Get extra lift from AOPA. Start your free membership trial today! Click here

AOPA breaks big news at Carbondale Fly-In

ADS-B rebate returning; big light sport weight increase sought

Sometimes the biggest news to come out of an AOPA Regional Fly-In is the event’s attendance numbers, but the audience at AOPA President Mark Baker’s Pilot Town Hall presentation during AOPA's 2018 Carbondale, Illinois, Fly-In on Oct. 6, presented by Southern Illinois University Aviation, may have been the first to hear some much bigger developments.

AOPA's Carbondale Fly-In

  • AOPA's Carbondale Fly-In
    Kyle Stuhrenberg and Sophie LeGore, in front cockpit, taxi out for a ride in Cliff McSpadden's 1941 Waco UPF-7, "Georgia Girl," at AOPA's 2018 Carbondale, Illinois, Fly-In. Photo by Mike Collins.
  • AOPA's Carbondale Fly-In
    It is twilight on Friday and HonkyTonk Revival entertains the crowd. The band is from St. Louis. Photo by Mike Collins.
  • AOPA's Carbondale Fly-In
    Visitors to the AOPA Fly-In at Carbondale, Illinois, enjoy the Friday evening exhibit hours as they stroll the aircraft static display. Photo by Mike Collins.
  • AOPA's Carbondale Fly-In
    Dennis Martin, director of sales and marketing for Enstrom Helicopter, cleans the nose of a brand-new Enstrom 480B at AOPA's 2018 Carbondale, Illinois, Fly-In Friday morning. He had flown the helicopter to Carbondale from Menominee, Michigan, on Thursday. Photo by Mike Collins.
  • AOPA's Carbondale Fly-In
    Caden McVey, 3, who lives south of Carbondale, rides the shoulders of his grandfather, Skip Cosgrove, on the flightline at AOPA's 2018 Carbondale Fly-In. Cosgrove brought his grandson to the event "to see what's here." Photo by Mike Collins.
  • AOPA's Carbondale Fly-In
    Alyssa Cobb, AOPA director of eMedia and project manager for the AOPA Super Cub Sweepstakes airplane, shares a laugh with guests during the AOPA Fly-In at Carbondale, Illinois. Photo by Mike Collins.
  • AOPA's Carbondale Fly-In
    A new Waco YMF on amphibious floats towers above AOPA's Super Cub Sweepstakes airplane--not yet on its own amphibious floats--in the aircraft static display at AOPA's 2018 Carbondale Fly-In. Photo by Mike Collins.
  • AOPA's Carbondale Fly-In
    Although his feet didn't reach the rudder pedals, Bentley Pruett, 8, of St. Louis flies Southern Illinois University's youth aircraft simulator at AOPA's 2018 Carbondale Fly-In. He flew in for the day with his grandfather, Mike Noble. Photo by Mike Collins.
  • AOPA's Carbondale Fly-In
    Peter Fox, a member of the Civil Air Patrol's Shawnee Composite Squadron in Herrin, Illinois, and a Southern Illinois University student, marshalls a Mooney to parking at AOPA's 2018 Carbondale Fly-In. Photo by Mike Collins.
  • AOPA's Carbondale Fly-In
    AOPA's 2018 Carbondale, Illinois, Fly-In. Photo by Mike Collins.
  • AOPA's Carbondale Fly-In
    The Saluki--a hunting dog originally bred in what today is the Middle East--is the mascot of Southern Illinois University, host of AOPA's 2018 Carbondale Fly-In. Jim Blair of Energy, Illinois, brought four of them to the event. Photo by Mike Collins.
  • AOPA's Carbondale Fly-In
    AOPA President Mark Baker with U.S. Rep. Mike Bost before town hall. Photo by Mike Collins.
  • AOPA's Carbondale Fly-In
    The Monsta Squad, composed of correctional officers and sergeants, won Special Olympics Illinois' third annual Southern Illinois Plane Pull during AOPA's 2018 Carbondale Fly-In. The team has won the event, which raised more than $10,000 to benefit Special Olympics Illinois, every year it's been held. Photo by Mike Collins.

“I talked with the FAA administrator yesterday. He was comfortable with me telling you there’s going to be another $500 rebate” for installing Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast Out, Baker said. The FAA has mandated ADS-B for flights after Jan. 1, 2020, generally in airspace where a Mode C transponder is required today. “Now is the time to get it done,” he noted, adding that there will be more information next week on the AOPA and FAA websites.

Baker invited Jack Pelton, EAA chairman and CEO, onto the stage. On Jan. 19, 2019, Pelton said, the FAA will publish a notice of proposed rulemaking that seeks to raise the weight limit for light sport aircraft from the current 1,320 pounds to 3,600 pounds. “That will allow you to fly in a 172, have four seats in the airplane, and fly 150 mph,” said Pelton, who also anticipates a rule change that would allow professional builders to construct experimental amateur-built aircraft.

Baker also addressed funding for the FAA. “The Senate has approved a five-year reauthorization that doesn’t include privatization. You have made a difference!” he said. “And now the FAA has five years of certainty” in its funding.

“It takes everybody in aviation to get things done,” Pelton said, adding that 1986 was the last time a five-year FAA funding authorization was approved.

Of course, the industry news didn’t make the event’s attendance figures any less significant. The two-day totals for the fly-in were 179 aircraft and nearly 7,000 people. Saturday’s attendance was boosted by the third annual Southern Illinois Plane Pull, held at Southern Illinois Airport during the fly-in; the event raised more than $10,000 to benefit Special Olympics Illinois. Saturday’s crowd included many families.

Craig Blumer of Springfield, Illinois--a pilot, flight instructor, and air traffic controller--rode his bicycle 280 miles to AOPA's 2018 Carbondale, Fly-In where he volunteered marshalling aircraft. Photo by Mike Collins.

The pilot who flew the farthest to attend the Carbondale Fly-In traveled 927 miles from Santa Teresa, New Mexico. But the pilot who bicycled the farthest to Carbondale was Craig Blumer, who pedaled some 280 miles from Springfield, Illinois. Blumer is a pilot and flight instructor, rated in every category except powered lift, and an air traffic controller.

Primarily taking back roads, he followed the Mississippi River to St. Louis, and then turned toward Carbondale. The trip took two days, riding about 10 hours each day. “It’s fun. I love to bike. I bike to work every day,” Blumer said. “It’s similar to flying. You have to prepare; you have to plan your route; and when you finish, you can look back and see everything you’ve done.”

Blumer volunteered several days for the fly-in’s airside operations, mostly marshalling aircraft to parking—with wands from the side of a taxiway, instead of with a radio from the Springfield tower cab. He plans to apply his volunteer hours earned toward his Master Instructor application.

Max Trescott, a professional aviation educator and the 2008 National CFI of the Year, shares tips for advanced IFR flying during a workshop at AOPA's 2018 Carbondale Fly-In. Photo by Mike Collins.

Max Trescott shared insights in flying with modern GPS receivers in Friday’s IFR Advanced workshop. Among his recommendations: When you load an instrument approach, choose an initial approach fix (IAF) that doesn’t require a course reversal. And if you’re being vectored, activate the leg it looks like you’ll intercept. “If you can’t tell what leg your pointer’s pointing toward, activate the leg that’s closest to the airport,” said Trescott, the 2008 National CFI of the Year, who also produces Aviation News Talk, a podcast that focuses on general aviation news and pilot tips.

At the IAF, a pilot can join an instrument approach at any intercept angle, Trescott noted. “Only if you enter the approach at the intermediate fix does that turn have to be less than 90 degrees.”

During the owner-performed maintenance workshop Friday, Mike Busch of Savvy Aviation advocated for reliability-centered maintenance (RCM)—maintaining aircraft based on their condition, and not because of the calendar or a schedule. “RCM has saved the airlines and the military a fortune,” he said. “I’m not a big believer in TBOs. TBOs are based on the premise that engine failures are a result of age. I think TBO is a bogus concept.” Not all maintenance intervals should be ignored, he said; owners should discuss the subject with their mechanic.

“None of this works on vacuum pumps,” Busch noted. “The dry vacuum pump is the worst component in the universe. They fail when they want to fail, and they don’t give any warning.”

Some attendees checked out the Embraer ERJ145 regional jet Trans States Airlines flew in from St. Louis for pilot recruitment purposes. “We had a lot of interest yesterday,” a recruiter said Saturday. “It’s more families today,” she added.

Sophie LeGore, a senior aviation technologies student at Southern Illinois University who works at the airport’s FBO, and Kyle Stuhrenberg—a student pilot who also works at the FBO—hopped a ride Friday afternoon in Cliff McSpadden’s 1941 Waco UPF–7. “It was awesome,” said LeGore, whose smile could be seen from the ground as the bright red biplane lifted off. “It was unlike any other flight experience I’ve ever had. It’s probably the coolest flight I’ve ever had.”

Stuhrenberg agreed. “It’s definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” he said.

Sophie LeGore's smile can be seen from the ground as she lifts off in Cliff McSpadden's 1941 Waco UPF-7, "Georgia Girl," at AOPA's 2018 Carbondale Fly-In. She is a senior in Southern Illinois University Carbondale's aviation technologies program and works at the airport's FBO. Photo by Mike Collins.
Mike Collins
Mike Collins
Technical Editor
Mike Collins, AOPA technical editor and director of business development, died at age 59 on February 25, 2021. He was an integral part of the AOPA Media team for nearly 30 years, and held many key editorial roles at AOPA Pilot, Flight Training, and AOPA Online. He was a gifted writer, editor, photographer, audio storyteller, and videographer, and was an instrument-rated pilot and drone pilot.
Topics: Events, AOPA Events, Fly-in

Related Articles