Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Tale Of Three Air Shows—Not

Or how to have your column derailed by big news from Over There

It was the best of times; it was the most confusing of times.

Half an hour or so into our virtual gum flap, courtesy of matching Gucci headsets and Skype’s Internet-based telephony, my head began to hurt. And hurt big time.

My LSA pal and true industry guru, Dan Johnson (, was just getting warmed up in our chat about the first three big air shows of 2009: Sebring, Friedrichshafen and Sun ’n Fun.

AT THE AIR SHOW. Jim Lawrence intended to write at length about the first big air shows of the year, including Sun ‘n Fun, but he was led astray by LSA industry guru Dan Johnson.
But Friedrichshafen’s Aero show had revealed a potential crisis in Europe, and Dan was trying to get through my dense skull its vital importance to the LSA industry, so I endeavored to absorb.

Somewhere along the way, I realized my thread about contrasting the shows, as it were, had been hijacked. You see, Dan is one of those guys who lives and breathes aviation, and has done so since I believe Lincoln grew his first mole and chin whisker. As LAMA’s president, he’s in the thick of all things LSA, and my regular muse.

Plus, being a brainy guy with an excellent memory, he was fresh with impressions of all three shows, but particularly taken with Friedrichshafen and what went on Over There.

“Jim, it’s bone-dry stuff,” he cautioned me. Did I listen? Noooo...

“Bring it on, Rambo,” I replied.

Alas, I became quickly hoist by my own petard: 35 minutes into his cogent recitation of standards and regulations, European and American, how they intertwine and where they don’t, I pounded the mat three times and cried, “Uncle!” for I could no longer remember my middle name or the color of money. Chalk it up to a postponed lunch.

Once I chowed down to get my brain sugar going again, here’s what I think he was trying to tell me about what’s happening in Europe, and what it could mean for us in the States in our economic Year of Living Catastrophically.


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