Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, July 26, 2011

September 2011 Readback

Air Force Selects Cirrus

The Cirrus SR20 has been selected as the aircraft of choice for the U.S. Air Force Academy's Powered Flight Program. The Academy will receive 25 SR20s, designated as T-53A trainers in the customized configuration, starting this summer and continuing through 2012. "We're honored to have been chosen by the Air Force Academy for its airmanship training requirements," said Jon Dauplaise, Cirrus Vice President of Domestic Sales. "The Academy's Powered Flight Program gives its cadets tremendous in-flight experience, and is potentially the first step in an Air Force pilot career. This fleet of new aircraft confirms the U.S. Air Force's confidence in Cirrus, and is another notable step forward in the growth of our global training-aircraft efforts." The new fleet of T-53A trainers will be based at the Academy's airfield in Colorado Springs, Colo. Visit

DFC90 For Matrix/Mirage

Avidyne is expanding the market for its attitude-bafgtsed digital autopilot system, the DFC90, to include Entegra-equipped Piper PA-46 Matrix and Mirage aircraft. The DFC90 features Indicated Airspeed Hold, a method for climbing and descending in high-performance aircraft, and a Straight and Level mode that provides one-button unusual attitude recovery. "The DFC90 has proven to be an incredibly successful product for Avidyne, and we are confident that Matrix and Mirage owners will be equally thrilled with the performance and safety improvements this autopilot brings to their airplane," said Avidyne President and CEO, Dan Schwinn. Visit

Skycatcher At Sporty's

Sporty's Academy has taken delivery of a new 2011 Cessna 162 Skycatcher. It joins Sporty's training fleet of late-model Cessna 172s, a Cessna 182 and a Diamond Xtreme Motorglider. The Skycatcher, which features a Garmin G300 glass panel, will be used for sport, recreational and private pilot training, as well as glass-panel transition flying, rental checkouts and introductory flights. "This airplane represents all that we love about flying. It's fun and adventuresome while still being safe and modern," said Sporty's Academy President, Eric Radtke. "We are counting on the Skycatcher to make flying fun for our 'Finish Up' students, those who somehow got bogged down in the training process at other schools." Sporty's will make the Skycatcher available at an introductory rate of $99 per hour. Visit

Coradine/Jeppesen Partnership

Coradine Aviation Systems and Jeppesen announced a new feature integrating Coradine's LogTen Pro logbook with Jeppesen's Crew Alert app. Until the new feature was built in, pilots had to manually enter flight, duty and rest time into both their logbook and crew alert. Now, commercial pilots using LogTen Pro can quickly import their schedules, and then export all flight, duty and rest data directly into Jeppesen's Crew Alert. Noah Lieberman, CEO for Coradine, said, "This is a great time saver for commercial pilots. Our motto is 'Less paperwork. More Flying.' This feature offers a big step in that direction." Visit

Cirrus CAIGA Merger

Cirrus Aircraft and China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (CAIGA) announced that they have completed their merger to form a worldwide general aviation enterprise. "We're very excited to have joined forces with CAIGA," said Brent Wouters, Cirrus Chief Executive Officer. "This will benefit our business and our customers; we share with CAIGA a vision of worldwide growth. CAIGA has the resources that will allow us to expedite our aircraft development programs, and accelerate our global expansion." Wouters also said that he expects the merger to deliver benefits in terms of jobs and job growth in the U.S.: "Our partners at CAIGA understand the strength and the talent of Cirrus' workforce who have made the Cirrus brand so successful. CAIGA will continue to invest in our employees and in our world-class production facilities in Minnesota and North Dakota." Visit

Stratos Tests

Stratos Aircraft is preparing a one-fifth scale model of their 714 VLPJ for wind-tunnel tests at the University of Washington in Seattle during mid-August. The Stratos engineering team has developed an agenda that includes verification of extensive computational fluid-dynamics work. Using the same wind tunnel that's often employed by Boeing, the team expects to collect data on drag, lift, stability derivatives, downwash angles, ground effect and flow visualization to check for separation. "It's an exciting process to shift from a virtual model that lives in a computer to a physical model that gets real air flowing by," said Gordon Robinson, Stratos' Chief Aerodynamicist. "When you transition from software to real wind, there are bound to be some minor refinements, but we're very optimistic about the performance of the design, and we're eager to move onto the next phase." Stratos is now accepting refundable $10,000 deposits on 714 delivery positions, and expects to have two flying prototype aircraft within the next two years. Visit

Volcanic Ash Research

A Flight Design CT fitted with a laser-based particle spectrometer was used for volcanic-ash test flights over northern Germany on behalf of the Deutscher Wetterdienst (German Weather Forecast). The aim of the test flights was to obtain data on the level of concentration and the distribution of volcanic ash. During the flight, ash particles were collected from the air for later examination using electron microscopy. "We are proud to help aviation safety in airliners through the very economical use of our CT aircraft," reported Flight Design GmbH CEO, Matthias Betsch. "While we enjoy flying our aircraft, our personnel also use airline travel, and we are pleased to help ensure their safe travel." The next use of this equipment is planned for early July 2011 at the Etna volcano in Sizilia, Italy. Visit

Blue Skies, Seamus McCaughley

On July 3, 2011, an accident in a Cessna 180 out of Santa Paula, Calif., claimed the lives of air show pilot Seamus McCaughley, 43, and passenger Kristin Keppel, 40. The son of a pilot, Seamus had a lifelong passion for flying, and as a kid he dreamed of performing in front of a crowd. When his father passed away, Seamus decided it was the time to make his dreams come true. He redesigned and built The Bleagle, a highly modified Christen Eagle, in which he delighted air show fans with hard-core precision aerobatics. Seamus was also part of our P&P team as formation pilot on air-to-air photo missions, including the recent Piper Sport and Found Expedition Bigfoot shoots. He'll be greatly missed.


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