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 state-of-the art medical facility on remote Tangier Island in the Chesapeake Bay serves as a lasting memorial to the late Dr. David B. Nichols’ dedication to providing medical care to the community for 30 years. Now, Nichols’ aviation legacy—flying a Cessna 182 or Robinson R44 to the island every Thursday to provide that care—is set in stone.
Daher-Socata announced that it had installed the first Garmin G600 and GTN 750 avionics in one of its 2004 TBM 700C2 airplanes.
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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