An ex-friend used to annoy me greatly every summer. As soon as the oat fields began to ripen, he'd say, "Well, summer's over!" As I drove across the state of Wisconsin this past Fourth of July weekend en route to my niece's wedding, I noticed lots of oat fields ripening, but I steadfastly refuse to think that summer is over, even if this issue of Plane & Pilot does bear the September dateline. I'm not giving up on enjoying lots of beautiful days yet—including a great week at EAA AirVenture (Oshkosh) 2015, which is just days away as I write this. You'll see coverage of that event starting with the October issue.
This month, Marc Lee wins the prize as the writer having the most fun. He earns that title by virtue of being the lucky person who Plane & Pilot sent to California in late June to fly the ICON A5. Marc, along with a number of other notable aviation writers, was given the opportunity to fly this cutting-edge amphibious light-sport aircraft. You can read all about Marc's impressions of the A5 beginning on page 36.
James Wynbrandt highlights yet another light-sport aircraft, the Rans S-7S Courier, which designer and company owner Randy Schlitter updated earlier this year with a number of refinements that James details. In Tech Talk, James also gives us a review of Aspen Avionics' newest angle-of-attack indicator, having had the opportunity to fly with it during the Sun 'n Fun International Expo and Fly-In this spring.
John Hayes rounds out this month's Pilot Reports by giving us an update on the Epic single-engine turbo prop that's transitioning from a kit plane to a certified aircraft. Epic Aircraft is in the midst of that…well...epic undertaking, and it expects the airplane will complete certification by the end of this year/early 2016. John is looking forward to flying one of the first certified Epics to be completed.
In this month's columns, Peter Katz highlights the FAA's recent Safety Alert, "See and Be Seen; Your Life Depends Upon It," noting that today's wonderful avionics can cause us to keep our eyes inside the cockpit longer than is prudent sometimes. Patty Wagstaff also takes on a safety issue in her Let it Roll column, noting that the NTSB has outlined its 2015 "Most Wanted Transportation Safety Improvements," with prevention of Loss of Control accidents at the top of that list. She offers some suggestions to keep that from happening to you.
In Grassroots, Budd Davisson remembers the man who gave him his start as an aviation writer/photographer. That man, Don Typond, then editor of Air Progress magazine, recently passed away, and Budd recalls Don's generosity to him.
John Ruley helps a friend decide which data link he should get for his ADS-B Out service in this month's Avionics Academy. Hint: It depends on a lot of variables that John outlines.
And, lastly, in his X-Country Log, Bill Cox takes us along on a trip Down Under, reliving a ferry flight he made in a Cessna Skymaster while delivering it to a rancher in the outback of Australia. Who gets to have more fun while working than aviation professionals?
Here's hoping your summer flying fun continues for many weeks to come! Let us know what you've got lined up for this fun flying season on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/planeandpilot), or drop us a line or two at [email protected]