Back to basics with the 3Rs?

New airplanes cost too much. Used aircraft prices have slumped. The fleet is aging. There’s a lack of new thinking in the industry. The pilot population is dropping. I think you’ve heard all this before. Now, an old friend has an idea. But I think I’ve heard it before.

The idea is the large-scale “remanufacture” of select used GA aircraft – new engines, interiors, avionics, wiring, etc. [Read more…]

Want to fly a jet?

John&MarthaKing 2

After some years, I ran into John and Martha King of King Schools at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Convention this fall and caught their Light Business Aircraft briefing on jet ownership. As usual they were frank, straightforward and fact-based. They told it like it is. It was refreshing, educational too. They know how to communicate and teach.

[Read more…]

To win, you’ve got to play the game

“I’m seeing a virtuous cycle,” said National Business Aviation Association president Ed Bolen at this year’s NBAA convention in Orlando. He was speaking of The Alliance for Aviation Across America. Ad hoc Washington coalitions are often just “inside baseball” (and manufactured “causes” by corporate front-groups are downright deceptive), but the Alliance’s cumulative results since 2007 are beginning to impress.

[Read more…]

The show goes on

DSC_0651

Conversations drifted to tragedy in Connecticut, but the holiday season’s 25th annual Toy Parade went on as scheduled at the Spruce Creek Fly-In community in Florida. The parade boasted an ingeniously decorated Cub, Cherokee and Waco, the latter owned by 2012 Grand Marshalls Pat and Lenny Ohlsson, long-time real estate gurus (pictured below)

[Read more…]

Vero Beach Memoirs

Piper1

With apologies to both playwright Neil Simon and Brighton Beach, it was a sentimental journey Nov. 10 to Vero Beach, Florida, for Piper’s Factory Fly-In, the final event of the Cub’s 75th Anniversary year.

[Read more…]

Notes from NBAA: Good show!

Living legend Bob Hoover was undoubtedly the star of the show.

The National Business Aircraft Association show made it into the Orlando Convention Center unscathed Oct. 30-Nov. 1 despite an on-again/off-again Presidential TFR, turmoil from Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast and economic headwinds in the industry. Show attendance looked thin but official numbers said otherwise. Along with multi-million dollar jets, more everyday GA was on display. And while one hero was to be remembered, a second often took the honors wherever he went.

[Read more…]

Bowling alone

Drew Steketee

The new flying club proposal from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association is news, but the association has tried it before. Moreover, Americans generally (pilots in particular) are individualists – even more so recently, says a unique thesis titled “Bowling Alone.” But now GA’s survival is at issue, or at least the ability of “average Americans” to fly. Can new flying clubs help save GA?

[Read more…]