I have more to report from Aero 2011 in Europe, but let’s take a quick jaunt back across the Atlantic for an upcoming event of interest to LSA fans… The 14th Virginia Regional Festival of Flight runs April 30 and May 1, 2011 and it offers special opportunities for the Light-Sport crowd. *** Public Relations Chairman Dee Whittington, noted, “As usual we’ll have a dedicated [light aircraft] runway and parking area. Also, most of our manufacturers who will attend are from the Light-Sport community.” He continues with a bit of very important info both to vendors and those pilots wanting to carefully check out a LSA with a demonstration flight, “A good feature of our full-featured fly-in is the ability of vendors to do demo flights during the day instead of waiting until after 5:00 PM when the event shuts down.” Major airshows like AirVenture and Sun ‘n Fun have windows for free flying that restricts the number of demo flights aircraft sellers can provide (although Sun ‘n Fun offers Paradise City as an on-site alternative which can insure more such purchase evaluation flights). *** The Festival of Flight also offers a packed schedule of forums on a variety of subjects. Among those of keenest interest to the light aircraft enthusiasts are: • “LSA Required Maintenance,” by 2007 Tony Bingelis Award Winner Dick Koehler • “Light-Sport Flying Explained,” by Dave Lubore from Heart of Virginia Aviation • “LSA Basics,” by Doug Hempstead of Allegro USA, as well as issues of importance to all aviators plus sessions for kit builders. In all, Festival of Flight organizers have assembled a forum schedule able to compete with the much larger shows. *** Other activities include a Rally Adventure for those flying in where Dee reports, “Pilots in homebuilt, light sport, and commercial aircraft categories, grouped by horsepower, can fly a timed triangular course against the clock.” *** Sounds like good weekend fun. Take your family as Festival of Flight has several family-friendly ideas like radio-controlled flying, Young Eagle flights and several hands-on activities for kids. Aviation benefits from such local events. You ought to consider attending if you’re within a reasonable distance from Suffolk Executive Airport (KSFQ) located about 40 miles west of the Virginia Beach/Norfolk area.
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