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AirVenture 2008 - Day 5

by John M. White |

Perhaps the most important event at an AirVenture venue is when pilots get a chance to "Meet the FAA Administrator", and this session was no less interesting.  FAA Administrator Robert Sturgell meet with the pilots from the flying public Thursday when the crowd was small and a bit quiet.

The Administrator urged pilots to remain vigilant while operating on airport surfaces, and discussed the processing of medical waivers and the speed with which they are issued.  When quizzed about the lack of negotiations with Air Traffic Controllers the Administrator insisted that they are "complex" involving millions of dollars.

On a speedier note Mooney Aircraft and Rolls Royce are considering producing a single engine turboprop version of its popular M20 airframe.  Plans are to certify the aircraft in 2010 followed by deliveries in 2011.

On a sadder note a Lancair Legacy II piloted by ROger Buck and John Linden crashed on approach to Wittman Field at Oshkosh killing both men.  In Minnesota a BAE 125 crashed killing eight with one missing.  The BAE 125 was the first jet I ever flew, and is a great airplane.

In other news AAI Acquisition is moving forward seeking certification of the A700 light jet in 2010 while the A500 piston twin has been shelved for the time being.  Meanwhile production of the Symphony two seat high wing single should resume next June aiming towards 50-80 aircraft in 2012. 

A U-2 and Osprey arrived on August 1st and Harrison Ford spoke at the Young Eagles encouraging kids into aviation, along with Arnold Palmer who now has over 18,000 hours of flying time and John Travolta who spoke about his love affair with aircraft.  Over $ 3,000,000 was raised for Young Eagles at the auction.

Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!


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