Saturday, January 4, 2014

Aviation expo seeks volunteers

Published: January 4, 2014

SEBRING -Preparations for the 10th annual U.S. Sport Aviation Expo, set from Jan. 16-19, are swinging into high gear, and the management team is looking for local volunteers to assist them before and during the event, held annually at the Sebring Regional Airport.

"We welcomed 17,500 people from throughout the world to our four-day event this past January," said Expo Director Jana Filip, "and there's a myriad of jobs that we need help with. Specifically, we have needs in the areas of admissions, aircraft parking, taxiway attendants, shuttle drivers, and information booth. "

Local volunteers are a "key" component of the expo's success, Filip added. "Volunteering at the expo is a great way to meet new friends and learn more about aviation."

All volunteers receive a complimentary four-day event and parking pass.

The Sebring expo is the largest event in the world dedicated to sport aviation, a news release adds.

For more information, go to

Volunteer registration forms are available on the website or at the Sebring Regional Airport. All participants must be registered by Monday, January 6.


U.S. Sport Aviation Expo Kicks Off January 16 At Sebring Regional Airport 

January 2, 2014, Sebring, FL— Attendees will have the opportunity to bask in the Florida sunshine and see first-hand more than 160 aviation exhibitors displaying everything from homebuilt and light sport aircraft to Gyrocopters and flying cars to aviation accessories—basically everything for the sport aviation enthusiast.

The 10th annual U.S. Sport Aviation Expo will also feature a number of aviation forums, to learn more about Rotax and other aviation engines, avionics, and more. Workshops and seminars will be offered by Stewart Aircraft Covering Systems, Barry Hull, retired US Navy Commander and F/A-18 Hornet Fighter Pilot, and many more

Food And Entertainment 

On-site food vendors will make it easy to “make a day of it” … or a long weekend enjoying their aviation passion. The Flying Musicians Association will be back this year to entertain all with daily performances.

Daily Manufacturer Showcases And Demonstration Flights
Daily manufacturer showcases will allow visitors to see a variety of homebuilt and light sport aircraft in flight and on the ground. Demonstration flights will be available to those wishing for a more personal experience.

Special Invitation To Amateur-Built Aircraft Owners

Expo organizers are extending a special invitation to owners of amateur-built aircraft or kit planes to fly their aircraft to Sebring during the four-day event. Those interested in displaying their aircraft are invited to call 863-655-6455 to reserve a parking space as well as under-the-wing camping, if desired.

Keynote Speakers

Daily speakers will offer visitors the opportunity to learn more about aviation past and present at 1:30 PM each day in the Show Center Tent. On Thursday, January 16, EAA Homebuilding Community Manager Charlie Becker will discuss how homebuilding saved general aviation. Friday, Craig Fuller, chairman of the board for Redbird Flight Simulations and former president of the Aircraft Owner’s and Pilot’s Association, will discuss the future of light sport aircraft. Saturday, Tuskegee Airman Lt. Col. (retired) Leo Gray will share stories of his experiences before, during, and after World War II. Gray flew 15 combat missions during World War II flying a P-51 with the famed Red Tail Squadron of the 332nd Fighter Group.

Tampa General Hospital To Special Display

The hospital will be exhibiting for the first time at Expo with their brand new Bell 407GX Air Vac Helicopter on Display. Hospital staff will be available to answer questions and show off the aircraft.

Rapid Systems Contributing State-Of-The-Art Wireless Services For All
Rapid Systems is providing a true broadband experience this year with the installation of the latest generation equipment and technology available in wireless networking to help support this event for both exhibitors and attendees.

“More than 16,000 visitors enjoyed the 2013 Expo and, we’re excited to open the Expo to homebuilt aircraft and welcome even more visitors to our event this year. We’re hoping for great weather and a wonderful time for people to share their love of aviation,” said Jana Filip, Expo Director.

To see more details about the schedule, exhibitors, speakers, and forums, visit


Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport (KAVP), Pennsylvania

FAA commits to airport landing lights overhaul

PITTSTON TWP. - The landing lights at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport will return.

The Federal Aviation Administration has agreed to either fix or replace the plane-approach lighting system, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey announced Friday.

"The FAA plans to pursue a solution that will ensure safe and reliable flights in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area as well as safe working conditions for FAA personnel," FAA administrator Michael P. Huerta wrote in a letter to Casey.

Full restoration of the lighting remains at least a year away, Huerta wrote.

The system remains out of commission, shut down since February because of its shakiness and burned out bulbs, airport director Barry Centini said. Without the lights, pilots must start taking over landing of a plane at least a mile away rather than a quarter mile and much higher in the air to avoid aborting a landing, Centini said. Part of the system, a large steel framework with strobe-like lights that flash when a plane lands, is visible to Interstate 81 travelers.

Casey portrayed the commitment as essential to ensuring the airport's health, which is critical to boosting the region's economy.

"We don't want planes landing at that high of an altitude without this kind of guidance, without this kind of assistance, that we've come to rely upon ... for probably two or three generations," he said. "The second (reason) is basic as well. If we have certainty with regard to this system, we can make sure that we have the kind of economic growth that we need that only an airport can provide in a region."

Without the lights, planes are likelier to abort landings, airport officials said, although they could not cite specific instances of commercial flights doing that since the lights were shut down. It has occurred with smaller, private planes, an FAA official said.

"It's a very important component of the instrument landing process," said Mike Dennis, the FAA's air traffic manager at the airport. "A pilot depends on instruments for most of the descent, but then takes over visually when he gets within a certain amount of feet above the ground. There's what's called a decision height. If he doesn't visually take over and see the airport by that decision height, he's got to execute a missed approach and go somewhere else."

That's where the lights come in. They help pilots spot the airport.

Centini credited Casey for pushing the project onto the FAA's list of top 25 projects for construction.

"Without the support of the senator, ... we'd just be a number on the board in the pecking order," he said.

Centini estimated the project would cost $3 million to $4 million, all paid for by the FAA with no local money necessary. He said the FAA had considered not restoring the system at all.

"In their process, they looked at whether it would be needed, could they remove the system completely and they found that because of the size of this airport, the activity of this airport, that this is one of the navigational aids that is important to have at this facility," Centini said.

FAA officials are expected to begin meeting with Centini and other airport officials about the project this month, Casey said.

"They're looking at a replacement of the entire system or a partial replacement if they could salvage anything," Centini said.