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Sporty’s Presents Online Air Facts Revival

By Mac McClellan, Editor-at-Large, EAA 74733

Leighton Collins
Richard Collins

April 21, 2011 —Sporty’s Pilot Shop and Richard Collins have teamed up the revive Air Facts, an aviation magazine first published by Richard’s father, Leighton Collins, starting in 1938. Air Facts was a small Reader’s Digest-sized publication dedicated to using personal airplanes for reliable and safe travel.

The new Air Facts is presented by Sporty’s only online at AirFactsJournal.com. Like the original magazine, the new electronic Air Facts is written by pilots for pilots and contains a combination of work by professional aviation writers and contributions by pilot readers.

The first edition of Air Facts that is online now features historic works by Richard, Leighton, Bob Buck, and others, as well as contemporary articles. The tagline on the cover of Air Facts was “Facts-Knowledge-Safety,” and that remains the emphasis in the new online version.

“No aviation magazine had previously put the emphasis on safety and accidents and many thought this would cause consternation in the aviation industry,” Richard said. “When Air Facts ran a study about the safety record in Taylorcrafts and Piper Cubs, everyone thought Mr. Piper would be quite unhappy. To the contrary, he ordered an Air Facts subscription for everyone who bought a new Cub.”

Though the original Air Facts remained in business for nearly 40 years circulation never exceeded 20,000, but it was very influential, particularly in the areas of light airplane IFR flying and improvement of safety, because readers were very active pilots. Air Facts helped launch the aviation writing careers of Wolfgang Langewiesche of Stick and Rudder fame, as well as Bob Buck, Bill Mauldin, and Richard Bach.

The new Air Facts is free thanks to Sporty’s and you can access it directly, or through the Sporty’s site.

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