Flying to an exotic destination like the Bahamas may seem like a daunting, out-of-reach pipe dream. But with the proper preparation and a rental aircraft, it’s entirely feasible for private pilots from the U.S. to go island-hopping on their own. Contributor Marc Lee recently saw his Bahamian dream to fruition, in a rental Cessna 182 with three non-pilot passengers. In this issue, he shares his adventure and spells out everything you need to know for your own trip—from the checkout and safety gear, to paperwork requirements and international customs.
We all love our GPS devices, but are you still comfortable navigating by pilotage and dead reckoning? Budd Davisson praises the whiskey compass, reminding us of the importance of keeping current with basic skills we learned in primary training. This isn’t just for the “what if” scenario, but it can also be helpful when decision-making in the cockpit.
This year’s Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In and Expo, nicknamed the “Spring Break for Pilots,” saw record crowds, exciting air show acts such as the Breitling L-39 Jet Team, and new airplanes and pilot gear. James Wynbrandt rounds up 10 favorites, from Piper’s new M-Class airplane models to the Carbon Cub EX-2, the second generation of CubCrafter’s backcountry taildragger.
During our week in Lakeland, Fla., we were given the opportunity to fly the 2015 model of the Cirrus SR22T. Wynbrandt and Cirrus demo pilot Ivy McIver launched from nearby Plant City Airport in a sterling silver and granite grey Platinum edition. The new aesthetic schemes allow for a wide range of color options from the company’s new paint vendor, Sherwin-Williams. Other enhancements include four USB charging ports and a digital four-in-one standby instrument, completing the all-digital cockpit.
P&P columnist Patty Wagstaff, who performed aerobatics at Sun ‘n Fun, also enjoys Florida flying. In her Let It Roll column this month, she explains why she moved to Florida and how it enhances her flying: great weather and an aerobatic box she can use for air show practice. How does your hometown boost your flying? Let us know at [email protected]
In this month’s Avionics Academy, columnist John Ruley addresses why panel-mount avionics cost so much more than portable avionics. Future columns will focus on the ADS-B mandate, and if you have questions, email them to us.
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