Archive for March, 2013

Strange But True General Aviation News

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Back to prison for you! Convicted murderer Panagiotis Vlastos thought he was escaping from Greece’s Trikala Prison when a helicopter showed up in the courtyard. Instead, Vlastos found himself shot in the leg and looking at a helicopter riddled with bullet holes, reports AvWeb.

Mountain lion versus helicopter – who wins?  David Nash was hiking on California’s Stevens Trail when he found himself being stalked by a mountain lion.  Nash called 911 and the California Highway Patrol dispatched helicopter crew Monty Emery and David White, who scared the mountain lion away with a high intensity spotlight, reports Flying magazine.

We knew this wasn’t going to end well.  William Stokely of Tulsa, Okla., has been forced to hand over his Robinson R44 helicopter and is banned from flying or owning an aircraft for two years after pleading guilty to trying to change the the registration marks on his aircraft, reports Flight Global.

Can you blame him?  Pilot Ray Kelly was forced to make an emergency landing in a hay field after his Piper PA-32 experienced an “odd phenomenon,” reports WRAL-TV.  He declined a flight home, and couldn’t say when he would fly again.

Talk about show and tell!  School children at Australia’s Cape Clear Primary School got a real show during recess — an aircraft making an emergency landing on a field next door, reports the Australian.  The pilot and passenger suffered only minor injuries.

“Pilot Getaways” iPad app

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013


Pilot Getaways, a travel and destination publications that features great fly-in destinations, has a new iPad that shows the current issue of the bimonthly magazine and offers back issues for sale. Pilot Getaways has been featuring recreational destinations accessible to general aviation for 15 years. “Readers have been demanding an easy way to reference our extensive travel information without carrying 73 back issues weighing more than 30 lbs. By the end of the year, we expect to have our complete library of more than 500 destinations available,” said editor-in-chief John Kounis. An annual subscription costs $19.99 and back issues are available for $4.99. For more information, visit, or call 877-PILOT-GW.

Cub thunder

Monday, March 4th, 2013

"Pilot Information" published in Paris

“Pilot Information” published in Paris

A couple of Cubs went ripping around the French Alps–well, as rippy as Cubs can get–for beautiful photos in the latest issue of Info-Pilote (Pilot Information), the official magazine of the French Aeronautical Federation. You can go here and click on the cover of the magazine on the middle of the right side of the page. (Yes, I know it’s a Husky on the cover but there are Cubs inside–spectacular photo.) You can then “thumb through” by clicking on the right side of each page layout. The Cub photo is near the center of the magazine sample. It costs $43 for 12 times a year, depending on the value of the Euro. The price does not include international shipping. You can contact the co-editor on his Web site.

Which new LSAs have American engines?

Monday, March 4th, 2013

I gathered this little bit of information for a larger story, but it never found a home.  Several readers asked which light sport aircraft have American engines. Some of these models aren’t available in the U.S. Here’s the list:

Continental and Lycoming both offer specially designed engines for the LSA market: the Continental engine is found on the Cub Crafters Sport Cub, the Cessna Skycatcher, and the American Legend Cub.

Companies using the Lycoming LSA engine include American Legend Cub, Brumby Aircraft of Australia 600/610, Bushwhacker Aircraft Cub, Flying Circus Aircraft’s Vegas, Kitfox Super Sport 7, Ran’s Aircraft S-19, Tecnam P92 Eaglet and Tail Dragger (an actual model name), Zenith STOL CH750, Zlin Savage Cub/Bobber, Renegade Light Sport (Falcon and FK12, and the Morgan AeroWorks Cougar.

Gyrocopter aids Somerset, Ky., police

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Calidus Right Side Medium SizeThe Somerset Police Department in South Central Kentucky is using a Calidus gyroplane for law enforcement under a program run by the federal Department of Justice to aid smaller law enforcement groups.

Flown by Lt. Shannon Smith, the Calidus has aided in several arrests for drunken driving, drug violations, and outstanding warrants. Shannon is the second law enforcement officer in the United States to become a certified flight instructor specific to gyroplanes for police operations

Calidus Cockpit ODG Medium SizeSomerset authorities launched an aviation program in April 2012 with the cooperation of the Law Enforcement Aviation Technology program, an arm of the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice. The aviation program is administered nationally by the Small, Rural, Tribal, Border Regional Center (SRTB-RC) through The Center for Rural Development in Somerset. The program has assigned 17 aircraft to small law enforcement agencies that might not see aviation as a viable option to their police agency. See it fly here.

Strange But True General Aviation News

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Talk about a miracle.  Three men who were flying a Vans RV-10 kit aircraft for a ski trip managed to survive an accident outside of Lake Placid, N.Y., reports  After the accident, the man spent 10 hours in sub-freezing temperatures until they were rescued by state forest rangers.

He just walked away, part 1.  Ricky Ford, III of Irvington, Ala., would surely win the prize for the most unusual customer to walk into Lackey’s Steak & Seafood Restaurant in Hamilton, Ohio.  Ford sat in the restaurant’s kitchen and told the owner he had just been in an aircraft accident, reports the Columbus Packet. After the police were called, it was determined that he really had been in an accident and had been declared missing.

He just walked away, part 2.  Frank Leroy Bell managed to walk away after being forced to land his twin-engine aircraft in a cemetery outside of Abilene, Texas, reports  It was reported that he ran out of fuel.

What a rescue!  A woman who nearly climbed to Piestewa Peak in Phoenix became part of a dramatic helicopter rescue, reports  The woman was injured, and weather conditions were windy, making the rescue more difficult.

It was the accident that wasn’t.  A group of golfers in Ulverston, England, reported what they thought was an aircraft accident in the sea off the Furness Coast, reports the North-West Evening Mail.  It turns out the light aircraft was only a microlight on a training mission.

Who knew? As Pope Benedict XVI begins the first day of his retirement, the Catholic News Agency came up with some interesting facts about the pontiff, including that the 86-year-old has a helicopter pilot certificate and has flown the papal copter to his summer residence at Castel Gandolfo outside Rome.