Night flight ends in fatal crash

Aircraft: Piper Warrior. Injuries: 1 Fatal. Location: Marana, Ariz. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.

What reportedly happened: The non-instrument-rated pilot had amassed an estimated 185 hours of total flight experience, of which 7.3 hours were conducted at night over sparsely populated terrain. He had flown the route twice before in the day time.

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Plastic Fantastic P-51

SW51_profile

By any number of surveys, the P-51 Mustang is one of the most admired airplanes in the history of aviation. Even though that statement sounds bold — on the verge of exaggeration — most readers will surely agree.

Like most aviators, I’ve never flown in an original P-51, although I have flown in a light kit version called the 5151 and a closer-to-original-size S-51. The Loehle Aviation version was made entirely of wood and had a Rotax two-stroke engine. While it had the right basic shape, it was docile to fly … unlike the immensely powerful original, I’m told. The Stewart Aircraft iteration was bigger and bold, powered by a 450-horsepower Corvette engine.

However, while both were close-enough recreations of the original to be desirable, even a non-pilot could tell they were replicas. I see nothing wrong with that, but is it simply too challenging to make one that looks truly like the original? It turns out the answer is “no.” Someone finally did do so.

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OpenAirplane partners with Cirrus

CirrusGeneration5

DULUTH, Minn. — Cirrus Aircraft is collaborating with OpenAirplane. Pilots who participate in the Cirrus factory approved initial and proficiency training will be offered rental credentials through OpenAirplane for the same model of Cirrus, without the hassle and expense of another checkout.

With its universal checkout, OpenAirplane makes renting an airplane as easy as renting a car. Once pilots pass the checkout, they can go to OpenAirplane-affiliated flight schools and FBOs and rent an airplane.

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Misrigged airplane crashes

Aircraft: Kitfox Super Sport. Injuries: None. Location: Twin Bridges, Mont. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot purchased the airplane from the builder approximately four months before the accident. At the time of the accident, the pilot had logged about 16 hours in the Kitfox. The accident happened when he attempted to perform a full-flap soft-field takeoff for the first time.

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