The flight team at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Daytona Beach, Fla., campus received a brand-new airplane at Sun ’n Fun. The 2009 Tecnam P-92 Echo Classic, a light sport aircraft valued at $125,000, was donated by Costruzioni Aeronautiche Tecnam Srl., manufacturer of the Tecnam aircraft line, and Michael and Lynne Birmingham, its U.S. distributors. The airplane was exhibited at Tecnam’s exhibit during the fly-in.
Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach flight team will be the first in the nation to fly the model in a National Intercollegiate Flying Association competition. NIFA’s annual Safecon event will take place May 17 through 29 at Parks College of St. Louis University.
Tecnam and the Birminghams donated the airplane after becoming familiar with Embry-Riddle’s flight training program at a recent National Training Aircraft Symposium sponsored by ERAU’s College of Aviation.
“Our partnership with Embry-Riddle is an opportunity for Tecnam to demonstrate the quality of its plane—its engineering and versatility—and also to recognize Embry-Riddle’s program for its high level of quality, training, and strict safety management,” Lynne Birmingham said. “This donation is our way of supporting and encouraging the next generation of general and commercial aviation pilots.”
“We are very pleased to add the P-92 to our competitive aircraft fleet and especially grateful to C.A. Tecnam Srl. and the Birmingham family for their generosity,” said David Zwegers, coach of Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach flight team and aviation safety manager for the flight program. “With the P-92’s high maneuverability at slower flight speeds, this aircraft will improve our nationally competitive flight team’s performance,” he said.
The P-92 can cruise at 114 knots at 75-percent power, burning less than four gallons of fuel per hour. Powered by a 100-horsepower Rotax engine, it has a basic weight of 710 pounds and a maximum takeoff weight of 1,320 pounds.