Monday, January 25, 2016

Sebring - 2016

2016 US Sport Aviation Expo
The shuttle van took a few minutes to transport me from the transient ramp to the entrance of the show. I sat in the front seat and talked about Florida living with the driver. He had come down to enjoy to the longer tennis season. We all have our reasons.

It was a $20 entrance fee for the day, discounted if you are an AOPA or EAA member. The Welcome Booth sits just inside that gate and the volunteers were smiling and happy to give out brochures. The sun was shining and the temperatures were in the mid 60s, just perfect for an airshow.

I walked past the yellow re-imagined C150 and the SeaRey, noticed the mockup for the M.V.P. amphib on the other side of the ramp and made my way down to US Sport Aircraft. Patrick had 2 airplanes on display and one in the demonstration area. Sally has some beautiful sisters. The tail feathers are a little different, the nose strut has been improved, but the real change is the Dynon Skyview system.  I met Oscar, a Facebook friend and we had a chance to talk about life and flying for awhile. I also had a chance to talk with Jim and his very successful flight school in NJ. He has picked up some Sport Pilots from eastern PA since I left.

I had my SportCruiser T-Shirt on so it was assumed I could answer questions, so I did. "I've looked at The Evector SportStar, and The BRM Aero Bristelle. Why should I buy this airplane?" "Well," I said, "they are all good airplanes designed by the same person. Each a low wing, all metal aircraft with a high visibility bubble canopy. They have similar weights and speeds. Prices are different but they are all good value for the dollar. I would say the real difference is SUPPORT. While I can't speak for the other companies, US Sport Aircraft has always treated me well and I would not hesitate recommending them to any prospective LSA buyer." He thanked me and as he was leaving I said, "but regardless of your choice, go flying. The longer you wait making a decision, the more time you've wasted on the ground."

I left to go over to the FBO to make arrangements for fuel. Volo Aviation was charging $4/gal, a good price for 100LL. I also noted where the Lockwood Aviation hangar was located so that when I make arrangements for my 500 hour rubber replacement I'll have an idea where I'm going. Then I walked back to the display area and over to the hangars to listen to some lectures. These are always helpful and provide a wealth of information, but along the way I found Dr Seti. I had some CFI questions and needed his sage advice again.

Next I walked through the exhibit hall, and though tempted was able to keep my wallet in my pocket. By this time I was hungry so passed by the Gyro cart and went to the food shack for a chicken sandwich and sweet tea for lunch. ($10) I sat at a picnic table with members of The Villages Flying Club. Flying out of different local airports, the club of over 300 meets once a month to plan Florida excursions. Most are "Snowbirds", so we did talk about the poor devils suffering with snow storm Jonas.

N674PS on Final
A few more airplanes to look at. A few more Facebook friends to meet. On my way to the exit gate I made a stop to say hello to Jamie. He was securing his tie downs anticipating the foul weather approaching. It was time to go.

Sally started easily. We had an uneventful departure and easy flight home. We arrived at KVDF in time to watch a pretty sunset.

Video Notes: KSEF Departure

*We chose a good day to attend. Friday and Saturday were bad weather days. We got the southern tip of the front that was driving Jonas and it delivered high gusty winds and an abundance of cold driving rain.

Expo Notes: Thursday and Beyond

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