April 4, 2011
By Alton K. Marsh
The Twin Bee featured in the March issue of AOPA Pilot was damaged by a storm in Bartow, Fla., during a day of bad weather March 31 that wreaked havoc at Sun ’n Fun in nearby Lakeland, Fla.
Repairs are started and should be completed in 30 days, although the aircraft will not be available for the Tavares Inaugural Seaplane Fly-in on Saturday, April 16. Tavares is the aircraft’s home base, where it is operated by the Jones Brothers and Company Air and Seaplane Adventures.
The amphibious aircraft lost its left landing gear and left sponson. The pilot’s windscreen was broken out. However, its tank-like build by Republic Aviation in the late 1940s apparently spared the aircraft further damage.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
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Bell Helicopter has made the first delivery of the Bell 429WLG (wheeled landing gear) in North America.
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