Unlike airplane and helicopter manuals that give pilots a thorough understanding of their aircraft, its capabilities, and both normal and emergency operation procedures, most unmanned aircraft are sold with comparatively bare-bones documentation, their inner workings a mystery to the uninitiated. The Droner’s Manual by Kevin Jenkins, published this month by Aviation Supplies & Academics Inc., takes the mystery out of fixed-wing and multirotor drones with a trove of foundational knowledge.

Read more @ AOPA


The Best and Worst American States for Road Trips

When the summer season kicks off across America, there’s only one thing that’s better than hitting the beach or a barbecue. Yes, that’s right – I’m talking about a road trip. The summer and road trips go together like roller coasters and cotton candy, and the United States has a number of sights that are perfect for a jaunt on the highway with your nearest and dearest. Here we bring you the best -and the worst – states to pick for the road trip of a season based on a bevy of sources.

Read More @ Viva

The Traveling Photographer: Returning to the U.S. After Traveling Abroad

If you are returning home to the US after a trip abroad, take notice! Under certain circumstances, you may be charged a duty on your photography gear if you are unable to prove that you were in possession of the gear before leaving the US. You are thinking that sounds crazy. With the price of camera equipment today it could happen to any of us, particularly if your equipment looks or is new.

Read More @ Photofocus

The Eclipse Hunters

Monday’s total eclipse will be the first for many Americans. A hardcore group of enthusiasts, who structure their lives around the phenomenon, says: Welcome to the club.

On the morning of August 11, 1999, Kate Russo and her boyfriend were traveling on a bus from Belfast to Paris when they found themselves in the small French coastal village of Fécamp. A total solar eclipse was about to appear over Western Europe; Russo had heard a news report about the celestial event and decided to make a quick stop to check it out. As she and her partner walked from the bus station down to the beach, they came upon a huge crowd, with tens of thousands of people—a massive eclipse party. People gathered along the seafront and up against the town, listening to music, eating and drinking. They were there for the same reason as Russo: to watch and wait.

Final New Moon Sunday Starts the Countdown to the Great American Eclipse

It seems that everyone is eagerly awaiting the shady drama that will be enacted in the skies over North America on Aug. 21. It is a play whose script was written eons ago: On that third Monday in August, the celestial wanderings of the sun, Earth and moon will cause our natural satellite to pass directly in front of the sun, resulting in a total eclipse on Aug. 21.

The narrow band of totality, averaging some 70 miles (113 kilometers) wide and stretching about 2,500 miles (4,023 km) from the Pacific coast of Oregon to the Atlantic coast of South Carolina, will provide a spectacle that has not been seen from any part of the contiguous United States in nearly 40 years.

To say that this has been an eagerly awaited astronomical event is an understatement. [The Best ISO-Certified Gear to See the 2017 Solar Eclipse]

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Solar Eclipse 2017: Traffic and Weather Forecasts for States in Totality

Don’t miss this month’s total solar eclipse because you’re stuck in traffic or blanketed by a canopy of clouds.

On Aug. 21, the moon will completely blot out the sun along a narrow strip of land from Oregon to South Carolina, in the first total solar eclipse visible from the United States mainland since 1979. is tracking the weather and traffic conditions along this 70-mile-wide (113 kilometers) “path of totality,” which stretches across 14 states. Below you’ll find up-to-date information to help plan your eclipse-viewing adventure. [The Best ISO-Certified Gear to See the 2017 Solar Eclipse]

A few quick words of advice: Stay flexible, and be open to viewing the eclipse from a relatively out-of-the way site within the path of totality, such as a state park or national forest. And arrive at your preferred viewing spot at least a day in advance, to give yourself time to seek out a less crowded or sunnier area if need be. Some of the places discussed below will doubtless get very crowded on Aug. 21.

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Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Cades Cove has a magnetic effect on millions of annual visitors to the Smokies. The wide open fields are evidence of a once thriving community that was relocated at the inception of the park. Fields of hay are still grown each year while the deer, bear and other natural residents roam freely while the visitors drive slowly around it perimeter by bicycle or automobile. The visitor center at the halfway point includes small store, a gristmill and several outbuilding that remind all of a simpler life from the past.


More @ photographylife

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