LSA Adapts to U.S. Market »

While there is burgeoning interest in the Light Sport Aircraft market, a lot of the most popular designs are from Europe. There are quirks and design variations in the aircraft that are different from what most U.S. pilots are used to and probably the most common complaint is about brakes. Many of the imports have hand brakes and some don't have differential braking. At least one German manufacturer has altered its brake design to suit American tastes and the Breezer II comes with toe brakes. Breezer Aircraft also announced some other changes to make the aircraft more attractive in the U.S. market at AOPA Expo in Hartford. More

The Paperless Logbook »

The latest aircraft cockpits use electronics for virtually all functions but when the flight is over, most pilots have to haul out the books. Greg Ratcliff and Doug Stewart created three years ago to take aviation from the quill-and-inkwell era to the digital age. Stewart told a news conference at AOPA Expo that the system they've developed not only takes some of the drudgery out of the mandatory record keeping associated with an airplane, it may enhance its value. "Often records don't receive the proper care and it makes compliance difficult," he said. An aircraft with incomplete logs is worth substantially less and the owner risks enforcement action from the FAA. More

Flying Octogenarians Embrace Sport Pilot »

Access to one of aviation's most exclusive clubs just got easier. The United Flying Octogenarians (UFO) has voted to allow those holding Sport Pilot certificates to join the more than 600 members of the group, which is restricted to those 80 years of age and older. "You have to be able to prove that you've flown solo since your 80th birthday," Secretary-Treasurer Bart Bratko told AVweb. The club held a lunch and business meeting at AOPA Expo in Hartford and the Sport Pilot issue was on the agenda. More

D-Jet Goes to School -- In University of North Dakota Fleet »

Aviation students at the University of North Dakota will have the chance to train in a Diamond D-Jet, thanks to the UND Aerospace Foundation. Their purchase of a jet was announced Friday at AOPA Expo in Hartford, Conn. "Diamond Aircraft and UND have a long-standing relationship, and we are very excited that UND will now be using the D-Jet for their advanced training programs," said Diamond Aircraft President Peter Maurer. UND official Bruce Smith said the D-Jet will provide a transition aircraft for students training to fly regional jets, and will be used in conjunction with the school's CRJ 200 flight-training simulator. "We are excited to add the D-Jet to our training fleet," he said. More

For Grander Ambitions: Australia, Africa, Around the World, and More »

Australia's remote outback is best explored from the air, and with help from Air Safaris International , based in Toronto, U.S. pilots can get the full Aussie experience. Guided self-fly tours last 11 to 21 days, with stops at Ayers Rock, tropical beaches, offshore islands, and the Great Barrier Reef. Custom tours also can be designed. In southern Africa, Hanks Aero Adventures has been offering fly-yourself tours for 10 years. They can help you rent an airplane and get your local certification to fly. Hanks also offers escorted tours or ground support for your solo adventure. African Aero Safaris offers similar services. For the ultimate flying adventure, Air Journey also offers tours across the North Atlantic and around South America, to Europe and the Galapagos, and will launch its first-ever round-the-world flight in May 2008. More

Caribbean Options: Fly on Your Own, or with a Group »

For pilots who want to explore the Caribbean region, loaded with beautiful beaches and resorts, AOPA Expo offers several options. The folks at Caribbean Flying Adventures help you plan your own flight via their web site. Features include pre-departure checklists, online access to required documents, step-by-step arrival and departure procedures, and approach videos to each of the island airports. For those who prefer a full-service escorted tour, Air Journey offers many options, from short hops to the Bahamas, to extended tours in Central America, featuring stops in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama City, and Guatemala. More

Ready for Adventure? Fly the Mountain West, with Expert Guides »

If aircraft owners and pilots come to AOPA Expo looking for ideas about how to have more fun with their airplanes, they have plenty of options. ParkWest Air Tours , based in Grand Junction, Colo., will train pilots in mountain flying and then take them and their families on a guided tour to some of the most spectacular regions in the American West. Expert guides and experienced pilots will take care of all the planning, including rental aircraft, lodging, ground activities, and meals. Pilots and their passengers can explore National Parks like the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone, and spectacular regions like Monument Valley, Mesa Verde, and Mexico's Copper Canyon. Most tours are in groups of just five to seven airplanes and last about 10 days. More

Mooney Type-S Airframe: No, It's Not the Inlets »

O.K., so we guessed wrong. When Mooney announced the new Type-S Acclaim last week, we guessed that some of its additional 5-knot speed gains over the Acclaim came from reducing the size of the cooling inlets. No, says Mooney CEO Dennis Ferguson, the Acclaim's speed was inched up entirely through subtle drag reduction on the airframe itself. If Mooney's claims pan out in the real world, dumping that much drag is no mean feat; our hats are off to the Kerrville team. Ferguson also hinted that the airplane has a slightly different prop, but he declined to provide any details. More

AOPA Expo 2007 Gallery #1 (of 2) »

Couldn't make it to the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Expo this year? AVweb editor Mary Grady snapped plenty of photos at the show, just to give you a flavor of the excitement. More

Hartford Packs 'Em In »

This is the first time AOPA Expo has been held in Hartford, and AOPA President Phil Boyer admitted on Thursday morning that there was some concern whether the faithful would flock to this remote corner of the world. "The leaves here aren't like we showed you in all the pictures," he said -- trees remain robustly green and temperatures a summerlike mid-80s, not the crisp New England autumn that many expect to find in October. But he said the attendance numbers on Thursday morning were the highest for any East Coast AOPA Expo ever. More