October 9, 2011
By Alton K. Marsh
Piaggio Aero Industries , currently building a new factory for the Piaggio Avanti II twin-engine turboprop, discovered a World War II bomb in the ground where it is building a new factory at Villanova d’Albenga. The bomb was detonated Oct. 9, Piaggio officials said during a press conference in Las Vegas the same day.
The plant will open in 2013, but there is little to show except for the foundation at present. Sales of the unusual aircraft, with a canard in front and rear-facing engines, are strong. In 2010 Piaggio delivered 11 of the aircraft. This year the total will be 14. There are 99 flying in the United States.
Avantair operates 57 of the aircraft, flying each 100 hours a month. The company recently won certification for the Avanti in Brazil and has established a new dealer. The company is seeing a little growth but did not downplay the difficult world economy. The company has strong financial partners in Mubadala Aerospace and Tata.
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 AOPA Medical Advisory Board is the latest group to urge quick action on the proposed FAA rule that would allow thousands more pilots to fly without the need for a third class medical certificate.
Mexico has lifted a requirement that pilots of arriving and departing private general aviation flights use a third party provider to file advance passenger information system (APIS) manifests.
The Perlan Project is less than a year away from the first flight of a glider being built to ride waves near the edge of space. While construction continues in Oregon, the team’s pilots are staying proficient in more ordinary aircraft.
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