valor device, the Purple Heart, and POW Medal for his service in Vietnam. In addition, he was awarded four Air Force Commendation Medals and four Meritorious Service Medals for performance excellence.

Ellis and Armour at CLE

Both members of Speaking Eagles and the National Speaker’s Association (NSA), Armour got to hear her hero speak at the NSA Speaking Eagles’ meeting last summer.

“I sat in awe, as Col. Leon “Lee” Ellis, USAF (Ret.) spoke of his POW experience during Vietnam, to our small intimate gathering of Speaking Eagles,” said Armour. “I was listening to a true American hero. NSA has blessed me in many ways, and being connected to extraordinary people like Col. Ellis, is at the top of the list. Thank you sir, for your service and your shoulders. Semper Fi.”

For more information on Lee Ellis and his new book, “Leading with Honor,” visit http://freedomstarmedia.com/lee-ellis and visit http://vernicearmour.com to learn more about Vernice Armour and “Zero to Breakthrough.”


04.08.2013 Uncategorized No Comments

Speaking Eagle Summey flies veteran home to family

Published on April 3, 2013 in Asheville, Hendersonville, News Stories, Roger McCredie

[Asheville, NC] A private aircraft climbed into a cloudless Good Friday sky, bound for the nation’s capital. Its mission: to fetch a local veteran back to spend his final days near his family.

The plane, which was given the call sign HRF (for “Hero Flight”) 65MS, is owned and flown by Asheville businessman Mike Summey. Also on board were reserve pilot Greg Byrd, and Dr. Kenneth Kubitschek of Carolina Internal Medicine who was volunteering his own time to act as accompanying physician.

The patient is retired Master Sergeant Michael Dishon, a 20-year Air Force veteran who was recently medevaced from Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, the army’s largest hospital outside the U.S. proper, to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington. Dishon suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and has now been diagnosed with terminal Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, an aggressive form of cancer that invades the lymph system. On arrival, Dishon will be transferred to a local hospice facility.

Summey said he learned of Dishon’s case when he was contacted by the Veterans Airlift Command, a small nonprofit that enlists the aid of private pilots to transport ill and wounded veterans in cases where military transport is not available or feasible and ground travel is not advisable.

(Left to right) Dr. Kenneth Kubitschek, Master Sergeant Michael Dishon, Mike Summey – Pilot

Jen Salvati, VAC Operations Manager, said that Dishon’s illness had been designated as 100 percent service-connected since he contracted it while still on active duty, and that he thus would ordinarily have qualified for military air transport; however, she said, she had been informed that funding for such mercy flights has been curtailed by Sequester budget cuts and that the armed forces have been appealing to private sources for help. “We got a call from Sgt. Dishon’s social worker,” she said.

“It’s a duty and an honor to be doing this,” Summey said. “For me it’s an uplifting experience. But I can’t help noticing the irony that the President of the United States can spend a million dollars’ worth of taxpayer money to have Air Force One fly him to a golf game with Tiger Woods but the Air Force can’t afford to fly a terminally ill veteran with a hundred-per-cent service related disability to his hospice.”

Salvati said the Veterans Airlift Command headquartered in Minneapolis, was started by her father, Walt Fricke, a Vietnam War helicopter pilot. The organization, administered only by Fricke, Salvate and mission coordinator Maria Miles, now comprises some 2,200 private pilots across the U.S., such as Summey, who usually undertake their missions at their own personal expense.

“We usually deal with combat wounded, but this [Dishon’s case] was a worthy exception,” Salvati said. She added that the fact that military transport was not available might in a way have been just as well.

“He would probably have had to wait for available space,” she said. “That could have meant being on call for days, and even then you don’t know whether he’d be getting proper attention. And commercial flights are just as bad. At least this way he’ll have a doctor and oxygen with him and we know he’ll be made comfortable.”

Dishon’s daughter Samantha was due to accompany her father back to Asheville, where they would be met by another daughter. The flight manifest listed two passengers, one weighing 150 pounds, the other 105 pounds.

The 105-pound passenger was Dishon.

(C) 2013 Universal Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

04.08.2013 Uncategorized No Comments

Boeing debuts larger, fancier Everett delivery center


Bio | EmailKING5.com

Posted on April 3, 2013 at 7:34 PM

Updated Friday, Apr 5 at 11:28 AM

EVERETT – Boeing on Wednesday opened its new Everett delivery center, replacing the old one with a structure three times bigger, and much nicer.

Now, airplane executives and foreign government officials, which sometimes include royalty who often fly home aboard a newly delivered jet, can walk directly on a plane through a covered jet way rather than dart through the drizzle on a cold Northwest morning.

And while portions of the new delivery center have the latest airport technology, it’s much more than that. There are large spaces for parties and other upscale functions that often accompany delivery of a new jet costing hundreds of millions of dollars, not to mention billions spent on fleets of planes.




02.25.2013 Uncategorized No Comments

POW and Speaking Eagle Plumb Talks of Faith and Survival

Charlie Plumb was flying the F-4 Phantom Jet during the Vietnam War when he was shot down. Plumb would spend the next six years as a prisoner of war. Today, Charlie shares his story of faith and survival, and how God held him up during those six years. Charlie has authored a new book entitled, I’m No Hero, available in bookstores everywhere.


For more information on Charlie Plumb and his new book, I’m No Hero, visit www.charlieplumb.com.



02.03.2013 Uncategorized No Comments

Speaking Eagle’s thoughts on an NFL legend

Business motivational speaker Lt. Col. Rob “Waldo” Waldman,The Wingman, is a professional speaker and author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller “Never Fly Solo.”

“Thinking about the  Super Bowl, I  thought I would share a short story about an experience I had with the NFL a few years ago.

I had the rare opportunity to speak to The Cleveland Browns in 2008 the evening before they played The New York Giants on Monday Night Football. It was one of the most rewarding (and, quite honestly, intimidating) speeches I ever gave.”

For more of the story, please visit  https://zs116.infusionsoft.com/app/hostedEmail/390/91f36a96d148da03?inf_contact_key=8a0da8def1d607ae095afe0317bae8b45d69bdd478504458efd9f981539b8fe6


Visit Waldo at http://www.yourwingman.com/


01.06.2013 Uncategorized No Comments

Former Vietnam POW Shares Leadership Lessons

In this recent interview on Fox & Friends, Lee Ellis, president of Leadership Freedom LLC, Colonel USAF (Ret.) and Speaking Eagle, shares details about his POW experience and some of the leadership lessons he’s  learned .

Ellis talks about his new book, Leading With Honor, Leadership Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton, on the Fox interview at  http://video.foxnews.com/v/2071803804001.

For more information on Ellis and his new book, please visit http://freedomstarmedia.com.


12.06.2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Speaking Eagle Poynter Inducted into NSM Hall of Fame

National Skydiving Museum honors new inductees

Six more sport parachutists, including Speaking Eagle Dan Poynter were  inducted into the National Skydiving Museum Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Eloy, Arizona.

Those inducted were Carl Boenish, CA (posthumous,; Bob Buquor, CA (posthumous), Claude Gillard, Australia, Craig Girard, AZ & Dubai, Dan Poynter, CA, and Muriel Simbro, CA/Hank Simbro, CA (posthumous).

“More than 400 people turned out for the benefit dinner for the National Skydiving Museum’s Hall of Fame awards”, said Poynter, who is an author and  Certified Speaking Professional with the National Speakers Association. “The venue was Skydive Arizona, a destination skydiving resort in Eloy, and it was an incredible honor to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.”
A parachute designer, pilot, and master parachute rigger, Poynter has written several books on aviation.He also served as president of the Parachute Industry Association, chairman of the U.S. Parachute Association, and president of the International Hang Gliding Commission.

2012 Hall of Fame Inductees: (from left) Jennie Cooney (Muriel & Hank Simbro’s daughter), Muriel Simbro (inducted along with her husband Hank – posthumous), Victoria Hinojosa and Toni Evans (daughters of Bob Buquor – posthumous), Dan Poynter, Craig Girard, Claude Gillard – not represented in the photos – Carl Boenish – (posthumous)

The Hall of Fame recognizes and honors those, who through leadership, innovation, and/or outstanding achievements have defined, promoted, inspired, and advanced skydiving at the highest and sustained levels in the past, present and for future generations of skydivers.

For more information, visit http://skydivingmuseum.org/ and http://www.parapublishing.com/sites/para/about/danpoynter.cfm.

10.03.2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Speaking Eagle Kittinger Shares Thought on Upcoming Project Stratos Jump

Kittinger leapt from altitude of 19.5 miles, reached 614 mph in 1960 and is helping to break his own records

He was a captain in the Air Force, and the military’s Excelsior project was a test bed for the nation’s young space program. Now Joe Kittinger is Felix Baumgartner’s mentor, signing on with this new project after decades of refusing others’ requests.

Red Bull Stratos, a mission to the edge of space, will attempt to transcend human limits that have existed for 50 years. Supported by a team of experts Felix Baumgartner plans to ascend to 120,000 feet in a stratospheric balloon and make a freefall jump rushing toward earth at supersonic speeds before parachuting to the ground. His attempt to dare atmospheric limits holds the potential to provide valuable medical and scientific research data for future pioneers.

Kittinger and Baumgartner

Kittinger recently wrote the following:

“My wife Sherry and I are in  Roswell, NM where we will be preparing for the Project Stratos Jump from above 120,000 feet. As you know we have already successfully completed two manned jumps from 72,000 and 97,000 feet in preparation for the next jump from near space. The balloon which has a capacity of 29 million cubic feet is huge, weighing almost 4000 pounds and standing over 700 feet above the ground on launch.

As a result, to inflate this very fragile balloon requires perfect weather and wind conditions. The earliest date that we plan on launching is 8 October just at sunup. The climb to altitude will require about 2 hours 15 minutes. Felix should go supersonic after about 30 seconds of free fall. His free fall should last about 5 minutes and 30 seconds before he opens his main parachute about 5,000 feet above the desert.

You can keep up with the progress of the project by visiting  www.redbullstratos.com

The inflation, launch, climb to altitude, and jump will be broadcast live over this web site. We expect over 300 of the media to attend the launch, including the BBC which is making a documentary of the Project and jumps.

I have worked for over four years on this project and have been honored to be a part of this historic occasion. Felix is ready, the team is ready, the capsule is ready -all we need is good weather ( and some Divine cooperation) to successfully conclude Project Stratos. We hope that you will join us by watching this exciting event.


Joe & Sherry Kittinger


08.26.2012 Uncategorized 1 Comment

Putnam Shares Memories of Neil Armstrong

Speaking Eagle Howard Putnam Recalls Experiences with First Man on the Moon

“Commander Armstrong was on the board of directors of United Airlines in the late 70’s and early 80’s when Eddie Carlson was the chairman and CEO,” said Putnam. “I met him then, but more recently here in Reno, NV, several times when I was on the board of the Reno Air Races and he was one of our grand marshals. When I emailed him or called him, he responded in 1-2 hours.”

This photo was taken about 15 years ago at a United Airlines senior executive’s retirement party near Chicago. Neil Armstrong, left, at age 67 , the children of UAL executive Joe O’Gorman, and Howard Putnam

“What a gentleman,” added Putnam. “He was very quiet, just wanted to be in the background and never asked for anything. Always gracious and when you introduced him to someone, he was very shy and appreciative.

He was the first on the moon and Gene Cernan was the last. Captain Cernan is the same as Neil. When you talk about ethics, leadership, integrity and great human beings, Neil Armstrong and Gene Cernan are at the top of my list.”

To our Humble Hero: Godspeed, Neil Armstrong.