All posts tagged 'aviation news' - Page 9

Cancer survivor flying around the world in autogyro


Drink deeply from the pool of life, and set records while you do it. This seems to be the sentiment of 47-year-old Norman Surplus of Larn, North Ireland.

Diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer at the age of 40 in 2003, he endured grueling experimental treatment and a 40 percent prognosis of living longer than 18 months, to survive the ordeal.

Now he seeks to achieve another extraordinary feat. Surplus is about halfway finished with a trip around the world as solo pilot an autogyro.

In late April, Surplus set the world record for longest solo distance in an autogyro, from North Ireland to Kolkata, India, a span of 7,118 miles. In all, the trip as planned will smash that number, covering 27,000 miles with stops in 24 countries. [more]

After completing flight across Europe, the Middle East and much of Asia, the path now calls for Surplus to fly into the Russian tundra, Alaska, Canada and the mainland United States before skirting the north Atlantic island countries on his way back to the Irish isle.

The trip, initially slated to last 115 days, began in March. It has taken a setback or two along the way, including a botched takeoff that resulting in a lake ditching in May that damaged the aircraft and left him grounded until last week. Governmental red tape also has led to delays. Still, the journey continues.

In addition to setting a world record, Surplus is using the opportunity to promote cancer treatment research and to spark donations to a British research organization.

Find updates on the site at this link, while includes near-daily updates and text messages from the pilot, and track his progress via live GPS here.

NASCAR's Roush involved in crash landing at Airventure Oshkosh

A Beechcraft Premier shortly before crash landing at Airventure.


Dust and wreckage following impact.

A Beechcraft Premier Jet broke apart after landing hard Tuesday evening at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisc.

The incident, which occurred around 6 p.m. Central Time, took place during the annual EAA Airventure event that draws tens of thousands daily to the airport each summer.

During the festival where pilots travel to daily and air shows highlight the afternoons, the field’s aircraft control tower is considered the busiest in the world.

Witnesses said the Premier Jet appeared to overextend the runway centerline while turning base on its final approach. It then appeared to overcorrect and apparently spun out of control before breaking in two, several witnesses said.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the official cause of the incident.

A statement from the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) said two occupants were on board, Jack Roush of Northville, Mich., and Brenda Strickland of Plymouth, Mich.

Roush is CEO and co-owner NASCAR’s Roush Fenway Racing. A Beechcraft Premier registered to the company is located in the FAA aircraft database.

Rescue crews transported both occupants to local hospitals, an EAA statement said, with Roush reportedly being in serious-but-stable condition Tuesday night and Strickland suffering non-life-threatening injuries.

EAA Airventure Oshkosh Preview and Schedule

The curtain is now prepared to open for EAA Airventure in Oshkosh, Wisc., next week, albeit on what has been a soggy airfield. Nearly a foot of rain has fallen in the area this month. The rain clouds appear ready to depart eastern Wisconsin next week, despite floodwaters forcing Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport (MKE) to close Friday and more rain was expected in the area into early Saturday.

Sunny weather, however, is expected to prevail in the Oshkosh area during Airventure, with pleasant highs near 80 each day and no more than a 40 percent chance of a storm on any given day, primarily mid-week. Hopefully, it stays perfect for the daily air shows.

With mostly blue skies ahead, we can begin planning for what should be an exciting week. The images in this post are from last year’s show. We here at anticipate even more fun this year. Stop by and visit us at Hangar D, Booth 4028. Once you get there, here are a few highlights for the week ahead.

This Weekend
Mass arrivals of aircraft will land in the area throughout the next three days. The Piper Cherokees arrived this afternoon, with Beechcraft Bonanzas, Cessnas and Mooneys to land tomorrow. Stinsons and Comanches arrive along with the Airventure Cup racers on Sunday.

Monday, July 26
Opening Day includes an evening performance by classic-rock band Chicago, but if you are in the mood for some tunes earlier in the day, check out Ravi “The Raviator,” a member of the Flying Musicians. The first performance is 11 a.m. at the Senheiser tent, outside of Hangar A. Repeat shows take place at noon Thursday and Friday.

Ford Motor Co. will sponsor its Wings Vs. Wheels challenge at 3:15 p.m., as a Roush 540RH and Shelby GT350 go head to head against the Red Bull Edge 540 and Castrol Aviator’s Extra 330SC. Ford, as posted on our blog recently, will auction off a Mustang during Airventure that is modeled after the SR-71.

Tuesday, July 27
The theme for the 2010 event is “A Salute to Veterans,” a prominent message displayed in ceremonies and displays throughout the week. Each morning features a nostalgic look at the history of wartime aviation with “Warbirds in Review.”  Tuesday’s edition features two sessions, the early installment with a pair of Old Crow P-51s and an afternoon event highlighted by D-Day paratroopers Col. Ed Shames and 1st Lt. Fred Bahlau with the C-47 Tico Belle.

Later in the afternoon, the "Max Effort" Air Show will feature a DC-3/C-47 formation. Among other events, Daher-Socata holds a news conference in AeroShell Square at 9:30 a.m. with Nicolas Chabbert, President of SOCATA North America, speaking.



Wednesday, June 28
Cessna Aircraft will host a Tweet-Up and doughnut breakfast at 9 a.m. Flightglobal senior tech artist Joe Picarella will sign free copies of the Citation Mustang edition of his cutaway aircraft illustrations.

Embraer will have a Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 on display throughout the week.  Luis Carlos Affonso, executive vice president of executive jets for the company, speaks at the Embraer booth at 2 p.m.

Continuing with the Salute to Veterans theme, U.S. Army Capt. Brian Brennan, recipient of a Bronze Star and Purple Heart, speaks at 1 p.m. at the B&S Aircraft booth. He was injured by an IED in Afghanistan, losing both his legs and remaining unresponsive for 23 days until Gen. David Petraeus visited him in the hospital and said the word “Currahee,” the motto of Brennan’s unit, the 101st Airborne. The phrase means, “stands alone.” Hearing those words, Brennan tried to sit up to attention. He is on hand at the booth each morning to share his story.



Thursday, July 29
An "Old Glory Honor Flight" to Washington, D.C. departs 8 a.m., and an afternoon air show features classic warbird jets.

EAA Young Eagles Co-Chairmen Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger and Jeff Skiles, his first officer on US Airways flight 1549, the “Miracle on the Hudson,” appear together at Forum Pavilion 7 to talk about their experiences since that fateful water landing.

Friday, July 30

A "Parade of Veterans" at 2 p.m. concludes with a photo of all veterans gathered. A "Missing Man" formation also takes place. Actor and veterans advocate Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band perform Friday evening.


The world premiere of "Pearl" plays at the Fly-In Theater. It tells the story of story of Pearl Carter Scott, a Chickasaw aviatrix who was the youngest licensed pilot in the United States.


Saturday, July 31

A big weekend finale includes a rare nighttime air show, featuring a "Wall of Fire" and fireworks display.


The Spirit of Aviation Auction features aircraft for sale. Another afternoon air show is loaded with pyrotechnics and pays homage to warbirds. Nine-time Grammy winner Asleep at the Wheel performs at 6:30 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 1
Closing day is Family Day, as those between six and 18 years of age enjoy free admission. As there also is on Saturday, an early morning mass balloon launch commences.


An early warbird air show includes the Japanese Nakajima A6M2 Model 21 Zero. The afternoon show is entitled “Warbird Aerobatics.”


For a complete rundown of daily events and maps, visit this page and this page on the Airventure web site. Additional workshops and activities can be found here.

McCauley's composite props: What the Cessna Skycatcher approval could mean for your aircraft

Cessna 162 Skycatcher with a 2-blade McCauley 1L100 composite prop 

We spoke with Cessna spokesman Doug Oliver today about the recent approval of a composite propeller for the 162 Skycatcher, as well as what the future of composite props from McCauley could mean for other aircraft.

Last week the American Society for Testing and Materials, an international standards board, approved production of the 2=-blade 1L100 McCauley prop for the LSA Skycatcher.

Since Cessna designers initially expected the composite prop to be approved for the Skycatcher, many of the weights and measures for the aircraft stay the same as first advertised on the Cessna site. The switch from the aluminum prop will shed about 12 pounds from the airplane’s current production weight, Oliver said.   

With the ASTM certification in tow, the company expects to add the component props to 162s that ship out late this year, while existing owners will receive one at no additional cost.

Earlier this month, parent company Cessna streamlined its McCauley efforts in order to invest in additional projects of a similar nature. Oliver said this will likely lead to retrofitted composite props for planes such as the Skyhawk and Skylane, among other aircraft and engines.  

The bottom line for pilots and aircraft owners is lightweight blades that can allow more fuel in the bladder and longer max leg distances, in addition to other improvements generally found when using composite materials. 

Until then, are you in the market for a Cessna piston with a conventional propeller? Support our advertisers and check out our complete listings of Cessnas for sale here.

GPS-based communication system helps helicopters in oil spill rescue effort

Aviation plays a big role in the cleanup of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, as fixed wings and rotors carry workers and supplies throughout the region.

EMS Aviation promoted through a statement released last week its FLEET tracking system, now being used by a private contractor for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Florida-based Heli-works Inc. uses the system between biologists in Bell 206Ls outfitted with the equipment and rescuers on the ground to locate and recover oiled birds.

The system is backed by a web-based Automated Flight Following (AFF) map that shows a helicopter’s location, speed, heading, altitude and flight history.

The FLEET system also offers text and phone capabilities to crew, in addition to automated tracking. The FLEET system is composed of an iridium antenna and transceiver with integrated GPS.

Read more about the technology here. 

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