Despite the encroachment of ever lighter new jet aircraft on the traditional marketplace for piston- and turboprop-powered models, there are always going to be requirements that can be cost effectively met only by rugged and versatile workhorses such as the Britten-Norman Islander.
News and issues concerning general aviation, specifically airplanes and helicopters powered by piston and alternative engines (i.e., non-turbine powered aircraft). Subjects include aircraft, engines, personnel, acquisitions, accidents, safety, security and training.
Art Maurice’s corner of the overall general aviation market is strong, and he has lots of reasons why he thinks that’s so. Maurice is a co-founder and president of Columbia Air Services, a family of companies that offers sales, maintenance, avionics, FBO services and, now, charter. Columbia, based in Groton, Conn., has built much of its reputation and following within the owner-flown turbine community.
Suppose your aviation medical examiner (AME) gives you the little piece of paper that proclaims to the FAA that you are fit to fly, but the paperwork never reaches the agency’s Aeromedical Certification Branch in Oklahoma City. Are you legal? Are you liable? While certainly not routine, the situation has cropped up more often than one might think.
Like many an infant, aviation entered the world tentatively when the Wright Brothers coaxed a manned, heavier-than-air powered flying machine off the ground. Flight in America after the Wrights’ achievement was marked more by squabbling over patents than by rapid advances in the science, and the Europeans, particularly the French, seized on the new sport keenly.
It was late on an autumn night as I swung the car into the rough lane that leads to our house. A few feet beyond the mailbox post, the headlights caught something in the grass. At first it could have been a rabbit standing tall, but closer inspection revealed it to be a magnificent bird, most likely a Peregrine falcon but possibly a gyrfalcon, and it had chosen our lane as a resting place on its migratory route.
GECI International is offering its Skylander SK-100 light utility aircraft for sale and intends to fully launch the program in April. The program has been in the works since 2001, and the France-based company hopes to deliver the first aircraft from its factory in Evora, Portugal, in 2011.
When aerospace designer Burt Rutan rolled out his manned suborbital spaceflight program and its centerpiece, SpaceShipOne (SS1), from its Mojave, Calif., hangar in April last year, reporters asked about his plans for space tourism. Rutan said he himself wasn’t interested in launching a space tourism business, but he hoped others would be able to use his technology “sometime in the future” to begin a new space industry.
In preparation for his solo nonstop around-the-world (ATW) flight tentatively scheduled for January, adventurer and solo ATW balloonist Steve Fossett has begun familiarization flights in the single-engine Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer in Mojave, Calif., following a number of envelope expansion flights by Scaled Composites project engineer and test pilot Jon Karkow.
During the heyday of small-airplane manufacturing in the mid- to late 1970s, factories in Wichita, Lock Haven and Vero Beach built tens of thousands of airplanes, and every one of them somehow had to find its way from the conclusion of the production flight-test process into the hands of an owner or dealer.
Kevin Laufer, a GIV captain for an international reinsurance company based in Bermuda and the owner of a 1946 Globe Swift, recently established the Tailwheel Pilots Association (TPA). He says that 1,000 taildragger enthusiasts have already joined.