I strapped on my first airplane, a 90-hp Aeronca Champ 7EC, in the summer of 1960 and since then my interest in aviation has never wavered. Two years later I was aboard a United Airlines Boeing 720 on the way from my home in New Jersey to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., and the start of an aviation career. That same year, 1962, marked another aviation milestone — when the national air traffic control system transitioned from position reports and flight following, then ...

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