AOPA Summit Opens In Tampa »

AOPA launches its new version of the former AOPA Expo in Tampa this week, and despite the stubbornly down economy, organizers expect a full exhibit hall and attendance close to what it was for the last Tampa event, four years ago. "The AOPA Aviation Summit will still have the wide variety of exhibitors and aircraft displays, educational opportunities and social events that have become hallmarks of our annual convention and trade show," said AOPA President Craig Fuller. "But we are dramatically increasing the participation of government and industry leaders, making it easier to really delve into the issues that face us and give members and others the opportunity to get first-hand answers to the questions that concern them." The summit aims to bring together leaders from the industry, advocacy groups, and government in support of GA's future. AVweb will be on site all week to bring all the news, video, and podcasts straight to you from Tampa. More

Wayward Pilot Sentenced To Two Years For Airplane Theft »

When Adam Leon, 31, took off from an Ontario flight school in a stolen Cessna 172 last April and flew across the border into the U.S., it was an act of desperation -- he was suicidal and hoping that he would be shot down, his lawyer said. But this week, a federal court in St. Louis sentenced Leon to two years in prison. "This is very serious," U.S. District Judge Charles Shaw said, according to the Chicago Tribune . "Under the guidelines, this is treated like a stolen car.... I think this is an extraordinary situation in terms of cost and the hours involved." After Leon crossed the border without permission, the airplane was pursued by two F-16s as well as a U.S. Customs and Border Protection airplane. More

ALPA Adopts New Pilot Fatigue Policy »

While the FAA continues to work on long-awaited new rules to cope with pilot fatigue, the Air Line Pilots Association this week announced its own new policy , which it says is based on the latest science and three years of work. "With the FAA's commitment to issue a new proposed flight- and duty-time rule by the end of the year, ALPA seized the opportunity to improve the safety and quality of work life for airline pilots by forging the strongest policy possible," ALPA President John Prater said on Tuesday. ALPA's policy takes into consideration seven different aspects of fatigue: rest, duty, extension of duty, cumulative fatigue, augmentation, reserve, and fatigue risk management systems. More

Production Skycatcher Debuts at AOPA Summit; AVweb Flies It »

With more than 1,000 orders for its Skycatcher LSA booked, Cessna is moving apace to bring the airplane into series production, and it showed up at AOPA Summit in Tampa with a conforming airplane. Cessna's Kirby Ortega told AVweb the airplane in display was built in Wichita, although the wings which we inspected carefully were manufactured in China. Detailing looks good throughout the aircraft, and gone is the purple paint of the proof of concept version. Ortega showed us changes in the wing it's a little thicker to improve lift and changes to the tail to increase spin resistance. Oretega said Cessna plans to deliver at least one Skycatcher before year's end and to ramp up production to 300 to 400 a year going forward. More

AVweb's AOPA Expo 2008 Podcast Round-Up »

As our on-site audio teams packs their bags to leave San Jose, California, we bring you a collection of nine audio podcasts recorded at (or, in some cases, just before) the show. Once again, our johnnies-on-the-spot have captured some of the most interesting voices in aviation, from CEOs and service providers to innovative thinkers, technical experts, and salesfolk. In case you missed any of our nine exclusive podcasts from the show, we're re-presenting them here. AVweb 's audio coverage of AOPA Expo has been brought to you by Bose Corporation 's Aviation Headset X; WxWorx XM WX Satellite Weather , the premier weather provider for pilots; and Lightspeed Aviation , makers of the Zulu ANR headset. If you've enjoyed our coverage, please click on the links and check out their products. More

AVweb's AOPA Expo 2008 Video Round-Up »

At the 2008 AOPA Expo, our video team brought you exclusive interviews with outgoing AOPA president Phil Boyer and the incoming president, Craig Fuller plus a demo flight with Cirrus Design's new EVS system and an in-depth profile of Garmin's hot GPSMap 696. If you missed any of those, you can watch all eight of our show videos right here. (Click through to watch.) More

AOPA Expo 2008 Photo Gallery »

Click for images from the show A handful of photos from the AOPA Expo in San Jose, California, courtesy of our on-site newsteam. More

It's A Buyer's Market »

There's no shortage of incentives to boost airplane sales these days and Diamond announced on Thursday that it was offering existing aircraft owners a $10,000 finder's fee for existing owners who steer new customers to the company. Now Cessna is offering those joining the waiting list to buy a Cessna Mustang the opportunity to lease a Cessna 400 for the time between order and delivery. "This is a great solution for Mustang customers who are waiting to take delivery, yet have an immediate need for an aircraft," said Cessna's vice president of marketing Tom Aniello. "The Cessna 400 is the fastest fixed-gear single piston on the market today and is a natural stepping stone into the Mustang. More

Powerful Learning By Computer »

There are any number of training aids available for your home computer but Powerful Learning says it's put together the whole package in a software suite that gives student pilots and those facing recurrent training all the tools they need to be successful without taking their eyes off the computer screen. At a news conference at AOPA Expo in San Jose, company President Dave Meindl said the system offers features common in other online training devices, including an updated list of the 555 questions the FAA draws from to make its knowledge tests. But it also has a complete FAA reference library integrated into training system allowing users to instantly link to the relevant FAA documents as they prepare. "No other company offer this," he said. More

LSA Sales Rebounding? »

After a dismal last few months, sales of light sport aircraft are showing signs of rebounding according to one of the founding entrepreneurs of the LSA movement in the U.S. Tom Peghiny, who distributes CT light sport aircraft in the U.S. told AVweb in a podcast interview that some attrition is inevitable among LSA manufacturers but the concept is still valid and sales are improving. The market, however, is not exactly what was envisioned when the category was created. It was believed that the lower cost and easier medical, training and maintenance requirements would bring new people to aviation. Instead, he said, the market continues to be people abandoning complex GA aircraft to continue "fun flying" in the smaller aircraft. Drawing new pilots will require some innovation, he said. More