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March 27, 2012


Sun ’n Fun Today -

published by

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

weather TODAY


CEILING: 12,000 ft. VISIBILITY: Over 6 Miles Dew Point: 55˚ WIND: 90˚at 12mph



CEILING: 12,000 ft. VISIBILITY: Over 6 Miles Dew Point: 59˚ WIND: 90˚at 12mph



CEILING: 12,000 ft. VISIBILITY: Over 6 Miles Dew Point: 55˚ WIND: 90˚at 12mph FOR MORE VISIT THE

XM WX BOOTH Today’s Highlights Rock on

 lying Musicians perform at the F Sunset Grill and Corn Roast.

Evening Program

 he Parris Island Marine Band, T AOPA Pavilion, 8 p.m.

Table of Contents StormReady.................................................................3 Why would you fly to SUN ’n FUN?....................... 6 Stallion 51’s Silver Jubilee..................................... 10 High grades, high flight.......................................... 16 SUN ’n FUN’s official superstore......................... 17 Thunderbirds to dazzle crowds........................... 18 ‘FIFI’ lands at SUN ’n FUN.................................... 20 Black Diamonds: The home team....................... 22 Commemorating Apollo 17.................................... 23 Celebrating 100 years of Marine Aviation.............. 24 Tune in to SUN ’n FUN Radio................................ 25 Flying High Coffee fuels SUN ’n FUN.................. 26 Flying Musicians to perform all week................ 27 Splash-In at Fantasy of Flight .............................. 30 AvBid Aircraft Auctions returns........................... 31 International Visitors Tent..................................... 31 Don’t miss the Florida Air Museum..................... 32 Parts Exchange opens........................................... 34 Congressman to host Town Hall meeting.......... 36 Rejuvenating General Aviation............................. 42 Living the dream...................................................... 44 What’s happening today........................................ 46 Meet the new SUN ’n FUN president................. 48 A pioneering volunteer........................................... 54

Photo by Ben Sclair


Country music star Aaron Tippin and his T-6 “Greek Freak” prepare for the kick-off of this year’s show.

Spring Break for pilots Country music star Aaron Tippin is like most pilots who come to SUN ’n FUN: Proud to show off his T-6, “Greek Freak,” and excited to see all the other airplanes on the grounds. Tippin, who will perform Thursday evening as part of the Commemorative Air Force’s “Red White & Loud” Tour was busy Monday helping set up the CAF tent and looking at the other planes on the Warbird Ramp. This is a special year for Tippin as it is his first at SUN ’n FUN as co-pilot on “FIFI,” the only airworthy B-29. He has traveled the country in the past year, flying “FIFI” and performing his concerts in front of the iconic bomber. “I usually do my last song standing on the wing,” he said with a big smile. Unfortunately, that’s won’t happen this year as Tippin’s concert is slated for the AOPA Pavilion at the Florida Air Museum, but concert-goers will have the chance to see and tour “FIFI” all during the week on the Warbird Ramp. Tippin promises a fast-paced fun-filled concert on Thursday. “I tell people to make sure to wear a seat belt,” he said.

“It’s got all the bells and whistles.” Ravi the Raviator, a motivational speaker and pilot, is the warm-up act for Tippin’s concert. He’s a founding member of the Flying Musicians Association. Members of the association will be performing throughout the grounds all week, from the Sunset Grill to the Sennheiser S1 Stage in the Corn Roast to the Flying High Coffee locations around the grounds. And while music seems to be a dominant theme at this year’s SUN ’n FUN, the main attraction, of course, is airplanes — flying them, learning about them, watch-

ing them perform in the showcase fly-bys and airshows, and possibly looking at one in the Light-Sport Aircraft Mall or Manufacturers Display area and deciding that now is the time to finally buy. Meanwhile the hangars are full of exhibitors selling everything from headsets to aviation jewelry to art, while the forums in the Central Florida Aerospace Academy kick off today, as well as forums in the FAA Building. Welcome to SUN ’n FUN: Spring Break for Pilots!



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StormReady Lessons learned from last year’s tornado When the tornado ripped through the SUN ’n FUN grounds last year, it took a lot of people by surprise — and ensuring that never happens again became a top priority for the fly-in’s new president, John “Lites” Leenhouts. “When I got here I asked how prepared they were for the storm,” he said in the days before this year’s show. “And they acknowledged they were not as prepared as they should have been.” So Leenhouts and the rest of the SUN ’n FUN staff took a “professional” approach to the problem, realizing that while John “Lites” being prepared Leenhouts for inclement weather is a priority, the No. 1 priority is notifying the general public of changes in the weather.

Photo courtesy SUN ’n FUN


Sun ’n Fun Today -

So SUN ’n FUN staff worked with officials with the local fire and police departments, as well as the NOAA’s National Weather Service, to devise a plan to monitor the weather and notify all guests as to any changes. The SUN ’n FUN campus is now designated StormReady by the National Weather Service, which means the event organizers have the skills and education needed to survive severe weather —before and during the event. Among the steps taken to achieve the StormReady status, SUN ’n FUN now has: • Three locations for NOAA Weather Radios; • Safe Shelter Areas for each geographic area of the event grounds to comply with SUN ’n FUN’s “Tornado and High Wind Safety Zone Designation;” • Alternative methods of receiving National Weather Service warnings, including local TV and radio and Internet weather sources; • Methods for alerting staff, guests and participants, as well as alternative means if the electricity is off; • Methods to provide special assistance to handicapped staff and participants; • Pre-planned announcements for the SUN ’n FUN announcer, radio station and safety officers to avoid


Photo by Ben Sclair

March 27, 2012

confusion and misunderstanding; and • Processes to notify all concerned as the weather conditions and/or emergency passes. “Every day we will assess the weather patterns and how we will keep the public appraised of them,” Leenhouts said. “Our primary goal is to keep everybody advised of what is occurring before it occurs.” He notes that there has been enough study of weather to be able to make pretty accurate predictions. “I can’t tell you how strong the storm is going to be, but I can tell you there’s going to be a thunderstorm in the next hour or hail or a tornado,” he said. An important lesson that SUN ’n FUN

officials learned is that when the National Weather Service says there is a 10% chance of a tornado, “that means there is going to be a tornado and there’s a 10% chance that it is going to be where you are,” Leenhouts said, noting that was a surprise to him and other officials, who thought — like most of us — that a 10% chance meant there was a 90% chance that there wouldn’t be a tornado. In the months before this week’s airshow, SUN ’n FUN staff and volunteers performed a variety of drills to familiarize everyone with the StormReady process. As you walk around the SUN ’n FUN grounds this week, you should be able to see several of the StormReady site designation signs.


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SUN ’n FUN Today -

Issue 1 — TUESDAY March 27, 2012 Publishers John “Lites” Leenhouts Ben Sclair Editorial Staff Meg Godlewski Janice Wood Advertising Larry Price Mickey Price PRODUCTION Russell Kasselman Distribution Arthur Ward Paulette Ward Contributing Writers J. Douglas Hinton Deb McFarland Jack Neubacher 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. Subscriptions to General Aviation News, $35.00 for two years (at the fly-in). Visit our exhibit space, C-62. 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. www.generalaviationnews. com © 2012 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.

Corvalis TTX ready for takeoff On opening day of SUN ’n FUN, Cessna officials reported that line flow has started for the Cessna Corvalis TTX. The TTX holds the distinction of being the fastest certified piston-driven aircraft in production. “The TTX program has been moving steadily along through various certifications and testing phases,” said Terry Shriner, Cessna TTX business leader. The production lines have begun the bonding processes on the all-composite TTX fuselage, as well as commencing work on the wing skins and internal components, he reported The TTX is replacing the Corvalis TT, and brings with it new capabilities, including the optional Flight Into Known Icing (FIKI) system, which can provide up to 2-½ hours of protection from most ice attaching to the airframe with “virtually no impact” on the aircraft’s performance, company officials said. The avionics suite has been upgraded, including Garmin GTC touch screens as part of the Cessna Intrinzic avionics suite powered by the Garmin G2000 system. The TTX, which seats four, has a certified ceiling of 25,000 feet. The TSIO550-C turbocharged engine is manufactured by Continental Motors, and has a maximum power output of 310 horsepower. Usable fuel capacity is 102 gallons. Deliveries of the TTX are expected to begin later this year.

The Corvalis TTX mockup is at the Cessna Exhibit all week. Cessna also unveiled its Enforcer program, which offers single-engine aircraft with surveillance and communications capabilities for law enforcement. “The procedure until now has been for an agency to purchase an airplane, then go through the acquisition, procurement and integration process for all of the aftermarket equipment you need for an effective aerial platform,” said Jeff Umscheid, Cessna 172, 182, 206 business leader. “Now, with the Enforcer program, the goal will be to deliver an airplane already equipped with surveillance equipment at a much lower cost. We take care of the integration, so it truly is a one-stop shop.” The capabilities of the surveillance package extend beyond the cockpit, he noted. The camera can be hard-wired into the Garmin G1000 avionics suite and the multi-function display can be toggled to display the strut-mounted camera. This signal can be routed to an officer in the plane who is controlling the camera through his laptop, while the signal is sent to fellow officers on the ground through 3G network connectivity. Equipment can be adapted for other missions, including pipeline mapping, surveying storm damage, tracking wildfires, real estate surveys, broadcast television, search and rescue, and assessing environ-


mental emergencies. The cameras can be used with visible light or infra-red light, while search and rescue (SAR) software enables the autopilot to fly a predefined search and surveillance pattern. The Enforcer program is expected to be available in the second quarter of 2012. A prototype Enforcer aircraft is on display at the Cessna exhibit next to the FAA building. Cessna officals also are celebrating an order for 15 Grand Caravans from Russian company Gosudarstvennaya Transportnaya Lizingovaya Kompaniya (GTLK). Seven Grand Caravans will be delivered this year and eight will be delivered in 2013, with options for 15 more, company officials said. GTLK will lease the aircraft on a subsidized basis to local operators as part of a government initiative to improve local aviation services. “Grand Caravans are ideal for Russia — reliable, fast, versatile and very economical, with low maintenance requirements,” said Pana Poulios, Cessna’s European sales director for propeller aircraft. The Grand Caravan, which seats up to 12 passengers, has a range of 917 nautical miles and a maximum cruise speed of 184 knots true airspeed. The first Grand Caravan was delivered in 1990 and Cessna has now delivered more than 1,500.

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Photo by Ben Sclair


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By JANICE WOOD Questioning pilots flying into SUN ’n FUN is an unexpected thing to hear from the fly-in’s new safety advisor to the president, Ben Coleman. Coleman is a nationally renowned aviation safety expert with more than 38 years of experience, much of it with the NTSB and FAA. He has investigated more than 400 aviation accidents through which he has amassed a number of safety principles that he shares with the general aviation community through the SUN ’n FUN website, blogs and forum programming. “There is a cornucopia of safety related information in aviation,” he said. “All of it put together is useless unless the end user is confident, competent, proficient and motivated.” When Coleman questions your desire

to fly to SUN ’n FUN, he wants people to read further — “unless you are: • Current • Proficient throughout all airspeed regimes of your aircraft • Have practiced crosswind landings • Have done proper planning • Know the NOTAM inside and out • Have studied the weather for the previous three days checking for trends • Your aircraft is mechanically sound; and • Have arranged several days at the end of the fly-in to get home “We could go further, but it has been my experience that some pilots look forward to SUN ’n FUN because it is the first place to go after a long cold winter,” he said. “In some cases the aircraft hasn’t flown in many months, including the pilot. Now

Photo courtesy Ben Coleman

Why would you fly to SUN ’n FUN?

they are going to load up three friends or family and luggage and takeoff over gross on a fool-hardy trip to central Florida. It is heart-wrenching to investigate an accident and uncover situations that resemble the above. It is so preventable!”

March 27, 2012

While the staff at SUN ’n FUN wants all pilots and aviation enthusiasts to visit the fly-in, they want everyone to arrive and depart safely, Coleman said. “Learn all you can about the journey and don’t push yourself or the weather,” he said. Coleman acknowledges that the recent economic downturn has led to some belttightening, which makes it “easy for some folks to justify cutting corners on maintenance, fuel, or insurance.” “That is when we need to think smarter about where we cut funds,” he said. “Operations of your aircraft and proficiency flying is NOT the place to start cutting. Start thinking of better ways to increase your activities in the air and how to cover the bills. After all, it is worth saving your life!” As resident safety advisor to the SUN ’n FUN President John “Lites” Leenhouts, Coleman has been tasked with reviewing the entire fly-in operation to take safety to the next level. “Our commitment to safety is one of the cardinal values in the day-to-day operations of our campus,” said Leenhouts. “It is paramount in the operation of our annual International Fly-In & Expo.” While ensuring the safety of pilots and aircraft owners, Coleman also knows that ensuring the safety of those new to aviation — “many of whom have never even been up close and personal with an airplane” — is paramount. He’s worked closely with SUN ’n FUN staff and volunteers to sharpen their sensitivity to potential risks. “I am constantly on vigil for safety issues and have the experience to delicately recommend changes in the operations of the organization to help mitigate those risks,” he said. Coleman is a pilot and A&P with IA, as well as a senior parachute rigger. His aviation career began in 1975, covering the gamut from private manufacturing to airlines to the NTSB and FAA. After retiring from the FAA, he spent two years in Iraq as an aviation safety officer for the State Department. He now runs Ben Coleman Associates and Aerospace Management Systems Institute in Lakeland, which is dedicated to assisting organizations like SUN ’n FUN in safety and preventative management systems. He also is co-founder and vice president of a new television network start-up, Air & Space Television in Orlando. Look for stories and safety tips from Ben Coleman throughout the week in the pages of SUN ’n FUN Today.

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It’s not often you can do something for the first time, again. Team RV has had a year to anticipate its return to SUN ’n FUN to debut its oneof-a-kind performance before aviation enthusiasts from all over the world. “We can’t wait to fly at SUN ’n FUN and gauge response from this crowd. It’s a rite of passage that we have looked forward to for two years now” said Mike “Kahuna” Stewart, Flight Lead for Team RV. Last year’s stormy weather not only canceled the SUN ’n FUN airshow and the team’s performance for two days, but

also destroyed two of the aircrafts in the team’s fleet damaged six others. “Our fleet suffered a lot of damage, but we have great insurance coverage with NationAir, and with their help we quickly picked up the pieces and moved on to a fantastic season,” Stewart said. With 12 pilots, Team RV is the world’s largest airshow team. It presents an actionpacked display of close formation, opposing passes, difficult rejoins, and graceful aerobatics. Spectators can see them fly on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 27-28.

Photo courtesy TeamRV

Team RV debuts — again

Powering SUN ’n FUN In the moments after last year’s tornado, most people were stunned and unsure what to do. But Thomas Pernice and the folks at Honda Power Equipment knew what to do. “We are right next to the SUN ’n FUN Radio station and we saw that they were without power and we said ‘oh, we can fix that problem,” he said. Next they sent a generator to the media center, so reporters could get the word out about the tornado and its aftermath. It’s something the company was glad to do, Pernice said, noting that as a SUN ’n FUN sponsor, Honda Power Equipment is

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providing 20 portable generators this year, as well as another five for the AeroShell team, which it also sponsors. Honda Power Equipment, which has a big display near Sunset Grill, also is holding its “Hear No Evil” promotion, where you can register to win a Honda EU2000i Generator and receive a free pair of ear plugs while supplies last. The AeroShell team will be at the exhibit for autographs today, Thursday and Friday from 1:30 to 2 p.m. Honda Generators of Tampa also will have several show only special offers at its exhibit in the Southwest exhibit area.

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March 27, 2012

Photos courtesy Stallion 51


Stallion 51 celebrates Silver Jubilee 25 years of Mustang­memories and fulfilling flying dreams Stallion 51 kicks off a celebration of its 25th anniversary this week. Reaching the Silver Jubilees is an amazing milestone for any business today, much less an aviation business that specializes in rare, high end-high horsepower historic aircraft built on the dreams and passions of the Mustang, officials with the Kissimmee, Fla.-based company said. Through the decades Stallion 51 and its iconic P-51 Mustang “Crazy Horse” have

become synonymous with the place to go to check off an item on your bucket list. The Stallion 51 flight experience is like no other, officials say. Each flight, whether in one of Stallion’s dual-cockpit, dual-control Mustangs or its historic T-6 Texan, is tailored to the dreams and goals of the person who came to fly with Stallion 51. Stallion 51 is also the place to go if the dream of flying a Mustang also includes owning one, officials note. Stallion 51’s

current check-out training program assists pilots who want to move up to high performance World War II fighters. Pilots from all over the world enroll in Stallion 51’s transition and check-out training programs, both in the T-6 Texan and the Mustang. Over the past quarter century, Stallion 51 has expanded its operation to three hangars at the Kissimmee Gateway Airport (ISM). Along with the Mustang orientation flights and transition training, flight operations also encompass the T-6 Texan orientation flights and transition training program, VFR unusual attitude training program in the P-51, Unusual Attitude Training (UAT)

orientation flights in the L-39 Turbo Jet, and AVMed 51’s FAA Medical Exam office and full time Senior AME on staff. SUN ’n FUN is the kick-off for Stallion 51’s yearlong Silver Jubilee commemoration. Friday has been designated Stallion 51 Day. Lee Lauderback, Stallion 51’s president and chief pilot, will perform his signature solo Mustang routine at the beginning of the night airshow Friday, creating an appropriate close to the special day. The crew from Stallion 51, along with “Crazy Horse,” will be on the Warbird Ramp all week.

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Piper kicks off 75th anniversary at show

Photo by Ben Sclair


now to next.


Piper is planning a special 75th anPiper Aircraft will use this week’s airniversary celebratory breakfast for cusshow, which company officials call “an tomers and invited guests on Wednesday, iconic fun flying venue,” to kick off a March 28, during SUN ’n FUN. year-long celebration of its 75th anni“We will be recognizing Piper’s aviaversary, highlighted with the002895_AviationLube_A_Mech.indd display of Revision: 0 Created: 3/14/12andPrinted @ 100%of our tion heritage the tradition a vintage Piper Cub. great people andCreative aircraft throughout the Of course, the company is also bringClient: ConocoPhillips Director: year,” said Piper President and CEO Siing its “latest and greatest” to the show, Art Director: J. PANCHO mon Caldecott. “We’ve chosen SUN ’n including airplanes from its M-Class Bleed: n/a FUN to kick off our Copywriter: customer and public business aircraft and trainer product lines. Trim: activities.” Proofreader: N. TUCKER Piper Aircraft, which has had its fair M-Class aircraft on display at theLive: 7.4375" x 8.5" Studio Artist: J. WARD share of ups and downs and owners over company’s exhibit in the Manufacturers Inspected By: the last 75 years, is now owned SingaDisplay area, Spaces 13, 14, 18 and 19, Colors: 4/c Production Manager: C. CAPOSINO pore-based investment strategy cominclude the turboprop Meridian and prespany Imprimis, Project whichManager: is funded by the surized single-engine Mirage. DPI: 300 A. MORRISON Government of Brunei and has offices Also on display will be a twin-engine in Bangkok, Singapore and Brunei DarSeminole trainer destined for Redbird ussalam. The company is based in Vero Flight Simulations’ innovative research Beach, Fla. and development laboratory in San cos, Texas. This vintage Cub is on display all week.



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Trade-A-Plane apps for everything that keeps you flying SUN ’n FUN sponsor Trade-A-Plane has released its iPhone and Android apps. With the detailed search functionality available on the website, the Trade-APlane app allows you to find listings for aircraft, engines, parts/products, real estate, services and companies. There are complete listings of airplanes for sale with all of the information seen on the website, including photos, videos and documents, as well as a variety of contact options for the seller. The Trade-A-Plane app features: • Search listings for aircraft, engines, aircraft parts and products for sale, real estate, services and companies. • Select specific search criteria (i.e., category, sub-category, make, model, price, last updated, etc.). • Sort the results by various criteria and view detailed listing information provided by the seller, including photos, videos and documents. • Contact the seller via the app by calling or emailing, visiting the seller’s Facebook or Twitter profile, getting directions to the listing, or by viewing the seller’s website. You can also view the listing live at • Email a friend any listing detail page. The email includes a link to the listing on the website and on the mobile site so you can view the information from any device. • View upcoming aviation events and add them to your personal calendar through the Events Calendar. • Get quick access to the Trade-APlane contact information. During SUN ’n FUN, Trade-A-Plane is offering a show special of $9.95 per month for a one-year subscription. Find out more at Trade-A-Plane’s booth in Hangar A, Spaces 1, 2 and 3., 800-337-5263.

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SUN ’n FUN Today -

March 27, 2012

By PAT HILL Chairman of the Board Florida Air Museum The Florida Air Museum (FAM) has made tremendous strides since a “minimuseum” first appeared in the corner of SUN ’n FUN’s Hangar A in 1986. Growth has continued over the years, with FAM acquiring the title of Florida’s “Official Aviation Museum and Education Center” in 2003. In 2010, the board of SUN ’n FUN initiated an effort to establish a separate organization focused entirely on the museum and its long-term educational mission. While reporting to the SUN ’n FUN board for guidance and fiscal controls, the new organization is charged with the far-reaching challenges of making FAM a year-round destination for aviation enthu-

siasts and a center for aviation education in this country. Working with a team of professionals and guided by a very active board, this organization is out to make a difference in aviation and in the stimulation of technical education in our region. One of the first tasks of the new board was to evaluate our mission and ultimately to adopt new Vision and Mission statements to guide the development of our programs. With the aid of a highly committed staff and volunteers who are passionate about their work, the future of this museum has never looked so good! Attendance is growing behind nearly all of the events and programs and our revenue picture is emerging in a positive manner as sponsors and donors witness the benefit of our highly defined focus. Without the commitment of the SUN ’n FUN board and the ongoing success of

Photo courtesy FAM

Museum chairman looks to the future

the SUN ’n FUN fly-in, we would not be where we are today. A multi-year under-

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writing commitment by the SUN ’n FUN board and an improving economy should offer the right balance as we jump start the next decade of growth. Our success starts with a passion for aviation that can be witnessed by all associated with FAM. The museum’s special collections and our unique location in the center of the largest tourism destination in America will ultimately offer a pipeline of curious onlookers, which we will engage in dialog and hopefully convert to disciples of our mission. However, the initiation of our educational focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) is what is clearly setting us apart. Our programs are achieving national recognition and we are increasingly in a great position to inspire students, citizens and leaders in our country. The future at FAM is very bright. Committees are hard at work planning for facility enhancements to allow programming that will offer a fiscally responsible return on investment. We are grateful to the key donors who are helping us achieve early success and are encouraged by the many who have expressed interest in being part of this unique enterprise. I truly believe we are “making a difference.” I encourage you to get involved and to be part of the maturation of one of America’s most impressive destinations for aviation enthusiasts — and a place that will help inspire America’s future leaders in technology.

Avemco forums Avemco officials will hold a variety of forum during the week, kicking off today at 10 a.m. in Room 7 of the Central Florida Aerospace Academy with “Traits of Superior Pilots.” New President JJ Greenway, will present findings gleaned from Avemco claims data and accident prevention research to show why some pilots are less likely to have accidents and how all pilots can be more like them. Wednesday at 9 a.m. in Room 8, Greenway returns with “The Best Aircraft for You — An Accident Prevention Perspective,” a creative approach to choosing the right airplane from the standpoint of accident prevention. Wednesday at noon at the FAA Building, Greenway presents “Intelligent Flying,” detailing what it takes to be a smarter pilot. He says he’s seen some very smart pilots do dumb things during his 14,000+ hours as an airline captain and CFI. Thursday at 8 a.m. in Room 9 of the CFAA, Executive Vice President Jim Lauerman details the “Top 10 Aviation Insurance Myths.” Learn the myths that keep pilots from getting the right insurance coverage, as well as how to insure your aircraft for the right value, the hidden secrets of liability coverage, and the risks of flying an aircraft you don’t own. Avemco’s booth is in Hangar C, Spaces 55-56.

March 27, 2012

Sun ’n Fun Today -


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SUN ’n FUN Today -

By MEG GODLEWSKI How do you manage a 4.4 GPA on a 4.0 scale? “You take lots of Advanced Placement and Honors classes,” said Joshua Gutierrez, a 17-year-old honor student at Central Florida Aviation Academy. Gutierrez has the highest GPA in his school and as a reward he earned a ride in the back seat of a T-6 Monday morning. He acknowledged that the competition at CFAA is fierce, because the students are highly motivated and dedicated. “It takes a level of dedication,” he said. “In the AP and Honors classes there is a higher workload and you’re expected to do higher quality work. I really devote myself to my education because I care about my future.” The T-6 flight came courtesy of Hathorn Aviation. According to crew chief Jeff Hathorn, the T-6 spends part of the year

in Key West, Fla., and part of the year on Jacksonville, giving rides. Gutierrez was all attention as Hathorn gave him the safety briefing. Although he has flown in Cessnas and other small trainers in pursuit of his Private Pilots license, this was his first time in a Warbird. Bill Doty, the T-6 pilot, explained the role of the T-6 for military pilots, many of whom took their first flights in the airplane when they were about the same age as Gutierrez. “During World War II it was the last airplane pilots flew before they transitioned to fighters,” he said. “After World War II it was the first airplane they flew.” Gutierrez’s flight was extra special, because as the T-6 taxied out, his classmates lined the taxiway and saluted. A smiling Gutierrez returned the salute. Gutierrez plans to attend Georgia Tech and major in engineering.

Photo by Meg Godlewski

High grades, high flight for student

March 27, 2012

Josh Gutierrez gets his ride in the T-6 with Bill Doty at the controls.

Photo courtesy Phillips 66

Meet the Aerostars

eaa’s vintage aircraft association Share your interest in preserving and protecting our aviation heritage. Become a part of VAA and receive our colorful and informative magazine, Vintage Airplane, plus gain access to our special insurance program for vintage airplanes.

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As an EAA member, you can join VAA for $42. Non-members can join both EAA and VAA for $52.

Celebrating 85 years fueling the aviation industry, Phillips 66 Aviation is bringing the Aerostars to its tent this week for meet and greet sessions. Visitors can meet the Aerostar pilots from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday at the Phillips 66 Aviation tent in the North Exhibit Area, Spaces 83-88. The Aerostars’ tent appearances will precede the team’s daily afternoon shows. Flying 400-hp Soviet Yak 52TW trainers within a few feet of one another at speeds in excess of 250 mph, the Aerostars roar into barrel rolls, formation loops, and power moves like a break-away cross, bomb burst and precise opposing passes. Also at the Phillips 66 tent, pilots can purchase cases of the Phillips 66 X/C line of premium single- and multi-viscosity engine oils and hydraulic fluids.

Shipping Services

FedEx is located next to the PilotMall store. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

We’re not attending SNF this year so visit us at our website: Standard & custom placards, custom circuit breaker overlays along with instrument & switch panels. 151 N. Granby Road • Granby, CT 06035 • Ph. (860) 653-2780 • Fax (860) 653-7324 • E-mail:

March 27-April 1, 2012

Sun ’n Fun Today -

Look for a lot of new products this year at, the “Official Aviation Superstore of SUN ’n FUN.” “We have over 300 new products,” said Neil Glazer, president of, which sells more than 4,000 products online and has operated the 4,000-squarefoot retail store located across from Hangar B for four years. Glazer notes that he and other company officials spent the last year finding new things for the store, including more gift items, more toys, and even some aviation art. “There’s a lot of cool new stuff,” he said. But don’t worry: The store will still carry official SUN ’n FUN merchandise, as well as Thunderbirds merchandise. And because the weather last year was so bad, still has a supply of 2011’s official merchandise for those pilots who didn’t get a chance to get here. One item that was particularly popular last year was the “I Survived the SUN ’n FUN Tornado” T-shirt, which sold out in minutes after going on sale just two days after the tornado. This year, the shirt will be available in a sapphire blue. Last year’s shirts were only available in gray. The store also carries a full line of pilot supplies, charts, books, headsets, and transceivers.

Stay in the know In addition to the complimentary Internet Cafe co-located with the Tourism Information Center near Sunset Grill and in Hangar E, guests can get wireless Internet access for a fee from BrightHouse Networks, a SUN ’n FUN sponsor. WiFi access is $9.95 for one day or $29.95 for the week. Stop by the Internet Cafe for more information.


Want to keep up with everything that’s going on around the airshow grounds? You can get event updates by texting SNFUPDATE to 69050 and weather alerts by texting SNFALERT to 69050. You can stop the texts by texting STOP to 69050.


Come to the Pilot Briefing Center next to the showers by the Vintage Headquarters for the latest information on taxi procedures, field opening and closing schedules, availability of tie-downs, fly-by information, demonstration ride staging, information relative to the grass strip, and radio frequencies.


Several self-briefing weather stations provided by XmWx Satellite Weather are available at Vintage, Homebuilt, Lightplane, Warbird and Choppertown HQs, Aircraft Camping Registration, GA Parking, Seaplane Parking, the Pilot Mall store, and the Florida Air Museum.

Besides the store, will operate four merchandise tents around the grounds: Near the new Kid Zone by the main admission window, in front of the Sunset Grill, near the VIP seating area, and near the Warbird Ramp. There also will be a mobile cart driving through the grounds with merchandise for sale. also is featuring several free giveaways to the first 1,000 customers, including ball caps, key chains “and other pilot swag,” Glazer said. The store also will feature an exhibit by Angel Flight Southeast, including the opportunity to find out more about the group’s Texas Hold’em fundraiser, slated for Saturday, March 31. The store will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the fly-in.

Photo courtesy

The official superstore of SUN ’n FUN



Sun ’n Fun Today -

March 27-April 1, 2012

Thunderbirds to dazzle crowds appearance made on all our guests and friends throughout Polk and Hillsborough Counties in 2008 and 2010,” said SUN ’n FUN President and CEO John “Lites” Leenhouts. The Thunderbirds (officially named the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration

Photos courtesy U.S. Air Force

The United States Air Force Thunderbirds military jet team will perform Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The team is expected to arrive Thursday around 3 p.m. “We are delighted that the Thunderbirds will return to the skies over Lakeland, knowing the remarkable impact their

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Squadron) perform precision aerial maneuvers demonstrating the capabilities of the Air Force’s high-performance aircraft to people throughout the world. The Thunderbirds squadron is an Air Combat Command unit composed of eight pilots (including six demonstration pilots), four support officers, three civilians, and more than 130 enlisted personnel performing in 25 career fields. The air demonstration is a combination of formation flying and solo routines. The four-aircraft “Diamond Formation” demonstrates the training and precision of the Air Force pilots, while the solo aircraft highlight the maximum capabilities of the F-16 “Fighting Falcon,” the fighter jet employed by the Thunderbirds team. The Thunderbirds perform approximately 30 maneuvers during their demonstrations. The entire Thunderbird performance, including ground and air routines, runs about an hour and 15 minutes. In addition to their responsibilities as the official U.S. Air Force aerial demonstration team, the Thunderbirds are part of America’s active combat force. If required, the team’s personnel and aircraft

Expanded jet box requires campground evacuation During the Thunderbirds’ demonstrations, the FAA requires everyone to evacuate the area north of Yellow Line on Poberezny Road in the campground. Campers will be advised of when they must vacate the area by SUN ’n FUN officials, but should expect to have to do this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. can be quickly integrated into a fighter unit at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, where the F-16s can be made combatready in less than 72 hours.

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March 27-April 1, 2012

Sun ’n Fun Today -





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Sun ’n Fun Today -

‘FIFI’ lands at SUN ’n FUN The Commemorative Air Force brings one of its stars, “FIFI,” the last airworthy B-29 Superfortress, to this week’s airshow. With a place of honor on the Warbird ramp, “FIFI” will be open for ground cockpit tours, when not in operation. Tours are $5 for adults and $2 for children 5-12. World War II and Korean veterans can tour the bomber for free, as well as active duty military. The bomber also will be giving rides during the show. The B-29 holds 10 passengers — four in front (including the bombardier) and six in the rear gunner’s compartment. Passengers in the gunner’s compartment are not able to move to the front of the aircraft because the bomb bay separates the two cabins. Passengers must be at least 12 years old. Rides will be offered Wednesday through Sunday. Check at the Commemorative Air Force tent on the Warbird ramp for available times. Rides range in price from $595 to $1,495, depending on where you sit. The Commemorative Air Force is also bringing its RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit to SUN ’n FUN. The one-of-a-kind exhibit, dedicated to the Tuskgee Airmen, is housed in a 53-foot customized trailer with sides that slide out to create a 30-seat climate-controlled movie theater with a 180° screen. The original movie, “RISE ABOVE,”

Country music star Aaron Tippin after his checkout in “FIFI.”

March 27-April 1, 2012


is certain to entertain as well as educate viewers, CAF officials note. In the movie “RISE ABOVE,” a young student with the dream of becoming an astronaut finds out that his new friend fought in a long-ago war as a pilot. He also learns that the man had to overcome many obstacles to reach his goal and that any goal worth having is worth working for. Tuskegee Airman Col. (ret) Charles E. McGee plays himself. “Col. Mac” holds the U.S. Air Force record for most combat missions — 409 over three wars. The movie highlights who the Tuskegee Airmen are and how they overcame so many obstacles to be allowed to train and fight as the first black U.S. Army Air Corps pilots. The film also features the

Sun ’n Fun Today -

story of the more than 14,000 other black men and women who trained hard to support the pilots. The courage and determination they all exhibited in the 1940s as they rose above adversity to meet their goals still has the power to inspire Americans today. In addition, the movie will give viewers a thrilling feel for what it’s like to fly a P-51C Mustang! “RISE ABOVE” was created by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Adam White of Hemlock Films. Admission to the RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit, which is on the Warbird Ramp, is free with on-site registration of a valid email address.,


Country music star Aaron Tippin in concert The Commemorative Air Force is also bringing the Red, White & Loud Tour starring Aaron Tippin to SUN ’n FUN. The country music star will take to the stage in the AOPA Pavilion Thursday at 8 p.m. His concert is sponsored by Scotts Miracle-Gro. Known for his patriotic songs, Tippin is a platinum-selling recording artist and songwriter with 13 albums and more than 30 singles, including “Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagles Fly,” “You’ve

Got to Stand for Something” and “Kiss This.” A long-time pilot, Tippin soloed on his 16th birthday. He became a commercial multi-engine instrument-rated pilot by the age of 18 and his also helicopter-qualified. A certified aircraft and power plant mechanic, he owns a 1941 Stearman, a 1946 J3 Cub and 1959 Helio Curior — all in flying condition. He also is qualified to fly the B-29 “FIFI.”



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March 27-April 1, 2012


Sun ’n Fun Today -

March 27-April 1, 2012

Black Diamond Jet Team: The Home Team When the Black Diamond Jet Team performs during this week’s airshow, you may see the crowd react a bit more enthusiastically. That’s because the Black Diamonds are Lakeland’s “home team,” based right here at Lakeland-Linder Regional Airport (LAL). The team’s fleet of five L-39s, two MiG-17s, as well as their maintenance and support personnel, are headquartered in hangar and office space in the old Piper Aircraft building. Last year, the team performed at SUN ’n FUN under the name Heavy Metal Jet Team. But when Gene Conrad, the manager of LAL, approached the team about relocating to Lakeland — after getting the backing of City Hall and the SUN ’n FUN management team — the jet team moved here permanently. Since landing in Lakeland, the Black Diamond Jet Team has added another aircraft to its routine. In addition to the four aircraft precision formation of L-39s, the team also features two solo performers flying MiG-17s. The L-39 formation is led by Lt. Colonel Jerry “Jive” Kerby, USAF (retired). Civilian Jared “Rook” Isaacman flies the right wing, while Doug “Tut” Demko takes the left wing position. The slot position is flown by Major Sean “Stroker” Gustafson, USAF Reserve, while the dynamic L-39 position is taken by Major John “Slick” Baum, USAF. Captain Dale

“Snort” Snodgrass, USN (retired) fills the lead solo position at the controls of a MiG-17, while his opposing solo pilot

is Commander Mike “Buick” Eberhardt, USN (retired). The Black Diamonds are slated to per-

form in every airshow this week, except Thursday.

March 27-April 1, 2012

Sun ’n Fun Today -

Commemorating Apollo 17 Dr. Harrison H. Schmitt, one of three crew members of Apollo 17, the final historic mission that concluded the Apollo program, will speak Wednesday at 8 p.m. in the AOPA Pavilion. His presentation commemorating the 40th anniversary of that mission is sponsored by Nikon. Apollo 17’s crew was the last of 12 humans to step on the surface of the moon. The mission concluded the Apollo program, which spanned nine years from 1963 to 1972. Schmitt served as Apollo 17’s Lunar Module Pilot. He joined two other NASA explorers on the mission, Eugene A. Cernan, Commander, and Ronald E. Evans, Command Module Pilot. Schmitt was the first scientist-astronaut to land on the moon. Over the course of 75 hours on the lunar surface, he and Cernan set up six automated research stations, gathered 243 pounds of material, and used the lunar rover vehicle to cover 30.5 kilometers of the lunar surface. Schmitt has had a storied career as geologist, pilot, astronaut, administrator, businessman, writer, and U.S. Senator. He has been inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame and the International Space

Dr. Schmitt on the moon during the Apollo 17 mission. Hall of Fame and has received honorary degrees from eight U.S. and Canadian universities. Dr. Schmitt is co-founder and chairman of Interlune-Intermars Initiative, Inc., created to advance the private sector’s acquisition of lunar resources and Helium-3 fusion power.

He also is the author of “Return to the Moon,” which describes a private enterprise approach to providing lunar helium-3 fusion energy resources for use on Earth. The book will be available at the presentation and Schmitt will be available for autographs.


Check out the new Kid Zone A new attraction this year is the Mobile Mountain Aviation-Themed Kid Zone, just east of the Main Entrance. The Kid Zone features jump castles, and a state-of-the-art combination that features a full rock climbing wall and a 200-foot zip line. Meanwhile, other SUN ’n FUN Youth Activities are based at the new Piedmont Hangar, east of the Tom Davis Educational Center. This area is filled with a variety of interesting aviation-based activities, SUN ’n FUN volunteers said. Children of all ages will be fascinated by the flight simulator lab featuring the HotSeat Flight Simulator. Visitors also can enjoy multimedia presentations and movies. Plus, no visit would be complete without an opportunity to try out the Kid Air II or Scamp, always popular attractions. And, just in case anyone is hungry, hot dogs and snacks are available. School tours also begin and end in the Youth Activities Area, allowing hundreds of students, teachers, and chaperones to experience a major aviation event, many for the first time.


Sun ’n Fun Today -

March 27-April 1, 2012

Part of the festivities this week includes a celebration of the 100th anniversary of Marine Corps aviation. Marine Corps aviation took off May 22, 1912, when First Lieutenant Alfred Cunningham was assigned to Annapolis, Maryland, for flight training, followed by First Lieutenant Bernard Smith. Those two Marine officers became the first of a long line of Marine aviators. While the first Marine aviators flew in the Navy’s B-1, designed by the Wright brothers, today’s pilots fly a variety of aircraft, including the Bell AH-1W Cobra, the CH-46 Sea Knight, the MV-22 Osprey, and the Sikorsky CH-53 Stallion, as well as the F/A-18 Hornet, the EA-6B Prowler, and the AV-8B Harrier. As part of the celebration of the 100th anniversary, The Parris Island Marine Concert Band will perform Tuesday evening at 8 p.m. at the AOPA Pavilion next to the Florida Air Museum. The 50 musicians will perform selections including patriotic marches, overtures, and instrumental solos.


Military aircraft expected to be on display this week include the C-130J Hurricane Hunter, KC-135 Stratotanker, F-16C, T-34, F-5, MH-53 Sea Stallion, T-38, F-18, T-45 Goshawk, C9B Skytrain, and F-18C.

Photos courtesy U.S. Marines Corps

Celebrating 100 years of Marine Aviation

MV-22 Ospreys, with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, prepare to launch off the flight deck of USS Bataan.

March 27-April 1, 2012

Sun ’n Fun Today -

Tune in to SUN ’n FUN Radio Want to stay on top of all the happenings at SUN ’n FUN? Tune in to SUN ’n FUN Radio on 1510 AM or listen worldwide on the Internet at The radio station will have more than 30 volunteers covering every aspect of the fly-in, according to Volunteer Radio Chairman Dave Shallbetter. “We’ll have updates on news and happenings around the fly-in, great interviews with aviation notables, up-to-date schedules of events, interviews with sponsors, vendors and guests,” he said. New this year is “Today’s Highlights with Lites,” with new SUN ’n FUN President John “Lites” Leenhouts, who will be on each day with updates about the flyin. Also new is “The Voices of Vintage.” A special location has been set aside in the Vintage area for a mock “old time studio” where SUN ’n FUN Radio volunteer host Jack Neubacher and others will chat with various guests about owning, restoring and flying vintage aircraft. Returning this year is “The 99’s Present,” featuring the 99’s special guests, including the World War II Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). Women in Aviation also will return this

Workshops slated SUN ’n FUN Workshops can help you learn all the skills necessary to build your own plane or work on any other project that uses the same tools and techniques. Experienced instructors guide you through the techniques for each skill and answer your questions about specific projects. Many of the workshops are approved by the FAA for credit towards the annual requirements for IA renewal and the A&P Awards Program. To get credit for attending, pick up a time sheet at the information booth and have the Workshop Instructor sign it. Workshops are ongoing from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Workshops area, which is near the Buehler Restoration Center and the Florida Air Museum. Workshops are held on everything from Engines, Aircraft Woodwork, Avionics/ Electrical, Basic Sheet Metal, Cable Swaging, Composites, Computer Workshop (flight planning to GPS navigation to computer-aided design), Fabric Covering, Metal Shaping, Propeller Carving, and Welding. In the evening, stop by the Compass Rose in the Core Area and stargaze during the Astronomy workshop.

Handicapped Services Handicapped Services is located on the west side of the Admissions building in the Main Admissions Plaza. Information is available concerning all accessibility concerns.

year with its special segment, “Women Shine at SUN ’n FUN.” “AOPA’s Special Guest” will feature a special guest each day, including an extended interview with AOPA President Craig Fuller on Thursday. The station also will feature interviews with SUN ’n FUN sponsors, vendors and advertisers, guests and aviation luminaries, as well as remote broadcasts of the daily and night airshows, remote broad-

casts of select evening programs, and much more, Shallbetter said. Also returning this year are live podcasts. Tuesday will be Jeb Burnside, Dave Higdon and Jack Hodgson, the voices of The Uncontrolled Airspace Podcast (UCAP). Wednesday will be Flight Monkeys and The Pilot’s Flight Podlog. Thursday will be The Pilot’s Journey and the premiere of Powered Sport Flying. Friday is the annual aviation podcast feature, The Gathering of Aviation Podcasters (or The GAP), a kind of open mic night for aviation podcasters, Shallbetter explained. Saturday is the virtual podcast, “Not at SUN ’n FUN 12” and the Stuck Mic AvCast. Wrapping up the week of podcasts will be UCAP on Sunday morning at 10 a.m. “The SUN ’n FUN Radio volunteer


staff does its best to bring you all the happenings at SUN ’n FUN, but we need your help,” Shallbetter said. “Please let us know of any special events, interesting stories, or neat people you think we should cover for our radio listeners. You can come by the studio, which is on the end of Club House Row, near the Sunset Grill, email, or message us on twitter @SnFRadio. “Special thanks to Dave Pascoe and for sponsoring the audio streaming (as well as streaming several Air Traffic Control frequencies) on, The Uncontrolled Airspace Podcast for sponsoring the station’s highspeed Internet, Sennheiser for providing equipment support, the SUN ’n FUN staff, and a very special thanks to the SUN ’n FUN Radio volunteer staff, who make it happen,” Shallbetter concluded.


Sun ’n Fun Today -

March 27-April 1, 2012

Flying High Coffee to fuel SUN ’n FUN The folks at Flying High Coffee have prepared 500 pounds of top-grade coffee beans for this week’s airshow. The company, founded by a pilot, is the new official coffee of the airshow. “We’ve carefully combined a very special blend of top-grade coffee beans to bring to Lakeland,” notes Rob Riggen, the founder and president of Flying High Coffee, which donates a portion of its profits to non-profit aviation education efforts. “We chose three Arabica varieties from Central and South America to create a full-bodied and complex, yet accessible, cup of coffee for people to enjoy during the week.” The company is serving brewed hot and iced coffee from three locations: Near the Main Gate, just east of the FAA building towards the flightline, and in Hangar E, where the location includes a sit-down WiFi cafe. Riggen expects to serve between 8,000 and 12,000 cups of coffee during the week. Riggen, who is a CFII and lover of fine coffee, has a personal goal of doubling the donation his company gave to the Able Flight and Girls With Wings programs in 2011. He also hopes to add another aviation not-for-profit benefactor to his program of funding aviation charities via coffee sales. “The intention all along of Flying High Coffee is to provide stable and dependable streams of funding to our not-for-

profit programs,” Riggen says. He estimates that millions of dollars of profit are “pumped out” of the aviation industry each year through aviation’s voracious appetite for caffeine. “If we can brew and sell all 500 pounds of our ‘#SnF12 Blend’ we will be in good shape for advancing our program.” Besides selling coffee by the cup, Flying High Coffee also will be selling coffee for pilots to take home. You can buy the whole beans or have the folks at Flying High Coffee ground the beans for you.

The company combined three varieties of Arabica coffee beans to bring to the show, as well as designed a special label.

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March 27-April 1, 2012

Sun ’n Fun Today -

Flying Musicians to perform all week Celebrate music and aviation all week with The Flying Musicians Association. Members of the organization will be playing throughout the week at a variety of venues, including the Sunset Grill and the Sennheiser S1 Stage at the Corn Roast (near the campgrounds). Flying Musicians Association member Ravi will be the opening act for Aaron Tippin’s “Red, White & Loud” concert Thursday at 8 p.m. at the AOPA Pavilion near the Florida Air Museum, while another member, Jeremy Brady, will be the opening act for Saturday’s Abbott & Costello evening. Another member, Elgin Wells, will perform the National Anthem at the beginning of the airshow Thursday through Saturday, while Friday he takes to the skies, performing his aerobatic routine in the Night Airshow.


Members also will present a number of forums and seminars throughout the week, so check the daily schedules. Just added to the schedule are kid jam workshops at 10 a.m. each morning Tuesday through Saturday. Kids are invited to bring their musical instruments, including band instruments, to the Sennheiser S1 Stage near the Corn Roast, and learn how to jam, said John Zapp, FMA founder. The musicians also will be playing near the three Flying High Coffee locations, at the Main Gate, just east of the FAA building towards the flightline, and in Hangar E, which is a sit-down WiFi cafe. The idea is create a coffee house atmosphere at the coffee shops during the week. Anyone interested in learning more about the association can approach the musicians at any of the venues or go to

See the latest in the air with Showcase Fly-Bys The Showcase Fly-Bys are featured daily from 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. This is an opportunity for manufacturers and individuals to display their aircraft in the air in the Fly-By pattern at show center while having it described over the public address system. Pilots and their announcers are given

a briefing at the Fly-By and Showcase Briefing building. Briefings are daily at 8, 9, and 10 a.m. and include a description of the Fly-By pattern, staging and launching times. The Showcase crew will be on hand to stage, launch, and recall each aircraft on a discrete radio frequency. Each aircraft or group of manufac-

turer’s aircraft have exclusive use of the Fly-By pattern for 6 minutes while their representative extols its virtues over the PA system. The same planes can fly on multiple days if times and slots are available, and they usually are, SUN ’n FUN officials said. Want to get a bird’s eye view of the

show, but don’t want to fly yourself? Try Ride Hoppers. You can fly with Fred Cabanas in a Pitts Special; Mike Ginter in a T-6, Steve Oliver in a New Standard; or with Otto in a helicopter. The Ride Hoppers tents can be found near the Warbird ramp. There is an extra fee for the rides.


Aircraft Camping Registration




r No

Parts Exchange


Hangar E



Gulf Coast Avionics/Garmin 4


ts bi








Hangar D

Sarasota Avionics Hangar C

Campground Host



Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Hangar B

Admissions (D-4) Aerobatic HQ (F-2) Aircraft Auctions – AvBid Aircraft Auctions Air Operations (G-2) Blood Mobile (E-4) Camping – RV’s, Tents (A-1,2), (B-1,2), (G-4), (H-4) Camper Registration (C-4) Corn Roast and Sennheiser S1 Stage (C-2) Emergency Aircraft Assistance (H-3) Emergency Response Team (C-1), (G-2) Exhibits, Commercial (D-2,3), (E-2,3,4) Exhibits, Light Plane (F-4) FAA (E-3) Flightline Tours (E-2) Handicapped Hospitality (D-4) Homebuilt HQ (E-2), camping – see map International Visitors Center (D-4) Supported by: The Islands of the Bahamas & Gulf Coast Avionics

Internet Cafe (C-2), (D-3) Supported by: Pacific Coast Avionics Ladies Pavilion (C-2) Lightplane HQ (E-4) Lost & Found (D-4) Maintenance Facility (B-2) Media Center (C-4) Sponsored by: NIKON Newspaper – SUN ’n FUN Today (D-4) Online Ticket Redemption (C-4), (D-4), (F-3) Parts Exchange (C-2) PilotMall (D-3) Preferred Airshow Seating (E-2) Radio Station (E-3) Supported by: Brighthouse Rotorcraft HQ (H-4) School Tours (C-4) Seabird HQ (H-3) Security (B-2) Shipping Services (Guests) – FedEx (D-3) Showers (A-2), (C-2), (E-3), (H-4) Southeast Exhibits (E-3,4) Special Activities Tents - (C-4), (D-4), (F-2) SUN ’n FUN Fly-In HQ (D-4) SUN ’n FUN Library & Archives (D-3) Sunset Grill (D-3) Tourism Information (D-3) Supported by: Central Florida

Hangar A

Official Souvenir Merchandise Tents Designated Smoking Area

20 0



See Key Below

14 19



6 8




Florida Air Museum Pavilion Brought to you by:


C Youth Workshops Kids Activities

Flight Deck Comm Center

Special Activities Tent 2

Special Activities Tent 1



Media & Exhibitor Parking




e in th eld be h SUN ‘n FUN will oms) ms ro Welcome Center (Foru Class A CFA


Motorcycle Parking


Preferred Parking

Foodservice Parking


Supported by:


YOU ARE HERE Map Locations

General Auto Parking

Pipkin Rd.




Online Ticket Redemption



ida Flor tral e A) Cenrospac (CFA Ae ademy Ac


Type Club (F-3) Vintage HQ (F-3) Volunteer Center (D-4) Warbird HQ (G-2) Youth Workshops (C-4)



Visitors & Convention Bureau

Shipping Services




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Special Activitie


17 Nikon Media Observation Deck (media only upper deck)




Preferred Airshow Seating

Airshow Central








North East Exhibits


1 9

Club House Row



15 2




SUN ’n FUN Drive

Supported By: Cleveland Wheels & Brakes







Veterans Welcome Plaza



Tram Depot 10


East Campground


Kid Zone! VIP Information Center


Located in Lindbergh Lot

(Light Plane Camping)

Light Plane Exhibits 11


4175 Medulla Road Lakeland, FL 33811 863-644-2431




Sun ’n Fun Today -

Splash-In at Fantasy of Flight

March 27-April 1, 2012

The SUN ’n FUN Splash-In will once again be held at Fantasy of Flight on Lake Agnes in Polk City, Florida. The Splash-In, an event dedicated to seaplanes and float flying, is held every year as part of the fly-in. A few years ago, Fantasy of Flight owner Kermit Weeks invited the seaplanes to his facility and it has been there ever since. This year’s Splash-In will be held Thursday, March 29. The Splash-In site at Lake Agnes will be operational Wednesday, March 28, through Friday, March 30. There will be a fly-by briefing at 9 a.m. March 29 for seaplane pilots who want to participate in the fly-by, slated to begin at 10:30 a.m. All seaplanes in the fly-by will fly from Lake Agnes to Lakeland-Linder Regional Airport, home of the SUN ’n FUN campus. After returning from the fly-by, pilots will compete in a variety of contests, including water-bombing and spot landing. Friday, March 30, has been designated the rain date for the Splash-In festivities. A seaplane banquet will be held, rain or shine, Thursday, March 29, in the Fantasy of Flight banquet hall. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased online at Sun-n-Fun. org. Find out more about Fantasy of Flight and Kermit Weeks’ collection of airplanes at

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Fly into Kissimmee Gateway Airport for the ultimate in aviation history thrills. Check out our warbird museum, and watch a Luftwaffe fighter restoration in progress. Then strap into a T-6 Texan for an adventure flight, or conquer the sky in a P-51 Mustang—or sit side by side with a friend in an open cockpit biplane and see the sites of Orlando.

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March 27-April 1, 2012

Sun ’n Fun Today -

AvBid Aircraft Auctions has teamed with SUN ’n FUN for two live aircraft auctions on Friday, March 30, and Saturday, March 31. The two-day event will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is located on the south side of Lakeland Linder Regional Airport near Chopper Town. AvBid will offer a variety of LightSport Aircraft (LSA), turbine, piston singles, and light twins. Also up for bid will be several vintage and collector aircraft from the Florida Air Museum. New this year is the addition of aviation memorabilia items, according to AvBid officials. Many aircraft will be offered absolute to the last and highest bidder, with no minimum bid, auction officials note. The AvBid auction facilities include

Photo by Meg Godlewski

AvBid Auctions returns to SUN ’n FUN

ramp space for more than 100 aircraft, indoor seating, plasma screen monitors for previewing aircraft information, and live video streaming for bidders who are un-

able to attend the auction in person. AvBid also offers live one-on-one bidding with a personal bid assistant via telephone during its auctions.


“Our auctions are patterned after the auto auction industry with each aircraft being brought through a showroom hangar and presented to potential buyers. The aircraft’s specifications are shown on large flat screen monitors as the auctioneer describes the aircraft in detail,” said Sam Sirani, AvBid’s operations manager. Potential bidders have ample opportunity to inspect the aircraft prior to the auction and most aircraft have their logs digitized for online viewing. AvBid uses a quick closing process that allows buyers to accept delivery in as little as 24 hours, officials add. For more information and to see the aircraft slated for this week’s auction, go to

International Visitors Tent is ‘home away from home’ Located near the main gate, SUN ’n FUN’s International Visitors Center provides a “home away from home” for the hundreds of international visitors who come from around the globe to participate in the airshow each year. Each year, 30 to 40 multi-lingual volunteers greet more than 1,000 visitors representing more than 60 countries. “At any given time, visitors may hear five to eight languages being spoken in the tent, including German, French, Por-

tuguese, Spanish, and Japanese,” says Michele Van Dorn, International Visitor chairperson. The center provides assistance with everything from medical needs, hotel and transportation arrangements, and translation services. There is also a message board so international guests can post messages ranging from planes for sale to saying hello to someone they met last year. This year, Gulf Coast Avionics will

sponsor the International Welcome Party, which will be held Friday, March 30, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the International Pavilion, located next to the Florida Air Museum. All registered international visitors are invited to attend. “Every year we see more and more international visitors attending the show,” said Gulf Coast Avionics’ Rick Garcia. “They are a significant part of the total attendance and many of them come looking to fill specific needs from various exhibi-

tors and vendors. We feel it is important to make this special hospitality available to them.” Gulf Coast Avionics will also support the international attendance by giving away a limited number of T-shirts and hats at its booth in Hangar D, Space 28-33. A gift redemption card will be included in the international visitor registration pack. In addition, Gulf Coast Avionics will have its interactive showroom open and staffed during the show.


Sun ’n Fun Today -

Don’t miss the Florida Air Museum By JOHN BURTON President, Florida Air Museum This past year has been exciting and challenging at the Florida Air Museum (FAM). Exciting because we added and/ or enhanced several exhibits, expanded our educational activities, and added a new facility to our campus: the Piedmont Hangar Aerospace & Technology Lab. Challenging because we continue to face an increase in the demand for educational programs offered through FAM at a time when our nation ­— and the world — continue to recover from a prolonged economic recession. Even so, our success in our first year operating under our new charter has been simply outstanding. Highlights of the past year are clearly indicators of more great things to come. The new “Aerospace & Technology Lab” at the Piedmont Hangar is put into use daily. This 4,000-square-foot facility provides a multi-functional teaching environment, a computer lab, teacher workspace and support facilities for the adjacent Tom Davis Education Center. Thanks to a generous donor’s additional support, we’ll also be receiving a kit aircraft that will become the focus for our “hands-on” educational activities in this new space. Education programs presented at various locations throughout the year reached more than 10,000 elementary and middle school students, sharing our focus on sci-

ence, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Under the leadership of our education team supported by volunteers, we enhanced FAM’s STEMtastic programming, including Saturday Camp; a School Holiday series of camps; and an extensive summer camp program. We’re also in the final stages of launching two web-based outreach efforts with engaging curriculum modules and online learning with our unique STEMtastic teaching concept. Destination Aviation is truly our marquee program and 2011 was a huge success. This intense summer experience

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Aviation Expressions continues to be one of the most interesting and enduring programs at FAM. During the fall and winter months, we’ve entertained some of America’s most outstanding aviators as part of this exciting Speaker Series. The annual “Wings ’n Things” Weekend held in November also proved to be a huge success. We moved the popular Friday evening program to Hangar E where we thrilled the kids (and many adults, too) with a presentation on space by Astronaut Dr. Lee Morin. The remainder of the weekend combined camping, merit badge work for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and a chance to take a first flight in a GA airplane for hundreds of young people. The “Future Eagles Aviation Club” is one of the many programs that reflect the close ties between FAM and the Central Florida Aerospace Academy (CFAA). Students in grades 8-12 meet on a weekly basis and explore every aspect of aviation through hands-on activities, plus guest speakers, field trips, flight simulators, community service projects and more. Open to all students in the region, this program is certain to grow. FAM’s Restoration Club is gaining momentum. Students get hands-on experience in aircraft construction, restoration and maintenance, including working on engines, fabric covering, and more. This has been a banner year — and we’ve only just begun!

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stimulates a true aviation experience for participants. After several days of study, field trips and classic instruction in flight principles, the program culminates with a cross-country flight. Demand for this unique approach to teaching has extended from our original youth target to now include a special weekend camp for adults. Guided tours and daily admissions continue to advance as guests marvel at the unique collection of aircraft and memorabilia at FAM. Records continue to fall as attendance during SUN ’n FUN — and year round — continues to climb.

March 27-April 1, 2012

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March 27-April 1, 2012

Sun ’n Fun Today -

Protect your plane

Behave yourself!

Photo by John Slemp

By MEG GODLEWSKI The crowds on the flightline are expected to be bigger this year due to the appearance of the Thunderbirds. While this means more people will see your pride and joy, it also can put your airplane at greater risk for inadvertent damage. Although you can’t be there all the time, there are some things you can do to protect your airplane when you aren’t around. “Do not touch” placards are a must. These are provided for display aircraft when you register. These cardboard sleeves slip over the propeller. Verify the security of your aircraft tiedowns. If you use single stakes, insert them into the ground at a diagonal. A stake inserted on a diagonal takes more force to lift out of the ground than one driven straight into the ground. You may want to invest in the “claw” type of aircraft tie-down. Instead of a single stake in the ground, there are three at different angles. As the name implies, it resembles a claw when used properly. According to pilots who use them, they are easier to install and remove, yet provide sturdier protection than the one-stake varieties. Make sure gust locks are installed correctly. Do not leave anything near your airplane that can be thrown, such as a football or a Frisbee, a model glider or even extra tie-down stakes. Also don’t leave

any cleaning products that have a spray trigger around. One unsupervised kid is all it takes to do damage. Put these items out of sight. Be careful of the position of your propeller. In camping areas experienced campers recommended that you turn the propeller so the blades are vertical. Someone walking between rows at night is less likely to hit the blade. In adverse weather, such as high winds, do not try to “save your airplane.” If the wind is blowing hard enough, the plane could flip over and land on you. The aircraft can be replaced. You can’t.


Take all the expensive portable items, such as yoke-mounted GPS and headsets, out of your cockpit. Either lock them up or hide them well. Although most people are honest, there are some folks who see large events as an opportunity to steal. Taxi a little bit slower than you would normally, especially if there are lots of people around. Some of them may be aviation novices and may walk with their backs to the aircraft or on taxiways instead of on footpaths, and could step into the line of a wing. Supervise the refueling of your aircraft.

Getting up close to an airplane is privilege, not a right. For first-timers, here are some rules to remember when you visit the flight line: • Do not walk in front of an airplane that is taxiing toward you. • Do not walk with your back to a moving airplane. When an aircraft approaches, step off to the side, well clear of the wings, and turn to face the pilot. Wait until the aircraft moves by before you start moving again. • Don’t touch the airplanes without the owners’ permission. • Be careful about walking beneath the wings of airplanes because sometimes oil and fuel drip. • Be careful that you do not walk into a propeller or pitot tube or trip over wheels or tie-down ropes. • Hold small children by the hand to make sure they don’t dart out in front of a moving airplane. • Do not let your children play with things that can be thrown, such as toy airplanes. If a thrown item hits an airplane, it can damage it. • If you are looking into an airplane, be careful not to lean against it. • Be careful about jewelry, watches, belt buckles, cell phones and cameras. These can accidentally scratch or even tear the skin on an aircraft. • Do not sit on aircraft.

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Sun ’n Fun Today -

March 27-April 1, 2012

Check out the Parts Exchange in Hangar E Do you need a particular part for that restoration project in your hangar? Is the sport of the hunt for that item part of the fun for you? If the answer is yes, then you should stop by the Parts Exchange (PX), located in Hangar E. The PX opens to the public at 9 a.m., Tuesday, March 27. Hours of operation through April 1 are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sales stop at 12 noon, Sunday, April 1. Items for sale come from individuals and aviation businesses from around the country. All items must be related to aviation. Traditionally that means you’ll find everything from parts to books and tools at the tent. State law prohibits the acceptance of tires or batteries. In previous years, misfortunes caused by hurricanes and other weather-related events boosted the number of damaged aircraft, which meant a wide selection of airframes and parts, according to PX volunteers. All transactions are cash only, as there is no way to run credit cards at the Parts Exchange. However, there are a number of cash machines on the show grounds.

In previous years, people who were after larger ticket items, such as part of an airframe that cost $300, made daily trips


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Consignors willing to take a personal check will make a notation on the tag affixed to the item, volunteers noted.

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March 27-April 1, 2012

Sun ’n Fun Today -

Calling all shutterbugs SUN ’n FUN and Nikon are hosting a photo contest for attendees to share their visions of flight. To enter the contest, register online at ( and then meet Friday, March 30, at the Central Florida Aerospace Academy located on the SUN ’n FUN campus, across from the Florida Air Museum. Registration is limited to 35 people. Contestants will receive a briefing on contest rules and categories. You must have your own camera, as well as access to a computer and Internet to submit your images. Three entries are due no later than 10 p.m. on Friday, March 30, from each participant via email for judging. Winners will be announced Saturday, March 31, at 9:30 a.m. by Nikon aviation photographer Bill Fortney and José Ramos, SUN ’n FUN’s resident photographer. The grand prize is a Nikon P7100 camera. There will be other prizes as well. A few of last year’s winners are pictured here. AN AIRSHOW OASIS Take a moment from your hectic day to discover the Nature Trail. Experience Florida’s natural beauty with 16 stations located along the boardwalk. The entrance to the Nature Trail is behind Hangar E.

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Sun ’n Fun Today -

March 27-April 1, 2012

U.S. Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), perhaps one of the most ardent advocates of GA in the U.S. House of Representatives, will host an “Aviation Issues” Town Hallstyle meeting Saturday, March 31, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. in the production studio of the FAA Building. Top leaders from GA’s alphabet groups, including the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Experimental Aircraft Association, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, National Business Aviation Association, and the Commemorative Air Force, are expected to attend the meeting

as well, according to SUN ’n FUN officials. Graves, a long-time pilot who owns a Stearman and is restoring a rare Beech Model AT-10, is co-chair of the General Aviation Caucus, sharing duties with Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.). Founded in 2009, the GA Caucus is one of the largest caucuses in the House of Representatives, with 167 members. The mission of the caucus is to educate the entire Congress on the importance of general aviation to both national transportation and our economy.

The Town Hall meeting will be held in the FAA Production Studios so that it can be streamed live to a global audience over the Internet. If you plan to attend the Town Hall meeting, you may want to get there early. Unlike the AOPA Pavilion, which has plenty of seating, the FAA studios has just 150 seats. If you can’t get into the Town Hall meeting, you can watch it online at FAA­ Click on the “View Safety Seminars LIVE” link on the home page.

Photo courtesy Sam Graves

Congressman to host Town Hall meeting

Sam Graves

Third Annual Lindbergh Foundation Day Thursday The Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation will hold its third annual Lindbergh Foundation Day and Aviation Green Alliance Forums on Thursday, March 29. A series of hour-long forums and panel discussions will be held at the Central Florida Aerospace Academy starting at 9 a.m. “This full day of forums will highlight exciting developments where aviation and the environment intersect, as well as provide an historical retrospective of where we’ve come from, and what lies ahead in the future of aviation,” said Lindbergh Foundation board member and forum organizer John Petersen. “We are especially

pleased that 2012 Lindbergh Award Recipient, Dr. Forrest Bird, and Erik Lindbergh will be joining us as featured presenters for this year’s program.” “The topics covered this year are at the very core of the Lindbergh Foundation’s desire to encourage solutions, acknowledge progress and communicate ideas that affect general aviation,” said Erik Lindbergh. “My grandparents would have been intrigued to have heard these lively and informative sessions, all of which address aspects of the past, present, and future of aviation.” Later that day, the Lindbergh Foundation will hold its 35th annual awards cer-



Meet the man behind the Comet! Peter Funk, founder of B & F Technik and designer of the exciting FK12 Comet and popular FK9 light sport aircraft, will be attending Sun-n-Fun 2012, Thursday and Friday. See the Comet with the new Lycoming AEIO-233 and the FK9 in the Hansen Air Group booth (N7&19) near hangar D. The Comet and Lycoming AEIO-233 will also be displayed in the Renegade Light Sport booth (SE 21) in the southeast aircraft display area. Hansen Air Group 770-427-6311 Renegade Light Sport 816-282-8635

emony at nearby Fantasy of Flight, honoring Dr. Forrest Bird as 2012 Lindbergh Awardee, and James Ray as this year’s Spirit Award winner. “This is a particularly significant year for the foundation,” noted Chairman Larry Williams. “We are celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Lindbergh Foundation, as well as the 85th anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s New York-to-Paris flight.” The Lindbergh Foundation Day program schedule includes: 9 a.m. Will You be Flying in 2022? Half of GA will be Grounded, presented by Rj Siegel, CEO, LoPresti Aviation Engineering; 10 a.m. The Future of Aviation: A Futurist Looks Toward the Horizon presented by John Petersen, founder, The Arlington Institute; 11 a.m. Making Flying Environmentally Friendly: A Review of 35 Years of Progress, a roundtable review presented by Lindbergh Foundation Directors Larry Williams (CEO, BRS Aerospace) and David Treinis, Vice Chairman, Lindbergh Foundation; 12 p.m. From Aircraft Oxygen Systems to Infant Ventilators presented by Dr. Forrest Bird, a veteran pilot and pioneer of the respirator industry; 1 p.m. Electric Airplanes: What’s Happened, What is Coming, presented by Erik Lindbergh, LEAP Electric Flight Program, and Electric Aircraft Development Alliance (EADA). LEAP includes the LEAP Electric Flight Program and the

LEAP Education Program. Inspired by the legacy of Erik’s grandfather Charles Lindbergh, the X-PRIZE Foundation and pioneers throughout history, LEAP was founded to stimulate the ingenuity of modern innovators, Lindbergh said. LEAP does this through video showcasing, international events, prize philanthropy, and its education nonprofit. EADA’s mission is to advance the development of electric flight. It is supported by an international alliance of those involved in electric flight from kitplane manufacturers to multinational corporations, from pilots to engineers, to students, from amateurs to professionals, officials explained. The Lindbergh Foundation is a nonprofit organization that focuses on technological breakthroughs to address aviationenvironmental issues. Its programs are devoted to supporting, honoring, and educating individuals, through three major programs: the annual Lindbergh Award, presented to individuals for significant contributions toward balancing nature and scientific innovation in their work; the Lindbergh Grants program, which provides grants in amounts up to $10,580 (the cost of building the “Spirit of St. Louis” in 1927) for research or education projects that will make contributions to the technology/environment balance; and a variety of educational events, including the new Aviation Green Alliance.,


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March 27-April 1, 2012

Sun ’n Fun Today -



Sun ’n Fun Today -

March 27-April 1, 2012

Safety Standdown debuts this week

Free SUN ’n FUN app available from Sporty’s Sporty’s has created a mobile app for the 2012 show, which is now available for both Apple and Android devices. The app can be downloaded free at, through the iTunes App store, or Google Play (formerly Android Market). New this year is an interactive exhibitors list with detailed hangar and exhibit area maps. When you click on an exhibitor’s company name, you will instantly see a map pinpointing the exhibitor’s location on the show grounds. “This feature is so useful in that you no longer have to figure out what something like C-090 means as a location,” said Sporty’s Vice President John Zimmerman. “You’ll be able to see quickly on a map where you want to go.” The complete SUN ’n FUN NOTAM is included for arrival and departure procedures, as well as a local airport directory and special FBO offers. It works for inflight reference as it does not require an Internet connection, he added. Another new feature allows you to pull out the exhibitors, seminars, workshops and other activities you don’t want to miss and compile the list into a “My SUN ’n FUN” section. The app also has plenty of maps, including the convention grounds,

Photos courtesy Sporty’s

Kochan, a human factors research scientist and Designated Pilot Examiner, who discusses aeronautical decision-making issues; FAA airworthiness expert Steve Keesey, who addresses aircraft preflight issues and introduces the FAA’s new Advanced Preflight Program; and CFI Rich Stowell, a seven-time Master Instructor and the 2006 National Flight Instructor of the Year, who talks about techniques for recovering from loss of control events. The 2012 FAASTeam Safety Stand“This program is incredibly rich with down — Loss of Control: Don’t Be Surpractical information, and includes natuprised, Be Prepared! — makes its debut ral breaks where program participants can during this week’s airshow. engage in discussion before moving on The General Aviation Joint Steering Committee identified to the next scenario,” loss of control-inflight said the FAASTeam’s “This is the best as the #1 cause of faKevin Clover. “This tal general aviation Standdown program is the best Standdown accidents over the last program the FAA has the FAA has decade. Consequently, produced to date.” produced to date.” this year’s FAASTeam The 2012 Safety Safety Standdown ofStanddown will debut — FAASTeam’s Kevin Clover fers a multi-layered apMarch 31, in the FAA proach to help pilots reBuilding starting at duce the risk of an inflight loss of control. 11 a.m. The program will then be presented at more than 90 locations across The recently videotaped program is the country in April. Feature articles hosted by FAA Research Psychologist by the on-camera talent will also apDr. Katrina Avers and includes interpear in the March/April edition of FAA views with FAA Director of Flight StanSafety Briefing magazine, and additiondards John Allen, accident survivor Baral resources will be made available at ry Hyde, and three loss of control subject matter experts, including Dr. Janeen

the campgrounds, an aerial map, SplashIn map, and more. The app works on all Apple devices, including iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. Another version of the app is designed for Android users, including tablets and the Kindle Fire.

World’s Greatest Aircraft Auction SUN ’n FUN - LAKELAND, FL. March 30 & 31

March 27-April 1, 2012

Sun ’n Fun Today -


Balloon Launch set for Saturday Hot air balloons will be showcased early Saturday morning with a spectacular balloon launch. Pilots participating in this launch are seasoned airshow veterans from around the world. Hot air balloon pilots carry an FAA-issued pilot’s license in the Lighter than Air category. In addition to passing the traditional written tests, a pilot is specially trained in balloon mechanics, safety, procedures, and the unique flight characteristics of balloons. Rated as private or commercial, pilot competence can only be attained by extensive experience in actual flight, officials note. Balloon events at SUN ’n FUN include limited daily demonstration flights from the ultralight field, also known as Paradise

City, by commercial firms, usually around 7 a.m. The balloons also will participate in a “Balloon Glow” on Friday during the night air show. This is when the balloons inflate, but do not launch. On Saturday morning, weather permitting, balloons will be launched in a traditional “Hare and Hound” race. This involves chasing a single balloon after it takes off. This balloon acts as the hare and floats in the air for a short while before other balloons are allowed to take off. The balloons that follow are the hounds. The winning balloon is the one that lands closest to the hare. If you want to catch all the action, you’ll have to get up early. The Balloon Launch takes place between 6:30 a.m. and 8 a.m.

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Sun ’n Fun Today -

March 27-April 1, 2012

Judging airplanes: Is yours a winner?

To Benefit Angel Flight Southeast (AFSE) March 31, 2012 cards? Ready to play some Registration 5:30 pm—6:30 pm Angel Flight Southeast, which coordinates free air transportation for children and adults with medical or compelling humanitarian needs, will host a charity Texas Hold’em Tournament March 31 on the airshow grounds. For$90.00 more than Registration 25 years, Angel Flight Southeast has been helping people throughout Florida and the Southeast. All pilots donate their time, aircraft, fuel and experience for each mission, so there is never a charge to the patient. Last year the organization coordinated more than 2,500 missions throughout the six state region it serves.

Proceeds from the tournament go directLakeland-Linder Airport ly to Angel Flight Southeast’s mission. The tournament will be held at the CenCentral Florida Aerospace Academy tral Florida Aerospace Academy on the 4141 Medulla Road Lakeland Linder Regional Airport (LAL).

Includes Food Re-stacks & Add-ons Available To register go to:


Cost per player is $90, with early registration of $45 if registered by March 27. Registration, which begins at 5:30 p.m. on Top Prizes Include: the day of the tournament, includes entry PilotMall Cert. to$500 the event, dinner andGift initial chips. You can findTelevision out more at 40” or call 352-326-0761.

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over the airplane. The better it is, the more time it takes. When two or more aircraft are very nice in the same category, much time will be spent to ensure that the most deserving aircraft wins.” Want to increase your chances of winning? Kress offers these tips: “Be there when it is judged. Be prepared to explain questionable areas. Make sure that it is clean. Have the aircraft opened up so the judges can see all the aircraft’s qualities. Have presentation documentation, such as pictures, aircraft paperwork, etc., handy. Have proof of authenticity, if it applies. Old airplanes may have many mods. In many cases, we are looking for aircraft as they came out of the factory when they were built. Authenticity is King.” Warbird judging has been suspended this year by the EAA Warbirds of America, who have conducted the Warbird judging for a number of years at SUN ’n FUN. In recent years, participation in the Warbird judging program at SUN ’n FUN has declined, association officials said. “The SUN ’n FUN aircraft judging team plans to continue to judge aircraft as it has in the past, always trying to improve the quality of our work,” Kress noted. “We are hopeful that Warbird judging will resume with minimal delay.”

Emergency Maintenance Team on call Food and Drink Available!

You’ve just spent a wonderful day at SUN ’n FUN and are ready to fly home. During your preflight inspection you notice the nose strut of your mighty Cessna 182 is completely flat. All is not lost (max 3,000 chips) — one quick call to the Emergency Maintenance Team can get you on your way. Limited seats available - Sign Up Today! The team doesn’t do big repairs, but can Top 6 qualify for end-of-season tournament! help with smaller repairs, such as replac352-326-0761 ing fluids or charging a battery. Most of the volunteers are Airframe and

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Ever wonder what’s involved in making your aircraft an award winner at SUN ’n FUN? The first step is to get in the game. When owners register their aircraft at arrival, they can request a Judging Registration Form. To be eligible for judging, the aircraft owner must be a member of the Florida Air Museum or the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), said Leonard Kress, chief judge at SUN ’n FUN. There is no charge to register for judging. The SUN ’n FUN judges follow the criteria outlined in the Official EAA Judging Standards Manual, which is available at, he added. “Our judges are judging the aircraft based on their experience as aircraft builders, restorers, and aircraft maintenance technicians as to what constitutes quality, authenticity and safety,” Kress said. “Rest assured that all the judges are veterans in their respective areas.” Kress notes that the time it takes to judge an aircraft varies. “In some cases it is obvious that the aircraft, although a nice airplane, just does not meet award-winning standards. The time spent will minimal,” he said. “In other cases it is obvious that an aircraft is a real prize and much time is spent going

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plant mechanics so they can at least tell you which tool you will need to borrow to take care of the problem. Tools are kept in the emergency repair kiosk, which is at the approach end of Runway 5. Inside the mobile building are tools the team loans out to pilots to help them get their aircraft back into the air. Hours are from 8 a.m. to an hour or so after the air show. If the aircraft is too heavily damaged or

sick beyond their capabilities, the volunteers can tow it to one of the FBOs at the airport for more extensive repairs. JUST YOUR TYPE The Type Clubs tent is located adjacent to Vintage Headquarters. Members of organized clubs dedicated to a particular aircraft are in the Type Club Tent, ready to answer your questions.

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March 27, 2012

Sun ’n Fun Today -


Photo by Russell Kasselman


Rodeo Drive broke in the Sennheiser S1 Stage during the corn roast.

Sennheiser Stage rocks at Corn Roast Sennheiser Aviation has partnered with SUN ’n FUN to rebuild and rename the historic Corn Roast event stage the “Sennheiser S1 Stage.” Sennheiser’s sponsorship agreement is for five years and is part of Sennheiser’s overall contribution as an official sponsor of SUN ’n FUN, officials said. Located on the campground close to Hangar E, the Sennheiser S1 Stage was officially opened with a concert by Rodeo Drive as part of the traditional Corn Roast on Sunday, March 25. “Supporting SUN ’n FUN by sponsoring the stage is a great opportunity for

Sennheiser to combine our passion for aviation and music,” said Dave Dunlap, director of Sennheiser Aviation. “Our contribution is only a small component of rebuilding the stage. We would like to thank all the volunteers who helped in the rebuilding process. They have done a tremendous job at providing the visitors at SUN ’n FUN with a place to relax and enjoy some good entertainment!” There will be entertainment on the stage throughout the week, so make a point of going out and enjoying some good music and good corn.

Rotax seminars slated Rotax expert Phil Lockwood will discuss the new Rotax 912 iS engine, and more, during a forum slated for 10 a.m. Wednesday in Forum Room 10 in the Central Florida Aerospace Academy. “I’ll have all the latest information about the new Rotax 912 iS, still with 2,000 hour TBO,” said Lockwood, who was in Austria just two weeks ago as the company launched it newest engine. Rotax is one of the largest aircraft engine manufacturers in the world and is the dominant powerplant supplier for LightSport Aircraft, with more than 75% of the LSA market. “So many improvements come with the Rotax 912 iS engine that pilots and mechanics alike will want to come and increase their awareness,” said Lockwood, who is president of Lockwood Aviation Supply, the number one Rotax service center in North America. All Rotax owners or operators may benefit by attending, said Lockwood, who routinely speaks at airshows, drawing standing room only crowds. “After my presentation I’ll take questions and provide answers in an open session,” he said.

Lockwood Enterprises has also been involved with testing new oils to work with engines and different fuel sources. Offering a first-hand view of the testing and results from these new products, Lockwood will walk his audience through the possibilities. In addition, with concerns about the long-term supply of 100LL avgas, he will discuss ethanol additives and using premium auto fuel in Rotax engines. Using his signature presentation, a computer slide show with dozens of detailed photos, Lockwood delivers his talk on Rotax engine operation, care, and maintenance. After hearing Lockwood’s presentation, A&P mechanics who wish to gain further engine training can contact Aero Technical Institute (, which offers a set of 16-hour course. Find out more about Lockwood Aviation and its affiliated companies in Hangar D, Spaces 67, 68, 69, and 70. Or you can visit the AirCam exhibit in the Manufacturer’s Display Area, Space 20B. 863-655-5100,

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SUN ’n FUN Today -

March 27, 2012

Rejuvenating General Aviation

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Four years ago, Ravi the Raviator didn’t even know what CFI stood for. Now he travels the country, giving inspiration talks about how to rejuvenate aviation and increase the number of people in our community. “It’s important to go out and fan that flame,” he said. “This is an opportunity to participate in one of humanity’s greatest achievements.” A musician by trade — he was the guitarist for the boy band Hansen years ago and now takes his solo act on the road hundreds of days of the year — Ravi had always wanted to learn how to fly. “But like so many people I was sitting on the fence thinking it was harder than it is and more expensive. It took somebody fanning that flame.” That somebody was Daniel Sennheiser of the Sennheiser family, whose company manufactures equipment for the recording industry, as well as top-of-the-line headsets for aviation. “We talked music for about five minutes then we talked flying for the rest of the time,” Ravi remembered. “We found a common interest in an unexpected environment.” Shortly after that he met a CFI — who explained to him what that was — and the two agreed on a barter: The CFI would teach him to fly, he would teach his CFI how to play the guitar. A little thing like not knowing what CFI stands for is one of the problems that aviation faces in attracting more people, Ravi notes. “A majority of people are interested in learning how to fly, but as an industry we do a better job of extinguishing the flame,” he said. “We put up a lot of barriers.” Barriers like all the acronyms we use in aviation. Barriers like the fences around our airports. And perhaps the biggest barrier: People just not understanding what, exactly, general aviation is. And while recent efforts to boost the pi-

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lot population have a “anybody can do it” theme, Ravi thinks this is a mistake. “We need to bring back a sense of elitism to being a pilot,” he said. “It’s about creating desire. Everybody wants to be part of the elite.” He likens it to the recent protest about the 1% on Wall Street. “We are the 1%,” he says, noting just one of 100 people are pilots. “And the rest of the 99% really want to be part of the 1%. We are an exclusive club that everybody wants to be in.” Of course one of the first objections people raise as to why they can’t become a pilot is the cost. Ravi has a sport pilot license, which took him about six months to get. When he amortized the cost over a year, he found that he paid about $500 a month. “I pay more than that for my car,” he said. “I can people they can live their dream for the cost of a monthly car payment.” While cost is a barrier for many people, Ravi points to an even bigger one: Commitment. A commitment of time, a commitment to training, a commitment to professionalism, a commitment to safety. “We don’t want to tell people ‘anybody

can do this — a monkey can fly a plane,” he says. “That not the message we want to send to kids.” The message instead is general aviation is not accessible to just anyone, just you, he said. “It’s a very subtle change.” During his talks, Ravi points out that the skills learned to become a pilot help people in every other facet of their lives, from school work, to career, to managing money. “It makes people more aware as a human being,” he said. Ravi will give a series of seminars throughout the week, including “How to Get More Flight Students,” 11 a.m. Saturday in Room 8 of the Central Florida Aerospace Academy, and 11 a.m.: Ravi the Raviator: “Say Again? A Musician’s Insight to Pilot Hearing Loss” Thursday at 11 a.m. at the Florida Air Museum. He also will open for Aaron Tippin Thursday at 7 p.m. at the AOPA Pavilion. He plans a solo acoustic performance of his original songs. He likens his style to John Mayer or Edwin McCain. He will have CDs on sale, as well as his DVD “Learn to Play the Guitar.”

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March 27, 2012

Sun ’n Fun Today -

Welcome EAA Members > Join EAA or renew your membership > Tell us what’s on YOUR AirVenture bucket list > Enter the 2012 EAA “Win the Cub” Sweepstakes > Daily forums presented by EAA > Free EAA Insurance quotes

Join us on the flightline. EAA Members: Visit our chalet Tuesday and Wednesday for prizes, food and conversation. EAA membership card must be presented for admission to the chalet.



SUN ’n FUN Today -

March 27, 2012

Living the dream and paying back Students take to the skies to thank their benefactors

“We want to say thank you by demonstrating what can happen when somebody believes in your passion.”


— Phillip Herrington

Photo courtesy Phillip Herrington

Be sure to look to the skies Thursday for a special fly-by honoring James Ray, the man who donated the money to build the Central Florida Aerospace Academy on the SUN ’n FUN campus. And as you are watching the precision formation fly-by, you need to know this: The people flying are 17-year-old students at the academy — Phillip “Maverick” Herrington and Angel “Talisman” Castellanos. The students wanted to perform the flyby to thank the man who made their wildest dreams come to life. “James C. Ray’s philanthropy is predominantly dedicated to aviation-oriented youth education programs,” Herrington noted. “He made a significant contribution for the building of the Central Florida Aerospace Academy on the grounds of SUN ’n FUN and the James C. Ray Scholarship Fund was established to offer financial support for Polk County High School merit students.” Ray also provides financial support to the Experimental Aircraft Association and its Young Eagles program; the University of North Dakota Aerospace programs; the Museum of Flight in Seattle; and the Future of Flight Aviation Center and Boeing Tour in Everett, Washington. President of the Aerospace Capital Group and the Ray Foundation of Naples,

Phillip Herrington and Angel Castellanos after one of their practices for Thursday’s fly-by tribute to James Ray. Florida, he also has invested in more than 300 high tech aerospace and computer ventures, including Compaq Computer and Cirrus Design. “We want to say thank you by demonstrating what can happen when somebody believes in your passion and is financially able to support you,” Herrington said. The young pilots, who hold Sport Pilot certificates, will perform their multiple precision formation fly-bys in Breezer Light-Sport Aircraft. Flying the Breezer is an important part of today’s events. That’s because the boys, especially Herrington, consider Mike Zidzinius, know to most as Mike Z as the owner of Breezer Aircraft USA, as

a mentor — and more. “Mike is like a second father to me,” Herrington said. “Mike and the flight school have supported me financially and mentally since I started flying. The scholarship covered me through solo, Mike did the rest! Breezer Aircraft fully supports the dreams of us young people. Flight training with Mike Z and the instructors of Breezer Aircraft USA is phenomenal!” Breezer Aircraft, which has a training fleet of three LSAs, is also a dealership for the Breezer, which is made in Germany. They are sold as quick build kits, with flight training built into the purchase price. Once their tickets were in hand, pre-

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paring for the fly-by started months ago for the boys. While handling their regular high school work, the two also spent a lot of time in the school’s Flight Simulator Lab. All students spend time in the lab, receiving a grade on how well they perform in certain scenarios set up in the simulator by the aerospace instructor. For the past few months, however, Herrington and Castellanos had a different task before them when they entered the sim lab: They were practicing precision formation flying in hopes that Air Boss Wayne Boggs and the new president of SUN ’n FUN, John “Lites” Leenhouts, would approve their dream to fly an the SUN ’n FUN. It’s a dream that’s been in the works since the boys were 5 years old. Lead pilot Castellanos, a member of the of the Air Force JROTC, developed a desire to fly after attending his first SUN ’n FUN 12 years ago. During a field trip to the Florida Air Museum when he was in 8th grade, he discovered the Central Florida Aerospace Academy and applied. Last summer, the first James C. Ray scholarship was given to a group of Future Eagle students, which allowed them

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March 27, 2012

Sun ’n Fun Today -

AOPA Tent headquarters for activities


The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) is again a SUN ’n FUN platinum sponsor, and its tent is headquarters for activities all week, including demonstrations, prizes, educational and member updates, and a chance to see the 2012 Tougher Than A Tornado Sweepstakes airplane. “For thousands of general aviation pilots, SUN ’n FUN marks the traditional start of the flying season, and the event is a real boon to the local economy as thousands fly or drive in for the festivities,” said AOPA President Craig L. Fuller. “AOPA is proud to return as the platinum sponsor, and we’re looking forward to spending the week catching up with our members and

fellow aviation enthusiasts.” Throughout the week, members of AOPA’s medical certification and Pilot Information Center staffs will be on hand in the tent, located next to the PilotMall store across from Hangars A and B, to answer questions. The AOPA 2012 Tougher Than A Tornado Sweepstakes grand prize will also be on display at the tent all week. The 2011 Aviat Husky is a rugged, handcrafted two-seater aircraft that can land on a wide variety of surfaces, including grass, sand beaches, and river beds. Stop by the AOPA Tent to see the airplane that one lucky pilot will win later this year. The AOPA Tent is a great place to see how the

organization supports its members. AOPA Insurance Services offers insurance to cover your aircraft and your life. If you need aircraft owners, renter’s, CFI coverage, life insurance, or have questions about the new 24/7 AD&D protection plan, speak to one of our licensed agents onsite. You can also visit the Pilot Protection Services lounge in the AOPA Tent where your input will help us build the protection you need as a pilot. AOPA staff members will be out each day randomly choosing people who are wearing Keep ʼem Flying stickers and giving them prizes. Stickers are available throughout the week at the tent. While

there, participate in the daily drawing, where members can support the AOPA/ EAA Third Class Medical Exemption and win more great prizes. On Friday, you can even win the newest version of the iPad! On Thursday and Saturday, the tent is home to AOPA Live, AOPA’s streaming video site that will provide coverage of SUN ’n FUN. To kick off each of the two days’ programming, aviation technical specialists from the Pilot Information Center will address medical, ownership, and career issues. Remember, AOPA members can receive a discount all days of the show if you show your membership card at the front gate.

YOUTH | From Page 44

as a fighter pilot in the Air Force. Wingman Herrington, also a member of the Air Force JROTC, developed a desire to fly at the age of 5, after watching the 1980 film “Top Gun.” When he was in 7th grade, he told his father he wouldn’t get his driver’s license until he had his pilot’s license. When he was in 8th grade, he discovered the Central Florida Aerospace Academy and immediately dubbed it the first step in a long-term goal. On April 4, 2011, he took his first airplane ride with Greg Poe, an airshow pilot who had performed at SUN ’n FUN the day before. “My very first flight consisted

of loops, barrel rolls, and some inverted flight,” he recalled. A week later he received a ride in a 182. He immediately applied for a scholarship with the James C. Ray Foundation, and on May 12, received the scholarship. On May 15, he took his first flight lesson, soloing on Oct. 15. He was scheduled to do his check ride Dec. 17, but that was put on hold when he was the passenger in an Ercoupe crash on takeoff on Nov. 19. On Dec. 24, he climbed back into the airplane for the first time since the accident. He “re-soloed” a week later and on Jan. 28, received his Sport Pilot license.

He says the wings displayed on his flight suit are a daily reminder of the goals he has to become a Naval Aviator. He plans to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He desires to join NROTC and later join the Navy. By the way — he still doesn’t have his driver’s license! The fly-by begins at 12:30, so be sure to watch these young pilots make the first of many of their dreams come true.

to complete ground school and solo. Castellanos was the first to solo out of the other students, and received a second scholarship to train for a Sport Pilot license. On Dec. 30, he received his Sport Pilots License, becoming the first student at the Central Florida Aerospace Academy to attain his license. He notes that the wings displayed on his flight suit “serve as a daily reminder to those around me of the goals I have set forth for a long and adventurous future in military aviation.” He aspires to be accepted to the Air Force Academy and fly


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SUN ’n FUN 2012

SUN ’n FUN Today -

March 27, 2012

What’s happening today


7:30 a.m.

Non-Denominational Church Service with Mission-

ary Aviator at Florida Air Museum AOPA Pavilion.


10 a.m.

Room 1: Electric Aircraft Development Alliance [EADA], Neil Cosentino

Room 1: Never real time weath-

Room 2: Designing the perfect

Room 2: Using Waterborne - It’s

Room 3: Skybolt Cowling Fasteners-Vans/Kitplane/Hands on Installation, Ned Bowers

Room 3: The critical role of helicopters in General Aviation, Ed DiCampli

Room 4: Airparks, the selection

Room 4: Stick & Rudder…

paint scheme, Craig Benett


The forums are held at the Central Florida Aerospace Academy across from the Florida Air Museum in 11 classrooms. Volunteers are near all the entrances and exits to help you find the right classroom for the forum you are seeking.

process, Ron Heidebrink

Room 5: Everything you need

to know about Aviation Piston Oil, Steve Strollo

Room 6: AOPA’s Aircraft Partnership Program, David Kruger

9 a.m.

Room 7: Traits of Superior Pi-

Room 2: Maintenance tips for

your Lycoming Engine, Frank Lukachinsky

lots, an Insurance perspective, JJ Greenway

Room 8: Cylinder anatomy,

Room 4: DUAT’s Flight plan-

what’s in there? Materials, Processes & Maintenance, Tim Morland

Room 5: On and off airports

Room 9: Buying and selling

ning, doing it better, faster & more effectively, Leon Thomas

emergency landings, David Joseph

Room 10: All auto conversions:

What’s new, what’s old & what works, Patrick Panzera


11 a.m.

aircraft in a recession, Robert McKenzie

Room 10: UL power, UL206i 95hp @164 lbs., Robert Helms

er portable and panel, Glen Gray/ Joe Millard/Chris Carr easier than ever! Jason Gerard

Basics for Aerobatics, Johnny Smith

Room 5: Flying the DC-3, Adventures in 70-year-old airplanes, Jon Goldenbaum Room 6: Tips/Techniques for improving your Flight Performance in RVs, Jan Bussell

Room 7: Airframe & Power


12 p.m.

1: The Speed of Life….Retired SR-71 pilot, Brian Shul 2: Free Flight Instructor timeAnywhere in America, Jack Van Deventer/Mark Owens

1 p.m.


1: Aviation Hollywood style: Making movies real, J.W. “Corkey” Fornof 2: Top 10 reasons to get your

CFI, Jack Van Deventer/Mark Owens

3: Twenty of the best places to fly, Michael Combs

3: End of an era: History of the

4: IAC Forum 5: iPad takes flight! Presented

4: Airpark Living: Dream or

by MyGoFlight, Charles Scheider

6: Interior plastic installation

and repair, Dale Logsdon

7: The Ins and Outs of flying in the Caribbean, Thierry Pouille

8: Maintaining & Restoring Short Wing Pipers, Steve Pierce

Space Shuttle, Gary Dahlke

Disaster, Warner



5: Update on the transition to Satellite Navigation, Leo Eldridge 6: DUAT’s Flight planning, doing it better, faster & more effectively, Leon Thomas

plant (A&P) Licensing Process, Thomas D. Black

9: Aviation survival basics,

Skip Stoffel

7: Avoiding maneuvering flight accidents…The human factor, Evan Byrne, NTSB

Room 8: Potentially Perfect Project, Scott Sky Smith

10: HKS 700,T, 4-stroke turbocharged 709cc 77-80 HP 127 lbs., Frank Porter

8: Tax issues four owners of business aircraft, Scott Horton

11: Bolt on performance & ef-

iPad, Jason Miller

Room 9: Practical ScenarioBased Training, Eric Crump

Room 11: Viking engine installation on a RV-12, Ron Russ

Room 11: Airparks, Airports...A

great future if..., Ray Sessions

Introducing the ProBalancer Sport

ficiency for your aircraft, Darren Tilman

9: ForeFlight mobile on the 10: Vicking 110 Honda fit conversion

11: World flying adventure..A decade of global exploration, Bob Gannon Flying Club & Bulletin Board for Pilots and People Interested in Flying and Sharing Expenses, etc.


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March 27, 2012

Sun ’n Fun Today -


What’s happening today

FAA FORUMS, Production Studios in the FAA Building


9 a.m.: Avoiding Maneuvering Flight

Accidents: The Human Factor, Evan Byrne, NTSB

Aeroshell Aerostars Black Diamonds Freddie Cabanas Ed Hamill Rob Holland Greg Koontz Dan Marcotte Jim “Fang” Maroney Davind Martin John Mohr Melissa Pemberton Walt Pierce Jim Pietz SoCom Mark Sorenson Skip Stewart Team RV Nikolai Timofeev Warbirds Michael Wiskus Matt Younkin

10 a.m.: Light-Sport Aircraft, Scott Landorf, FAASTeam Program Manager

11 a.m.: Say Again? Radio Communications Done Right, Cindy Carter, AOPA Air Safety Institute 12 p.m.: Who Needs Upset Prevention and Recovery Training? Janeen Kochan and Paul BJ Ransbury

1 p.m.: A Fatal Crash Course: The Top 10 Reasons We Lose Pilots, Tony James, FAA Office of Accident Investigation and Prevention


10 a.m.: John Burton/Ernie Sanborn,

Florida Air Museum: “Dreams for Tomorrow”: A look back at the accomplishments of the past year and an exciting glimpse into what the future holds for the Florida Air Museum and its expanding education programs.

11 a.m.: Pilots Who Have Flown Around

the World: “Ask an Earthrounder”: Have you ever wondered what it’s like to fly around the world? A group of pilots who have accomplished this amazing feat will participate in this year’s SUN ’n FUN Fly-In. Here’s your chance to ask them questions about the sights, the challenges and all the logistics of World Flight!

Lakeland’s “home team,” the Black Diamonds will perform in today’s airshow.


10 a.m.: Robin Correa shows off new


8 p.m. at the Florida Air Museum’s

Tupperware products.

AOPA Pavilion: The Parris Island Marine Concert Band. The 50 musicians will perform selections including patriotic marches, overtures, and instrumental solos. This concert is part of SUN ’n FUN’s Celebration of the Centennial of Marine Aviation.

11 a.m.: Mary Kay Party hosted by

Kathy Still Jiminez & Beverly Henrich. Come for facials and tips on makeup products.

12 p.m.: Open House — catch up with

friends from years past and make some new ones.


9:30 (At AOPA Pavilion, begins after the Evening Program is concluded): The Great Waldo Pepper: A biplane pilot who

missed flying in World War I takes up barnstorming and later a movie career in his quest for the glory he had missed, eventually getting a chance to prove himself in a film depicting the dogfights in the Great War. Starring Robert Redford and Susan Sarandon.

All schedules subject to change.

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March 27, 2012


cy, remembers driving to Lakeland for the interview. “I told my wife ‘don’t get too excited, I so don’t have this,’” he remembers, adding with a laugh, “I thought maybe we’d get two VIP tickets for the next show out of this.” He admits he “just about passed out” when they called to offer him the job. He becomes only the third person to hold this position, following Burton’s 12-year tenure, who was preceded by one of SUN ’n FUN’s founders, Billy Henderson. “SUN ’n FUN represents what my life is all about,” Lites said. “This is a calling — preaching at the Church of the High Speed Pass. I became enamored by what SUN ’n FUN means to the aviation world and the avid enthusiasts of all aviation. We have everything from homebuilts to classics to warbirds, but what I think makes SUN ’n FUN special is we have all that in a relaxed, enjoyable environment. The fun factor here is the highest of any air show.” Taking the top spot at the nation’s second largest air show, topped only by AirVenture, is a long way from where Lites began. Born in Bryan, Texas, he admits he was a kid on his way to trouble when he decided to hitchhike to an air show at Carswell Air Force Base just outside Fort Worth. As he walked around the show, he was surprised that the pilots would actually take the time to talk to a kid. “Then a lightbulb came on and I realized there is a future in aviation,” he said. After graduating in 1973 from Oklahoma State University with an Aerospace Engineering degree, he joined the Navy’s Aviation Reserve Officer Candidate Program. He did his initial training at NAS Kingsville in Texas. During his first tour he completed three deployments aboard aircraft carriers, flying the A-7 Corsair. One of his duties was Landing Signal Officer, which gave him the perk of training in another aircraft. He chose the F-14 Tomcat, and recalls writing out a syllabus for his training on a Sunday afternoon. “One week later I was qualified to fly the Tomcat,” he said. For the last 10 years of his 27-year career in the Navy he flew the F/A-18. But he also took every chance he could to fly all the other planes in the Navy fleet. “I would go to different squadrons and ask if I could fly with them,” he said. The list of what he’s flown while logging more than 10,000 hours is extensive: A-7, F-14, F/A-18A-F, A-6, C-1, C-2, S-3, P-3, SH-3, SH-60, T-33, T-28, F-16, and F-5, Cessna 150, 152, 170, 172, 182, and more. During Operation Desert Storm, he accumulated more than 100 combat hours in 24 missions, leading strikes into Iraq and Kuwait. He still holds the distinction of performing more landings (or “traps” in naval nomenclature) on an aircraft carrier than any other naval aviator in U.S. history with 1,645 arrested landings. During his Navy years, Lites indulged his love for all things aviation by volun-

Meet SUN ’n FUN’s new president Just last year, John “Lites” Leenhouts was thinking about retirement. “My life was set,” the 27-year Navy veteran said. “I was going to retire after 10 years at Northrup-Grumman and we knew exactly what we were going to do.” He and his wife Nancy had built a good life in Jacksonville, during the decade at Northrup-Grumman. They had two homes, one on an airpark designated an “aviation haven” filled to the rafters with thousands of aviation memorabilia he has been collecting since his teens. He’d fly his Stearman or Waco and dream of building a Van’s RV so he could get into mock dog-fights with his neighbors. But that all changed when he opened an email from a friend telling him about an opening at SUN ’n FUN for the top spot, created when John Burton became president of the Florida Air Museum. “My friend said ‘this has your name all over it,’” Lites recalled. He agreed and immediately fired off an email expressing interest in the job, along with his resume. Lites was one of 180 people to apply for the position. He survived several rounds of cuts, but thought he had blown it when they asked him to interview and he said he couldn’t make it on the designated day because he was in Los Angeles on business. To his surprise, they pushed the interview up two days. Lites, who has volunteered at SUN ’n FUN for years, camping under the wing with Nan-

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March 27, 2012

Sun ’n Fun Today -


A new chairman too SUN ’n FUN also has a new chairman this year, following the retirement of longtime chairman Bill Eickhoff. Earlier this year, the SUN ’n FUN board of directors elected Bob Knight, president of Knight Industrial Equipment of Lakeland, Fla., as the new chairman. Eickhoff served as chairman for the past 28 years at SUN ’n FUN. Knight has served on the board for the past 10 years, most recently as its vicechairman. He also served as chairman of the Board’s Master Site Planning Committee, which has overseen significant development in SUN ’n FUN’s educational mission, culminating last year in the dedication of the Central Florida Aerospace Academy on the fly-in’s campus, as well as the new Piedmont Aerospace & Technology Laboratory addition to the Florida Air Museum’s Tom Davis Educational Center.

“The entire SUN ’n FUN organization is eternally grateful to Bill Eickhoff for his remarkable dedication to the vision and potential of SUN ’n FUN and the role it plays in the economy of Central Florida and in its mission to inspire and educate people of all ages through involvement in aviation,” Knight said. “Bill and Suzy Eickhoff were among the SUN ’n FUN pioneers who cleared the Florida wilderness on the south side of Lakeland airport starting in 1978, driven by a common passion for aviation and a commitment to share the sense of achievement and inspiration that comes from taking control of an airplane.” The final day of this year’s airshow, Sunday, April 1, has been designated “Bill and Suzy Eickhoff Day” to honor the couple’s long-time dedication to SUN ’n FUN.

LITES | From Page 48

and check on his home at Haller Airpark (7FL4), which has been turned into a museum, housing his collection of aviation memorabilia. Called “Trader John’s Fly Boy Bar,” the museum “gets a lot of attention,” Lites admits. The 7,000-square-foot home is filled with display cases to showcase the “tens of thousands” of items in his collection. “It’s pretty extensive,” he says, noting that people often say it’s “sensory overload” when they walk through the house.” While he had thought about building an RV at one time to help him win in “dogfights” with his neighbors at the airpark, he concedes he just doesn’t have the time now. But he’d still like to fly one. “We were thinking of an RV-6, which will help us get back and forth to Jacksonville quickly,” he said. “The RV-6 would make it a 40-minute flight, compared to an hour and a half in the Stearman. Plus I could be part of the formation flying at the airpark.” Lites admits he’s “eaten up with aviation. It’s a bad habit and I can’t break it.”

teering at SUN ’n FUN. Now that’s he’s leading the show, one of his first duties was to ensure the airshow is “StormReady” after last year’s tornado (See story on Page 3). He also introduced three tenets to all staff and volunteers to ensure that everyone who attends the airshow has a great time: “Can we make it easier for them? Can we make it more enjoyable? And can we make it more rewarding?” Staff and volunteers are all ambassadors this week, eager to help you. They are all wearing “May I Help You” buttons to help you identify them. “We want to make this a Mecca for people who love aviation,” he said. “We have to make it so at the end of the event, people start planning for next year.” While he’s busy learning his new job and building a new house in Lakeland, Lites still flies his 1941 Stearman N2-S and 1930 Waco RNF, often up to Jacksonville to visit his daughter and grandbabies, Hangars & Tie-Downs - 7300

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We can’t promise you’ll come away from our forums a sharper pilot, but that’s our hope. After all, Avemco Insurance Company has made accident prevention one of our top priorities. This week, we’ll present a series of fun and informative forums designed to help you fly better, smarter, and safer. Stop by our booth and talk with our aviation insurance specialists. They’ll show you why over 90% of Avemco® customers are so happy, they renew their policies.*

Traits of Superior Pilots Jonathan “JJ” Greenway, President Tue. 3/27/12 10:00 a.m. Room 7 Through findings gleaned from Avemco claims data and accident prevention research, you’ll learn why some pilots are less likely to have accidents and how all pilots can be more like them.

The Best Aircraft for You - an Accident Prevention Perspective Jonathan “JJ” Greenway, President Wed. 3/28/12 9:00 a.m. Room 8 Being happy with your airplane is a key part of enjoying flying. We’ll take a creative approach to choosing the right airplane from the standpoint of accident prevention.

Intelligent Flying Jonathan “JJ” Greenway, President Wed. 3/28/12 12:00 FAA Safety Team National Resource Center JJ Greenway knows what it takes to be a smarter pilot. He’s seen some very smart pilots do dumb things during his 14,000+ hours as an airline captain and CFI in everything from the Boeing 767 to his Bellanca Decathlon.

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Jim Lauerman, Executive Vice President Thurs. 3/29/12 9:00 a.m. Room 9 Learn the myths that keep pilots from getting the right insurance coverage: How to insure your aircraft for the right value, the hidden secrets of liability coverage, and the risks of flying an aircraft you don’t own. *90+% customer retention based on average 2011 monthly renewal data for the Direct Approach Aircraft Insurance Policy A subsidiary of HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc.

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SUN ’n FUN Today -

Bring us your photos

Got a great shot you want to share in tomorrow’s edition of SUN ’n FUN Today? Bring your digital camera card to us in the Flight Deck Communications Center behind the Fly-In Headquarters Building near the museum and you might see your shot in print. Not all photos are guaranteed to be published, so bring us your best and see how you stack up to your fellow shutterbugs.

Photos fueled by Flying High Coffee

March 27, 2012

DFC90-Ad-SNF-3.2012 March 27, 2012



9:49 AM

Page 1

Sun ’n Fun Today -



Ge Cess t a na At DF 182 ten Fl C9 Own tion Sp igh 0 er ac t + s e is D As at lim emo pen SN F ite P F d! D

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SUN ’n FUN Today -

Photos fueled by Flying High Coffee

March 27, 2012

March 27, 2012

Sun ’n Fun Today -







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Say Again? A Musician’s Insight into Pilot Hearing Loss Friday, 11:00 • Florida Air Museum

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SUN ’n FUN Today -

A Pioneering spirit: One of many share in that camaraderie that all pilots know well. A camaraderie that this steady, gentle-mannered man who turns 78 next month would emphasize the importance of several times as he told me his SUN ’n Just take a look around you: There are FUN story later that morning. signs everywhere indicating the dedica“Everyone here loves airplanes, but tion of what has grown to a force of some airplanes are just the mechanism to bring 3,000 volunteers who put on a six-day people together,” he said. “Volunteering event hosting an estimated 160,000 guests is the same. It brings people together to — from the friendly faces of those standplan and accomplish things.” ing at the ready to greet guests and answer Mix the two and you have SUN ’n questions, to those driving by in golf carts FUN. on their way to their next task, to the dediPaul’s involvement continued well becations inscribed on placards strategically yond those beginning years, ultimately placed on various buildings and benches, landing him at the Florida Air Museum and even the names on street signs. as a docent. It’s here One dedication in where he is always particular caught my “Everyone here happy to share his attention when I was loves airplanes, but longtime passion for onsite last Saturday morning: The SUN ’n airplanes are just the aviation and the history of SUN ’n FUN FUN Pioneers Wall mechanism to bring with guests. outside the Florida Air Additionally, Ernie Museum. Some 230 people together.” Sanborn, the museum’s names adorn the wall, SUN ’n FUN Pioneer vice president, is quick including the name of Paul Hopkins to point out that Paul the man I was schedwas instrumental in uled to interview — securing funding for a new — and much Paul Hopkins. needed — air conditioning system for the Paul is a member of the core group of lomuseum. cal aviation enthusiasts, or Pioneers, who “Thanks to Paul’s congeniality and 38 years ago literally carved the SUN ’n willingness to share his knowledge, what FUN grounds out of thick palmetto scrub started out as a casual conversation with so those who love aviation could have a James Ray during a visit he made to the place to gather a few days each year to

March 27, 2012

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museum ended up as a $150,000 donation when Mr. Ray later asked Paul what the museum needed the most at that time. Paul told him that we needed new a/c.” (James C. Ray, as many might already know, is the main benefactor of many youth aviation programs, as well as of the Central Florida Aerospace Academy that opened last year across the street from the museum.) Those who stop in and visit the Florida Air Museum this week can visit with Paul and see firsthand his continued dedication and service to airplanes and the people who love them. And you won’t want to

miss the SUN ’n FUN Pioneers dedication of the wall outside of the museum Thursday at 1 p.m. “The Pioneers embody the spirit of SUN ’n FUN,” says Suzy Eickhoff, volunteer chairman. “They created the event and are still dedicated to it to this day.” That spirit that came to life nearly four decades ago thanks to the dedication of 230 Pioneers has since been nurtured and fostered by thousands of volunteers over the years. As you look around you and take in the 38th Annual SUN ’n FUN International Fly-In & Expo, you’ll see it everywhere.

March 27, 2012

Sun ’n Fun Today -


Visit the Cessna Exhibit at SNF 001, 002, and 004

Cessna Sun n Fun ad.indd 1

2/23/2012 8:24:52 AM


SUN ’n FUN Today -

March 27, 2012

March 27, 2012 SUN 'n FUN Today  
March 27, 2012 SUN 'n FUN Today  

The March 27, 2012 edition of SUN 'n FUN Today produced daily during the show in Lakeland, Florida.