HondaJet flight simulator arrives at Honda Aircraft Co.

By Aerospace Mfg & Design

Honda partnered with FlightSafety International to develop the simulator and training program.

HondaJet flight simulator arrives at Honda Aircraft Co.

Honda Aircraft Co.’s first HondaJet flight simulator has been delivered and is currently being installed at the company’s world headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina. The full motion, Level D simulator was developed in partnership with FlightSafety International and will be located at the HondaJet Training Center on the campus of Honda Aircraft.
“Pilot training is an important factor for safety, and we are putting significant effort and investment into flight training for all of our customers,” said Honda Aircraft Co. President and CEO Michimasa Fujino. “The HondaJet flight simulator will be an invaluable training tool in preparing pilots to operate the world’s most advanced light jet. It is part of a customized training program that will use the latest technologies to create a learning experience that is engaging and real to life.”
The HondaJet and its advanced flight deck were designed for simple, intuitive operation while achieving a high degree of safety. To enhance its state-of-the-art safety features, Honda partnered with FlightSafety International to develop the simulator and training program. As the world’s leading aviation training organization and supplier of flight simulators, FlightSafety operates the world’s largest fleet of full-flight simulators and delivers more than 1 million hours of instruction each year to pilots, technicians, and other aviation professionals.
The HondaJet flight simulator is a top-of-the-line training device that uses sophisticated software to precisely replicate the flight characteristics of the aircraft. The simulator will be capable of providing a full range of scenarios to help prepare and qualify pilots to safely operate the aircraft.
The simulator was constructed and assembled at FlightSafety’s manufacturing facility in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, with the collaboration of Honda Aircraft. It will be certified to meet both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) regulations.
The HondaJet light business jet aircraft incorporates an over-the-wing engine mount (OTWEM) configuration designed to improve performance and fuel efficiency by reducing aerodynamic drag. The OTWEM design also reduces cabin sound, minimizes ground-detected noise, and allows for a roomy cabin in its class, large baggage capacity, and aft lavatory. The HondaJet is powered by two GE Honda HF120 turbofan jet engines, and is equipped a Honda-customized Garmin G3000 next-generation, all-glass avionics system.

Fantasy of Flight reopens; plans for Act III underway

By Meg Godlewski, General Aviation News.

After a year of dormancy, Fantasy of Flight, Kermit Weeks’ vintage aviation attraction in Polk City, Florida, has reopened to the public in a limited fashion.

“We have opened a small scale museum housed in our former maintenance hangar,” explains Kandice Stephens, operations and events manager for Fantasy of Flight. “We will have 11 to 15 aircraft on static display, rotating in and out of the facility. In addition, we have our main facility, where we host special events like corporate galas and launch parties.”

Aircraft on display include a B-24, the Grumman Duck, and the ever-popular P-51 Mustang (pictured below). In addition, Waldo Wright’s Flying Service will offer biplane rides for a fee.

P51 Mustang_2_Fantasy of FlightFantasy of Flight is the world’s largest private collection of aircraft, with more than 100 aircraft ranging from the beginning of powered flight through the 1950s.

When Weeks closed Fantasy of Flight’s doors last April, he told the aviation world it was so he could “re-imagine the attraction” to what he is calling “Act III.”

It was a necessary move, he says.

“Although we are located just 20 minutes west of Walt Disney World, we’re currently outside the center of mass tourism and not perceived of as a destination,” he said. “After 18 years of being in operation, it’s time we close the attraction and move forward toward creating the vision for what I know Fantasy of Flight can become.”

According to Weeks, the development of Act III is well underway.

“I hired the lead designer for all three Universal Studio parks, Bob Ward, as my right-hand guy. We then hired the ex-Disney ideas crew led by Bob Allen to do a market research and feasibility study that will be completed sometime in April,” he says.

Kids enjoy the simulators at Fantasy of Flight.

The decision to reopen the museum in a limited fashion was made for several reasons, according to Weeks.

Foremost is that is a means “to stay connected to past supporters of Fantasy of Flight and to have a place to display some of the airplanes,” he explains. “It has the potential to be used in the future as a preview center and possible beta test site for future attraction elements.”

“The long-term goal for Act III is to come up with a compelling product that will be appreciated and loved by everyone that comes through our doors,” he continues. “The longer term goal will be to expand on what we create in Act III.”

Weeks hopes the reimagined attraction will help people reimagined themselves.

“Our future goal is for people to first take away a smile by enjoying the entertainment we offer,” he explains. “If we deliver that well, the second thing will be for people to take away a shift in perspective and how they see themselves on their own personal journey and — if we really do our job well — the third thing we hope to deliver is our mission statement, which is to light that spark within! Fantasy of Flight will not directly deliver this, only create the environment with which our future patrons create that spark within themselves. No one will tell them anything, but by the way we deliver our product they will discover it for themselves.”

“I am very passionate about what we are about to create as there is nothing like it,” he continues. “I believe it has tremendous potential to touch people in profound ways.”

The timeline for the completion of Act III is four to five years out.

Meanwhile, the museum will be open at what have been traditionally peak visitor times, according to Stephens.

It is open now Fridays through Sundays until April 26, which is the last day of the annual SUN ’n FUN Fly-In in nearby Lakeland, Florida. It will close again until June 19, opening up for the summer until Aug. 2, when kids go back to school, she notes.

“We will reopen again around Thanksgiving,” Stephens adds.

Surface Aerobatic Eval by Rob Holland

I just completed my surface level evaluation performed this year by 3 time National Unlimited Aerobatic Champion and 2 time World Freestyle Aerobatic Champion Rob Holland.  Rob is a legend on the airshow circuit and I am very proud to have performed this evaluation in front of the very best in the world !!!

Thanks Rob for coming to North Carolina and working with Team Aerodynamix.

After the Crash: Surviving an Aircraft Accident – GTCC

FAA Safety Team | Safer Skies Through Education
“After the Crash: Surviving an Aircraft Accident”Topic: After the Crash: Surviving an Aircraft Accident
On Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at 19:00
Guilford Technical Community College-Aviation
1053 Old Stagecoach Trail
‘New’ AV3 Bldg. Room 318
Greensboro, NC 27410
Select Number:


Of the millions of GA flights every year, only a few end with unplanned off-airport landings. But even though the odds of a crash are slim, the potential consequences are harsh—which is why smart pilots prepare and take basic precautions. That’s where our new seminar comes in. From route planning and emergency rations to signal mirrors and sat phones, our presenters take a user-friendly, common sense approach at maximizing your chances of survival and rescue after a crash.

To view further details and registration information for this seminar, click here.

The sponsor for this seminar is: AOPA Insurance Agency

The FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) is committed to providing equal access to this meeting/event for all participants. If you need alternative formats or services because of a disability, please communicate your request as soon as possible with the person in the ‘Contact Information’ area of the meeting/event notice. Note that two weeks is usually required to arrange services.

The following credit(s) are available for the WINGS/AMT Programs:

Basic Knowledge 3 – 1 Credit

Click here to view the WINGS help page


AEROBATIC/TAILWHEEL TRAINING • $189 • COME AND GET ITAerobatic, Spin, Upset Recovery, Tailwheel in the 8kcab Decathlon CS, Central NC. Acro Dynamics can put the romance back in flying. Aerobatic Training can expand your comfort zone and create an amazing transformation to your flying skill. Stop dreaming, start tail dragging. Packages, On Site Clinics, Gift Certificates available. The NC Foothills are a great training environment for mountain, bush, short field work. Making safe pilots safer!! $189/hr, Military/Eaa/Aopa discount •VISIT MY WEBSITE • Contact Michael B. Matthews – ACRO DYNAMICS LLC, Owner – located Mooresville, NC USA • Telephone: 336 244 9592

“Can I Do That?” FAA Safety Team at KRUQ (Rowan Cty)

“Can I Do That?”
Topic: Preventive Maintenance On Your Aircraft
On Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at 18:00
EAA Chapter 1083 Hanger, Rowan County Airport

Salisbury, NC 28147
Select Number:

At this meeting we will discuss Preventive Maintenance that you can accomplish on your aircraft and how to properly and legally sign off that work.  We will include a special emphasis on Light Sport and Experimental/Amateur-Built aircraft.  Plan to discuss maintenance you can accomplish on your Light Sport and Home Built aircraft.  Learn the truth about “Operating Limitations”.  There will be an open discussion on all maintenance issues with Amateur-Built aircraft.  So, have all your questions ready!  Don’t miss this exlusive briefing.  Click on the link below and register TODAY.

To view further details and registration information for this seminar, click here.

The sponsor for this seminar is: Charlotte FSDO FAASTeam

The FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) is committed to providing equal access to this meeting/event for all participants. If you need alternative formats or services because of a disability, please communicate your request as soon as possible with the person in the ‘Contact Information’ area of the meeting/event notice. Note that two weeks is usually required to arrange services.

The following credit(s) are available for the WINGS/AMT Programs:

Basic Knowledge 3 – 1 Credit
AMT: 2.00

Click here to view the WINGS help page

Invite a fellow pilot to the next WINGS Safety Seminar in your area.

Fuel Tax Breaks for Airlines in NC?

ELY PORTILLO of the Charlotte Observer

An American Airlines lobbyist told local business and government leaders Thursday that getting a sales tax exemption on jet fuel is the airline’s top legislative priority this year.

Speaking at the Global Vision Leaders breakfast near Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Tracy Montross said American is pushing for the break so it can stay competitive. A law capping jet fuel taxes at $2.5 million a year is set to expire this year, and American could see its fuel bill rise by about $10 million in North Carolina next year without legislative action.

“This is the No. 1 public policy prioity for the airline this year,” said Montross, American’s local director of government affairs.

State lawmakers are weighing the proposal. Opponents of airline fuel tax breaks, led by the Unite Here union, say the move would amount to an unneccessary handout to a corporation that’s coming off a year of record profits. The price of jet fuel, like gasoline, has plummeted, amounting to a huge windfall for airlines.

Montross told the group of about 100 leaders that American’s Charlotte hub works because of the airport’s low costs. American operates about 650 daily flights from Charlotte — more than 90 percent of the city’s total — and Charlotte Douglas is the airline’s second-busiest hub behind Dallas/Fort Worth.

Right now, North Carolina refunds airlines for any fuel sales taxes they pay after the first $2.5 million. US Airways, which merged with American in 2013, was the sole recipient of the break last year, which legislative analysts say could cost the state $10 million this year. American and the other airlines are now pushing to exempt jet fuel entirely.

If the current sales tax cap expires and isn’t extended or replaced, Montross said the cost of buying jet fuel at Charlotte would rise to third among American’s hubs, behind Los Angeles International and Chicago O’Hare International airports.

“But they have the population to justify hubs in those states,” said Montross.

Were The Wright Bros First?


Ohio state Rep. Rick Perales wants to make sure everyone knows: American aviation started in his state.

That’s why he’s introducing a bill for a second time that rejects the recent assertion that Orville and Wilbur Wright were not the first to achieve controlled flight in an engine-powered airplane over a sustained distance. Last year, the Connecticut General Assembly passed a resolution that credited Gustave Whitehead with piloting an aircraft near Fairfield, Conn., a few years before the Wright brothers. Gov. Dan Malloy signed an omnibus bill into law in 2013 that also recognized Whitehead as the first to fly.–

“You don’t change history on a whim,” said Perales, a former air force pilot who introduced legislation last December that passed out of committee but didn’t receive a vote before the 2013-2014 session ended.

The dispute boils down to whether Whitehead flew more than two years prior to the Wright brothers’ well-documented flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C. Aviation buffs have debated the veracity of Whitehead’s 1901 flight for a century, but the latest spat owes its origins to an editorial in Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft, an industry trade journal. In the 2013 edition, editor Paul Jackson announced that evidence collected by John Brown, a self-trained aviation historian, had convinced him that Whitehead came first.

Public officials in Connecticut leaped at the opportunity to celebrate their state’s place in aviation history. A Connecticut legislator has doubled down on the claim, introducing a bill last month that would make Aug. 14 Gustave Whitehead Day, to honor “the first man to make a manned, powered, controlled flight.” The same lawmaker wants to make one of Whitehead’s planes the official state “pioneering aircraft.”

Mayors in three Connecticut municipalities posted YouTube clips on New Year’s Eve to criticize the Ohio resolution against Whitehead. “We’ve always known that this area — Stratford, Bridgeport, Fairfield — has been the cradle of aviation,” said Stratford Mayor John Harkins. A press release from the three mayors called the Ohio resolution “patently absurd” and accused the Ohio lawmakers of “turning their backs on science and innovation.”

National Guard Apache pilots train over North Carolina


North Carolina National Guard AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopters sit on the tarmac outside the 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 130th Aviation Regiment, headquarters before an evening training flight Jan. 10 in Morrisville, N.C. The 1-130th ARB is one of many North Carolina National Guard units manned and trained to support domestic and federal missions. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Kelly L. Widner, 449th Theater Aviation Brigade)

Soldiers assigned to the 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 130th Aviation Regiment, conduct flight proficiency training many weekends in 2015, out of their flight facility in Morrisville.

The unit, which maintains a fleet of AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopters, is part of the North Carolina National Guard’s 449th Theater Aviation Brigade.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Steven Pratt, a member of the 1-130th ARB since 2011, said he chose to become a helicopter pilot because of the role aviation plays on the battlefield.

“Bringing our men and women home is the most rewarding aspect of my job,” said Pratt, who previously served as an active-duty medic with the 82nd Airborne Division. After earning a commission as a warrant officer and becoming a pilot, he said he’s proud to have another job where he can keep Soldiers safe. “I am trained to perform a mission that will save lives on the battlefield.”

First Lt. Stephen Scott, also a pilot with the 1-130th ARB, said he’s dreamt of flying helicopters since he was a kid. Now a recent graduate of the U.S. Army’s flight school at Fort Rucker, Alabama, Scott said he does not get nervous before a flight.

These administrative and technical preparations are an important part of every pilot’s pre-flight agenda, and Pratt and Scott are quick to emphasize that there is a lot of work involved to ensure that both the pilot and the aircraft are ready.

“Flying is the easy part of the job that we do. The hardest part is doing the mission planning and performance planning for the aircraft,” Pratt said.

Supporting each 1-130th operation is a team of Soldiers at its flight facility, maintenance hangar and battalion headquarters, dedicated to making sure each flight is safe and successful.

“[When we’re in the air,] we have a mission and a specific task that we have to do,” Pratt said. “Someone has to be looking over where we’re going, what we plan to do and if it’s safe to operate the aircraft in that environment.”

By the end of the battalion’s weekend training missions, more than 20 Apache pilots will have participated in flights. These training events are held throughout the year in order to maintain a ready force of aviators for the Army and state of North Carolina.

Burt Rutan returns to AirVenture for VariEze’s 40th anniversary

By General Aviation News

Burt Rutan, the visionary aircraft designer, will be back at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh in 2015 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of his iconic VariEze aircraft.

AirVenture, the 63rd annual Experimental Aircraft Association fly-in convention, will be held July 20-26 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh.

Burt Rutan speaking at the EAA AirVenture Museum in 2005. EAA photo

Rutan’s designs have been groundbreaking for more than 40 years, beginning with the VariViggen in the early 1970s through the concepts that became the SpaceShipOne and SpaceShipTwo vehicles that are launching the era of space tourism.

An early 1970s photo of Burt Rutan's first homebuilt design, the VariViggen.

His use of canard wings and composite materials changed the look and efficiency of homebuilt aircraft, with more than 1,000 airplanes based on his designs now flying in the U.S. alone.

“There are few individuals in the history of aviation who can match Burt Rutan’s imagination and accomplishments,” said Jack Pelton, EAA chairman of the board. “His presentations are eagerly anticipated whenever he is in Oshkosh. Although he officially ‘retired’ several years ago, his innovative mind continues to push forward with new concepts and ideas that he’ll share at EAA AirVenture in 2015.”

Rutan is perhaps publicly known best for his SpaceShipOne design, which in 2004 won the $10 million Ansari XPRIZE as the first successful private spacecraft.

White Knight One and SpaceShipOne flying over the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh grounds in 2005. EAA photo by Jim Koepnick.

He also designed the Voyager, which in 1986 became the first aircraft to fly around-the-world nonstop on a single tank of fuel. That accomplishment earned him, along with pilots Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, the Presidential Citizen’s Medal.

"Voyager aircraft" by NASA/Thomas Harrop - Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons -

Burt Rutan was also named to the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 1995 and EAA Homebuilders Hall of Fame in 1998.

His VariEze aircraft first flew in May 1975, with the prototype causing a sensation at that year’s EAA fly-in. That canard design evolved into other Rutan aircraft innovations, such as the Long-EZ, that are still being built today. Rutan’s multitude of interests has also led him into successfully exploring space flight and into electric flight.

Burt Rutan (front) at the controls of his VariEze at Oshkosh in 1975 (EAA photo).

In honor of the VariEze anniversary, EAA is inviting all Rutan and canard aircraft owners to come to Oshkosh and participate in the festivities. More details on specific dates and events will be released as they are finalized.