Memorial Day – 2019

Memorial Day is one of America’s most cherished patriotic observances.  We extend our utmost gratitude to those who died defending our nation and freedom.  Remember and honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

“We thank God that such men [and women] lived.”  General George S. Patton

Hope you have a great Memorial Day weekend.

We attended Angel Flight South Central silent auction 2019

On Thursday, April 25th, Tidal Aviation of Houston Texas sponsored an event for the benefit of Angel Flight South Central at the Lone Star Flight Museum.  We had a great time of aviator fellowship in a historical setting with live music and fantastic food from Churrascos catering. Reid Nelson, Founder of Tidal Aviation and his team along with Larry Forney, Vice Chairman Board of Directors Angel Flight South Central and his team were excellent hosts.  

Two cancer survivors presented moving testimonies on how Angel Flight blessed them through their difficult periods of cancer treatments. During the evening, a silent auction was held on many items.  All for a very good cause.  

Please make a donation to Angel Flight.  Your support would be greatly appreciated and will go a long way with helping individuals in need. 

Lone Star Flight Museum, Ellington Airport KEFD,
Lone Star Flight Museum, Ellington Airport KEFD, Tidal Aviation 2019 Angel Flight Benefit, photo credit wikiWings

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How many aviation pilots are there?

The 2018 GAMA report of FAA statistics indicates there are a total of 633,316 certificated pilots. Here’s a General Aviation factoid summary.

2018 Pilot Statistics

Student       167,804 
Recreational              147 
Sport           6,246 
Private       175,771 
Commercial       115,776 
Airline Transport       167,572 
Total       633,316 

In 2018, the number of women pilots was 46,485 or about 7.34% of the total. Up from prior years but still too low. The FAA began reporting Remote Pilot statistics in 2016. Last year, the total registered pilots for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles was 106,321.

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Soar we now . . . 2019

Clouds rising. Tribute to Soar we now, Charles Wesley, 1739
Clouds rising. Tribute to “Soar we now . . . . ” Charles Wesley, 1739

It’s Good Friday.  I hope you can take some time off, rest this weekend, and indeed say  “Christ the Lord is Risen,”  As Charles Wesley wrote, circa 1739 –

Soar we now where Christ has led;
Following our exalted Head;
Made like him, like him we rise;
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies. Alleluia!

Your Glory hidden in creation is now revealed in Christ.

1 Cor. 15:1-8; & 12-28; 1 Tim 1:17

General Aviation Factoids 2019

The 2018 GAMA Annual Report carried many interesting facts.  Here are four that I’d like to share with you about General Aviation:

General Aviation

  • Flies to more than 5,000 U.S. public airports, but the scheduled airline carriers serve less than 400 of these locations.
  • Flies about 25 million flight hours, of which two-thirds are for business purposes in the United States.
  • Is the primary training ground for commercial airline pilots.
  • Supports $219 billion in total economic output and 1.1 million jobs in the United States.

General Aviation is defined as all aviation other than military and scheduled commercial airlines.

Reference: General Aviation Manufacturers Association Annual Report

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Here is a summary of single-engine piston shipments 2017-2018

These statistics are pulled from the 2018 GAMA annual report. Total single-engine piston shipments, including taildraggers and Light Sport Aircraft (LSA), increased from 936 to 954 or about 1.9%.

We’ve extracted the traditional “four-adult” single-engine piston shipments from the report to look at the changes. This group faired a little better, which saw deliveries increase from 763 to 781 or about 2.4% over the prior year. You can see the results by manufacturer in the table below.

Single-Engine Piston Shipments

Description20172018% Change
Cirrus SR22T, SR22, SR20        355         380 7%
Piper Archer & Arrrow          81         114 41%
Piper Malibu Mirage            9           20 122%
Cessna Skyhawk & Skylane        175         160 -9%
Cessna Turbo Stationair          40           32 -20%
Cessna TTx          23             1 -96%
Diamond DA40          60           45 -25%
Beachcraft A/G36          13           15 15%
Mooney Ovation & Acclaim            7           14 100%
Sub Total     763         781 2.4%
Taildraggers          48           38 -20.8%
LSA          90         103 14.4%
Other          35           32 -8.6%
Total Single-Engine Piston        936         954 1.9%

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A different flight slope – 2019

This week I’m taking a break from general aviation to join up on a different flight slope – The ski slopes in Vail Colorado. It’s “high altitude” but my feet are still on the ground. We hope you can take some time off this season to rest and enjoy fellowship with family and friends.

2008 Cirrus Perspective SR22TN Turbo photo by wikiWings
2008 Cirrus Perspective SR22TN Turbo with TKS inadvertent de-icing system, photo by wikiWings

Blue sky!

The GAMA 2019 State of the Industry press conference is next week

GAMA Chairman and Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. President Mark Burns and GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce will present the GAMA 2019 State of the Industry press conference on Wednesday February 20, 2019. They will also unveil the 2018 year-end aircraft shipment and billings numbers and discuss industry priorities for the year ahead.

We’ll summarize the general aviation shipments for piston engine planes, single prop turbines and light jets in future posts.

Damn the magnetos, full speed ahead!

Magnetos are an archaic mechanical device from a by-gone era. Prone to drift and fail. The FAA knows this. That’s why the FAA requires mandatory 500 hour magneto inspections and repairs (IRANs).

Do you realize – to get 2,000 hours from a Cirrus piston engine airplane you’ll spend between $6,000 to $10,000 on magnetos alone. Piston engine manufacturers and airplane companies don’t seem to care.

It reminds me of Admiral David Farragut’s famous quote from 1864 in the battle of Mobile Bay “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!” It’s from the 19th century. The same century in which the first magneto was invented – 1832.

Admiral Farragut’s shout out was on Mobile Bay in Alabama, which is the same bay that the Continental Motors factory sits across from. Here’s our shout out.

Deliver us piston electronic ignition! Come on – we’re in the 21st century! For aviation safety, reliability, and operating cost this should become a GA priority.

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The COPA U.S.A. Conference 2019 will be held in New Orleans, LA October 17-19

“A 17-year tradition continues in New Orleans, LA, with hundreds of Cirrus aircraft arriving to attend the annual COPA meeting, trade show, educational seminars, and social events.” It’s called COPA Migration 17 (M17).

The Hilton New Orleans Riverside will serve as the M17 base of ops for meetings, including trade show and seminars. On Friday morning, COPA will hold its annual meeting and safety stand down. There will be an M17 social banquet on Saturday night.

The annual COPA Migrations host the largest gathering of COPA members each year. If you’re interested in Cirrus airplanes you should plan on attending. Early registration begins soon.