Pilot's Guide to Avionics 2011-2012 - (Page 24)

PILOT’S GUIDE RECREATIONAL How Fun Flyers Communicate and Navigate S T O R Y B Y S C O T T M . S P A N G L E R Radios formation, or a family on a cross-country vacation visit, they must be able to communicate, navigate and make their presence known . An informal survey revealed they depend on a diverse range of communication and navigation equipment to make recreational flying possible . T o bake a pie chart for its “General Aviation and Part 135 Activity Survey,” the FAA asks aircraft operators how many hours they logged in a dozen different missions, from air medical to sightseeing . The biggest piece always goes to the slice labeled “personal,” which might be better described as “recreational” flying . In 2008, the most recent survey, recreational flying accounts for 31 .8 percent of 220 .8 million general aviation hours . Runners up were “instructional” at 17 percent, “corporate” at 11 .9, “business” at 9 .6, and “air taxi” at 9 .1 percent . Most recreational hours were logged in single-engine aircraft, which number more than 145,000 in the total GA fleet of aircraft (which now is at more than 220,000) . Experimental aircraft are a sizeable subset: nearly 3,000, many of them veterans of conflicts dating to World War II and considered experimental-exhibition . Amateur builders, who logged more than 872,000 recreational flight hours, assembled and fabricated nearly 20,000 of the fleet . Store-bought airplanes make up the bulk of the GA fleet . They started rolling off production lines two decades into the last century, but most of them, born in the 1960s and 1970s, now are approaching middle age . What this diverse fleet has in common is airspace and the requirements it must fulfill to fly in it . Whether it’s a single-seater enjoying a summer evening over the neighborhood, a 28-cylinder veteran marching in an air show WARBIRDS When they were frontline aircraft, warbirds fielded standard equipment that supported their mission with the technology of the time . Now, decades past active duty, they might still wear the uniform, but their avionics, said Mark Clark, president of Courtesy Aircraft, a noted warbird broker, is a mixture of “a little bit of everything .” Most of these aircraft, especially those that served during World War II, are “old, rare and expensive” to own and operate, Clark said . “Most of the upperend planes, the bombers and fighters are generally equipped for IFR,” but pilots rarely push them harder “than punching through an overcast; they’re not shooting approaches to minimums .” Whether their cockpits are open or canopied, trainers typically are equipped for VFR with a single nav/comm, altitude-reporting transponder and audio panel with intercom . Many navigate with a handheld GPS unit, usually with hardwired power and antenna connections . Roaming among the 40-odd airplanes in Courtesy’s online inventory is revealing . Most warbirds are certifi- - 24 -

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pilot's Guide to Avionics 2011-2012

From the Publisher
Interested in AEA Membership?
AEA Staff/Board of Directors
New Products for 2011
Recreational Radios
Before & After
Avoiding the Bullies
Sound Advice on Headset Choices
Choosing an Airborne Broadband System for Your Business Aircraft
Class Retrofits for Type Certificated Aircraft
ADS-B: Learning the Ins and Outs
Going Glass
Cell Science
So What is Your Customer Really Paying For?
It's the FAA's Fault, Right?
Repair Stations
AEA Member Company Index
Advertisers Index

Pilot's Guide to Avionics 2011-2012