January 31, 2013
By AOPA ePublishing staff
Will your favorite aircraft make it to the Big Dance?
In the spirit of the NCAA's March Madness, AOPA is running its second annual Best Aircraft Showdown, sponsored by AOPA strategic partner Aero-Space Reports, a bracket contest that lets you pick pilots' favorite general aviation aircraft. This year you have a chance to help determine who makes it to the tourney. Just enter your nominations online—as many as you want—and we’ll use your input to select 64 worthy aircraft for head-to-head matchups in voting on AOPA.org.
Last year the P-51 Mustang outmaneuvered its foes to earn the title of most beloved.
“You were not actually thinking any other aircraft could win were you?” wrote one voter in the final matchup of the P-51 against the Douglas DC-3.
Others wrestled with the choice between two storied aircraft, and the DC-3 had its own strong cheering section. “Ya wanna talk about guts?” wrote one voter. “Try flying a un-armed C-47, with thousands of pounds of av-gas rollin' around in the back, over the Himalayan Mountains into short, unimproved strips. Hurrmph.”
The DC-3 may well get another shot at the trophy, but the P-51 has taken its place in the hall of fame: We’ve retired the jersey of the 2012 champion Mustang.
What aircraft deserve a spot in the bracket this year? Members made the case for their favorites in last year’s lineup. “Helicopters rock!” wrote one voter of the Hughes 300/500. “Especially when it's a flying egg.”
Another made the case for an underdog: “The Ercoupe is like the skinny little kid with dirty eyeglasses. He's waited all his life for some respect, so let's give him some.”
Think the classic J-3 Cub deserves another shot at the title? Convinced the Cessna Caravan's rough-and-tumble style of play can help it pull off a Cinderella victory? Get your nominations in by Feb. 14 by entering them here. Then check back for the brackets, make your predictions, and be ready for voting March 22!
Help us set the field. Nominate an aircraft today!
The FAA on Feb. 23 issued a special airworthiness information bulletin recommending preflight inspection of Robinson R44 and R44 II main rotors.
Pilots focus on preheating the engine during cold weather, but what about the cockpit? More than 30 percent of an aircraft's value is often tied up in the panel.
The FAA’s supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking on ECi cylinders is not justified and doesn’t account for economic and safety issues, AOPA said in formal comments.
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