The Thunderbirds arrived in style this afternoon at Sun ’n Fun. Click below for some photos show by General Aviation News’ own Ben Sclair and Russell Kasselman. [Read more…]
The Sky Arrow is back in production. Magnaghi Aeronautica, one of the largest Italian aerospace groups, has put the popular high-wing tandem seat LSA back into production. [Read more…]
By CONNIE SUE WHITE, Flying managing editor and Sun ’n Fun Today guest writer
The scene of the Martin family relaxing Wednesday morning in the Vintage Area at Sun ’n Fun next to their just restored 1946 Fairchild, is captivating for more than one reason. A young family camping next to an antique airplane they flew nine hours from Pennsylvania to be at this year’s fly-in speaks volumes in that it is exactly what general aviation needs to see more of to survive.
Four years ago, Ravi the Raviator didn’t even know what CFI stood for. Now he travels the country, giving inspiration talks about how to rejuvenate aviation and increase the number of people in our community.
“It’s important to go out and fan that flame,” he said. “This is an opportunity to participate in one of humanity’s greatest achievements.”
Throughout his years as a musician Ravi the Raviator ran into a lot of musicians who had hearing problems — mostly the weekend warriors who played in bars. The professional musicians knew better, which is why he worked with Sennheiser to create a hearing protection package for those part-time musicians.
Once he started flying, he was surprised at the number of pilots who had suffered hearing loss. “I encountered more deaf pilots than rock and rollers,” he said.
By BEN COLEMAN, Safety Advisor to the Sun ’n Fun President
The subject of insurance was not very popular in my formative years. As a kid, I can recall my Dad complaining about insurance rates, especially when my older brother came of driving age. It was explained to me that insurance would pay you back if you had a wreck or got sick. I liked this “insurance” thing. Every year, you pay the insurance company money and if you have a wreck, they buy you a new car. Cool! If you don’t have a wreck, they get to keep the money. Not so cool! Not sure I like this “insurance” thing.
Did you know that general aviation pilots are more musically inclined than the general population? According to a Sennheiser Aviation official at Sun ’n Fun today, about 48% of pilots play a musical instrument, compared to the about 5% of the general population. Rock on!
By CONNIE SUE WHITE, Flying magazine managing editor and SUN ’n FUN Today volunteer guest writer
At Sun ’n Fun, there are signs everywhere indicating the dedication of what has grown to a force of some 3,000 volunteers who put on a six-day event hosting an estimated 160,000 guests — from the friendly faces of those standing at the ready to greet guests and answer questions, to those driving by in golf carts on their way to their next task, to the dedications inscribed on placards strategically placed on various buildings and benches, and even the names on street signs.
One dedication in particular caught my attention when I was onsite last Saturday morning: The Sun ’n Fun Pioneers Wall outside the Florida Air Museum. Some 230 names adorn the wall, including the name of the man I was scheduled to interview — Paul Hopkins.
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association has become the latest media partner with Build-A-Plane, supporting the Kids Across America campaign, created to help children make the trip to Oshkosh, Wis., for the Experimental Aircraft Association’s 2012 AirVenture.
Fantasy of Flight in Polk City, Florida, will once again play host the annual Sun ’n Fun Splash-In, a one-day event specifically designed to celebrate seaplanes and other amphibious aircraft.