Quick, say “Octodecacopter”…and Welcome the Future

It’s premature if not off the point to say this exotic, beautiful prototype will be the death of the helicopter. I will flat out make a prediction: a whole new type of flight is here…and it will change everything…and I mean everything about how we fly. I was musing the other day, while catching up more »

RV12s, Hot Off The Griddle!

Put on them bibs, pardners, if you’ve got an appetite for one of the tastiest S-LSA out there. Last year, Vans Aircraft came out with its Signature Series, an even dozen pre-built SLSA.  They were built by Vans kit builder support company Synergy Air of Eugene, Oregon. Now I’m not trying to set you up more »

Skycatcher: To Be or to Be, Not

A story posted by Daniel McCoy, a reporter for the Wichita Business Journal, claims the star-crossed Cessna 162 Skycatcher will likely not enjoy the longevity and success of other notable Cessna icons such as the C-172 and C-150/152. The Skycatcher was one of the first SLSA out of the gate for the new category created more »

Freakish Oshkosh Weather Continues!

Yes, Airventure fans, it’s been fair, mild, low humidity, refreshing, beautiful weather…all descriptors none of us is used to using in the same sentence with the words Oshkosh and summer. It’s been a delight not to drop with exhaustion at the end of a long day slogging around the miles of paths and thousands of more »

The Big O Photo Jam

In the wee and foot-throbbing hours after wandering the highways and byways of the vast Oshkosh Airventure showgrounds all day, here’s a taste of some of the cool things encountered so far from my abbreviated visit – my 32nd year in attendance since 1981…and every year brings new wonders and old friends: threads of gold more »

Fantasy in Paris, Reality at Home

“How ya gonna keep ’em down on the farm…after they’ve seen Paree?” That’s a timely reprise of an old show tune to bring our attention to the Paris Air Show, which is sending out some ripples in the “What’s New” Dept.. I’m always thinking about electric flight.  If we manage to survive as a species more »

Live From Sun ‘n Fun 2013

It’s the third day at Sun ‘n Fun.  Breezy, hottish (high 80s), humid: in other words, classic Florida Spring weather. The attendance seems steady if not overwhelming.  I’ve been hanging out a lot in the new Paradise City Light Sport/Ultralight area and grass landing strip in the southeast corner of Lakeland Linder Airport, and enthusiastically more »

Getting With The (Tower) Program

With all the concern around the FAA’s officially announcing the closing of 149 ATC control towers, Pilot Workshops of Nashua, NH is getting with the program to help ease pilot anxiety about the transition. The company just put out three free videos that are aimed to help us all refresh our memories about  Non-Towered Airport operations. PilotWorkshops more »

Towering Inferno

UPDATE TO POST BELOW: CHICAGO – Mar 22 – Associated Press announced that the FAA put the final list of air traffic control tower closures at 149. The process of shutdown will start early in April. One key point: closures will not force the airports themselves to shut down, but all pilots will use unicom more »

Wrangling An Air2Air Photo Shoot

  My flyin’ pal, industry leader and co-blogger Dan Johnson suggested recently that I throw some tips your way about how I put together and do air2air photography.  Since I’ve done around 600 in my 30 year career, it’s not a topic I have to research, always good news.  So for those of you interested in more »

50 Years with No Crashes…and 25 of them In A Quick!

It’s enough to be proud of flying a “real” airplane for 50 years without accident, incident, or citation for 50 years.  But imagine if half of those years were flown in those crazy death wish machines:  ultralights! Of course, those of us who’ve flown hang gliders, ultralights and other true bird experience aircraft know just how safe more »

LSA Industry On Life Support…ummm…Nah.

In a recent article in Flying Magazine, an editor volunteered his opinion that the Light Sport industry is on life support.  There are so many good arguments to refute such a sky-is-falling assessment, it kind of makes you wonder why a respected journalist would go out of his way to attract a lot of heat more »

LSA Fun Foreign and Domestic

Back from a busy, weather-challenging (for photography) trip to the Bahamas, I stopped by to visit Dan Johnson and his soul mate Randee at their Spruce Creek air park digs north of Florida.  If you haven’t had the pleasure, visit Spruce Creek sometime to see how cool an air park can be.  Hundreds and hundreds more »

Adieu Sebring 2013

Sebring’s final day ended at 2 p.m. with the customary light attendance and gathering clouds.  I spoke with a couple of the principals of the Expo staff that did such a superb job making this no doubt the smoothest running, most feature-packed event that I’ve certainly been too.  Kudos to all: it was a beautifully more »

Sebring Day Three Evening

The big Saturday came and went, bookended by winds, overcast and raindrops of the intermittent kind.  No doubt many potential showgoers were deterred by the non-Florida-like weather. LSA demo flights were conducted apace, although none of the three days of the show have shown the kind of flight activity of previous years because the weather more »

Sebring Day Three morning

Just after I posted in the wee hours last night I got this late email from Greg Lawrence about his work with deaf flight students.  Greg added a link to more information, check it out, it’s very interesting. “Nobody can hear very well in a small aircraft,” writes Greg, “and fewer than ‘nobody’ can process more »

Sebring Day Two…and our National Treasure (initials P.W.)

More airplanes made it through the winter weather blanketing much of the midwest and east. Pipistrel’s much-awaited Alpha Trainer arrived at 8 last night thanks to its much-fatigued pilot Don Sharp who soldiered on through the crud all the way from Indiana. Highlights?  Too many to list, but in the wee hours meself we’ll go more »

Sebring Expo Day One

Sebring is off and running!  The day in pix and captions…