February 22, 2010
By Thomas A. Horne
The Helicopter Association International’s annual Heli-Expo, taking place Feb. 21 through 23 in Houston, has thus far shown mixed signals, compared to previous conventions.
This year’s attendance, HAI says, is “within one to three percent of last year’s 17,000 attendees,” meaning visitors have so far trended downward. On the other hand, this year’s Heli-Expo attracted 595 exhibitors; last year, there were 570 exhibitors at the convention.
Heli-Expo features a vast array of industry exhibitors, but there are also safety, maintenance, pilot training, and technology seminars. A job fair is also conducted, complete with an event featuring industry outreach to students.
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.
The Flying Physicians Association (FPA) has become the latest group to lend support to third-class medical reform and urge government officials to speed up their review of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). The NPRM would expand the number of pilots who could fly without needing to obtain a third-class medical certificate, a standard that has been successfully used by sport pilots for a decade.
California pilot Christopher Braun has created a revamped version of the cleco plier that is said to be lighter and more ergonomic.
There is no shortage of pilots in eastern Washington, but there does seem to be a scarcity of clubs in that part of the country.
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