October 31, 2012
By Thomas B Haines
Nearly 100 business aviation airplanes clustered on 25 acres of pavement at Orlando Executive Airport this week for the sixty-fifth annual National Business Aviation Association Convention. Showalter Flying Services hosted the display next to its fixed-base operation. The aircraft display is in conjunction with the convention itself, located at the nearby Orange County Convention Center.
Based on square footage of exhibit space, the show is the fifth largest trade show in the country. At the airport, the aircraft on display range from single-engine piston airplanes all the way through the largest business jets. Showalter "borrows" employees from other FBOs to pull off the massive display, which requires some 100 staff to support—more than three times the number usually on staff at the business.
Photo by Bob Showalter
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.
A Wisconsin pilot with a congenital heart defect is able to solo thanks to the sport pilot regulations.
Time is running out for potential tailwheel pilots to bid on a package of tailwheel training at Lakeland, Florida-based Tailwheels Etc.—including two hours in a 1940 Stearman Kaydet biplane—in this year’s AOPA Foundation online auction.
Dassault Aviation on Dec. 17 rolled out the first of its new line of ultra-long-range business jets—the Falcon 8X.
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