I am dedicated to providing professional aerobatic instruction, and to promoting safe air show and competition flying.

©2003 All rights reserved.






CAT III Standard Configuration w/ Front View


From Jim Layman,

 "At McGill Aviation, FBO for Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport (KFHB) a CAT III FAA approved BATD, flight training device is available for instrument instruction and proficiency and may be configured for a wide range of single and twin engine aircraft.  It may be used for 2.5 hours of instrument time towards the Private Pilot license, or 10.0 hours towards the Instrument Rating. It may also be used to maintain Instrument Currency.

 "A complete set of pubs for the lower 48 is provided at no additional cost.Rental of the BATD is highly competitive at $25 an hour (or less depending on affiliation). A CFII is available for instruction or proficiency checks upon request at an additional charge. Schedule an orientation thru McGill Aviation--(904) 261-7890, or Jim Layman at (904) 335-7372."

I'm the CFII they refer to, and can conduct the basic orientation, solo sign off and/or instruction. It is a fairly capable simulator, and can be programmed with a variety of weather and system-failure scenarios.  It does have rudder pedals, single- and multi-engine throttles, etc.

You may check out the system here:


This is a very cost-effective way to build instrument time, maintain currency, or experience scenarios that might prove unwise in an actual aircraft. Besides, it's just cool!


Do You Long for the

"Good Old Days"?


Check out the

'LOOTM Archives'

and see what you've been missing.


From David Sanders: 


In case you know any other aerobatic wannabe's who have been hankering for their own copy, it's back in stock at the IAC book store: http://www.shopeaa.com/flyforfun.aspx

     Regards - David


This book is elegant in its simplicity, and even though its main focus is on the Pitts any acro pilot will get a lot out of reading Bill Thomas's classic text. You owe it to yourself to grab a copy and see just how simple--and sublime--aerobatics can be.

(And while you're at it, you may want to pick up a copy or two of, "Songs of the Archeaopteryx." I'm just saying . . . .)


FHB Acro Box Renews

April 7, 2012

In keeping with the spirit of Easter, the Aerobatic Practice Area has risen and been approved for another year. This was the most difficult renewal that I can remember. Lots of politics and lots of opposition--mainly due to noise. I believe the airport neighbors who object to the acro noise also object to aircraft noise in general, but aerobatic aircraft do have a more repetitive sound footprint. They usually have a higher volume, too (on a scale of 1 - 10, some go to 11!).

 During the process, I made a point of reaching out to the spokesperson of the group opposing the "box." (The group was angry because of misinformation they received from our current airport manager, who overstepped his authority by guaranteeing the box would not be renewed.) The discussions I had with the spokesperson were civil, even friendly. I made sure they received timely and factual information on the process every step of the way. We bet lunch, to be bought by the "winner." In short, I treated them with respect and received the same in return. And I promised to operate the box in a safe, efficient and neighbor-friendly way--a promise I fully intend to keep.

I am not sure that I have the stamina to go through another renewal such as this one. But at least through 30 April 2013 Fernandina Beach does have a surface-level aerobatic practice area available to those who need one. So c'mon over and train hard. And as we say down here, "Fly safe, all y'all!"

 Now if you'll excuse me, I have a lunch to buy.


“Songs of the Archaeopteryx”

Book Available

 ”Songs of the Archaeopteryx,” a collection of short stories with aviation themes, is available from Booklocker.com. Written by Keoki, and inspired by people he met and some of the aerial adventures he had, it’s a quirky look at flying. Funny, sentimental, and enlightening, “Songs” will appeal to anyone who has ever watched a distant silhouette drone across the sky.

 Here are a few reviews:

 “Man, what a book! It made me remember why I love flying so much.”

Stan Burks

 “I . . . read the chapter, Former Lovers, and was impressed! We did the very same thing when [we] bought and sold a little yellow Citabria in which our son learned to fly.”

Sheryl Longobardo

 “I loved it—especially the chapter on formation flight."

Jane Wareham 

You may order a traditional soft cover book (6 x 9), ~200 pages and the “famous” cover art by the author), or a PDF file for an instant download (which not only saves a few bucks, but means you pay NO shipping).

Go ahead and order one now--you know you want to. Just visit Booklocker.com and search on “Keoki”—‘cause, yeah, I’m the only one. Besides, it’s easier to spell than “Archaeopteryx.”

Thank you, and enjoy!


Amelia Island Lodging Information

Thanks for visiting my website.  My name is Keoki Gray, and I  have a wealth of aerobatic experience.  My flying history includes:

  • 5 years as the Slot and Solo pilot with The Red Baron Squadron

  • 2 years with The Holiday Inn Aerobatic Team (Left Wing)

  • 2 years with the Holiday Inn/Coca-Cola Aerobatic Team (Slot)

  • 2 years with (and a founding member of) the 2COOL Gliders Aerobatic Team (Wing position). 

With 12 years’ experience in and around the air show industry, I’ve logged more than 10,500 hours in over 100 different types of aircraft.  As Certified Flight Instructor since 1983, flight instruction has been my full-time profession since 1996.  That has let me develop a calm, safety-oriented teaching style that my students appreciate.

I am based at the Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport (55J), on enchanting Amelia Island, at the very northeastern corner of Florida.   Detailed flight instruction, and coaching in air show flying (solo or team performances), are offered.  I may be qualified to instruct in your aerobatic aircraft.

If you’re looking for a challenging, fun way to become a better pilot, and want to fly with someone who has the experience, I should be your instructor of choice.  Please take a moment to contact me about my instruction services.  I would be glad to help.



"Our Precious Girl"


Thinking of doing business at 55J


Please click here and read this first!



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