Ice Bike Mountain Top Riding on a Frozen Lake

Filmed in the winter of 2015 near Mt. Mason, British Columbia, Canada, Bill Hitchon riding his monster ice bike, Suzuki Boulevard on top of a frozen mountain lake at 5000 feet above sea level. It is crazy to think that Bill Hitchon is probably the only man or earth to race on this lake. Bill is a former ice racer who owns his own custom motorcycle shop in Richmond, BC. He built this bike for a movie called “Dead Rising, Watchtower” that filmed in Vancouver. http://5thgearbeta.com

The bike took 880 hex head screws in the back tire to be able to ride on the ice and about 250 screws in the front tire. The bike has an ATV tire on the rear and a KTM front end, which lightened it by about 250 lbs, making slinging it to the mountain possible.

Bill and Bill, pilot and racer, took their collective skills and pulled off one of the most amazing sports events ever filmed.

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Different Pilot Licenses Explained: Sport, Recreational and Private Pilot

In the fixed wing airplane world, pilots often refer to their pilot’s license as a “certificate”. Essentially, both terms mean the same thing and are interchangeable (although, technically, they are slightly different). For the purposes of this article, we intend “certificate” and “license” to represent the same “pilot status”. According to AOPA, the most accurate description of the certificate is a “license to learn”. Below, learn more about the different pilot licences and levels of pilot certificate.

The Three Pilot’s Certificates Explained

Student Pilot Certificate (License to Learn): All pilots registered with the FAA begin their journey as “Student Pilots”. The Student Pilot Certificate allows you to train with an FAA Certified Flight Instructor. Your first step is to learn the basics and fundamentals that will prepare you for your first “solo flight”.

There are several very important steps after your solo flight (advanced training) where a student decides to earn a Private Pilot’s certificate, Recreational certificate, or Sport Pilot certificate.

Each certificate has different requirements and differing pathways. The similarities of these certificates are – pilots are allowed to legally fly under certain conditions, and fly with one or more passengers for fun (no pay).

Private Pilot Certificate: The most popular certificate is the traditional “Private Pilot Certificate”. The Private Pilot is the pathway most student pilots take as they invest time, energy, and money into the process of learning to fly. This license requires 40 hours of flight training.

The Private Pilot licenses is the least restrictive of the three certificates.

The Private Pilot license is the pathway to advanced pilot certificates. Meaning, pilots with a Private Pilot license and are career-minded, can pursue the advanced certificates (Instrument, Commercial, and Certified Flight Instructor Certificates) and get paid to fly.

Getting Your Pilots License and Your First Intro Flight

Instrument and Commercial pilot’s licenses allow pilots to fly at night, fly in bad weather (fly by instrument), and fly multi-engine aircraft. Equally important, pilots with Private Pilot’s license, after advanced flight training, can become a commercial pilot and fly for a living. Private Pilot license holders can then earn a Certified Flight Instructor certificate (CFI), and even a Certified Flight Instructor Instrument certificate (CFII).

The top status of all pilot licenses is the Airline Transport Pilot certificate (ATP). Pilots who want to fly for the airlines, become corporate pilots, or fly charter jets are required to have the ATP certificate. Typically, pilots need 1,500 hours of logged flight time, an ATP certificate, and a college degree.

Recreational Pilot Certificate: The Recreation Pilot Certificate is a limited restricted version of the Private Pilot’s license, and considered to be a step below. Requires a minimum of 30 hours of flight training. The aircraft a Recreational Pilot flies is limited to 180 horsepower, and can only fly at a maximum altitude of 2000 AGL. The Recreational Pilot requires a 3rd class medical.

Recreational pilots typically fly from their “home airport”, fly during the day, and with only one additional passenger.

The good news is that a Recreational Pilot Certificate costs less and takes less time. And, a pilot with a Recreational Pilot’s license can continue training (gaining experience and flight hours) and eventually earn their Private Pilot’s license.

Sport Pilot’s Certificate: This version of a pilot’s license is relatively new (2004). It was created for people who desire to fly one or two seater aircraft that are smaller, lighter, and easier to fly. The main difference between Sport Pilot and Recreational Pilot cerftificates is the type of aircraft you are able to fly. The Sport Pilot is limited to planes with lower take off weight (smaller, lighter aircraft) with no more than two seats. Sport pilots require a minimum of 20 hours of flight training.

Additionally, pilot’s seeking Sport Pilot Certificates are not required to obtain a medical certificate (which is a big deal), but must have a valid drivers license. The Sport Pilot license is a limited and more restrictive pilot’s certificate than that of Private or Recreational. The Sports Pilot certificate prohibits pilots from flying aircraft that are more than 1,3200 lbs at takeoff and landing and 1,430 lbs at takeoff from the water.

However, with advanced training, Sport Pilot certificate holders can take additional flight training, pass an FAA Medical Exam, and earn a Recreational or Private Pilot’s license.

There are some conditions the different pilot licenses all require:
All Pilot’s License Holders Must Be or Have:
  • At least 17 years old
  • Be able to read, speak, write and understand English
  • Receive logbook endorsements from authorized instructor who verifies aeronautical knowledge and preparedness for the FAA knowledge test
  • Pass the required FAA knowledge test
  • Receive flight training and a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor who conducted the required training.
  • Pass the required practical test on the areas of operation that apply
  • Comply with the appropriate sections that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought
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Drone Racing League Receives 1 Million In Funding

Safe, low flying Drone (UAV) racing, with the Drone Racing League, is one of the fastest growing recreational sports worldwide, and professional pilots are right in the mix of things. Drone racing is performed on a specially designed course, which is often indoors. Professional and recreational pilots, RC aircraft enthusiasts, and normal everyday Joe’s are jumping into “Drone Racing” because it’s an absolute blast. And, Drone racers fly close to the ground and do not interfere with commercial aircraft (helicopters and airplanes). Drone racing is a fun, safe, and responsible application of drone-powered UAV’s.

Watch this video below and check out the extreme talent and skills of this drone pilot.

Recently, Drone Racing League fans have a lot to be happy about with the current trend in drones going up and up. Now, the billionaire developer from Florida and the owner of the Miami Dolphins, Stephen Ross, has invested one million dollars into the New York Drone Racing League reported the Wall Street Journal on August 12th, 2015.

Drone League Racing Receives Big Investment

Known for his real estate ventures around the United States, Stephen Ross, is looking to make a name for himself in a totally new arena: Drone Racing. The Drone League races drones that can get up to speeds of 70 mph.  The pilots use goggles that send a live video feed from the aircraft to the FPV (first person view racing), otherwise known as the pilot.

The league’s CEO, Nick Horbaczewski, says “I felt drone racing could be a sport that resonated with people because it touches on the heritage of racing, but also brings in the benefits of new technology,”

More Good News for the Drone Industry

Another major event, the US National Drone Racing Championships, took place earlier in 2015 and attracted over 100 pilots and there was $25,000.00 in cash prizes awarded. Races of a similar size and stature have been held in Australia, England, and France.

One aspect of drone racing that the promoters of Drone Racing must come to terms with is the fact that millions of people will watch Drone Videos on Youtube but coordinating and arranging to have spectators actually come out and physically attend a Drone Racing Event has been less successful. There were approximately 60 non-racing spectators attended the Championship Race. Mainly this is due to the extreme heat but watching drones race in person is complicated because of the small size of the aircraft.

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