Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, October 22, 2013

December 2013 Readback

Two Robinson R66s Fly Around The World

On September 15th, a pair of Robinson R66 turbine helicopters landed at the Bunkovo Heliport, just outside of Moscow, marking the end of a six-week around-the-world expedition. The historical flight was a first for the R66 and for Russia. The expedition was organized by Aviamarket, a Robinson dealer in Moscow and a flying club whose members own the R66s. Aviamarket was eager to test the R66 as it had just received certification in Russia on March 15th. Michael Farikh, the expedition's leader, and Alexander Kurylev flew S/N 0323, a blue R66, while Vadim Melnikov and Dmitry Rakitsky, Aviamarket's chief pilot, flew S/N 0164, a maroon R66. They crossed four continents and two oceans, traveled 24,512 miles and logged 220 flight hours. Both R66s were outfitted with auxiliary fuel tanks to extend their range. "We are 100% sure of the quality and reliability of this product," said Mikhail Yushov, CEO of Aviamarket. Visit

Major Order For Cessna 172

Cessna Aircraft announced an order for 79 Cessna 172 Skyhawk aircraft, one of the largest orders on record for the aircraft, at Moscow's JetExpo 2013. Moscow-based ViraZH plans to use the Skyhawks for training at various flight schools in Western Russia. The order is part of a multi-year agreement between Cessna and ViraZH, with all 79 aircraft set to be delivered by the third quarter of 2014. On final delivery, ViraZH will have one of the world's largest fleets of Skyhawk 172 aircraft in operation. Kriya Shortt, Cessna senior vice president of sales, said: "We are delighted to have a strong relationship with ViraZH and are proud they have selected the Cessna 172 Skyhawk to be their training platform. This order augments an additional 11 Skyhawks purchased by ViraZH in 2011, highlighting their confidence in our product. It is encouraging to see an increase in our global customer base and flight training accessibility in Russia." Visit

Four-Blade MT Prop FIKI Approval

Flight Resource, a distributor of MT Propellers, announced that the STC has been approved to install the four-blade MT composite propellers on the Cirrus SR22 and SR22T, including those with FIKI. This upgrade provides up to 17 pounds of weight savings, turbine-like smoothness, reduced noise and improvements in climb and cruise performance. Flight Resource founding partner Larry Schlasinger, said, "FIKI approval is not an easy task. We are always looking for ways to get the most performance out of our planes. This upgrade hit all benchmarks, and it looks so good on this plane." Visit and

Raisbeck Propeller For King Air C90

The Raisbeck Swept Blade Turbofan Propellers for all King Air C90s are available for deliveries beginning in January 2014. They follow the introduction of the Swept Blade Propellers for the King Air 200 family last January. All C90GTx, C90GTi, C90GT, C90B, C90A, C90 and E90 aircraft will accept these newly designed propellers. They can be installed as an upgrade to existing four-blade propellers, alone or in combination with Raisbeck's EPIC Performance Package. Visit


Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and SkyWest Airlines are partnering on a new program that will give Embry-Riddle students a substantial boost toward becoming a SkyWest first officer. Aeronautical Science students who have achieved a CFI rating are eligible to apply for the SkyWest Pilot Cadet Program through the career services offices at Embry-Riddle's residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz. After an initial interview and orientation at the airline's training facility in Salt Lake City, students judged acceptable will receive a conditional offer of employment. Students enrolled in the Pilot Cadet Program must then maintain a minimum grade point average, complete Embry-Riddle's advanced jet training courses and attain the FAA ratings of Commercial Pilot/Instrument and Multi-Engine, as well as Certified Flight Instructor/Instrument. Each cadet will be individually mentored by SkyWest pilots and may have the opportunity to participate in SkyWest recruiting events and outreach programs. Visit and degrees/l-degrees.html.

Superior Air Parts

Glen Golden, vice president of sales and marketing for Superior Air Parts, announced that Jay Mastri is the first graduate of the recently reinstated XP-Engine Build School held at the company's state-of-the-art engine build center in Coppell, Texas. "It seems that for the past two years, everyone I've talked to asked when Superior was going to start offering our XP-Engine Build school. Well, now I'm very happy to say that the school is available and that Jay Mastri is our first graduate for 2013," Golden said. "Jay brought so much enthusiasm to the school that he got everyone here pumped up and anxious to have the next class of builders come in." Mastri is going to use his XP-360 to power the Vans RV-7A that he's building at home just outside Chicago. "I'm at the 90% done, 90%-to-go stage right now. The fuselage is in my living room and the wings are in the garage," he said. "My next step is to move it all to the airport so I can install the wings, avionics and my new XP-360 engine—I'm really looking forward to that." Visit

Icon Technical Design Details

Icon Aircraft has released photographs of what it informally terms its "three-dimensional CAD drawing" of the company's A5 amphibious LSA. The full-scale 3D model employs automotive vinyl wrap technology printed with an adapted projection of the CAD virtual model depicting the location and layout of key structures and systems of the aircraft. "This systems layout model was created to demonstrate the detailed thinking that has gone into the production A5," said Icon vice president of sales Craig Bowers. "Our design and engineering teams have made tremendous progress on the A5, and much of it was initiated in a virtual environment. This model was designed to demonstrate that progress, as well as provide detailed information regarding design intricacies and construction." Icon continues with production of the first four aircraft to support the FAA LSA approval process, the first of which is scheduled for completion in mid-2014. Visit


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