Spending time with Bob Hoover is an experience that’s forever treasured by anyone who has ever had the opportunity. Recently, we visited the legend at his home in Southern California, surrounded by awards, medals and historic photographs—each one with a completely amazing story of its own. We watched behind the scenes as filmmaker Dan Birman and his crew interviewed Hoover for an upcoming documentary film that will honor his many aviation accomplishments. It will premiere at Hollywood’s Paramount Studios in mid-February in conjunction with the launch of the “Bob Hoover Hall of Heroes.” In this issue, Marc Lee tells of our visit with Hoover, a day Marc will never forget.
Our main pilot report this month is Aviat Aircraft’s CNG-powered Husky. James Wynbrandt flies the proof-of-concept aircraft, whose 200 hp Lycoming engine is fueled by compressed natural gas stored in a belly pod. It’s more efficient, less flammable, less polluting and costs just under one dollar per gallon. A dual fuel system allows the aircraft to operate on avgas in the event CNG isn’t available.
In the light-sport world, Senior Editor Bill Cox flies the SAM LSA with Quebec-based designer, Thierry Zibi. The tandem-seat bubble-canopy aircraft sports a retro mini-military look on the outside, with modern glass avionics on the inside. Owners can personalize their SAM with either a nosewheel or tailwheel, and a choice of three interchangeable wings, optimized for light-sport, STOL and amateur-built categories.
For those who want to become a professional pilot, the future is bright in the airline industry. In this issue, Marc Lee helps you launch your career with tips on how to find a school and instructor that are right for you, what to expect for the cost and duration of your training and how to take the steps to reach your goal. If your flying isn’t career-oriented, a sport-pilot license is a great option at less expense requiring less time. Marc explains the advantages and regulations of sport-pilot flying.
There are always ways to make your VFR flying safer and more enjoyable. Bill Cox offers 20 tips that cover emergencies to common-sense procedures. You may reconsider how you plan your routes, altitudes and fuel; others are less obvious suggestions, such as closing all air vents before each flight.
When flying, are you aware of what influences your decision-making process? Do you use well thought-out logic, or does ego sneak in? In this month’s Let It Roll, columnist Patty Wagstaff reveals some of her close calls and the lessons she learned. In each case, ego was a factor. She discusses the importance of being self-aware and keeping your ego in check during decision making.
Patty and the rest of our team love to hear from our readers! Send your comments to us at [email protected]