L–39: Cool flying. 'Nuff said.

We take you up in the L–39 and also give you some insights on how to manage those expensive turbine engines…and a lot more

April 1, 2012


Even in these times, when a tough economy seems to demand only responsible and practical purchases, a person has to live a little. For pilots, buying aviation experiences seems a way to both live a little and gain valuable aeronautical insights. And that’s as much as we’re going to try to defend the notion of some amazing flying in an L–39 Albatros. See “Flying in a ‘Real’ Jet,” page T–4.

You will be surprised at how cheaply you can buy an Albatros. Unfortunately for sellers, the values of all used turbine airplanes continue to be soft, as we report in “Turbine Market Shows Mixed Signals,” page T–18. Of course, you can get one of those turbines even cheaper when someone has toasted the engines because of over-torquing or other abuse. Professional pilot Mark Evans shares some of his experiences flying with low-time turbine pilots and coaching them on how to handle power management in these expensive power plants. Think maybe you can learn something about torque control? See “Trouble for Throttle Jockeys,” page T–17.

You’ll impress passengers mightily if you keep the fire going in those engines and if you treat those paying the bills like family rather than cargo. Airline pilot and longtime corporate pilot Pete Bedell has some advice for making the boss comfortable in the back. See “For Pax Sake” for some ideas, page T–10.

When moving into a light jet, thrust management is only one bit of knowledge you’ll need to acquire. Who knew there were so many other FAR nuances, such as the requirement to carry a D-cell flashlight? In “Mentoring Matters: FARs for Jets” (page T–14), author Neil Singer lays out the esoteric FARs exclusive to jets.

We tend to think of glass cockpits as being new, but in fact they’ve been around for decades. As Rob Mark points out in “Glass Cockpits: Moving Targets,” page T–20, despite decades of experience, there’s still lots to learn about how to best leverage all of the information spewing from those glass panels.

If you’re someone who has recently made the transition from pistons to turbines or likes to think such a transition might be in your future, read on. These special edition pages are for you.

Only a small subset of the AOPA membership gets this special Turbine Edition—those whom we believe have an interest in reading about higher-end aircraft. In this monthly special edition you get all of the content in the standard editions, plus these extra pages. If you would rather not receive this edition, just let us know at: [email protected]. We’re happy to switch you back to the standard edition.

I hope you learn some new advanced flying techniques and a little about turbine operations in these pages. Let us know what you think at [email protected]. —Tom Haines, Editor in Chief

Thomas B. Haines

Thomas B Haines | Editor in Chief, AOPA

AOPA Editor in Chief Tom Haines joined AOPA in 1988. He owns and flies a Beechcraft A36 Bonanza. Since soloing at 16 and earning a private pilot certificate at 17, he has flown more than 100 models of general aviation airplanes.