American Champion’s Scout has caught up to its more-powerful competition with the option for a 210-horsepower engine ( “Power Scout,”), allowing the tailwheel bush plane to operate at higher altitudes and use shorter strips. A few things have changed since the article was written last summer. For one, the new engine has won FAA certification for use on the Scout. Also, Senior Editor Al Marsh mentions that a diesel engine is coming for the Scout—it looks like that has been delayed to late winter or spring of 2012. Another issue mentioned in the article is whether American Champion engineer Jody Bradt is ever going to get a vacation. He worked long days to make sure the Scout with its new engine was ready for AirVenture 2011. We are happy to report that Bradt did get that vacation in August, enjoying Montana and Idaho and spending six days boating on the Selway River. However, he’s already back at work preparing for the arrival of the long-awaited Delta Hawk diesel engine.
The East Coast isn’t the first place you think of when it comes to backcountry flying, but even in a region where paved runways are plentiful, the AOPA 2012 Sweepstakes “Tougher Than a Tornado” Husky still shines (“Tougher Than a Tornado Husky: The Maine Event,”). An autumn flying/camping trip to a grass airstrip in rural Maine shows some of the airplane’s best attributes of range, carrying capacity, and the freedom to easily escape dense urban centers. “Our campsite in Maine was just two hours by Husky from downtown Manhattan,” says Senior Editor Dave Hirschman, who was accompanied by AOPA photographer Chris Rose, videographer Bob Knill, pilot Mark Evans, and AOPA President Craig Fuller flying his own 1998 Husky A–1A. “Whether the Tornado Husky’s eventual winner lives in a big city or out in the country, the fun and adventure he or she can have in this airplane are limitless.”
The accident in “Safety Pilot Landmark Accident: Owatonna Overshoot” illustrates the chain theory that no one thing necessarily leads to trouble, says AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg. “There are subtleties that show how dangerous distraction and complacency can be: Downwind landings—especially on wet runways—are a recipe for disaster, even though the wind may be relatively light and within the allowable book figures of the flight manual,” he says. “You may also want to take the maximum-performance numbers published in the POH with a grain of salt. Add in some possible fatigue and a lack of cockpit discipline and, in this case, what should have been a nonevent or a minor mishap resulted in eight fatalities.”
When Technical Editor Mike Collins read about Matt and Tina Quy’s 1944 Boeing PT–13 Stearman—and the biplane’s final journey across the country to become a centerpiece at the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture, scheduled to open in Washington, D.C., in 2015—he noticed that the Spirit of Tuskegee would visit Moton Field ( “Honoring the Tuskegee Airmen,”). The Tuskegee Airmen received their primary flight training from the Army Air Corps during World War II at the airport, now a GA facility in Tuskegee, Alabama. “I realized that a photo of Quy flying above the iconic Moton Field hangars was essential to the story,” Collins said. “I could feel the history as I squeezed the shutter that steamy August morning.” The photo accompanies Collins’ additional story, “Fly Outs: Visiting Moton Field.”