Our report this month on the Turbo Cessna T182T by AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton K. Marsh was part of a three-story trip in February from Denver to Wichita to Orlando (see " Garmin's GFC 700: Meet the Automatic Turbo Skylane," page 64). It had been some time since our last report on the Turbo Skylane, yet little had changed on the airframe. The revolution was inside, to include not only the Garmin G1000 avionics suite but also the newly released GFC 700 autopilot. Marsh has amassed hundreds of hours in the 182 and once instructed in one for a Washington, D.C.-area flying club.
When AOPA Pilot Technical Editor Julie K. Boatman went to test out the Epic LT in Colorado, she was excited about getting into a composite turboprop (see " Turbine Pilot: Epic LT: Origins of a Dynasty," page 72). "But what fascinated me most about meeting the LT and its builder, Mac Lewis, was looking through the photo album that Lewis had compiled of the building process," says Boatman. "It showed the process that Lewis and his wife went through in producing their airplane with kit manufacturer support. It's a great concept, the owner-assist build process that Epic has in place, and it has been successful at other manufacturers of Experimental aircraft. They are pushing the envelope forward."
"Deadlines come, deadlines go, the issues slide by, and one day you look around and notice that 25 years have gone by," says AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne. As AOPA Pilot's longest-serving staff writer, Horne recounts just a few of his career's adventures in " Tom Horne's Quarter-Century" (page 96). "I could write a book about all the scary, weird, and inspirational things that I've been through," Horne says. "And maybe I will." But for now, the article will have to do. "Believe me, there's a lot of juicy stuff that didn't make it through the censors — for that, you'll have to read between the lines."
One thing that struck writer Jason Paur during his visits with the pilots who fly the Predator unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is the way that they live in two aviation worlds (see " Beyond the Border," page 88). "They're just your normal, civilian, GA pilots," he says of the men and women he met, "but they also fly missions for several branches of the government in Afghanistan and Iraq." The topics of conversation included flying aerobatic competitions on the weekends and flying low and slow over the California desert in a Cessna. But the topics also would include monitoring the enemy in a war zone and helping scientists learn about thunderstorm development 55,000 feet over Florida.