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'Slow but Enthusiastic Start' in Sun 'n Fun Exhibit Buildings

Sun 'n Fun
Ross Neher, who works in flight systems, integration, and testing with FlightPrep, meets with a customer at the company's indoor display in exhibit hangar B.

Sun 'n Fun
Tom Peghiny, left, and Mathias Betsch of Flight Design GmbH, manufacturer of the CTLS and CTSW, started Opening Day off by announcing that the company's design, engineering, and production processes have all earned International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9000 approval, a major accomplishment. In addition, Flight Design recently completed its audit by the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association (LAMA). Peghiny, Flight Design USA President, said the company has sold some 40 CTLS aircraft since it was introduced at the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in January. (Look for a flight report on the new CTLS in the May issue of EAA Sport Pilot.)

Sun 'n Fun
Author Paul Hamilton, left, talks with Sun 'n Fun attendee David Valcik at the ASA Booth in exhibit hangar B.

April 8, 2008 — The Sun 'n Fun 2008 exhibit buildings opened at 9:00 Tuesday morning. Exhibitors said the start was slow but that attendees are enthusiastic. By noon, numbers were picking up, to the delight of dozens of Sun 'n Fun exhibitors.

"It's a little bit slow," said John Bouyea, marketing director for FlightPrep, "but traffic is picking up with VFR and field conditions improving. It's an enthusiastic crowd. We're encouraged that attendee numbers will rise.the sun and the breeze will bring the sun and the fun." FlightPrep, a division of Stenbock & Everson, Inc., provides electronic charts, flight planning, and moving map technology for general aviation pilots.

Paul Hamilton, author of ASA's line of Sport Pilot books and DVDs, explained that the first day is usually a bit slow, and this year, some people are "stuck in the mud." He meant that literally, but said as field conditions improve, customers are "beginning to roll in." Hamilton said that his DVD Light Sport Dreams is playing in the Light Aircraft Manufacturer's Association (LAMA) tent, creating interest and prompting them to visit the ASA booth, located in the "B" exhibit building. Hamilton plans to be in the ASA booth throughout the week, answering sport pilot questions.

"ASA is promoting sport pilot more, so I'm here working at the ASA booth rather than having one of my own," he added. "We've introduced the latest update of my book, Sport Pilot Checkride, and added a flight review chapter for sport pilot. We're gaining more sport pilots now so we included that information."

As if to verify Hamilton's comments, Sun 'n Fun attendee David Valcik, Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, walked in to purchase a sport pilot written exam review book. "I bought a Sport Hornet about a year and a half ago. I passed my written, but the time ran out, so I needed to buy refresher materials to retake the exam," Valcik explained. Valcik is at Sun 'n Fun for two days, as part of a business trip, and said he's hoping to have his sport pilot certificate by July and fly his Sport Hornet to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2008.

- Rose Dorcey

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