News - 2013

Bobby Randolph's First Solo

When 16-year old Bobby Randolph told his mom that he wanted to take flying lessons, it didn’t seem to be much of a surprise. He has always been interested in aviation taking flights in several Young Eagles events, attending Air-Mods’ AeroCamp, and working with the mechanics here in the shop this past summer. Bobby attends the High Technology High School, a prestigious career academy in Monmouth County, and already has his sights set on Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where he intends to become an aeronautical engineer.

Bobby’s mom, surely supportive of her son’s aspirations, drives him all the way from their home in Wall Township to Robbinsville’s Airport for flying lessons. Phil Schirmer, one of our flight instructors, has taken Bobby through the curriculum and practical skills instruction that enabled this young student to successfully complete his first solo flight on September 5th…about a month before his 17th birthday! Congratulations Bobby! You’re well on your way to earning your private pilot’s license!

The tradition of cutting off a new pilot's shirttail is a sign of the instructor's new confidence in the student after successful completion of the 1st solo flight. In the old days of tandem trainers, the student sat in the front seat and the instructor sat in the back seat.  As there were typically no intercoms and headsets in these early days, the instructor would tug on the student's shirttail to get his/her attention, and then yell in their ear. A successful first solo flight is an indication that the student can fly without the instructor and, hence, no further need for the shirttail. Tradition has it that the proud instructor cuts off the shirttail which is then displayed as a trophy on the flight school wall.


Jeremy Wei Earns CFI

If you’ve been following Jeremy Wei’s progress since his first solo in June 2010, you probably know that he got his pilot’s license, driver’s license, and Civil Air Patrol Pilot Wings on is 17th birthday in June 2011. Since then, Jeremy earned his commercial and multi-engine instrument ratings in September 2012. One year later, on September 8th, Jeremy earned his CFI rating. Way to go, Jeremy!

Jeremy is currently in his junior year at Western Michigan University where he is majoring in Aircraft Maintenance. He commutes home monthly in his M20C Mooney and uses the time to practice IFR cross country flying. In his spare time he is working on the CFII, MEI, Aerobatic Competition, Upset Recovery Training, Seaplane rating and Helicopter ratings.

Jeremy and Certified Examminer, Joe Miller  


Air-Mods is Featured in Trenton Times Article



















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Air-Mods is Hosting a Pilot Partner Program!
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Mercy Air's Kodiak Set for Flight to South Africa

Air-Mods installs ferry tank for Mercy Air's flight from Maine to South Africa.  Read more




















Pilots N Paws and Burlington County Animal Alliance Collaborate on Rescue

Pilots N Paws and Burlington County Animal Alliance collaborated to rescue four Beagle puppies all the way from South Carolina to New Jersey.  Pilot, John Gordon, and his fiancée, Rebecca Jeffries, launched at 6:30 AM on Saturday morning from Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport (KBUY) in North Carolina and pointed their Piper Cherokee southeast to pick-up the puppies in Beaufort, South Carolina.  After over 500 nautical miles of flying, they landed at Robbinville (N87) at about 11:00 AM to the waiting arms of BCAA's Ann Samis and Sue Coculo.  While the puppies said they enjoyed the flight and, especially, Rebecca's cabin service, they are really looking forward to living with Foster Mom Ann Samis while she and Sue find them a permanent adoption family.  For more information about how to adopt these wonderful puppies, please click on Burlington County Animal Alliance.

Rebecca Jeffries, pilot John Gordon, Foster Mom Ann Samis, and BCAA volunteer Sue Coculo





















Air-Mods Delivers Restored Cessna 185

After almost 19 months in the shop, Air-Mods delivered the Cessna 185 Skywagon back to its patient owner. We recovered the 1980 Skywagon after it had suffered major structural damages in June 2011. Eric, one of our A&P's, led the meticulous repairs sourcing hard-to-get replacement parts from across the country. And, for those parts that were unavailable, he fabricated new ones to manufacturer's standards. Finally, after all of the repairs were made, selected sheet metal was painted, and test flights were conducted, Tom Gray and Phil Abrams delivered the airplane on a cold, but beautiful, Saturday February 2nd. Tom said "the airplane flew if it just came out of the factory!" For the detailed chronology of the repairs, click here.