Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, July 17, 2012

From The Editor: One Small Step

The Lindbergh Foundation was created in 1977 to carry on the spirit of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh by providing grants to projects that foster new and environmentally friendly technology. To celebrate 35 years, the foundation honored Apollo astronauts Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, Gene Cernan, the last man on the moon and Jim Lovell, who served as Commander of Apollo 13. Also under the Lindbergh Foundation are the Lindbergh Electric Aircraft Prize, which advances electric flight through prize philanthropy, and the Electric Aircraft Development Alliance, an industry voice that educates regulatory bodies worldwide. Pilot Chip Yates and the Flight of the Century team are converting a Long-EZ to an all-electric aircraft and will attempt several world records, including a non-stop flight from New York to Paris in an electric aircraft.

BRS Aerospace has sold 27,500 parachute systems, which have saved 276 lives to date. Richard and Elaine McGlaughlin, father and daughter, were on a flight in their Cirrus SR22 to Haiti when engine troubles caused them to ditch in the ocean. James Lawrence interviews Richard on his thought process as PIC before the parachute pull, the decision to make the pull and subsequent successful rescue by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Budd Davisson, who instructs flight students on how to land a Pitts, spends most of his airborne time in the pattern. In this issue, he teaches us how to behave in the pattern, with a list of 30 things we should not do—from ignoring ATIS (how many of you have the bad habit of calling tower "with information?") to entering pattern altitude 1,000 feet above (you risk a potential conflict as you descend on downwind).

Bill Cox and demo pilot Matt Blackburn fly the Total Eclipse, a fully completed version of the Eclipse 500 jet. From Van Nuys Airport, they climb at an initial 3,000 fpm to flight level 410 over the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Cox looks forward at the Eclipse 550, an updated version of the basic airplane that's slated to go into production next year and will feature autothrottles and a new avionics package.

This month's LSA pilot report is on the Sling S2, a low-wing aluminum design from South Africa that recently received certification in the U.S. and is distributed by The Airplane Factory, based in Torrance, Calif. After a demo flight with Matt Litnaitzky to Catalina Island, Marc Lee reports that the aircraft's most impressive quality is its maneuverability and handling—only the slightest control pressure is needed. And the mini fighter's fuel burn is just 4.5 gph at max cruise. Keep up with the latest news from the world of light-sport aircraft online at


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