Down to Earth

Is the mainstream medias portrayal of aviation incidents sensationalized or on target? Turns out they are right in some aspects, but lacking in others. Either way, the aviation accident rate illustrates that there's still room for improvement; by Amy Laboda.

Light Stuff

Columnist Dave Martin flies one of the best-selling Special Light Sport Aircraft (factory-built), the Flight Design CTSW. Although he encounters a few surprises, transition training for pilots new to the design would likely alleviate such things.

What’s New

A WxWorx partner will help upgrade Nexrad, MGL Avionics Odyssey EFIS ships in the U.S., Sky-Tec offers the RX12 starter for Rotax 912/914 series engines, and TrickAir offers skis for the American Legend Aircraft Legend Cub.

Carbon Monoxide Blues

Although not a huge factor in airplane crashes, carbon monoxide poisoning does contribute to accidents each year. This is entirely avoidable with a good, functional carbon monoxide detector in the cockpit. The choices in these units have increased over the years, so now there's no excuse to do without this useful tool; by Rick Lindstrom.

Stainless Steel

Author Norm Ellis is not a particular fan of stainless-steel, even though he knows it has its place-even if that place is not in your airplane. After providing a brief history of this widely used material, he makes a case for choosing the right stock for the right project on the basis of utility rather than beauty-and he offers the stats to back up his assertions.

Dan’s World

Columnist and RV builder Dan Checkoway advocates keeping it simple so that you can actually afford to fuel and fly your homebuilt aircraft. He claims many builders buy into the hype about the latest and greatest equipment must-haves, and then complain about the price at the pump.

Light Stuff

The state of Oregon has a new law that mandates using ethanol in all auto fuel, potentially affecting thousands of pilots, especially owners of most of todays Light Sport Aircraft powered by the ubiquitous Rotax 912 engine. It may not be too late to take action against similar legislation that could be brewing in your state; by Dave Martin.

Around the Patch

Those who plan to build an aircraft from a kit would do well to visit the factory and get to know not only the owners but also the operation. So counsels Editor-in-Chief Marc Cook, whose recent visit to the RANS factory left him favorably impressed. RANS manufacturing is diversified to weather the ups and downs of the market, and the company knows what works and sticks to it.

Around the Patch

A recent announcement that a major manufacturer would no longer be making and selling carburetors came as a shock. Although another company has taken up the challenge and will supply carbs, at least for the time being, this news may be the impetus needed to move more aviators toward fuel-injected power for their homebuilt aircraft.

What’s New

Meet a new South African import LSA, read news from Jeppesen about updating your Chelton system, and a paint sprayer/respirator combination unit may interest the would-be plane painters among you.

In Case You Missed it

Dare To Be Bare

After checking with a variety of aluminum polishing aficionados, author Bob Fritz came up with a winning combination for maintaining the shine on metal airplanes. He details not only which products to use, but also how to use them for maximum effectiveness with minimal elbow grease.

Ask the DAR

Two engines, one prop; ownership without a sales receipt; ultralight registered as E/A-B.

2012 Plansbuilt Buyer’s Guide

The 2012 Plansbuilt Buyer’s Guide features 138 designs for those who prefer the challenge of building an aircraft from scratch.

Loss of N114DE

All we wanted was a couple of buffalo burgers, but we got to go swimming instead.