Q & A:
of the Week
Question for EAA Aviation Services:
This sport pilot ticket sounds good to me. I have a private pilot license. I understand that if I convert to sport pilot that I no longer need to get a 3rd class medical certificate. Do I still have to have
biennial reviews with the sport pilot certificate? I fly a Taylorcraft BC-12D and only fly during the day. Also, if the time comes that I want to renew my private, are there any problems or do I simply get a medical and
Answer: First, you don't need to ‘convert’ to sport pilot. Your existing private pilot certificate is good, as-is. No changes need to be made to your pilot certificate. Second, If you choose to operate at the sport pilot level, you can simply let your existing 3rd class medical lapse at the end of it's term. At this point, you can continue to operate your Taylorcraft at the sport pilot level, using your valid U.S. state drivers license in lieu of a medical certificate. You still need to get a flight review every two years, just like at the private pilot level.
Finally, if there comes a time when you want or need to operate at the private pilot level, you can simply go and get a new 3rd class medical certificate and you're all set.
One thing to keep in mind is that many existing aircraft insurance policies require the pilot to have a valid FAA medical certificate. If you choose to operate your Taylorcraft as a sport pilot, you need to check with your insurance underwriter to make sure you are still covered.
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EAA Desktop Calendar
Ron Tarrson of Santa Fe, New Mexico is the proud owner of this Waco ARE, specially modified for the original owner, the
New York Daily News, and restored by Centennial Aircraft Services of Battle Creek, Michigan. It was the Antique-Outstanding Closed Cockpit Biplane award winner at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2004.
The News used the cabin biplane, with it's oversized side retractable windows, to "get the scoop" on other news organizations back in the late 1930s. News photographers could shoot their subjects at sea or on the ground, and then have the film rushed back to the paper for publication in the next edition.
Place this beautiful plane on your desktop by visiting the
We have five different resolutions to best suit your screen.
Inaugural U.S. Sport
Aviation Expo is Underway
it has anything to do with light-sport aircraft (LSA), you can bet it
can be found in Sebring, Florida this weekend. Gates opened this morning
at the inaugural U.S. Sport Aviation Expo, Sebring Regional Airport, as
more than 100 exhibitors display their wares for aviation enthusiasts.
Aircraft manufacturers are providing a steady stream of demonstration
flights to individuals. EAA also has
a strong presence, with an exhibit area and conducting several
informational forums through the weekend. The Expo runs from 7 a.m-5
p.m. through Saturday and 7 a.m.-noon on Sunday. Daily admission is $10, but EAA members receive a 20 percent discount when they show their membership card. Admission for all days is $30, $25 for card-carrying EAAers. Children 12 and under are free with an adult.
Visit the U.S. Sport
Aviation Expo website.
NAFI Helps Get Relief From
TSA Security Requirements
The National Association of Flight Instructors, an affiliate of the Experimental Aircraft Association, today announced revisions to national security policy answering concerns that NAFI voiced earlier this week.
"We sought to alleviate some of the onerous recordkeeping that recently enacted security policies would have heaped on individual and small-business flight instructors," said Rusty Sachs, NAFI executive director. "The exemptions announced by the TSA [Transportation Security Administration] make a step in the right direction, easing the burden on our members without compromising national security in any way" (read more)
EAA Says 'So Long' to Vern and Nancy Lichtenberg
A fittingly overflow crowd of friends, past and present co-workers, and family gathered Tuesday at EAA headquarters to bid an emotional farewell to Vern and Nancy Lichtenberg, who retired this year. Vern was Director of EAA Facilities and served the association for 29 years. He was instrumental in developing EAA’s convention buildings and grounds to the world-class status they are today. Vern’s wife, Nancy, ran the EAA Volunteer Kitchen on convention grounds for the past 22 years, serving three meals a day to many EAA
volunteers who worked before, during, and after the annual Oshkosh convention. Vern and Nancy received congratulations from not only their extended EAA family, but from several long-time outside vendors who worked with EAA over the years as well. EAA President Tom Poberezny and EAA Founder and Chairman Paul Poberezny each paid tribute to Vern and Nancy’s dedicated years to EAA, but also
thanked them for being part of the EAA family. Paul and Tom presented each with them with special recognition plaques and gifts, collectively saying, “Thanks, Vern and Nancy.”
EAA's Haunted Hangar Coming This Weekend The spirits of Halloween and aviation come together in a special way at the EAA AirVenture Museum on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 29-30, as the museum becomes home to the “Haunted Hangar” tours from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. each day. Tour guides will lead museum visitors on special flashlight tours of the EAA AirVenture Museum, visiting the ghosts of aviation history. The museum will feature spooky surprises and special treats throughout the tour, which takes place throughout the displays of the world-class facility. (read more)
Suffered Severe Injuries
Last week we announced that John Moody, who launched the ultralight movement at the 1976 EAA Oshkosh Convention, was injured after landing hard during an air show in Augusta, Georgia. We heard from his son, James, this week, who provided an update on his father’s condition. According to James, John went through several surgeries to fix multiple fractures in both ankles and heels that were pulverized from the impact. His pelvis was fractured in several places and
had a collapsed lung because of a broken rib. He’s had several more surgeries to repair the pelvis, the chest tube was removed and both lungs are working fine. “Dad's ankles will be fused but may still have the up-and-down movement. However the side to side movement will not be possible,” wrote James “We are praying that the heels heal and that infection does not occur. If this (infection) occurs, Dad could lose his ankles all together.
John is in generally good spirits and thanks everyone for their prayers.
FAA Offers Free Pilot Traffic Detection Aid Download
Ever fail to visually acquire traffic that ATC has called? Spotting traffic efficiently and rapidly requires knowledge about what you are trying to detect, just as knowing what to hear helps you understand noisy and mumbled radio transmissions. To help identify traffic, FAA created a downloadable visual aid to help pilots judge judging the appearance of aircraft at varying distances. This aid should be particularly useful for CFIs, student pilots or any pilot who occasionally fails to spot traffic called out by ATC. FAA welcomes feedback. Send comments or questions to Dr. Michael Crognale at
email@example.com; the Federal Aviation Administration, General Aviation and Commercial Division; (AFS-800), Room 835, 800 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20591, 202-267-8212; or General Aviation Human Factors Program Manager William Krebs at
Groen Brothers, American Autogyro To Merge Operations
Groen Brothers Aviation, Inc. will merge its two wholly owned subsidiaries, American Autogyro, Inc. (AAI) and Groen Brothers Aviation USA, Inc. (GBA-USA) effective November 1, 2004. GBA-USA developed the Hawk 4 Gyroplane, the world’s first turbine engine powered autogiro. It will take on the manufacturing, sales and marketing functions of AAI’s award-winning SparrowHawk Gyroplane, the first fully enclosed two-place, center-line-thrust gyroplane in kit form. Groen Brothers Aviation USA, Inc. will be doing business as American Autogyro, for all of its SparrowHawk operations. Jim Mayfield, former AAI president, has joined the GBA-USA board of directors and has been promoted to executive vice president. Mayfield also heads the company’s experimental R&D arm, Hawk Werks division of GBA-USA based in Buckeye, Arizona.
For more information, visit www.americanautogyro.com
Eclipse Poised For Next Stage After Reorganization
Eclipse Aviation announced organizational moves this week to prepare the company for its next stage of growth in the market it pioneered, the very light jet (VLJ). Dr. Oliver Masefield and Don Burtis were each promoted to senior vice president, senior fellow; and Ken Harness was named vice president of engineering. "The design of the Eclipse 500 is essentially complete and we are accelerating into certification flight test and production," said Vern Raburn, Eclipse president and CEO. “It is a logical time to align our executive leadership team to ensure we can continue to deliver the caliber of breakthrough innovations that will enrich general aviation for years to come."
Masefield previously served as the company's senior vice president of engineering, while Burtis led Eclipse's avionics & electronics organization. Both will guide the company’s technical vision and create technical innovations that will fuel the company's next stage of growth and future generation of aircraft. Harness was Eclipse's director of propulsion systems in the engineering organization, and will assume day-to-day management responsibility for engineering and avionics & electronics operations. For more information, visit
Garmin Systems Receive XM Weather Data
Garmin’s new GDL 6 remote sensor receives XM Satellite Radio broadcast weather data from the XM WX Satellite Weather service and delivers near real-time weather information to Garmin’s G1000, MX20, GNS 530 and GNS 430 systems. The GDL 69 offers a broad array of weather services and a high level of detail graphically depicted on the displays of Garmin’s most popular systems. “As a next-generation weather receiver, the GDL 69 provides greater situational awareness to pilots flying Garmin-equipped aircraft and enables them to make safer, more strategic decisions in flight to avoid potential weather hazards,” says Gary Kelley, director of marketing.
XM offers two service packages for a monthly subscription fee: The Aviator Lite service plan (High-res NEXRAD weather data; METARs-graphic or text format; surface precipitation type; TAFs; and TFRs) for $29.99 per month; and the Aviator package (winds aloft at altitude; echo tops; lightning; storm-cell data; AIRMETs & SIGMETs) for $49.99 per month. Garmin also offers the GDL 69A receiver, which provides 130-plus channels of music, news, talk, sports and information. To learn more, visit
www.garmin.com and www.xmradio.com/weather.
Mooney Announces New CEO, Limited ‘Freedom Edition’ Aircraft
Gretchen L. Jahn is the new Chief Executive Officer of the Mooney Airplane Company Kerrville, Texas. An avid 20-year pilot, she founded software manufacturer Aegis Analytical Corporation, and previously led her own consulting company. Jahn is a member of the Ninety-Nines, the Colorado Pilots Association, and serves on the Board of the Air Race Classic, Inc.
Meanwhile, Mooney recently announced new “Freedom Editions” of their Bravo GX and Ovation2 GX aircraft at 2004 pricing. Both aircraft,
which will be produced in limited quantities, are equipped with a Goodrich WX-500 Stormscope, compatible with the standard Garmin G1000 panel, a custom N number, a 115.7 cubic foot oxygen system, extended range fuel tanks which increase capacity from 89 USG to 102 USG of useable fuel and AmSafe airbag seat belts for the front seats. The Freedom Edition fleet is available on a first-come, first-served basis. First deliveries are expected in January 2005. Interested parties should call (800) 456-3033, or visit
Ryan TAS Available on Lancair Columbias
Lancair has chosen the Ryan International 9900BX Traffic Advisory System (TAS) as a standard factory option on its Columbia 350 and 400 models. The TAS warns of a potential collision by calculating range, bearing, and altitude of “intruder” aircraft relative to the “host” aircraft. The system’s patented top and bottom directional antennas provide a 20-mile protection shield. Using Ryan’s Audible Position Alert (APA) that announces an alert when a traffic threat is detected. The TAS is scheduled to display traffic on the Avidyne FlightMax EX5000 and the Garmin GNS 430 in full color utilizing TCAS symbols. For more information, visit
or contact Bruce Bunevich at firstname.lastname@example.org
Quest Kodiak Makes First Flight
Quest Aircraft’s 10-place single engine turboprop utility airplane made its first flights earlier this month at Sandpoint Municipal Airport, Idaho. Test pilot Bruce Barrett made two flights, the first on October 16 (shortened to six minutes—a lap around the pattern—by inclement weather), and 30 minutes on October 20. The flight test program was submitted to the FAA’s Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO). Quest, which recently broke ground for a 57,000 square foot manufacturing facility, will continue flight-testing through 2005. The company plans to publicly debut the airplane at the Alaska Airmen’s Trade Show in May 2005. For more information, visit
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