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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Welcome to SUN ’n FUN Waco Classic YMF-5F biplane on amphibious floats came from Battle Creek, Mich. This new-build classic is nearing certification.


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The Official Daily Newspaper of the SUN ’n FUN Fly-In —

Table of Contents A first-timer’s guide to SUN ’n FUN........................................3 The power behind SUN ’n FUN...............................................4 Thunderbirds cancel due to fatal accident..........................9 Welcome to the nation’s busiest airport.............................10 TORA! TORA! TORA! makes SNF debut.............................13 Tune into SUN ’n FUN Radio..................................................18 Free Workshops offered daily...............................................19 Shop til you drop at the Parts Exchange.............................20 What’s Happening Today........................................................27

SUN ’n FUN Chairman Bob Knight to retire after this year’s fly-in. Page 10



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Sun ’n Fun Today -


A first-timer’s guide to SUN ’n FUN By JANICE WOOD Is this your first time at SUN ’n FUN? Welcome and get ready for a fun-filled week of non-stop action. With so much going on during the flyin, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin and what to focus on: Warbirds? Vintage aircraft? Light-Sport Aircraft? The newest gadget? That long-sought-for part for your project? Here are some helpful hints from SUN ’n FUN President John “Lites” Leenhouts, who attended the fly-in for many, many years before taking over its helm in 2011. “Make sure you don’t miss the Night Airshow on Wednesday and Saturday,” he begins. “Those are really spectacular.” “Don’t miss a forum that is speaking to your favorite aviation subject, because we have one on every subject known to man,” he continues. Forums are held throughout the grounds, including the Central Florida Aerospace Academy, the Aerospace Discovery at the Florida Air Museum, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association exhibit, Paradise City, as well as forums by various exhibitors. Check the daily schedule first thing in the morning to mark off the ones you’re

Doyle McClung (left) from Baker, Florida, and Monte Otts from Jacksonville, Texas, relax at the campgrounds. McClung flies the RV-12 on the left while Otts flies the Jabiru J230 on the right. most interested in. Another good tip: Some forums are repeated several times during the week, so check the schedules for several days to maximize your time at the show. Are you an aircraft builder — or want to be? Then don’t miss the Workshops, Leenhouts advises, noting there are workshops on everything from engines to avionics to rib stitching and fabric covering. Looking for a bargain? Don’t miss the Parts Exchange in Hangar E. “That’s where all the cheap stuff is,” Leenhouts says with a laugh.

But in the end, what makes SUN ’n FUN so much fun are the people, he said. “When I used to come here as either a performer or a guest, I came because it was the people,” he says. “Yeah, I came to see the airshow, I came to look for the show specials, and to see all the new technology. And I’d look through the old parts to find pieces that I couldn’t afford to pay full price for my Stearman. “But at the end of the day, I really came because I saw all my friends here,” he continues. “After coming here all those years, the part I loved was after the sun

Photo by Russell Kasselman

set, we’d sit under the wing of the Stearman and visit with people.” He noted that the SUN ’n FUN campgrounds are full of “great enclaves of people living life.” “They’re not sitting around a TV, they’re not going out to a $200 dinner some place, they’re sitting out their by their camper with eight to 20 other folks, regaling some adventurous aviation story and sharing the real joy of life,” he says. “That’s camaraderie that we get in aviation — the people who love it and share it and enjoy it.”



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SUN ’n FUN Today -

ISSUE 1 — TUESDAY APRIL 10, 2018 PUBLISHERS John “Lites” Leenhouts Ben Sclair EDITORIAL STAFF Janice Wood PRODUCTION Russell Kasselman DISTRIBUTION Arthur Ward, Paulette Ward, Murray Kot, Jason Kot, Samantha Kot, Paul Luckett CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Arthur Billingsley, Joni Fisher, Frederick Johnsen, PHOTOGRAPHERS Matt Genuardi, Jason McLemore Ryan Cleaveland SUN ’n FUN Today is published each day of the SUN ’n FUN Fly-In by Flyer Media, Inc., publishers of General Aviation News and Living With Your Plane. Copies of SUN ’n FUN Today are distributed free of charge throughout the fly-in grounds. Subscribe to General Aviation News for 1 year at $29.95 or $49.95 for 2 years. The views and opinions contained herein do not necessarily reflect those of SUN ’n FUN Fly-In, Inc. Neither SUN ’n FUN Fly-In, Inc., nor Flyer Media, Inc. endorse or sanction the products advertised herein, and do not assume responsibility for such advertising.

April 10, 2018

The power behind SUN ’n FUN thing,” he noted. “It’s a rather intricate web we weave all around the grounds,” he continued. “Anywhere you are on the grounds, we’re there. For instance in Paradise City, the temporary tower is powered by a Honda generator. You look around and you’ll see us behind the scenes powering stuff everywhere.”

By JANICE WOOD The first time Honda Generators exhibited at SUN ’n FUN, company officials didn’t really tell anybody they were going to be at the show. “We were out in Paradise City in the middle of a field,” recalls Thomas Pernice, Honda Event Marketing. “Then about 30 or 40 people found us and actually bought a generator from our dealer at the time. We thought that was pretty compelling. Our dealers thought, ‘If we can be successful there, we need to be up on the main grounds.”” And that’s when the company moved to its present location, anchoring the corner across from the Sunset Grill. Now, the company is a major sponsor of SUN ’n FUN, with several locations on the grounds. In fact, this week, Honda will have air, sea and ground covered with a HondaJet on exhibit, a Honda car, a fishing boat powered by Honda, as well as the Honda Generator Race 90 T-6, a perennial top finisher at the Reno National Championship Races flown by Gene McNeely of the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team. Six Honda-sponsored cell phone charging stations are on the grounds, including at the Pilot Welcome Center and the Honda Generator exhibit near Sunset Grill. One of the main reasons Honda continues to sponsor SUN ’n FUN year after year is the large contingent of campers and their RVs. “They are our primary target for sales,” he notes. Honda’s sponsorship extends throughout the year. Honda provides year-round


Stop by the Honda booth to take a picture on their green-screen with a crazy background and share it with your friends. support to SUN ’n FUN with mowers, trimmers, generators and pumps, according to Pernice. “I think, ultimately, why Honda is involved with SUN ’n FUN is because we can be such an integral part of the operations and the event and provide a better experience for all the fans,” Pernice said. “And we can connect with the fans in so many different ways, helping them understand that Honda is everything from a little trimmer to the HondaJet.” “Actually, SUN ’n FUN is the only event where all the divisions of Honda are represented and that’s a pretty amazing


SUN ’n FUN attendees can register to win some really cool adventures from Honda at this year’s show. At the Honda Generator exhibit near Sunset Grill, you can register to win a HondaJet Flight Experience, compliments of Banyan Air; a day of fishing with Nuts & Bolts of Fishing; and a weekend Indy Car Racing Experience. As a bonus, everyone who registers also gets a chance to win a flight with the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team. At the Honda Air, Sea and Land Display, you can register for a chance to win a Sea Eagle inflatable boat, a day of fishing with Nuts & Bolts of Fishing, and a four-night, five-day Alaska Fishing Experience at Seasons on the Fly Lodge. Drawings for most prizes will be held April 30, 2018. There is one prize that will be awarded during this week’s show. All pilots who register at the Pilot Welcome Center will be automatically entered into a drawing to win a ride with the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team. That winner will drawn Thursday night, according to Pernice, who adds the lucky pilot will get to fly with the team on Friday morning.

Buy Factory Direct ! © 2018 Flyer Media, Inc., SUN ’n FUN Fly-In, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction of photos or articles by any means is prohibited without written consent.


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April 10, 2018



LSA Mall boasts Ecletic collection Fourteen years of Light-Sport Aircraft and 11 years of the LSA Mall at Paradise City at SUN ’n FUN prove the durability and appeal of this newest class of aircraft. Come see them all this week during the fly-in. The Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association (LAMA) hosts a special display at the center of Paradise City, the light aircraft area of SUN ’n FUN that has its own active runway. The LSA Mall enjoys an ideal location in this area that features non-stop flying action, offering attendees a close look at takeoffs, landings, and more. The 2018 display of aircraft promises to be quite eclectic, with offerings from high-end, supersleek Light-Sport Aircraft to a one-of-a-kind, home-designed Part 103 ultralight, Lightning Bug II, according to LAMA officials. Expected at the big tent sponsored by Full Torque during the week are: Rans S-6 Super; Kitfox (Full Torque); Just SuperSTOL; BRM Aero Bristell; Evektor Harmony; Fisher Avenger; Legal Eagle; Zlin Outback Shock; LSA Aeromarine Merlin PSA; LSA Aeromarine Zigolo; Lightning Bug II; and the Pipistrel Sinus. LAMA has also arranged an “Engines of Light Aviation” display at the LSA Mall, including: Rotax 912; Continental Titan 370; Jabiru 2200; AeroVee (Sonex); AeroMomentum (invited); and Viking Engines (invited). LAMA officials caution that weather and aviation gremlins sometimes prevent all committed aircraft from reaching the fly-in. The LAMA tent at Paradise City offers seating in a shaded viewing area for those who wish to observe the flight action. It also will feature live music from members of the Flying Musicians Association.

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Returning again to help SUN ’n FUN attendees make their way to the fly-in’s “other airshow” are a pair of six-seat golf carts that run all day long from the main area of SUN ’n FUN to and from the LSA Mall at the center of Paradise City. The free rides are sponsored by Rotax Aircraft Engines. You can find the cart’s pickup area near the food court and at the Rotax display near the entry to SUN ’n FUN. The Paradise City Xpress carts are operated by volunteers from Paradise City. Beside helping pilots get to Paradise City to take demo flights, anyone can get a ride if seats are available. LAMA is the light aviation industry’s trade association. Founded in 1984, it represents members of the Light-Sport Aircraft and light kit aircraft business community, including airframe manufacturers, producers of engines, avionics, and components, airports, suppliers, distributors, flight schools, and other aviation businesses. LAMA also operates to disseminate safety advisory information for the industry.

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April 10, 2018

Sun sets on Knight’s last days as chairman By JONI M. FISHER SUN ’n FUN Chairman of the Board Bob Knight is stepping down from being the point man of the organization after serving for six and a half years. While this will be his last fly-in as chairman, he will remain on the SUN ’n FUN board. A tall, genial Southern gentleman, pilot, businessman, family man, Navy veteran, and community leader, Knight has a reputation for getting things done. Now in his mid-70s, he wants more time for his business and personal life. “My wife’s going to shoot me if I don’t free up some time,” he said. After a sigh, he added, “We’ve twice planned a trip to France…and couldn’t go.”


Knight’s approach to leading the SUN ’n FUN organization came from his leadership in business. Before running his own company, he worked for Linder Industrial Equipment, which was owned by Paul Scott Linder after whom the Lakeland airport is named. While working for Linder, Knight earned his private and commercial pilot certificates and ratings for multi-engine and instrument. Flying enabled him to travel quickly to worksites throughout the southeastern United States. As chairman of Knight Industrial Equipment, a 34-year-old engineering and construction company based at Lakeland-Linder Regional Airport, he manages multi-million-dollar contracts in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Morocco, and Russia. His latest project was part of the $2 billion CF Industries Port Neal Expansion in Iowa.


Instructed by Charlie Miller on J-3 Cubs, Knight earned his private pilot’s license in 1966. “It cost $5 for a half-hour lesson,” he recalled. After serving in the Navy, he used the GI bill to fund the rest of his ratings and licenses, except for the seaplane rating, which wasn’t covered. He treasures his Beechcraft A-36 Bonanza, which was a gift from his friend Herb Odem. He’s flown 5,500 hours in it, and he credits being able to fly to worksites as a huge asset in his engineering business. In 2014 he bought a T-28A Trojan that was modified into a T-28B. In 2016, he bought a TBM 900 that he and a ferry pilot flew from Tarbes France, with stops at Glasgow and Iceland, overflying Greenland to Goosebay, to Labrador and then Bangor, Maine, with the final stop at Lakeland, Florida. “I can’t stay proficient in three differ-

ent aircraft flying only 100 hours a year,” said Knight. “My wife wants me to own fewer things with motors, so I’m planning to eventually get down to one airplane.” I bet he keeps the sweet TBM.


While Knight is the first to credit the many amazing accomplishments of the last six years to others, it’s clear he spearheaded many major changes and projects. One accomplishment he owns is negotiating for the Breitling Jet Team to tour the U.S. “One thing I did that really paid off was to go to the International Council of Air Shows convention in Las Vegas where all the airshow performers go to meet,” Knight said. “There, I met the Breitling Jet Team who were trying to find a way to come to the U.S. I invited them to use my hangar and office as a home base for their two-year tour. They started and ended here.” The Breitling Jet Team kept crates of tools and parts in Knight’s hangar for two years. They used the top floor of his business for flight planning, meetings, and even some meals. The team gave him specially labeled wine that he keeps in his upstairs office. At the end of their tour before they disassembled the last aircraft, they surprised him. “They let me fly the number two plane as a thank you,” he said. “We’ve stayed in touch and they have invited us to visit them in Dijon.” Change Agent “Back 44 years ago, SUN ’n FUN began as a fly-in. As it grew, it became too much work for the volunteers to manage, so they formed a non-profit organization,” Knight said. From there, the organization continued to grow, and a small full-time staff was hired to manage it year-round. It grew with 3,000 volunteers, including the “yearly birds” who live in the area and volunteer all year round.

When Knight became chairman, the organization had 32 people serving on two boards, one for SUN ’n FUN and one for the museum. The boards met two or three times a year. “It’s hard to make decisions with that many people,” Knight said. “The board collectively reduced in size to form one board and we met more often. At first, we met every month. That was hard.” Over the years the board became more cohesive and efficient. Combining the boards into one helped streamline the organization, but there was still a giant financial issue to address. When Knight became chairman, the organization was, in his words, “functional, but living on a line of credit.” The SUN ’n FUN organization was $2.3 million in debt. Funding relied heavily on grants and money raised during the annual fly-in. “We could have rain, cold, a tornado, or super heat during SUN ’n FUN week,” he said. “The weather affects the success of the event.” With the goals of reducing debt and expanding education programs, the board sought other sources of income and decided to rent the SUN ’n FUN grounds and facilities year-round. According to Events Logistics Manager Debi Hobbs, “We host car shows, 5K runs, fly-ins, corporate picnics, weddings and receptions, motorhome and coach conventions, school events, graduations, gun shows — pretty much anything — bringing in $992,168 last year. Not bad considering we’ve really only been doing rentals for four years.” “Hosting the Annual Mayor’s Breakfast at the museum has brought business leaders to the airport who might not have ever been here,” Knight said, adding 350 people came to the last one. “Hangar A is being renovated to be air conditioned, which will boost our availability to host more events,” he continued. “We plan to move the Mayor’s Breakfast into Hangar A after it’s air conditioned to

fit more people.” In 2015, SUN ’n FUN President John “Lites” Leenhouts announced the organization was finally debt free. During his tenure as chairman, Knight has been a “dear friend and a teammate,” Leenhouts said. “He’s given me good counsel and he’s helped us make good decisions,” he said. “He’s been a great asset to SUN ’n FUN and help us navigate through some tough times. He allowed us to go further than we ever thought we could because he didn’t get involved with making bad decisions. He helped us make good ones. At the end of the day, we went from more than $2 million in debt to more than $2 million in the bank.” All proceeds from events on the SUN ’n FUN Campus are returned to education programs, activities, and facilities. In 2017, SUN ’n FUN provided $2 million for aviation scholarships and education programs. Many of those scholarships and programs are for students at the Central Florida Aerospace Academy, a public high school with an aerospace-focused curriculum built thanks to grants from NASA and the Aviation Education Foundation founded by James C. Ray. Other projects completed during Knight’s tenure include: • The Piedmont building replaced tents to hold youth activities. • The Piedmont Aerospace Experience, a fully functional Boeing 727, was renovated into a classroom. • Summer STEM aviation camps were established to help young students learn about aviation. • The Lakeland Aero Club’s 12,500-square-foot hangar facility was unveiled. • Headquarters of the Florida Chapter of the Warbirds of America building was completed. • Eleven educational buildings scattered around the grounds of SUN ’n FUN were painted and unified under the name Aerospace Center for Excellence. • A taxiway was built over the drainage ditch that runs between Paradise Field and the Lakeland Aero Club hangar. All of that took time and effort from the chairman. “Between 20% to 30% of my workday goes to SUN ’n FUN while I’m still running a business, so it’s been a lot of work,” he said. On future plans, he said, “We have a ranch north of here for sale. It’s becoming a retirement home for cows and horses and it means we are there most weekends.” He said maintaining fences is getting to be more work than he wants to do. And there’s that wonderful TBM 900 ready for traveling…







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SUN ’n FUN Today -

April 10, 2018

People most important aspect of fly-in By JANICE WOOD Most people think SUN ’n FUN is about airplanes. But ask long-time volunteer David Dupuis and he’ll tell you different. “When viewed from a distance, SUN ’n FUN appears to be about airplanes and, on one level, it is,” he says. “But for me it is about a vast variety of wonderful people.” “It started with meeting WASPs at a 99s luncheon — women telling stories about saving money waitressing and washing planes to buy an hour’s flight lesson per week — all to enter a man’s world in support of war effort,” he says. “Or on the warbird flight line, men who last stood next to a beloved plane type 50 years ago who speak of it with reverence owed a war buddy that saved his life,” he continues. “Or a lifelong A&P mechanic patiently explaining basic building technique to middle aged students fulfilling their dream of building an airplane by learning a new skill.” But most encouraging, he says, are the young men and women from the Central Florida Aerospace Academy who work with the other volunteers during the flyin.

“Every year a new crew of teenagers restores hope for our future,” he says. “They listen, think, and work harder than I ever did — all for little more than a thank you.” Dupuis, who has been volunteering for 11 years, is chairman of operations at the Buehler Restoration Center. “During SUN ’n FUN, the Buehler Restoration Center is transformed into an entertainment center,” he says. “My job is to guide a transformation from repair hangar to dining hall, and assist with events and return it as found ready to restore SUN ’n FUN’s aircraft.” When Dupuis, who lives outside Tampa, first began volunteering at SUN ’n FUN, he was assigned to the fly-in’s phone crew. “On arriving to volunteer, our communication chairman noticed a gift for gab and recruited me to her phone crew,” he explains. “The first four years our team answered questions and directed calls to SUN ’n FUN. After answering several requests for assistance in Buehler Restoration Center next door, David McQueary suggested an assignment in Buehler.” In the more than a decade of volunteering, Dupuis has seen the fly-in evolve. “We were ‘Spring Break for Pilots’



Photo by Russell Kasselman

David Dupuis adjusts the lighting above the stage in the Buehler Restoration Center. with limited appeal to anyone outside aviation,” he recalls. “We are now a world class education center with outreach programs to teach the next generation of aviation enthusiasts and training programs for everyone.” For those who have thought about volunteering and aren’t sure or need more information, Dupuis suggests talking to another volunteer. “Speak to any volunteer who is doing something you’re interested in and ask

how rewarding doing what you like can be,” he says. “Every area has a chairman. Speak to them about needs and how you can fit in. Whatever your skill or passion, SUN ’n FUN needs it.” He also suggests taking volunteering for a “test run.” “Volunteer as little as a few mornings or afternoons to confirm you fit in,” he suggests. He then offers this warning: “SUN ’n FUN is addictive.”

April 10, 2018

SUN ’n FUN Today -


Thunderbirds cancel Due to a recent fatal accident, the USAF Thunderbirds will not be participating at this week’s SUN ’n FUN. “Though we are deeply saddened by their loss of a valuable teammate, we totally understand and support the Thunderbirds’ decision,” said John “Lites” Leenhouts, SUN ’n FUN president and CEO. “They have a requirement to take the necessary time to assess their current situation and plot a path forward, and we certainly respect their professionalism and diligence in ensuring their safe return to airshows.” U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron Slot Pilot Thunderbird 4, Maj. Stephen Del Bagno, was killed when his F-16 Fighting Falcon crashed over the Nevada Test and Training Range April 4, 2018, during a routine training flight, according to Air Force officials. “We are mourning the loss of Major Del Bagno,” said Brig. Gen. Jeannie Leavitt, 57th Wing Commander. “He was an integral part of our team and our hearts are heavy with his loss. We ask everyone to provide his family and friends the space to heal during this difficult time.” An investigation is being conducted into the cause of the mishap. While the Thunderbirds will certainly

be missed, SUN ’n FUN will continue as scheduled, including its impressive array of military and civilian airshow demonstrations. Scheduled acts include the US Navy F/A 18 Super Hornet, the TORA! TORA! TORA! Pearl Harbor reenactment, and more than 60 airshow performances during the week, making it the largest aviation event in the South. Airshow Director Greg Gibson also confirmed that the USAF Air Combat Command (ACC) has reached out to SUN ’n FUN and committed to finding alternative USAF demonstrations to come to this week’s show. “We appreciate ACC’s efforts on our behalf in such a short time frame,” Gibson said. “They are working to make available a potential first line combat aircraft to perform full aerial displays and/or engage in Heritage Flights with several of the numerous rare World War II fighters we have in attendance this year.” Leenhouts also confirmed that this week’s daily airshows will include several activities to honor Del Bagno’s service, and that a portion of the proceeds from this year’s event will be donated through the proper channels to support the Thunderbird family.

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SUN ’n FUN Today -

April 10, 2018

Welcome to the nation’s busiest airport By JANICE WOOD During the week of SUN ’n FUN, Lakeland-Linder Regional Airport becomes the busiest airport in the nation. But that’s nothing new for the airport, where there is always something new going on. Just since last year’s SUN ’n FUN, the airport opened its new U.S. Customs facility, cut the ribbon on the new NOAA building, a new hotel, Staybridge Suites, opened on the airport’s grounds, new Thangars are being built, while work has just begun on a new 42-acre MRO air cargo development on the north side of the airport. During all this, operations at the airport grew from 115,000 in 2016 to 118,000 in 2017, with expectations that will be topped in 2018. “There is just so much opportunity here,” says Gene Conrad, airport manager. It’s no surprise that all that activity also has boosted employment on the airport grounds. Conrad reports that about 1,500 people work on the airport at the various businesses. That’s up from 1,100 in 2014. The new Customs facility officially opened Dec. 13, 2017. The facility is open

Thursday through Monday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. While it is being used extensively by jet drivers, single-engine piston pilots can’t use it right now because of regulations that require an overflight permit, which requires aircraft to be capable of flying over 12,500’. “My understanding is there is an effort to get rid of that rule within the next year,” Conrad said. “And that will help us significantly.” He notes that the Customs facility is also a key building block in the future of KLAL. “For other developments that we are looking forward to here as far as air cargo and other things,” he explained. “So, having them here is good thing.” During last year’s SUN ’n FUN, the new headquarters for the NOAA Hurricane Hunters was being completed. It was finished on May 15, 2017. “It took us just five-and-a-half months to build a 106,000-square-foot facility for 110 people and nine airplanes,” he reported. And, fittingly, the ribbon-cutting was held on June 2, just one day after the official start of hurricane season. That was a good thing, as well, as last

year’s hurricane season was a busy one, with Harvey, Irma, Maria, and various other storms the Hurricane Hunters had to track. One of those hurricanes, Irma, came right over Lakeland-Linder Regional Airport, causing devastation to the SUN ’n FUN grounds (see separate story on page 12). The hurricane caused about $165,000 in damage to various facilities around the airport, Conrad reports. During Irma, the hurricane hunters repositioned their airplanes to New Orleans, which left the new hangar vacant. NOAA was gracious enough to allow the local sheriff’s department to use the hangar to protect its assets, including helicopters, emergency response vehicles, and more. “The entire hangar was completely full during the storm,” Conrad said. The hangar will also be put to good use during this year’s fly-in as is where all the airshow performers will be based. “It is a great place for them to call home during the week,” he said. “We are excited about that.” Operations topped 118,000 in 2017, but airport officials expect that number to be passed this year. “We are already 5,000 over for January

and February, so we are on a breakneck pace right now,” Conrad said. A big reason is the five flight schools that are based at KLAL. “Florida is obviously a great state to do flight training,” he said, reporting that the five schools “fly quite often.” “So we are super busy,” he said. He reports that on just one day in February, the airport saw 696 operations. “In some years that’s more than they do in the first day of SUN ’n FUN,” he noted. Planning and preparation for the next year’s SUN ’n FUN begins the day after this year’s fly-in ends. So on April 10, 2017, work began to get the grounds ready for this year’s show. “We just rehabbed Taxiway Alpha, which is the main parallel to 9/27, which is used during SUN ’n FUN as the runway for all of the single-engine aircraft,” Conrad reported. “We just repaved that and we have nice new painted dots on Taxiway Alpha this year, so it will be very visible.” On the far west end of Taxiway Alpha, you’ll see a new taxiway — Mike — which goes north. “That’s the taxiway that will lead to KLAL | See Page 12



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SUN ’n FUN Today -

April 10, 2018

Irma’s devastation can’t stop SUN ’n FUN By JANICE WOOD As you walk around the SUN ’n FUN grounds this year, it is hard to imagine the devastation that Hurricane Irma brought to the airport just eight months ago. The hurricane roared through Lakeland on Sept. 10, 2017, with sustained winds of 100 mph and gusts over 120 mph. “The SUN ’n FUN property sits on the south side of the airport and the winds were from the northeast, so they came, unabated, across all the acres of property until it hit dead on into the heart of SUN ’n FUN,” recalls John “Lites” Leenhouts, SUN ’n FUN president. What that meant was “huge foliage devastation,” he said. “Giant 100-plus-year-old oak trees came tumbling down, crashing all over the campus, and made the entire road system impassable,” he says. The entire campus was flooded.” Fortunately, since they had time to prepare, SUN ’n FUN staffers and volunteers spent the better parts of four days working to “shutter up, board up and sandbag all of our facilities,” he reports. “So the only real damage our buildings sustained were roofs impacted due to the tiles coming off. We didn’t have a single building destroyed by a tree or wind damage or water damage because we prepared for it.” Even so, when people returned to the SUN ’n FUN campus on Monday, Sept. 11, after the hurricane, the grounds looked like a “war zone,” according to Leenhouts. “The grounds were completely devastated, with debris everywhere and major trees blocking all the roads and completely flooded,” he recalls. And of course, there was no power. “Power was out throughout the county, in fact, the entire region,” he said. But that didn’t daunt the SUN ’n FUN crew. They showed up on Tuesday, Sept. 12, in work clothes and got to work. “We started cleaning what we could with our meager 35 or 40 folks, between staff and high school students and a few volunteers who hadn’t evacuated the KLAL | From Page 10 our 42-acre MRO and air cargo development,” he explained. Construction on that 42-acre parcel is expected to begin in July, with Phase I consisting of a 50,000-square-foot cargo building and a 55,000-square-foot MRO hangar. Phase 2 includes a 160,000-square-foot MRO hangar. The airport’s first priority is to get the infrastructure in place for the development, he noted.

area,” he says. “And we worked diligently sunrise to sunset for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.” It was on Thursday afternoon when about 315 troops from the 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg in North Carolina arrived on campus. They were headed to Fort Lauderdale to do hurricane security and clean up, but needed a place to stay. “We offered them Hangar A,” Leenhouts says, noting that all the division’s trucks and trailers — “and everything else” — was parked throughout the SUN ’n FUN campus. It was the following morning when the SUN ’n FUN crew got the best news they could have ever received in that situation. “Their commanding officer came in and said, ‘our mission to Fort Lauderdale has been scrubbed. Is there anything we can do for you? We’d like to stay another night in exchange.’” The immediate answer was “absolutely,” Leenhouts says, telling him that the SUN ’n FUN crew could really use a hand cleaning up the debris that was closing the roads.

By 12:30 p.m., the commanding officer had divided his team into three groups of about 100 each. “They joined arm in arm with our high school students, the volunteers, the staff, and we tackled the entire campus,” Leenhouts reports. “In six hours, with their help, we were able to completely clear all the roads. All the trees that were down were completely cut up, stumps pulled out, and everything pulled over to a burn pile, which burned for two and a half weeks nonstop.” “What they did in six hours would have taken us easily six months,” he continues. “We would still be cleaning up from it. And we would have had to rent all this really expensive equipment that we could never have afforded.” He adds that Jeremy Brown, a volunteer who runs the Raider crew — who pick up the trash throughout the SUN ’n FUN campus during the fly-in — loaned SUN ’n FUN some large excavation equipment “to pick up the trees and yank them out of the ground, and help us cut those up and get them out of here.”

“That equipment that would have cost us over $50,000,” Leenhouts notes. “So with everybody’s effort, we did in one week what we couldn’t have done in six months by ourselves,” he said. “It was just phenomenal, just phenomenal.”

Meanwhile, back on the SUN ’n FUN campus, upgrades were made to make this year’s fly-in even better. For example, power was added to the Warbird Ramp, so all those generators that used to power the tents and chalets on the ramp are gone. “We are constantly working with SUN ’n FUN to improve the area and the facilities,” Conrad said. One area that received special attention this year — something people probably don’t expect, according to Conrad — is the grass on the south side of the airport.

“We have bent over backwards, and our maintenance team has done a yeoman’s job, to maintain that grass,” he said. “I hope people are surprised at how nice it looks because the airfield right now looks like a golf course. Now granted it is still an airport, so it doesn’t look like a green, but we have really spent a lot of time manicuring it and getting it super low this year, so it should be in great shape when everybody gets here.” Why was this important to the airport crew? “We want people who are flying in and

parking on the grass to have a great experience,” he said. Veterans to SUN ’n FUN may remember past years when the field was burned. “Then there was a bunch of ash left, and people’s ankles would get dirty,” he said. “So, that was no fun. And then some years we would have a lot of rain, and we couldn’t catch up with the grass, and it was longer that we would like it to be. But over the last several years we have really put a focus on that. We are trying to make it easier for people to taxi through the grass and provide the best turf possible.”

April 10, 2018

Sun ’n Fun Today -


TORA! TORA! TORA! makes SNF debut For the first time ever, TORA! TORA! TORA! will appear at SUN ’n FUN. Presented by the Commemorative Air Force (CAF), the TORA! TORA! TORA! recreation of the attack on Pearl Harbor is complete with authentic Japanese aircraft and lots of pyrotechnics, including an award-winning wall of fire. TORA! TORA! TORA! is scheduled to perform Saturday and Sunday. The show began in 1972, when six replica Japanese

aircraft used in the movie of the same name were donated to the CAF. The Gulf Coast Wing requested the aircraft and began developing an act for airshows. The act debuted at the Galveston Air Show. CAF officials explain that while TORA! TORA! TORA! is designed as a history lesson, it also is intended as a memorial to all the soldiers — on both sides — who gave their lives for their countries. “The intent of the TORA group is to

help generations of individuals throughout the world born after World War II understand that war does not discriminate in the pain it causes and that courageous individuals on both sides lose their lives,” CAF officials say. During an average year, TORA performs in 12 to 16 airshows with eight to 10 aircraft participating in each show. Each performance includes approximately 61 pyrotechnic effects. The average show re-

quires the efforts of 20 to 26 individuals both in the air and on the ground. TORA! TORA! TORA! also requires many volunteers who give of their time and money to share this piece of history. “TORA is more than just another airshow act,” officials note. “TORA is a team of volunteers dedicated to an airshow act that can best be described as a living history museum.”


SUN ’n FUN Today -

April 10, 2018

Stay safe There is a lot to see and do this week at SUN ’n FUN, but for officials of the flyin, safety is always the first priority. SUN ’n FUN officials realize that people want to see the vast array of aircraft up close, which is why the flightline is open to the crowds. But it’s important that everyone follow some simple rules to ensure that everyone at the show — as well as the aircraft on display — are protected. According to SUN ’n FUN officials, by entering the flightline area, you agree to follow these important safety rules: • Aircraft in motion have spinning propellers that can cause serious injuries. Be aware of this at all times to avoid injury to you and those you are with. • Aircraft always have the right of way. Please yield. • No food is permitted on the flightline (except for airside food vendor locations). • Pets are not permitted on the convention site. They are allowed in the campgrounds on leashes. • Do not touch the aircraft without the

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bending over to look at an airplane. These items can damage paint jobs worth thousands of dollars. • No smoking is allowed on the flightline or around display aircraft.

The fifth annual SUN ’n FUN Car Show returns Saturday and Sunday in the Southeast Exhibit Area. The car show was added to the fly-in for the first time in 2014. “I’m a car guy,” says SUN ’n FUN President John “Lites” Leenhouts. “And all my buddies are car guys. I think if you have an airplane, you probably like cars. They go together.” The area for the car show is limited to just 150 cars and motorcycles each day. Some rare beauties from the earliest days of driving will be on display, so be sure to make your way over to check them out.

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April 10, 2018

April 10, 2018

Sun ’n Fun Today -


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“Don’t Miss Out — Tune In.” That’s the message that SUN ’n FUN Radio Chairman Dave Shallbetter wants everyone on the SUN ’n FUN grounds — and beyond — to get again this year. There is so much going on during the week that it’s impossible to be everywhere to enjoy it. But with SUN ’n FUN Radio’s remote broadcasts and live streaming, you can virtually keep up to date with events during the week, including the daily airshow. Returning for the third year is the SUN ’n FUN Radio Mobile Studio, powered by Aviators Hotline. The specially equipped vehicle will roam the grounds seeking out stories throughout the fly-in. “If you see them, stop and say hi,” Shallbetter says. “You could be our next interview.” Every morning from 7 am. to 9 a.m., the live remote morning show will bring highlights from various locations around the campus, including Paradise City, Saturday’s balloon launch, the Vintage Area, and other locations. Meanwhile, on the deck of the radio station, a full slate of interviews is planned throughout the week with sponsors, vendors, airshow performers, and other interesting characters on the SUN ’n FUN grounds. Every day of the fly-in, at around 9:20 a.m., SUN ’n FUN President John “Lites” Leenhouts will be interviewed, sharing the day’s highlights. Among the most important — and interesting interviews — are those with the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., according to Shallbetter.

Officials with Women in Aviation return again this year to present Women Shine at SUN ’n FUN Tuesday through Saturday at 11 a.m. That is followed by lunch with officials from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) daily at noon. Miss an interview you were looking forward to? All SUN ’n FUN Radio interviews are on the station’s archive site Two podcasts will also air over SUN ’n FUN Radio, including the Uncontrolled Airspace General Aviation podcast, which will have two live episodes, one on Tuesday evening and the other on Sunday Morning, as well as the #NotAtSnF18 Podcast hosted by Steve Tupper. Live streaming of all SUN ’n FUN Radio programs is thanks to Live ATC (, an audio streaming

site, which gives the radio station worldwide exposure. The station, which has about 40 or so volunteers, is always looking for more help. If you are interested in volunteering, stop in at SUN ’n FUN Radio during the week. The station is located at the end of Club House Path next to the Quiet Birdman Clubhouse and across the road from the Sunset Grill. If you have a story you think the radio station should cover, Shallbetter invites you to stop by the station to talk to one of the volunteers. Or you can email your suggestions to Also, he asks that you like the station’s Facebook page ( and follow them on Twitter (twitter. com/SnFRadio). Want to find out more? Check out the radio station’s website at


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Free workshops offered daily The SUN ’n FUN workshops are popular, not only among homebuilders, but also with aviation enthusiasts who want to try their hand at various aspects of aircraft building or maintenance. All of the workshops are staffed by a combination of amateur and professional instructors with experience in the subjects they present. Many hold FAA Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) ratings. Most of the volunteer instructors are builders themselves and enthusiastically share their experience with novice builders. The workshops include: • Woodworking, which includes construction of wing ribs, fuselage, jigs and tooling and adhesives. • Metal fabrication, sheet metal selection, cutting, drilling and riveting, fabrication of all metal aircraft components. • Metal shaping, which covers the shaping of custom compound shapes in aluminum using various metal shaping techniques and equipment. • Oxy-fuel Welding of both steel and aluminum, oxy-acetylene and oxy-hydrogen welding techniques for fabrication of steel structures and aluminum components.

• TIG/MIG Welding of both steel and aluminum. Presented by Lincoln Electric, this workshop covers Tungsten inert gas (TIG) and Metal inert gas (MIG) welding. • Avionics/Electrical installation, in-

SUN ’n RUN on Saturday Lakeland-Linder Regional Airport is hosting SUN ’n RUN, a 5K race, Saturday, April 14, during the fly-in. The race begins at 7 a.m. in the terminal building on the north side of the airport. If you are coming from the SUN ’n FUN campus, it’s best to drive to the terminal, advises Gene Conrad, LakelandLinder Regional Airport manager. “You can park at the terminal,” he notes. Conrad adds that Saturday is also the same morning as the Balloon Launch, so runners will be able to see more than 20

hot air balloons launch skyward (weather permitting). Registration is $25, with the first 150 people registering receiving a T-Shirt. Weeks before the show, close to 100 people had already registered for the event. Registration is open until 9 p.m. April 11. You can register online at RunSignup. com/Race/FL/Lakeland/LakelandAirportSunnRUN5KRun. Proceeds from the race benefit the Lakeland Aero Club and the Lakeland Chapter of Women in Aviation.

cluding the proper wire, terminals, tools and techniques for installation of a reliable aircraft electrical system. • Electrical noise and troubleshooting, proper installation and isolation of circuits to reduce interference and

“noise” in avionics systems. • Fabric aircraft covering, which provides hands-on experience in fabric covering and doping. • Rib stitching, where the attachment of fabric to wing structures is explained and demonstrated. • Composite construction, which includes foam shaping and cutting, fiberglass and resin selection and application and vacuum forming. • Safety wiring and cable swaging, including the use of safety wire and the proper tools for the installation of safety wire and swaging of control cables. This workshop covers bolting, turnbuckles, thimbles, propellers, etc. • Engines and firewall forward installations. Engine maintenance, assembly, modification and installation are addressed, as well as display and run-up of various engines. Many of the workshops are approved by the FAA for IA renewal, SUN ’n FUN officials note. Check in at the workshop to get the proper forms. The workshops, which run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day of the show, are located near the Buehler Restoration Center. There is no additional fee for attending any of the workshops.

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SUN ’n FUN Today -

April 10, 2018

Shop ’til you drop at the Parts Exchange The Parts Exchange, which returns this year to Hangar E, is a popular stopping place for aircraft owners and homebuilders in search of the perfect part to complete their project. Items at the Parts Exchange are sold on consignment. Those wishing to sell parts can purchase tags for the items for 50 cents each. Parts of all types are accepted for sale. The exception is tires and batteries, which Florida law prohibits. Tires mounted on aircraft wheel assemblies will be accepted if described as such on the tag, Parts Exchange volunteers add. The Parts Exchange will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day of the fly-in, except Sunday, when sales stop at noon. All payments must be made in cash unless the consignor specifically states on

the tag that he or she will accept a personal check. No credit cards are taken at the Parts Exchange and there is no check cashing available. ATM machines are located on the grounds for those planning to shop at the Parts Exchange. Consignors may claim unsold items or change prices at any time during regular business hours by asking for assistance from any Parts Exchange volunteer. No items will be sold if the tag has been altered in any way or is not legible, volunteers add. The Parts Exchange tent will be open for consignors only on Sunday, from noon until 5 p.m. to claim unsold items. The tent will close promptly at 5 p.m. and any unclaimed items will become donations to SUN ’n FUN, according to Parts Exchange volunteers.

International Visitors Center provides warm welcome Visitors to SUN ’n FUN from around the globe are invited to stop in at the International Visitors hospitality tent, located at the treeline in the Southeast Exhibit area. From the front gate walk directly towards the flight line and stop at the trees.

At the tent, you’ll find volunteers who are continually working to meet the needs of guests expected to arrive in Lakeland this week from more than 80 countries. The tent features a board that tracks visitors. Each international visitor is asked to

register and stick a pin in a world map depicting “home.” Translators are at the tent to assist with buying SUN ’n FUN tickets, finding hotels or visiting nearby attractions, including Legoland, Sea World, Busch Gardens,

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Disney and Universal. The tent also features refreshments and a gathering place on the grounds for international visitors, courtesy of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. The tent is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

April 10, 2018

SUN ’n FUN Today -


Flying where no one else does Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) has a unique mission. This Christian organization uses STOL aircraft and other technologies to make life better for people living in remote, difficult corners of the world. “For more than 70 years, Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) has been reaching the most isolated parts of the globe,” said John Boyd, president and CEO of MAF. “We provide transportation and technology so that isolated people will have access to the gospel, as well as medical care, education, clean water, and other tools for improving their lives.” “MAF goes to the places that no one else does,” he continued. “In most cases, a 15-minute MAF flight will save an entire day of walking through jungles and over mountains.” You can check out one of MAF’s Kodiak airplanes at the missionary aviation display area at this week, in the Southeast Exhibit Area, Lot 1, on Doolittle Road. MAF pilot Will White, who flew in Haiti for some 20 years, will be on hand to share his experiences. Visitors also are invited to try their hand at MAF’s flight simulator, or take a

jungle selfie in front of the green screen. Veteran MAF pilot Chad Irwin will be conducting a seminar on Mountain Flying today at 9 a.m. in CFAA classroom #11. With more than 125 planes across Africa, Asia, Eurasia, and Latin America, MAF operates the world’s largest fleet of aircraft used for non-profit humanitarian work. The Kodiak was developed by Quest Aircraft Co. specifically for missionary aviation work, and is able to land on short, rugged airstrips in mountain and jungle areas while carrying a significant payload. The first Kodiak rolled off the production line in 2008. MAF now has 12 Kodiaks in its fleet, all of which were purchased using gifts from those who support MAF’s work. MAF is a Christian non-profit organization based in Nampa, Idaho. Recent MAF work includes providing food and supplies to refugee camps in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, conducting disaster response flights in the Caribbean following the 2017 hurricanes, and supporting the work of evangelists and Bible translators in the world’s isolated places.

Banyan plans fun-filled week Banyan Pilot Shop returns to SUN ’n FUN this year in the North exhibit area, Booth 88. Several activities are planned, including meet and greet events; drawings for prizes valued over $3,000; interactive Epic Eagle Head Up Display (HUD) demonstrations; and a variety of aviation products available for sale. Professional pilot and YouTube sensation Steveo1kinevo will have a meet and greet Saturday at 11 a.m. There will be a

live drawing for an Epic Eagle HUD, a Stratus 2S, and a Stratus Power during the event. Airshow star Michael Goulian, who is an Alpina brand ambassador, will be at the Banyan booth on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. Purchase an Alpina watch during SUN ’n FUN and you will be entered for a chance to win a flight with him. The drawing will be on Thursday. The winner will fly with Goulian on Friday.

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Get a taste of Oshkosh with one of our forums at SUN ‘n FUN. Tuesday, April 10 8:30 a.m. ..........Are YOU and YOUR Aircraft Insurable? (how to avoid being disappointed) Presented by Bob Mackey

10:00 a.m......... The Magic Behind Your Glass Panel Presented by Kirk Kleinholz

11:30 a.m. ........ All About Flying to the Bahamas, Carribean, and Cuba Presented by Jim Parker

Wednesday, April 11 8:30 a.m. ..........Aircraft Insurance Mumbo Jumbo Presented by Bob Mackey

10:00 a.m......... E-AB Condition Inspections Presented by Vic Syracuse

11:30 a.m. ........ Weather for Dummies

Presented by Radek Wyrzykowski


SUN ’n FUN Today -

April 10, 2018

Homecoming to the Sky By JONI M. FISHER Forget the usual homecoming parade, rally and football game for high school students on the SUN ’n FUN campus. Students at the Central Florida Aerospace Academy (CFAA) get something even better: The Homecoming to the Sky Week. CFAA is affiliated with Kathleen High School, a public school in Lakeland, Florida.

“Our high school students are part of an academy that is separate from the high school itself,” said Robb Williams, executive director of the Aerospace Center for Excellence. “Plus they are unable to take advantage of the traditional homecoming week experiences. Five years ago, we created a week-long series of events specific to aerospace-related activities. We called this Homecoming to the Sky Week.” The week includes first flights for

dents who have soloed in an aircraft for the first time,” Williams said. “Today we have over 120 solos, by far the world’s leader for teenagers in this category.” Students who solo are honored in the Solo to Success presentation, which includes a brick-laying ceremony at the Success Circle at the entrance to the Central Florida Aerospace Academy. Each brick is engraved with the student’s name, aircraft, and date of solo.

freshman and culminates with a Solo to Success ceremony on Friday, which is the equivalent of the varsity football game, he explained. The Freshman First Flights are given by volunteers of SUN ’n FUN and Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 454. Last year 83 students flew during this event, Williams reported. “By the end of the week, we usually have over 100 students who have flown in an airplane for the first time and 20 stu-

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April 10, 2018

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of Photo by Tom Snow

Ray Cook with his Piper SuperCub who won the spot landing competition.

Seaplane-A-Palooza splashes on By TOM SNOW Tavares, Florida, a waterfront community of 15,000 people located 62 miles north of Lakeland and officially branded as America’s Seaplane City, again lived up to its name this past weekend as it hosted a warm-up for the SUN ’n FUN fly-in. Billed as a “Seaplane-A-Palooza,” the event succeeded in spite of challenging weather both days. Of course, after having its marina and parts of the seaplane base destroyed last September by Hurricane Irma, Tavares is known for persevering in spite of bad weather. It helps, no doubt, that the city’s leadership includes several seaplane pilots, including Bob Tweedie, the city’s Economic Development Director, and Matt Elia, Aviation Manager.

To accommodate the seaplane fly-in and other waterfront events this year, such as a recent antique boat show that attracted 10,000 people, temporary docks were installed while plans are being drawn for a bigger and better facility. The wide and gently-sloped ramps of the seaplane base allowed amphibious aircraft to lower their wheels, drive out of the water and park on pavement, while aircraft on “straight floats” nosed up to the shore. A picture-perfect Friday and decent flying conditions Saturday morning attracted a ramp full of early arrivals, but afternoon winds gusted as high as 30 knots. Whitecaps caused all flying competitions to be canceled and a line of severe thunderstorms moved through at dusk and tested the tie-down ropes. Marginal VFR conditions on Sunday

morning kept many local seaplane pilots home in spite of a pancake breakfast cooked by EAA Chapter 534 of Leesburg, Florida. Scheduled events originally included competitions such as a spot landing contest and a water melon “bomb drop,” but a wide selection of restaurants and bars in the city’s entertainment district adjacent to the seaplane base helped keep pilots dry and happy during the Saturday night storm. Since the factory that manufactures Searey “flying boats” is located in Tavares, those small two seat amphibians were well represented at the splash-in. In addition, at one time there were four float-equipped Maule amphibians in attendance, including one from Green Bay, Wisconsin, which earned its owner the prize for the most miles flown.

Exhibitors featuring Sport Aircraft, Ultralights, Trikes, Rotorcraft, Powered Parachutes and Paragliders, Engines, Avionics, Pilot Gear and Flight Schools. Plus Demo Flights All Day-Every Day, EAA Workshops, Educational Forums, Keynote Speakers, Food Concessions, Live Music, Underwing Camping and More! DeLand, Florida USA

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On the ramp at the Seaplane-A-Palooza in Tavares, Florida.

A Searey taxis past the remains of docks that were destroyed in Hurricane Irma in September 2017.


SUN ’n FUN Today -

April 10, 2018

Dawning of a bright day? We hope so! By JACK J. PELTON EAA CEO/Chairman By this time of year, everyone is ready for spring, especially if you’re in the northern half of the nation where parkas and frozen-stuck hangar doors are part of the aviation ritual for the past several months. We’re ready for the rhythm of a new flying season and that’s what makes SUN ’n FUN so essential to those of us in sport aviation. We meet old friends, see new things, and wonder what the coming year will bring. Each year when we come to Lakeland, we start to renew our aviation enthusiasm. That’s so important, since it’s easy to get lost in the administration of flying — the maintenance, insurance, fuel, regulations and everything else — rather than the reason we fly and the joy of it all. SUN ’n FUN helps remind us of that joy and why it’s so necessary to share it. While we’re here this week, though, we do talk about the key issues for aviation. Since we were last on the Lakeland flight line a year ago, there has been a pitched battle over what aviation and our airspace will look like in the future. It centers on

the debate over ATC privatization and the attempt by airlines to hold the power over the national airspace system. The proponents of privatization — and I use that term loosely because the plan is not competitive privatization at all, but a calculated, corporate monopoly of a national asset — claim that the “fat cats” and the “jet setters” want a free ride on the backs of taxpayers. That’s a nice description, except for the part that it’s completely false. Look around the SUN ’n FUN flight line this week. You’re not seeing fat cats. You’re seeing typical Americans who have a passion for flight. We’re people who scrimp, save, salvage, and scrounge resources to pursue that passion, whether it’s in an airplane built by our own hands, a piece of flying history lovingly restored over the years, or an aircraft for which we squirreled away money for years to finally purchase. The proponents of privatization don’t mention these people (us), because it destroys their narrative. Your flying and your local airport will be permanently harmed if privatization become reality. And that’s why EAA, our friends at AOPA, and other GA groups continue to urge you to con-

nect with your congressional representatives at every opportunity and express your opposition to privatization. But let’s get back to the joy of why we’re here this week. SUN ’n FUN is the place where we get to see the new projects that our fellow aviators have been completing over the winter, or the new products coming from the manufacturers. Or, maybe just enjoy watching some great

machines fly. Often times, watching flight is enough to renew our spirit. SUN ’n FUN is also one of those places where all of us can show the joy, excitement, and sense of achievement connected to flight. The public comes to see what makes aviation special. We must continue to throw open the doors and eagerly show it to them! It does have a positive impact when we’re enthusiastic and welcoming to newcomers, whether it’s here at Lakeland, at our home airports, or in our EAA chapters. We’re seeing some positive signs over the past year. Student pilot starts are up and EAA members flew more Young Eagles in 2017 than the year before. (Promotional pitch here: We can always use more Young Eagles pilots. There are kids in your hometown just waiting to be introduced to flying. You can make a difference.) I’m eager to meet and chat with the thousands of EAA members who are here at Lakeland this week, as we come together to enjoy aviation and what it brings to each of our lives. Let’s make it a safe and fun event, and the start of an outstanding year of flying!

Rotorvox C2A’s U.S. debut Rotorvox Aero is displaying the Rotorvox C2A for the first time in the United States at SUN ’n FUN. The C2A is an all-carbon monocoque gyroplane produced in Germany by Rotorvox Lift Air GmbH, a division of LIFT Air in Eisenach, Germany. Powered by the Rotax 914 turbocharged engine, the C2A is one of the most technically advanced gyroplanes in the world, according to company officials. The C2A has a twin boom layout that incorporates wide dual tail booms, rugged trailing link main gear with elastomer shock absorption and a hydraulic maintenance-free pre-rotation system. The cabin features side-by-side seating with ergonomically placed controls to make flying a shared experience, company officials note.

“We are very excited to be participating in SUN ’n FUN this year,” said Cobus Burger, importer and distributor for the Rotorvox products in the Americas. “I went to Eisenach to fly the C2A last fall and met the folks at Rotorvox Lift Air and came away very impressed with the C2A and the people behind it.” The C2A is certified and sold ready-tofly in Europe, but will be sold as an Experimental Amateur Built kit in the USA. Rotorvox Aero is based near Denver, Colorado, and plans to work in association with Flight Design USA in South Woodstock, Conn., for an East Coast customer build assistance center. Rotorvox Aero and the C2A can seen in Paradise City, Booth 30. It also will be giving demonstration flights throughout the week.

April 10, 2018

Sun ’n Fun Today -


Career Fair returns Wednesday The fifth annual SUN ’n FUN Career Fair will be Wednesday, April 11, at the Aerospace Discovery at Florida Air Museum. There will be 14 companies exhibiting at the fair, according to Abbey Hutter, marketing coordinator for JSFirm. com, an aviation job site that is working with SUN ’n FUN on the career fair. That means it’s sold out — and has been for some time, she noted. That’s because space is limited at the museum and companies that have exhibited in the past usually snap up the available spots as soon as they are available, she said. Those spots are in even more demand now as companies are scrambling to find pilots, mechanics, and other aviation professionals. The fair, which opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 2 p.m., has attracted hundreds of jobseekers, who pre-registered online. “There’s maintenance professionals, flight attendants, engineers, dispatchers, lots of avionics professionals coming in,” Hutter said. “We’re pretty excited.” She notes that in the first few years of the SUN ’n FUN Career Fair, it was very “pilot centric,” but now companies are more concerned with finding mechanics.

“The maintenance shortage is just as bad — if not worse — than the pilot shortage,” she said. “It takes one or two people to fly a plane, but it takes double that to maintain it.” She notes job seekers are coming from all over the country for the Career Fair, not just Florida or its neighboring states. But don’t despair if this is the first you’ve heard of the Career Fair and you’d

like to check it out to see if there’s a new job in the wings for you. “The last time slot — which is from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. — is open for anybody who wants to come explore the different opportunities,” she said. She added that the employers realize that time slot is open for all, so it’s OK to show up in your fly-in attire pushing a stroller.

Participating companies include General Electric Aviation, Frontier Airlines, Air Wisconsin, Compass, Endeavor, Envoy, Express Jet, Go Jet, PSA, Republic, Sky West, Trans States, United Airlines, and United Parcel Service (UPS). Officials note that United Airlines and UPS are not recruiting pilots at this event or taking resumes.



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SUN ’n FUN Today -

April 10, 2018

New weather data coming soon to FIS-B By JOHN CROFT FAA NextGen Outreach Writer/Editor Pilots will soon have access to new weather data in their cockpits over the 978 megahertz (MHz) Universal Access Transceiver link. In June, the FAA will begin broadcasting six new weather products: Lightning strikes, turbulence, icing forecasts, cloud tops, graphical Airmen’s Meteorological Information (AIRMET) and Center Weather Advisories. The new weather information will complement the original 13 “baseline” weather products — including Next Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD) mosaics, winds aloft and terminal forecasts — in the Flight Information Services-Broadcast (FIS-B) feed. “There were discussions in the past about lightning, turbulence, icing and cloud tops, and how those would be valuable to general aviation pilots,” said Bob Pomrink, a senior systems engineer supporting the FAA on the program. The FAA added Center Weather Advisories to address a recommendation by the NTSB to send pilots more timely information on areas of convective weather.

Graphical AIRMETs, showing regions of potentially hazardous weather, were added to help pilots more easily visualize the threats. According to FAA officials, the general aviation community will benefit from the new FAA products, which should boost safety and weather situational awareness. “We have been advocating for these new weather products because of the inflight safety benefits they provide,” said Rune Duke, senior director of government affairs for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). Deciding what data can be uplinked and at what rate is like putting together a puzzle, as available bandwidth is limited on the 978 MHz link, according to FAA officials. The FAA considered uplinking turbulence forecasts every 60 seconds — the refresh rate of the model-based graphical turbulence guidance from the Aviation Weather Center — but based on available bandwidth decided on 15-minute updates, officials noted. To satisfy a request from pilots for more granular cloud top information at lower altitudes while remaining within the bandwidth budget, the FAA is provid-

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ing data in 1,500’ intervals from 1,500’ MSL to 15,000’, and in 3,000’ intervals to 24,000’. Pomrink noted radar data is broken down into “bins” measuring one-by-oneand-a-half nautical miles. “In each bin we’ll tell you if there is a presence of clouds at that altitude,” he said. The locations of lightning strikes, which are captured by Vaisala’s U.S. National Lightning Detection Network, are updated every five minutes and transmitted every five minutes. The relatively high update rate for air-to-ground strikes — an indicator of thunderstorm activity — may be a valuable addition to NEXRAD mosaics of convective weather, which the FAA warns can be 15 to 20 minutes older than the most recent uplink. Icing data includes real-time probability for areas where atmospheric conditions may be conducive to icing and supercooled large droplets (SLD), and a forecast for potentially affected areas over the next 12 hours. The information is updated hourly and transmitted every 15 minutes. While pilots have had access to current, forecast and SLD icing data in graphical format on the ground, Eldridge Fra-

zier, lead engineer for the FAA’s Weather Technology in the Cockpit program, said research is underway for how to best use the information in the air, work that will lead to technical standards. “Time is more critical when using the current, forecast and SLD icing products in the cockpit compared to when a pilot is doing a pre-flight on the ground,” said Frazier. “For that reason, we’re doing a rigorous study.” The work, which includes flight-simulator sessions with volunteer pilots flying specific weather scenarios using FIS-B icing products on their displays, will culminate later this year in recommendations for companies that will incorporate new FIS-B data into their weather applications. The new FIS-B data will be active in June 2018, and pilots will only get access to the new information when their individual applications are updated. AOPA’s Duke says the benefits will be worth the wait, but he reminds pilots to do their homework. “Pilots should review the FAA’s guidance on the new products to get the full benefits of FIS-B and to understand the limitations,” he said.

April 10, 2018

Sun ’n Fun Today -


WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY 8:30 AM Wilderness Survival, Part 1. Mike Millard, FAA. FAA Safety Center. (FAA/WINGS – FAA Credit)

9:00 AM All Auto Conversions - What’s New, What’s Old, What Works. Patrick Panzera, CONTACT! Magazine. CFAA-10. (AE - Alternative Engines) Innovator: 1st Class Performance Comfort For 2. Richard Hogan. CFAA-8. iPad as a MFD. Ash Vij. CFAA-1. (iPad) Mountain Flying. Chad Irwin. CFAA-11. Cessna 120-140 Maintenance Forum. David Lowe. CFAA-9. Lycoming Engine Care and Maintenance. Frank Lukachinsky. CFAA-3. (FAA/IA - Renewal) Piston Ignition Systems Maintenance. Zach Lincolnhol. CFAA-4. (FAA/IA - Renewal) Airspace, Human Factors and Fod. James Michael Albertson. CFAA-7. 1800WXBRIEF Best of the Future of Flight Service. Joe Daniele. CFAA-2. Flying to Alaska - Mountain Flying Tips & Tricks. Joe Kuberka. CFAA-5. (FAA/WINGS – FAA Credit) Oxygen Safety. John Barone. CFAA-6. (FAA/

IA - Renewal)

9:30 AM Portables: From wrist-worn navigators to handhelds and ADS-B/SXM receivers. Garmin. Hangar D.

10:00 AM Wilderness Survival, Part 2. Mike Millard, FAA. FAA Safety Center. (FAA/WINGS – FAA Credit) Lighting XS, More Power More Fun. Nicholas Otterback. CFAA-6. Aircraft Seat Belt Installation & Safety. Paul Sieli and Travor Ashline. CFAA-3. (A Aerobatic) ForeFlight Fundamentals. Ryan McBride. CFAA-1. What Engine Oils Are Right for Your Engines. Steven Strollo. CFAA-7. (FAA/IA - Renewal) Auto PSRU’s Issues to Avoid with Auto Engine Conversions. Stuart Davis, Auto PSRU’s. CFAA10. (AE - Alternative Engines) Ace Your Flight Test. David St. George. CFAA-8. (FAA/WINGS – FAA Credit) Flying the Beech Bonanza and Baron. Thomas Turner. CFAA-5. Fly Your Plane to Bahamas, Caribbean & Cuba. Jim Parker. CFAA-9.

Slick Magneto Maintenance. Joe Logie. CFAA4. (FAA/IA - Renewal) iPad Proficiency Check: How to Fly Like a Pro. John Zimmerman. CFAA-11. Missionary Flying in the United States. Lori Layne. CFAA-2. Autopilot Upgrades: GFC 600 and GFC 500. Garmin. Hangar D. What’s New in ForeFlight. Ryan McBride. AOPA Booth AC9.

10:45 AM Upgrading Avionics: G600 TXi/G500 TXi and GTN 750/650 series. Garmin. Hangar D.

11:00 AM Pegasus 58 hp 1/2 Continental 0-200 Conversion. Patrick Panzera, CONTACT! Magazine. CFAA-10. What You Should Know About Lithium Batteries. Reg Nicoson. CFAA-6. (SP/LSA – Sport Pilot/LSA) Rotary Engines in Experimental Aircraft. Aubrey Thompson. CFAA-4. Six Steps to Selecting the Best Aircraft for You. Scott Sky Smith. CFAA-3. Care and Maintenance of Aircraft Tires. Steve

Von Waldner - Dresser Tire. CFAA-11. (FAA/ IA - Renewal) Ace Your Flight Test. David St. George. CFAA-8. (FAA/WINGS Credit) Designing Autopilot Servo Installation for Your E/AB Aircraft. David Weber, Product Design Engineer. CFAA-7. A&P/IA Licensing Process and FAR Review. Thomas Black. CFAA-5. Everything You Need to Know about ADS-B. Tom Harper. CFAA-1. (iPad) What You Should Know About FAA Investigations & Enforcement. John Yodice and Kathy Yodice. CFAA-9. TFRs/ADIZ and Intercepts, How to Avoid a Fighter Escort. Lt. Col. Matt Schwoopin Housand. CFAA-2. (FAA/WINGS – FAA Credit) The Devil’s in the Details: ADS-B Operational Considerations. Mike Collins/Jim Marks. AOPA Booth AC9.

11:30 PM UAS Regulatory Environment. Chris Huebner, FAA. FAA Safety Center. (FAA/WINGS – FAA Credit) ADS-B Solutions: GTX 345/GTX 335 series, GDL 82 and more. Garmin. Hangar D.

. . . n o o S g n i m o C


SUN ’n FUN Today -

April 10, 2018

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY 12:00 PM Avionics Reimagined by Levil Aviation. Ricardo Leon. CFAA-1. UL Power, UL260i 95 HP@164 lbs. Robert Helms, UL Power. CFAA10. Lean of Peak: Myths, Legends and the Naked Truth. Ron Humphrey. CFAA-9. (MN Maintenance) Build, Buy or Rent - Which is for You? Scott Sky Smith. CFAA-3. Flying Cars: Where Are We Today?. Brian Purdy. CFAA-4. Flying Around the World Can Be Safe and Fun. CarolAnn Garratt. CFAA-2. Vertical Power VP-X Overview. Chad Jensen. CFAA-8. Electroair Electronic Ignition Systems. Darrell Pool. CFAA-11. (FAA/IA - Renewal) GAMIs G100UL - AvGas of the Future. Timothy C Roehl. CFAA-7. ExpressJet Airline Inc.. Jason Brown. CFAA-6. Turbine DC-3s - Current Uses & Advantages. Joe Karabensh. CFAA-5. Low-cost Upgrades for Certificated Aircraft: G5, GTX 345, GMA 345, GNC/GTR .Garmin. Hangar D. Air Safety Institute Accident Case Study:

Avoiding Thunderstorms. John Collins. AOPA Booth AC9.

12:45 PM Avionics for Experimental Aircraft: . Garmin. Hangar D.

1:00 PM Bahamas Flying. Terry Carbonell. FAA Safety Center. (FAA/WINGS) Revmaster 85-hp R-2300 & Turbo. Patrick Panzera, CONTACT! Magazine. CFAA-10. Innovator: 2 Week in Factory Build Program. RIchard Hogan. CFAA-5. Five Practical Cost Cutting Ideas.. Scott Sky Smith. CFAA-3. Combining Online Flight Planning with iPad. Steve Podradchik. CFAA-1. Engine Learning for Enhanced Safety, Reliability and Efficiency. Bill Ross. CFAA-2. (FAA/IA - Renewal) Introduction to WeatherSpork. David A. Buser. CFAA-9. LSA Operational and Buying Tips. John Calla. CFAA-7. Want to Get the Most Out of DUATS?. Kyle Everson. CFAA-6.

Photo by Ben Sclair

Two-year-old Lt. Logan Koberg (left) and four-year-old Capt. Luke Koberg, from Atlanta “fly” their Alaska Air National Guard marked P-82 built by grandfather Les Koberg.

Designing the Perfect Paint Scheme/Vinyl Design. Craig Barnett. CFAA-11. Buying an Airplane: An Insurance Perspective. Michael Adams. CFAA-8. Fun Family Flying - Living the Ultimate Fly-In Lifestyle. Mike Ciochetti. CFAA-4.

What Your Engine is Telling You. Adrian Eichhorn. AOPA Booth AC9. Due to space limitations, this does not include everything that is going on at SUN ’n FUN today. Check the In-Flight Guide for more events and more details.



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SUN ’n FUN Today -

April 10, 2018

Scenes from SUN ’n FUN

Photo by Frederick A. Johnsen

It’s back to the future with this sci-fi Convair Sea Dart seaplane jet fighter of the 1950s, part of the museum collection at SUN ’n FUN.

Photo by Frederick A. Johnsen

This canary yellow Beech Staggerwing is an early bird arrival at SUN ’n FUN 2018.

Photo by Frederick A. Johnsen Photo by Jack McKibben

Photo by Jack McKibben

Paul McKibben with his custom flightline lifeguard chair built with lumber left over from hurricane repairs. The chair seats three and has a “beer pulley” system to resupply occupants of the chair.

We’re not in Kansas anymore! Part of the charm of SUN ’n FUN is the moss wafting gently in the humid breeze over a sleepy slough on the airfield grounds.

Calling all photographers Did you shoot a great photo at SUN ’n FUN this morning or afternoon? Want to see it in tomorrow’s edition of SUN ’n FUN Today? Bring your camera to the SUN ’n FUN Today trailer near the Cessna display by 1 p.m. We can download your photo and then we’ll put the best ones in the next day’s paper.

Or, you can text photos from your phone to (253) 228-1634. Be sure to include your name, the names of any people in the picture and a few details about what’s happening in the shot. Not every picture will make the paper, so bring us your best and get that instant gratification of seeing your name in the paper the next morning.

Photo by Frederick A. Johnsen

The B-17 Flying Fortress that portrayed the famed “Memphis Belle” in a feature film taxied to the Warbird ramp at SUN ’n FUN 2018 on Monday.

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2018 SUN ’n FUN Today Day 1  

The Tuesday, April 10, 2018, edition of SUN ’n FUN Today from the grounds of Lakeland-Linder Airport

2018 SUN ’n FUN Today Day 1  

The Tuesday, April 10, 2018, edition of SUN ’n FUN Today from the grounds of Lakeland-Linder Airport