"This is the year that I really got to know the Columbia 400," says AOPA Pilot Associate Editor Steven W. Ells. "Jon Dennis, a Columbia sales rep, and I flew the 400 from Florida to California at the end of April. In May, I joined Don Hauck, Columbia's southern California sales and marketing man, for a brief flight up to 25,000 feet for performance testing, and in August I did my first ballistic rolls in the 400 used in the Tutima Academy's Executive Pilot Awareness Training (E-PAT) course." (See " Columbia 400: A Whole Lot of Get Up and Go," page 66.)
As managing editor for AOPA Pilot, Julie Summers Walker has been following the changes in America's airports for more than nine years. But the value of and passion behind our beloved GA airports really hit home when she ventured to Friday Harbor, Washington, for an article in a previous issue of Pilot - and again as she interviewed Airport Support Network volunteers for " America's Airports: Promote, Protect, Defend," on page 76. "The passion that AOPA's ASN volunteers have for general aviation - and the incredible resources they pull together to defend this nation's airports - truly inspired me," says Walker.
"No pilot likes to hear about a crash of an airplane, especially one that he or she flies," says Chip Wright. "While pilot error continues to be the biggest single cause of accidents, there is almost always a mitigating factor. Not so in the case of Pinnacle Flight 3701." (See " Flagship 3701," page 135.) "This accident was the result of some of the most unprofessional behavior that an airline flight crew could have possibly exhibited," says Wright.
"When I laid out the initial cross-country route that would take us from Oshkosh, Wisconsin, to Alva, Oklahoma, two things struck me," says Julie K. Boatman, AOPA Pilot technical editor. "First, I would cross over a section of the country that doesn't see a lot of fanfare. And second, we had an opportunity to take the Catch-A-Cardinal 'home' to its roots in Wichita." (See " AOPA's 2007 Catch-A-Cardinal Sweepstakes: Cross-Country Cruise," page 129.) "Our field project manager, Dan Gryder, had the idea to barnstorm with the airplane, and it kind of snowballed after that." The trip was especially poignant for Boatman, who had the opportunity to introduce her 90-year-old grandmother, Isabel Boatman, to the airplane. "Since my grandmother took her first airplane flight in a barnstormer's biplane in 1933, it was a real treat to introduce her to our more modern form of traveling cross-country."