Welcome to the August issue of Plane & Pilot. We hope you're in the midst of making your summer flying dreams come true. Make the most of those extra hours of daylight!
Nobody has had more fun this spring than contributing writer James Wynbrandt. In this issue, he's sharing his experiences flying a Lancair Evolution…landing it on grass…as well as a "new" light twin, the Vulcanair P68R. James had the opportunity to fly both of those aircraft this spring in Florida, and he details the airplanes in this month's Pilot Reports. Just remember, it's not all fun for James; he has to take notes while flying, and then go home and write the article…sometimes under tight deadlines. Even if words do come easy for him, writing is still work!
Marc Lee gives us a preview of the ICON 5A, which he'll have flown by the time you read this issue. The first customer airplane recently underwent flight-testing, so progress is being made on that company delivering its promise to offer one of the most innovative seaplanes ever. Next month, Marc will tell us about his experience flying the amphibian.
If you've ever dreamed of owning a warbird, Budd Davisson lets you know the dream might not be as expensive as you think. There are lots of models that qualify as warbirds, and he details that list in our Warbirds Buyer's Guide.
Bill Cox talks about the importance of making the "go-around" decision earlier than later in his appropriately named "Go-Arounds" feature story, and then later in X-Country Log, recounts some poor choices he made while flying. Bottom line: If you feel bravado building up in your brain, think twice!
In Grassroots, Budd Davisson tells the story of losing brakes and directional control when a turnbuckle broke as he and student pulled onto the runway for takeoff, during, he said, "the luckiest five seconds possible." Yes, he bought a lottery ticket on the way home that day. And, yes, little things can cause big problems!
In NTSB Debriefer, Peter Katz reviews the NTSB's recent Safety Alert cautioning pilots to put new emphasis on preflighting, especially after maintenance has been performed on the aircraft. The accident stories he shares will make you a believer.
Appropriately for summer, Patty Wagstaff reminds us to enjoy the scenery that our ground-bound friends miss as we fly cross-country. She also tell us about some new technology—LIDAR, coming from a blending of the words "light" and "radar"—which is a remote sensing technology that uses a laser to illuminate a target. By analysis of the reflected light, it's possible to map areas below the surface of the earth for archeology, geography, seismology, agriculture, forestry studies and more. LIDAR is being used in various parts of the Americas, and some believe we're going to be surprised at the extent of the human occupation of the Americas in the years before we arrived here.
No matter what your favorite aircraft is, or what area of flying you love, we think you'll find something of interest in this issue. Drop us a line or two about any of our articles at [email protected] We also encourage you to join our worldwide flying community and share your thoughts on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/planeandpilot.