Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sebring: Day One Postscript

A gusty, blustery day at Sebring Airport. Warm, humid, winds pushing 20 or more all day, didn't dampen the spirits of pilots, who flew all day.

Light Aircraft Manufacturer's Association (LAMA), led by Pres. Dan Johnson, had its annual manufacturer's and distributor's dinner on the field, including what Dan promised would be "no long and boring" speeches by industry notables, which included EAA's Earl Lawrence, Flight Design's Tom Peghiny with a rousing, unforgettable call to submit nominees for the Larry Burke Award for distinguished contribution to the movement, Sebring Expo organizer Robt. Wood, NTSB accident investigator Gregg Ferguson and others.
As some wag with a couple beers under his flight suit put it, "Yeah, no short boring speechs either Dan!" A good time was had by all.

More notes gleaned from my recorder before I sack out, with visions of flying the PiperSport tomorrow morning dancing through my dreams:

PiperSport owners will be supported by:
  • a five year warranty;
  • a broad dealer network, made up of some current Piper and SportCruiser dealers and perhaps some new
  • parts worldwide through a broad distribution network (Aviall);
  • Piper personnel spent a lot of time in the Czech Republic studying Czech Sport Aircraft's (CSA) manufacturing techniques before they made the decision
  • CEO Kevin Gould stated Piper feels the economic downslide is flattening; that there have been a lot of people sitting on the sidelines who were waiting for something like this to get them to "jump into the pool"; sure hope he's right.
  • Piper will only offer SLSA. CSA may still produce kits on its own but Piper owns the licensing for SLSA exclusively
The sporty, solid German-made Breezer now numbers 100 worldwide. Mike Zidzunias has changed the name of his Mike Z Aviation LSA sales and service repair station to Island Bird Flying Service. He'll have some important announcements for me later in the show about the Breezer too.

No comments: