What a Month! October was a busy month starting with the first-year LSA event Heart of America Sport Aviation Classic outside of Kansas City. The next week featured AOPA’s Summit in Palm Springs California. After a brief stop in Phoenix for a conference, the ASTM meeting followed in Atlanta, and the month finished with the big NBAA convention in Orlando. It was good to finally get back in the office and see how the month went… and, IT WENT GREAT! October was THE biggest month ever for ByDanJohnson.com. My sincerest thanks to each of you for your regular visits propelling us to this new mark. I’m pleased we’re delivering the content you want and we’ll continue to do so. Watch for more videos and news stories as we head toward Sebring in January.
Spruced Up Spruce What’s the big event on Tuesday November 6th? Ha! …trick question. How about this? Major supplier Aircraft Spruce will launch a completely redesigned website today… yes, election day. So, pull your nose out of your smartphone, iPad, computer, or TV and do something more fun rather than watch election returns. ••• Aircraft Spruce’s new website includes many new features such as improved product search and navigation, however, for those that suffer during change, the old site will run in tandem with the new site for 60 days. You can browse and order on the new website plus offer Aircraft Spruce feedback as to what you like or don’t like. Aircraft Spruce has more than 80,000 different products so online is where you’ll find it all. For those who prefer to flip pages the company’s free 900-page catalog remains available or simply pick the phone and dial, 877-477-7823. ••• Also… for the convenience of western Rotax enthusiasts and mechanics California Power Systems now offers CPS Rotax classes.
Welcome, New President No, not Romney or Obama (haven’t you heard enough about them?). Welcome to new Dynon president Robert Hamilton. I met Robert at the AOPA Summit in San Jose, California in fall of 2008. He was just getting involved with Dynon then and was doing his due diligence of sounding out various industry players. We visited for an hour and I viewed someone likely to do well. Indeed, four years later, Dynon moved him to the top spot in a company which itself has leapt from… well, nowhere in 2003 with their first product debut to the leading avionics supplier of non-certified aircraft. They’ve even made inroads to Type Certified cockpits with their little D-1 Pocket Panel that GA pilots carry along in increasing numbers. Congratulations to Robert and Dynon!
Happy Birthday, ASTM The group of folks, mostly volunteers, who have written the ASTM standards used to “certify” Light-Sport Aircraft celebrated their 10th anniversary in Atlanta at the end of October. The people who did, do, and will labor to make these industry-devised standards are woefully under appreciated yet they have achieved so much in a short 10 years that they’ve spawned an offspring and an fascinating one it is at that. The LSA bunch goes by the moniker F37, one of ASTM’s many committee working on standards for industries of every description. Now, the standards body has established a new group called F44. The irony? These are the people who make what we know as Part 23 or Type Certified aircraft. In an FAA initiative with the slogan, “Half the [certification] Cost; Twice the Safety,” the aviation agency will turn over the prescriptive part of certification rules to a standards body… and this is because the method has worked so well for LSA. I find it intriguing and somehow satisfying to hear government will let industry lead and I hope the industry and agency find their goal of cutting the cost of new airplanes while keeping them safe to fly.
All New Paradise City at Sun ‘n Fun After a lengthy delay while various government agencies squabbled about exact plans (gee… sound familiar?) earth is being moved on the grounds of Sun ‘n Fun’s campus. “You’d be amazed at all the activity,” related longtime Paradise City area chairman Dave Piper. “The culvert at the East end of the Paradise City runway is in place (right arrow) and the old ILS berm that created a hump in the middle of the space is gone.” It’ll all get new sod before Sun ‘n Fun 2013. The paved road (Doolittle) that ran along the northern border of Paradise City now dips deeply down into the area creating a new dynamic and an easier entry to the former Ultralight Area. I’ll have more on this as it develops but I’m excited to see renewed energy in this area that offers so much to LSA and light plane enthusiasts. The 1,400-foot runway is now much more usable with long overruns and flying is promised “all day long” even during most of the main airshow.