Donations sought to help cover costs for WASP Congressional Gold Medal ceremony

The Heart of Texas Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America is asking for donations to help cover the costs when the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) travel to Washington, D.C., next month to receive the Congressional Gold Medal.

According to chapter officials, 100% of the funds raised will be used for the cost of the WASP individual medals, the costs of meals, transportation and other logistical support for the celebration, which is slated for March 10. All donations are tax-deductible.

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Bahamas & Caribbean Pilot’s Guide released

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2010PGCvrThere are more small airports per square mile of land mass in the Bahamas and Caribbean than any other region in the world, and they’re all in the new 2010 Bahamas & Caribbean Pilot’s Guide.

After 32 years in print, the Bahamas & Caribbean Pilot’s Guide is a single-source reference for island travel. This is the 14th edition for John and Betty Obradovich, who note the guide includes color aerial photographs of every airport in the Bahamas and the Caribbean, as well as accommodations and recreational information.

The 400-page spiral-bound Pilot’s Guide is organized into tabbed sections: the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, Hispaniola/Cuba (Dominican Republic, Haiti), Western Caribbean (Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Yucatan, Belize, Roatan), Puerto Rico/Virgin Islands, Eastern Caribbean (Anguilla south to Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao), United States (Florida airports with Customs) and Survival. Within each section there is travel information on the islands and the country, accommodation and car rental listings, pilot info, maps and airport information. Included are frequencies, runway details, hours, fuel availability, GPS designators as well as longitudes and latitudes — a necessity to find some of the small airports that won’t be in your GPS database. The general information section covers customs, flight plans, forms, procedures, and required equipment in great detail.

The Pilot’s Guide is available for $56.95 from Pilot Publishing, Inc. The guide also can be purchased through Sporty’s, Hangar63 at Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport, Volo Aviation at Fort Pierce Airport, and at more than 90 other pilot shops and FBOs

For more information: 800-521-2120 or FlyTheIslands.com.

International group of women pilots to share flight experiences at Seattle museum

As part of WomenFly!, The Museum of Flight’s annual Women’s History Month event, an international panel of women pilots will share their experiences in the world of aviation March 6. This year’s panel includes women pilots from almost every continent. Their experiences include flights in the Australian outback, Alaskan wilderness, Antarctic slopes, African plains and the urban landscapes of Europe, Japan, South Africa and the United States. The program is at 2 p.m. in the William M. Allen Theater, and is free with admission to the museum.

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AERO to feature more than 450 exhibitors

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Despite the current economic slump, AERO Friedrichshafen, the general aviation show held each year in Germany and slated for April 8-11 this year, will host about 450 exhibitors in nine halls, as well as in outdoor exhibits, according to organizers. Exhibitors will come from 25 countries, with non-German companies making up nearly 50% of exhibitors. Once again, the largest number of international exhibitors will be from the United States, organizers said.

a_AERO_RGBThe “everything-that-flies” range of products in Friedrichshafen includes hang gliders, ultralight aircraft, gliders and motorized aircraft to turboprops, business jets and helicopters, organizers note. Two successful exhibition premieres at the AERO 2009 will continue to be featured this year. The “E-Flight Expo” – the “E” standing for Electrical, Ecological, Evolutionary – will once again showcase alternative propulsion concepts, while the Helicopter Hangar will host exhibitors from the helicopter industry, as well as serve as the venue for its own Helicopter Forum event series.

The AERO CONFERENCES will feature several presentations and discussions, including a speech by Craig Fuller, president the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, as well as the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA). The topic of air ambulance services will be addressed for the first time at AERO, with the inclusion of the 1st European Air Ambulance Meeting.

For more information: AERO-Expo.com.

FlightSafety Hawker Beechcraft Maintenance Learning Center opens

Executive Vice President of FlightSafety International Eric Hinson (center left), and Chairman & CEO of Hawker Beechcraft Bill Boisture (center right), cut the ribbon with FlightSafety International and Hawker Beechcraft employees at the ceremony.
Executive Vice President of FlightSafety International Eric Hinson (center left), and Chairman & CEO of Hawker Beechcraft Bill Boisture (center right), cut the ribbon with FlightSafety International and Hawker Beechcraft employees at the ceremony.

Executive Vice President of FlightSafety International Eric Hinson (center left), and Chairman & CEO of Hawker Beechcraft Bill Boisture (center right), cut the ribbon with FlightSafety International and Hawker Beechcraft employees at the ceremony.

Hawker Beechcraft Corp. (HBC) and FlightSafety International hosted a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony Feb. 24 at the recently completed FlightSafety International Hawker Beechcraft Maintenance Learning Center. Located east of the approach end of HBC’s Runway 18 in Wichita, the new 44,000-square-foot Maintenance Learning Center features 10 classrooms, Graphical Flight-Deck simulators, composites and cabin systems labs, and direct runway access to a 10,000 square foot hangar.

The Maintenance Learning Center began hosting classes in November. Several technicians have already completed its MxPro program – a jointly-developed maintenance training program that leverages HBC’s knowledge of aircraft design, manufacturing and support with FlightSafety’s expertise and experience as the world’s leading aviation training provider.

For more information: 316-612-5400, HawkerBeechcraft.com or FlightSafety.com.

WingX 3.6 released

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WingX36-MovingMapHilton Software LLC  has released WingX for iPhone Version 3.6, which adds CSC DUATS RADAR, Moving Map Airspaces, and Yelp Integration with the AOPA Directory.

WingX 3.6 adds animated DUATS Weather Images and displays the route line and route identifiers. All DUATS operations, including filing flight plans, obtaining weather briefings, and viewing weather images, use the pilot’s DUATS access code and password and are therefore recorded by CSC DUATS.

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Poor maintenance leads to crash

This February 2008 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

Aircraft: Piper Aztec. Injuries: 1 Fatal. Location: Sterling, Kan. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.

What reportedly happened: The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with a multiengine land rating, and a commercial pilot certificate with single-engine land and instrument ratings as well as several instructor certificates. At the time of the accident he had approximately 3,000 hours, including at least 500 in the previous six months. The pilot had a total of 1,320 hours in Piper Aztecs.

The airplane was in cruise flight at 6,000 feet MSL when it entered an uncontrolled descent. It hit the ground in a right wing low attitude. The airplane cartwheeled, hit a cow, and scattered components and debris over a distance of 668 feet.

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Ask Paul: Use it or lose it

Q: I am considering buying a plane with a Lycoming 540 factory rebuilt engine. TSOH is 50 hours. The problem is the engine was installed five years ago with a new turbo and the owner has not flown it much since, although it has flown a few hours recently.

There is a lot of chatter about unflown engines rusting inside and not making it to TBO. I don’t need to make it to TBO, but I don’t want it to go south within the first year or two after purchase. How much of this chatter is exaggerated? Is an engine that sat like that such a huge problem that it should be avoided? Is is possible that a low-time factory rebuilt can be rendered useless that easily?

R. GASTON, via email

A: Here we go with one of those deals that look good up front, but may not turn out so good in the end. I admire you for being sharp enough to ask questions before taking the leap, but just in case you already put your money on the table, let’s look at a few things that may help save the bacon.

The “chatter” you hear regarding engines rusting inside and not reaching TBO is closer to fact than fiction. [Read more…]

Individual liability insurance now available

Evolution Insurance Brokers has introduced a new individual liability insurance product to the aviation industry, offering customized, one-of-a-kind, individual protection plans to pilots, aircraft owners, CFIs, aircraft maintenance technicians and others.

Branded as Xinsurance.com, and called “Pilot Shield,” the new offering is not a substitute for traditional insurance, but rather fills the gaps of other insurance coverage, providing “individual” scheduled coverage for virtually anything, including defense and indemnity for a claim or incidents resulting in a lawsuit, company officials said.

Rick J. Lindsey, president and CEO, said, “We have over 28 years of experience in excess, surplus and hard-to-place insurance, and have slowly entered the aircraft market over the past four years. Helicopter pilots are just one class we feel is misunderstood and unfairly excluded from other traditional or legacy carrier plans. EIB is uniquely qualified to handle all kinds of aviation insurance, not just to pilots, but owners, fractional owners and operators as well.”

For more information: 877-585-2853 or XInsurance.com