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 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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