March 29, 2011
By Alton K. Marsh
Four Aero L-39 Albatros aircraft, part of a new jet demonstration team, were ready to take to the skies at Sun `n Fun in Lakeland, Fla., March 28, if only the skies would clear.
The airshow team, called Heavy Metal, features the four L-39s, plus a solo Canadair T-33 that had not yet arrived as the other aircraft waited on the ground during the rainy set-up day for exhibitors.
The team is new to the airshow circuit and has performed only twice prior to Sun `n Fun. Heavy Metal pilots plan to target smaller airshows around the country.
The act is fully sponsored by the team, so performances are free to airshows. The act features more of a graceful approach, with gentle loops and aerobatic maneuvers, as opposed to a “shock and awe” style.
The opening day, March 29, was more like “ Mud ’n Fun” than Sun `n Fun. Weather forecasts call for continuing showers and thunderstorms throughout the week.
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.
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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