Bright sun, gorgeous weather, and 87 aircraft on display drew a steady stream of AOPA Expo visitors to the aircraft display at Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport.
Aircraft on display included new light sport aircraft to single-engine pistons, twins, turboprops, very light jets, and a couple of larger jets. Display aircraft began arriving Nov. 3; most landed in San Jose, Calif., on Tuesday, but weather over the Sierras delayed a few show aircraft until Wednesday morning.
Joseph Singerman of Knowlton, Quebec—near Burlington, Vt.—spent some time Thursday morning looking at the Mermaid, an amphibian made in the Czech Republic. Singerman, who lives on a lake and must drive 20 minutes to the airport where he now flies a Piper Warrior, was impressed by the Mermaid. “I do most of my recreation and business at places that have lakes,” he said. “An amphibian would give me more flexibility.” He said he’s also considering a Lake Amphibian.
Vaughn Olson of Boise, Idaho, found the Pilatus PC-12, SwiftFury, Legend Cub, and Epic Victory single-engine jet interesting. “I’m not excited by mainstream airplanes,” he explained. Olson acknowledged that he’s partial to the PC-12 NG (Next Generation) because he’s with Pilatus dealer Western Aircraft. “There’s a tremendous amount of interest” in the PC-12 NG, and production is backlogged until mid-2010, he said.
Dennis McGuire of Sunnyvale, Calif., came to Expo to look at the Garmin 696 but couldn’t resist checking out the aircraft display. “I can’t afford any more,” said McGuire, who bought a new Mooney in 1977. “Looking at the windows of that A-36, I need to get some new windows,” he observed.
He was accompanied by Dan Larson of Santa Cruz, Calif. “I’m just checking out all the new stuff,” said Larson, a pilot who does not own an airplane. “His plane was the last one I flew,” he added, gesturing toward McGuire.