What looks like a reborn Partenavia from the 1980s, but flies with Rotax engines? The Tecnam P2006T. Editor at Large Tom Horne takes a look at the Tecnam twin (“ Tecnam’s Twin”), and says, “It’s no light sport aircraft, that’s for sure—even though the Tecnam name seems to tempt many into thinking so.” With cruise speeds in the high 140-knot range, four seats, and a 600-pound full-fuel useful load, Horne found the P2006T acts more like a conventional light twin. “And with fuel burns at five gph per side, the Tecnam has a fighting chance at the United States market,” he adds. Horne is a 4,500-hour CFII and ATP.
Mountain lions are known to hang out high on Rattlesnake Ridge in California where Senior Editor Al Marsh and Chief Photographer Mike Fizer stayed as guests of Turley Wine Cellars while reporting on winemaker and pilot Ehren Jordan (“ General Aviation Serves America: Chasing Ehren”). Fizer thought he heard a lion (but it was probably a deer) and came bolting back inside the guest cabin one night. Few if any mountain lions are seen down in Napa Valley at Failla Wines, the subject of the story, although one did leap inside a cabin and ate a resident cat some years ago. You can read the account for yourself online ( faillawines.com). Marsh and Fizer returned unscratched to report on the critical role 1980s aircraft play for the Failla and Turley wineries.
“It’s disconcerting to see one’s colleagues shift so effortlessly from trustworthy paragons of truth to crafty, conniving schemers,” said Senior Editor Dave Hirschman. “But that’s what it took to pull off the elaborate ruse surrounding this year’s AOPA Sweepstakes giveaway in California—and it worked to perfection.” Michael Graves, the lucky FedEx pilot who won the 2009 Let’s Go Flying Cirrus SR22 Sweepstakes, had no idea that the highest performing, most technologically advanced, and highest value aircraft AOPA had ever given away was his until AOPA President Craig Fuller handed over the keys—and even then it took a while to sink in. Find the true story behind the deception in “ Let’s Go Flying Sweepstakes: Artful Trickery.” Hirschman, an ATP and CFII with more than 5,000 hours, flew the SR22 cross-country from Maryland to California for the giveaway.
“Because of general aviation and my career with AOPA, I have had the opportunity to fly to places once unheard of to me,” says Managing Editor Julie Summers Walker. “I am one of a very few natives of the city of Frederick, Maryland, who work for the association where headquarters are located, and it was a small-town growing up experience. With AOPA I have had the pleasure of flying to wonderful spots in this country such as Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands of Washington (“ Postcards: Friday Harbor, Any Day of the Week”).” Walker first saw this enchanted island from a seat in a Kenmore Aircraft Cessna Caravan seaplane. Passing through the clouds and misty rain, Friday Harbor appeared like a modern-day Brigadoon. “And the people and places were every bit as enchanting as a visit to Brigadoon,” she says. Walker is a student pilot with 65 hours in her logbook.