July 14, 2011
By Sarah Brown
The Memphis businessman attempting to become the first Chinese citizen to fly around the world in a single-engine airplane has landed at Beijing Capital International Airport—the first single-engine general aviation airplane to obtain clearance to do so.
Wei Chen, a private pilot, is flying his Daher-Socata TBM 700 around the world, crossing through Chinese airspace. The feat has required significant logistical support from AOPA-China and the Chinese government: Obtaining a clearance to take off with a single-engine airplane can normally take days or even a week, and the landing at Beijing Capital International is unprecedented.
Yinjie Jason Zhang, a New-York-based pilot and member of the AOPA-China board of directors, is flying with Chen in China and said media attention there has been high. China is rapidly expanding its GA industry, building airports and releasing portions of its airspace for civilian flights, and one purpose of Chen’s flight is to raise awareness of GA in China.
“Wei Chen’s flight is truly historic, and all of us at Daher-Socata are proud he chose the TBM 700 to accomplish these aviation firsts,” said Nicolas Chabbert, senior vice president of Daher-Socata’s airplane division, in a news release. “They will serve as very positive steps in developing China’s general aviation sector."
Chen and Zhang expect to arrive at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., July 26 before Chen makes the final leg of his around-the-world journey.
A state-of-the art medical facility on remote Tangier Island in the Chesapeake Bay serves as a lasting memorial to the late Dr. David B. Nichols’ dedication to providing medical care to the community for 30 years. Now, Nichols’ aviation legacy—flying a Cessna 182 or Robinson R44 to the island every Thursday to provide that care—is set in stone.
Daher-Socata announced that it had installed the first Garmin G600 and GTN 750 avionics in one of its 2004 TBM 700C2 airplanes.
Even brief flight under actual conditions can expose how well your basic instrument flying is serving.
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