There are a lot of things going on this week (and the next).
The "Oshkosh of the south" kicks off today in grand fashion. Garmin has already made some impressive announcements with regards to the new synthetic vision system in the G1000. Liberty Aerospace and Aspen Avionics have announced a partnership to include the new Evolution Pro PFD as standard equipment in the IFR trainer version of the XL-2. This is just the beginning. I expect to hear other major announcements as the event progresses.
Red Bull Air Race
The Red Bull Air Race kicks off the 2008 season this weekend in Abu Dhabi. Mike Mangold will be defending his 2007 championship in front of a crowd of thousands! This year also brings the event to the United States twice – a new venue in Detroit and a returning visit to San Diego. With newcomer Glen Dell from South Africa joining the group of 12 pilots, things are surely shaping up to be another great year of competition!
Master’s Golf Tournament
You may be asking what this has to do with aviation, but this time every year, three airports in the CSRA (that’s the Central Savannah River Valley) swell with activity due to the Master’s Golf Tournament. Thomson-McDuffie County (KHQU), Daniel Field (KDNL), and Augusta Bush Field (KAGS) all become quite active with everything from single-engine Cessnas to Gulfstreams. Augusta is about an hour drive from where I live. If I can find time before my trip to Seattle, I’d like to take my daughter to see the action.
Trip to Seattle for the MVP Summit
Speaking of that trip … I leave on Sunday morning out of Charlotte (KCLT) for Seattle via Delta Airlines. I am from Greenwood, SC – closer proximity to Greenville/Spartanburg (KGSP) and about 2.5 hours away from Atlanta (KATL). So why fly out of Charlotte (also about 2.5 hours drive) and not Greenville/Spartanburg or Atlanta? I looked up fares from both of those fields, and was floored at the price difference! The flight out of KGSP was nearly $300 more than out of Charlotte! It is nearly $200 cheaper for me to fly from Charlotte to Atlanta, and then to Seattle than a direct flight (on the very same flight number no less) from Atlanta to Seattle. Delta is expending more fuel to get me to my destination and yet are charging me less. Does that sound like "green" activity to you? Just because the flight from Atlanta to Seattle is a direct flight, it is considered a "luxury" therefore fares are more. No wonder airlines are going under. Anyway, I’ll be pretty busy next week. I hope to get a lot of great pictures to share once I return!