More than 500,000 people and 10,000 airplanes took part in the annual aviation mecca that is EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis. This year’s highlights included a celebration of 100 years of naval aviation, a collection of Burt Rutan aircraft history, a visit from a new Boeing 787 and a tribute to the legendary Bob Hoover, a true pilot’s pilot. Performances in airplanes that Hoover flew
during his illustrious career included the Shrike Commander, P-51 Mustang, and the F-86 Sabrejet and Saberliner, and Hoover thrilled a packed audience at the Theater in the Woods with his flying tales. Throughout the week, Plane & Pilot’s James Lawrence browsed the hangars and exhibit displays in search of great new products and pilot gear. He shares his finds, from Avidyne’s new IFD540 touch-screen GPS unit to VoiceFlight VFS101, a device that lets pilots control input for their Garmin 430s and 530s with their voice.
Educational forums are one of the best parts of Oshkosh, and attendees have access to aviation experts on any number of subjects, from risk management to XM weather. This month’s Guest Speaker, Damian DelGaizo, spoke about ski flying at AirVenture’s forums. DelGaizo, who owns and operates Andover Flight Academy, a flight school that specializes in tailwheel instruction and ski flying, has logged over 15,000 hours of tailwheel time and has flown 25 seasons on skis. Even though an endorsement isn’t required to fly on skis, it’s still a smart idea to get training first. In his guest column, Damian gives an overview of snow characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of different types of skis, landing techniques and other useful tips, just in time for winter!
Also at Oshkosh, contributor James Wynbrandt checked out the Bonanza Xtra, a legacy aircraft that sports a host of factory upgrades direct from Hawker Beechcraft. Improvements include an upgraded Continental engine and Hartzell propeller, a Garmin G500 glass panel, and an interior refurbishment. Other great airplanes in this issue include the Legend AmphibCub, in which LSA Editor James Lawrence went lake hopping with Legend Aircraft co-owner Kurt Sehnert, and the Extra 500, a pressurized turbine with a modern composite design.
Student pilots often comment that one of the most difficult parts of learning to fly is radio communications. At first, this new “foreign language” can be a bit intimidating. But we soon discover that no one is 100% perfect on the radio, and over time, our nerves vanish and we become proficient. When we move on to instrument training, it may seem like we’re back at square one. There we are again, feeling a bit lost on the radio, learning a new vocabulary in an intense environment. For this issue, Bill Cox provides dos and don’ts for IFR radio communications and advice for pilots and air traffic controllers alike to work better together.
It’s easy to get stuck in our standard flying routines, going for the same $100 hamburger or flying around the patch. But there’s so much more to which a pilot’s license grants us access. Contributor Marc Lee offers 30 ways to revitalize your flying, including camping under your wing at Tieton State Airport in Washington State’s Snoqualmie National Forest, or flying an L-39 Albatros jet at Gauntlet Warbirds in the Chicago area. Do you have your own favorite “aviation gems”? Share them with us at [email protected]