Stories by Bernie Leighton

CONTRIBUTOR - SEATTLE, WA. Bernie has traveled around the world to learn about, experience, and photograph different types of planes. He will go anywhere to fly on anything. He spent four years in Australia learning about how to run an airline, while putting his learning into practice by mileage running around the world. You can usually find Bernie in his natural habitat: an airport. Email:

I spend a lot of time on this place called the Internet. You’ve probably heard of it. I will admit that I dwell within the fringes and depths of it to find interesting aviation rumors and innuendo. Sometimes, however, they are so comical it just takes a look at Twitter to find some comedy gold. My friend Ben over at One Mile at a Time (you’ve heard of him)… well, he posted a summary of an article that he found on a paragon of virtue called Zerohedge saying that rumors were flying that Emirates sought a majority or, at least, a large stake in their rival down the track in Doha.

Now that you’ve stopped laughing the first time, let me just say that again. There are rumors that Emirates wants to purchase a large stake in Qatar Airways.

Let me put this in big bold letters so that I can give you a summary: EMIRATES WILL NEVER PURCHASE A LARGE STAKE IN QATAR AIRWAYS!!!!

Well, why not? I’m so glad you asked.

It’s no secret that Etihad knows how to build a lounge. They have been very busy. Late last year, they opened their fabulous New York lounge. This year it was followed by a new lounge in Melbourne and their new First Class lounge in Abu Dhabi’s terminal 3. Before their efforts go to maximum on finishing the gorgeous new midfield terminal back home, they had one more lounge up their sleeve; Los Angeles. In the two years they’ve been serving LAX, they have transported more than a quarter million guests. The premium guests were using the lovely Star Alliance lounge next door until this facility opened earlier this week. The Star Alliance lounge, however, did not say Etihad.

The Central Air Force Museum of the VVS at Monino is the most endangered museum you will ever find. I am not sure what I can accomplish with this article, but I feel the world of AvGeek-dom needs to be warned. Since the collapse of the USSR, the Central Aviation Museum of the Russian Air Force at the Monino Officer’s Academy has been severely underfunded. Worse so since the officer’s academy closed in 2010. Well, not technically closed. It has been moved to an area closer to Chkalovsky Air Base, merged with the old Zhukovsky school, and become the Zhukovsky-Gagarin Air Force Academy.

Either way, the VVS has now said that they want to close the museum and move it to the mega museum complex way out of Moscow at Kubinka Air Force base. They want to close down Monino in July, and this cannot happen! Why? Well….