Flying coast to coast in a homebuilt

Sharon&AlbertByThePlane

By TOM JONES

Many people dream of making the trip of a lifetime, but few make the dream a reality. Not so for Albert and Sharon Gardner, a Yuma, Ariz., couple who flew coast to coast in their RV-10. Last summer, the couple flew nearly 12,000 miles, landing in 100 cities in 37 states.

The trip was the culmination of a longtime desire that Albert had to land his airplane in every contiguous state of the Union. Prior to this trip, he had landed his airplane in every state west of the Mississippi.

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406 ELT requirement waived by Dominican Republic and Cayman Islands

Caribbean Flying Adventures (CFA) has collaborated with civil aviation authorities in the Dominican Republic and The Caymans Islands to obtain a waiver from the 406 ELT requirement. The Dominican Republic waiver is indefinite. The Cayman Islands waiver is valid through Dec. 1, 2013, but will almost certainly be extended, according to CFA officials, who said they will work to ensure this happens.

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Destination…Bahamas June 2

Northeast Florida Regional Airport will host the 2nd annual Destination…Bahamas Air and Sea Expo June 2. The free event is designed to highlight the ease of travel to the Islands of the Bahamas for general aviation pilots, as well as others.

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Upgrades continue at MAO

MAO attracts a lot of different aircraft, such as this Grumman Goose.

By BILL WALKER

A growing list of improvements, a reputation for pilot friendly service, and competitive fuel prices are helping to make South Carolina’s Marion County Airport (MAO) a popular stopover for East Coast flyers.

Airport manager Margaret Pittman notes the air field is in the second phase of a $500,000 project to upgrade infrastructure and improve facilities.

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BLM: ‘We had no idea recreational aviation even existed’

The Recreational Aviation Foundation (RAF) is calling on all pilots to write to the Colorado River Valley field office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to impress upon field officer managers how important back country airstrips are to all pilots. RAF organizers impress the need for all general aviation pilots (not just those in Colorado) to speak up.

As luck would have it, RAF supporter Hap Pool of Vail, CO, just happened to see a draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) for the Colorado River Valley and request for public comment. From an email to RAF followers: “The draft RMP makes no reference to the airstrips located on BLM land within the planning area. The BLM told Hap that they had no idea that recreational aviation even existed. This planning process began in 2008 with scoping meetings, but pilots in the area did not know about it due to lack of BLM notification to the aviation community. Now the only option to gain aviation input into the planning process is to suggest specific language that addresses aviation issues. The RAF and the Colorado Pilots Association (CPA) drafted wording changes and each organization will submit comments to the BLM. The RAF comments comprise eight pages of background information and detailed wording changes to the draft RMP.”

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