Tuesday, October 09, 2007

One-Stop Piston Shopping Coming in 2008

AMPT Associates and FLYING Developing Regional Shopping Events

Here's the teaser that accompanied the release:

October 9, 2007 (Duluth, MN) – Today AMPT Associates, Inc. officially launched Parade of Pistons™, an innovative series of regional aircraft expos specifically designed to help the piston aircraft consumer shop for new aircraft. FLYING magazine, the world’s most widely read aviation magazine, has shown their support by becoming the 2008 title sponsor to help make Parade of Pistons a success for both consumers and aircraft manufacturers.

Taking a page from the folks in sport and business aviation (LSA and NBAA folks, specifically), AMPT plans a series of regional events to provide side-by-side comparison shopping opportunities for pilots interested in buying a new plane -- complete with advisers representing aircraft finance, training, insurance and brokering. One stop covers it all, in theory. The AMPT folks also plan to produce a buyer's guide covering all the participating manufacturers...

Though no schedule is on the Web site, there is a way to sign up for more info as it becomes available. Check it out here: www.paradeofpistons.com

Meanwhile, don't be shy about sounding out with your opinions about such a series of shows...good idea? not likely to impact the market? or only a test of a new way to make a small fortune in aviation?

From my perspective, anything likely to contribute to the health and growth of general aviation, specifically, and aviation in general, is a good thing for us all -- even those many of us interested in buying an airplane but not in a position to buy new...used airplanes gotta come from somewhere and if that means others must sacrifice their finances to buy new, well, that's part of the cycle of flight.

Not that there's anything wrong with that new-plane stuff. If more of us could, more of us would -- guaranteed.

The organizers plan on events that draw piston planes across the reciprocating spectrum -- from the LSAs to piston twins, making the appeal as broad as possible. FLYING's sponsorship and AMPT's demonstrated expertise in aviation helps my expectations that this event will draw good crowds of "qualified" candidates -- and, hopefully, allow some of us not as qualified to enjoy one of their Parade of Planes. Don't we all enjoy indulging our fantasies about what we'd fly after winning the next multimillion-dollar lottery?

But my two cents aren't worth any more than any other pair of pennies...What do you think?

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Soaring for beginners.

Here's another entry point for the new pilot who can't afford the full private pilot thing just yet.

Recreational flying might not immediately leap to mind if you’re looking for a fun, low-cost weekend activity. But throughout the country, nonprofit soaring clubs seek to make the sport as accessible as possible. And nowhere is this more true than at the Valley Soaring Club in Middletown, N.Y., where the only activity members enjoy as much as flying is bringing beginners into the fold.


Monday, October 01, 2007

A White House Awakening? Come on....

Some people are so quick on the uptake...reference this transcript of the President's statement after last week's White House visit by Mary Peters (SecDoT) and Bobby Sturgell, acting administrator of the FAA:

Today I'm joined by Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters, and the Acting
Administrator of the FAA, Bobby Sturgell. I want to thank you all for coming.

“We've been having a discussion about the fact that a lot of our air travelers
are not only inconvenienced, they're -- in some cases they're just not being
treated fairly. And there's a lot of anger amongst our citizens about the fact
that, you know, they're just not being treated right.

“And the Secretary and I have been talking about what to do about it, and I've
instructed her to report back to me as quickly as possible on two matters: One,
to make sure that consumers are treated fairly and complaints are listened to,
and that we address some of the egregious behavior that our consumers have been
subjected to. Endless hours sitting in a airplane on a runway, and there's no
communication between the pilot and the airport is just not right. And so Mary
is going to work very hard to make sure the system is much more responsive.

“The other issue, of course, is dealing with congestion. One of the reasons why
consumers on airlines, airline passengers are being so inconvenienced is because
the skies are too crowded. And there's some short-term things we're going to do,
and Mary is going to report back to me about what those will be.

“Also Congress needs to look at this FAA reauthorization -- I call
it ‘modernization’ -- and work with this department, and work with Bobby
bringing our FAA into the 21st century, so that our consumers and passengers and
citizens won't be inconvenienced with it.

“We've got a problem, we understand there's a problem, and we're going to
address the problem. Madam Secretary, I appreciate your willingness to do so.”

Guess that's settled, eh? Maybe, though, I should hold off on feeling warm-and-fuzzy...

Thoughts, folks?