Al Marsh

Gossip from the AOPA Fly-In

June 7, 2008 by Alton K. Marsh, Senior Editor, AOPA Pilot

There’s news on the AOPA ramp today during the Fly-In, but what you really want is gossip. I have it for you. Item one: lawsuits. Sometimes they can be helpful, like when AOPA files one, and sometimes they are nuisances, like when they block general aviation activities. The LoPresti Fury folks had hoped, and still hope, to build the Fury in Belen (not Berlin), New Mexico. But a Berlin citizen, a fine one I am sure, didn’t like the idea of constructing a new runway that had nothing to do with the factory. His lawsuit blocks all construction, including the LoPresti Fury factory. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson has at least two other cities, maybe three, that are willing to benefit from the economic stimulus an aircraft factory can bring, if the fine citizen of Belen (not Berlin) is successful in his so far year-long quest to stop progress at the airport. But this is a rant, and I’m not through. Item two: Want to know why Cessna so quickly changed the name Columbia to the Cessna 350 and the Cessna 400? There was on ongoing dispute over the name “Columbia” when Cessna bought the factory. That’s why priority number one was to eradicate everything with the name Columbia on it, where possible, so that there would be no further reason to associate the company with Columbia now that it is under Cessna’s leadership. There’s a Cessna (not a Columbia) on our ramp today that will indicate 150 knots at 25,000 feet, but will actually deliver a true airspeed of 235 knots. It’s priced at $620,000.

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2 Responses to “Gossip from the AOPA Fly-In”

  1. Ray Saunders Says:

    Thanks very much on the update on LoPresti’s attempt to set up operations in New Mexico; I’ve been wondering what happened. You’ve also explained why that second runway has not appeared. (BTW, it’s “Belen,” not Berlin, “BA-LIN,” emphasis on the second syllable. Took me a long time to learn to pronouce it too.)

    Ray S. in ABQ

  2. Al Marsh Says:

    Oops.

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