When you think of camping with an airplane in the backcountry, a Cirrus—known for its luxury cross-country capabilities—probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But we decided to do just that: mountain flying in northern Idaho with an SR22T GTS. Cavanaugh Bay airstrip is a well-maintained 3,000-foot runway that has campgrounds and offers amenities such a courtesy car and even loaner camping gear. The grass strip is steps from Cavanaugh Resort, whose restaurant overlooks the pristine Priest Lake. Contributor Marc Lee and I flew there with Cirrus Aircraft’s Matt Bergwall and his wife Lea to find out how the SR22 would perform. Marc’s article this month also features the newest model from Cirrus, the Generation 5, that among other improvements has a 200-pound increase to max takeoff weight.
Our light-sport pilot report this month is the Pipistrel Sinus, a motorglider LSA that boasts a 30:1 glide ratio. LSA Editor James Lawrence and SALSA Aviation owner Rand Vollmer fly the Sinus over the warm Florida countryside in search of thermals and highways in the sky. The Sinus isn’t just a glider; it’s a multi-disciplined aircraft. When Mother Nature isn’t providing lift, the Sinus’ Rotax 912 engine pushes it along, burning less than 3 gph at 110 knots! It’s an efficient cross-country aircraft, as well.
Taking care of your airplane engine is something every owner is concerned about. Understanding which oil to use and when is a big part of the equation and will help keep your engine running to or even beyond the manufacturer’s recommended TBO. In this issue, contributor John Ruley walks us through the different types of oil, which viscosity to use, and the differences between piston and turbine engines and the oils they use. John provides tips from industry pros on how often to change oil and the best oil solution should your aircraft be on the ground for an extended period of time.
If you don’t yet own an airplane but want to, Marc Lee’s article on buying one will bring you closer to your dream. He outlines step by step what to expect when financing an aircraft. Get an over-view of the different types of lenders, as well as the basic requirements needed to help you qualify for a loan. Marc also discusses insurance, often a confusing topic, and talks to experts at insurance companies about types of insurance and the best strategies for insuring you and your airplane.
Some pilots look straight ahead during landing; others rely on their peripheral vision to stay centered on the runway and ascertain height information during the flare. Contributor Budd Davisson examines both schools of thought, as well as the biology of our vision. Where do you look when you’re landing? Drop us a note at [email protected]