PIREPS March 2013

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Welcome to PIREPS!

PIREPS brings you the latest news and information from Premier Aircraft Sales, Inc., and the aircraft manufacturers it represents: Mooney Airplane Company, Diamond Aircraft, Extra and Aviat Husky. For questions or comments, contact our editor, Dale Smith, at:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In this issue:


Diamond Dealers To Unveil The Beautiful New 2013 DA40 XLT At Sun ‘n Fun

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If you’re heading to Lakeland, Florida to attend the Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-In and Expo April 9 through 14, put a visit to the Diamond booth at the top of your list.

Diamond and its dealers will be unveiling the upgraded 2013 DA40 XLT. Among its upgrades the XLT features a beautiful new, totally upgraded interior.



Coming To Sun n Fun?  Stop By For Our Barbeque!

If you are planning to be at Sun n Fun on Friday, stop by the Diamond display to enjoy barbeque and a cold drink courtesy of the Diamond Regional Distribution Centers!   The event begins at 5 p.m. and will go till the start of the Air Show at dusk.  For planning purposes, we’d appreciate a quick RSVP: diamondairplanes.com/bbq

Sammy Tavarez Earns An FAA “IA” Designation

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Sammy Tavarez right

Sammy Tavarez, Premier’s expert in DA42 maintenance and Thielert aircraft engines, was recently awarded the Inspection Authorization (IA) designation from the FAA.  A designation attained by few A&P mechanics, an IA requires extensive education and testing beyond the A&P. It authorizes the maintenance professional to perform annual inspections and sign off on return-to-service for major repairs and alternations.


One of the most sought-after Thielert maintenance and troubleshooting experts worldwide, Tavarez regularly gets calls from shops around the US and abroad to assist in troubleshooting the engines.  With his extensive factory training on the diesel Austro engine, his expertise makes Premier the shop of choice for Thielert-Austro engine conversions for DA42s as well as routine maintenance and troubleshooting of any Thielert-equipped aircraft, including Cessna’s, Bonanzas and DA 40s offshore.


In Bolivia, he instructed and supervised military Air Force mechanics on the reassembly of 12 DA 40s that were delivered disassembled on a military DC 10.  A former Air Force powerplant mechanic himself, Tavarez commanded immediate respect from the military personnel he instructed. 


“When it comes to describing the level of expertise we have throughout Premier’s service shop, Sammy is a great example,” says David Pomerance, chief operating officer at Premier. “Sammy’s expertise in Thielert, and now Austro, is recognized in both civilian and military sectors.”  Congratulations, Sammy! 


Premier Adds Cirrus Expert To Aircraft Maintenance Shop

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Premier Aircraft Service is proud to welcome experienced A&P Mechanic and Cirrus Maintenance Specialist Kyle Adams to its growing maintenance team at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (KFXE).


“Kyle brings a considerable amount of experience with Cirrus aircraft,” explained Art Spengler, Vice President of Operations, Premier Aircraft Sales, Inc. “Our Cirrus troubleshooting, maintenance and inspection business has grown tremendously over the past 18 months. It’s a popular airplane here in southern Florida, so having experienced and talented A&P’s like Kyle on our team will help us provide the best service possible to our Cirrus customers.”


“I was well-familiar with Premier’s reputation, and knew it was highly respected as a Part 145 Repair Station and a Diamond, Mooney, Lycoming and Centurion Factory-Authorized Service Center,” says Adams. “I was really excited to learn of Premier’s growing Cirrus maintenance operation and when the opportunity came to join them, I jumped at the chance.”


Adams, who has specialized in Cirrus maintenance since 2011, has completed the Cirrus Factory Maintenance Training Program. He is experienced in all types of Cirrus inspections and maintenance, including composite and paint repairs.


Adams’ appreciation of the value of training and impeccable attention to detail got its start while he served in the U.S. Navy as an Aviation Boatswain Mate 3rd Class Petty Officer aboard the carriers U.S.S. Enterprise and John F. Kennedy. “I was a Yellow Shirt on the flight deck,” he said. “My job was to safely direct aircraft on the flight deck during and after operations.”


Prior to earning his A&P, Kyle spent nearly a year of mission service with Youth With A Mission – including two months in Uganda and Sudan. During that time he was involved with a variety of community development programs. It was also the time when he realized aviation would make a great career.


“I became interested in small airplanes when I was in Africa and would see bush planes flying over,” he said. “I knew that there were general aviation airplanes all over the world and that meant lots of opportunity. I’m very happy to have landed at Premier Aircraft Service!”



Austro Engines Announces A TBO Increase To 1,500 Hours For The AE300 Engine

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The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) recently upped the TBO (Time Between Overhaul) for the 170-horsepower turbocharged Jet-A1 and diesel engine AE300 to 1,500 hours, a major benefit to owners of an Austro Engines AE300-powered aircraft.


In less than one year, EASA raised the TBO in two steps: first from 1,000 to 1,200 hours and now from 1,200 to 1,500 hours. This proves once again the high quality and durability of this powerplant.  On top of a high TBO, the engine overhaul price of the AE300 is also the lowest in the industry.


Furthermore, the company is proud to announce that from now on only one part of the AE300 is lifetime-limited within the TBO period. Austro Engine's customers benefit from lower downtimes and reduced total operational costs per engine. The company also stated that further improvements are in progress.



Customer Profile: Walter Braedt

“New” Private Pilot Buys His DA40 XLS At FXE Before Flying It Home To Peru

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Kingston Jamaica


Walter Braedt is a very interesting fellow. On one hand he is a typical first time aircraft owner – and on the other hand, he’s far from it.


Braedt started flying back in the early 70’s as a passenger in his father’s glider. By 1993, he was so accomplished as a paraglider pilot that he gained international recognition.  “I ‘majored’ my skills by earning the Swiss Paragliding Pilot License,” he said. “I won the Peruvian National Championship twice and participated in the 1994 World Cup in Brazil.”


Braedt also has done something most aircraft enthusiasts only dream of – ride in the front cockpit of a PT-17 Stearman biplane as it towed the gliders up to altitude. That sparked another passion. 


“I bought that same Stearman from the flying club and restored it,” he said proudly. “In August of 2011, I went to Preston Aviation in Winter Haven, Florida to get my tail-wheel endorsement to fly the Stearman.” 


Despite these varied experiences, the responsibilities and time commitments that come with growing a business while he and his wife raised twins meant earning a private pilot license had to take a back seat. In 2006 he started his powered aircraft training in a Cessna 152 at a local flying school. Like most of us, his training suffered through a series of stops and starts – including an earthquake.


“In March 2010, after four years and 60 total hours I finally earned my private license,” he said. “I then moved up to flying larger airplanes including an old Piper PA28, a Cessna 172 and a Cessna 180.”

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Our Colombian friends checking for narcotics in Cali


“In 2011, I flew a total of 40 hours in one year. I said to myself, ‘That is not the way to go’. From my paragliding days I knew that if you do not fly often you better not fly; it’s a safety issue,” Braedt said. “It was in my hands to change the situation.  And since my twins were now 17 and my company had been sold, I had time to dedicate to flying and being a better pilot.”


Instead of depending on the aircraft inconsistently available at his local flying school, Braedt decided to move to Miami, start his training “from scratch,” then buy an airplane and fly it back to Peru. “So in 2012, I earned my Private Pilot Certificate and Instrument rating at Dare to Dream Aviation at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE),” he said. This is also the time when he got acquainted with Premier Aircraft Sales Regional Sales Manager Jeff Owen.


“Jeff played a major role in coaching me,” he said. “He literally could have sold me anything, but he told me I needed an airplane to build up to my 500 hours that was safe, forgiving and had the speed and range to go places in Peru. After one flight, I knew that airplane is the Diamond DA40.”

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Crossing the Ecuator


Braedt said that with its G1000 avionics, including digital autopilot, TCAS, Synthetic Vision; extended fuel tanks, DME and secondary alternator, his DA40 has everything he needs for safely traveling throughout Peru.


After taking delivery of his new DA40 XLS, Braedt and his former Peruvian flight instructor, Chris Laudrin, spent hours with Corbin Hallaran, Premier’s director of safety, getting familiar with all the aircraft’s sophisticated systems. “Corbin also helped straighten out my issues with Garmin and Jeppesen regarding charts, authorizations, trip packages – things I’d need to get to Peru.”

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With Chris Laudrin my copilot. Finally home


Stand by. In a future issue of Pireps, we will fly along with him as he describes his Fort Lauderdale to Peru flying adventure! 



The Proficient Pilot: Five Common Aircraft Transition Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

Corbin Hallaran, Director of Safety, Premier Aircraft Sales, Inc.


corbin-hallaran thumbPilots love new challenges. I've spent the last decade observing pilots and providing helpful tips to improve the art of flying safely and helping them move up the ladder from one aircraft type to another. One thing I’ve noticed is that no matter how experienced the pilot is that he or she seems to make one or more of the same five mistakes when transitioning to a new aircraft.


The first is difficulty landing on the centerline. Ask yourself next time you’re on short final: Why did they paint the segmented strip in middle of the runway? So you can plant the nose tire on it; not to the left or the right, but exactly on the centerline! If you are having trouble doing this, find a CFI who can demonstrate the proper techniques necessary to plant the nose wheel consistently on the centerline in all kinds of wind and weather conditions.  It may not be an issue on a calm day, but throw in a good crosswind and you’ll see why it’s a good habit to develop.


Speaking of the devil; the second reason is not understanding crosswind theory. I see all kinds of misunderstandings of technique and poorly executed crosswind maneuvers. Most of them result in poor landings. Practice makes perfect, and if you don't practice centerline landings you won't be proficient at the techniques when you need them most. 


Third is good radio communications, especially with “read-backs.” It’s an area the FAA has spent a tremendous amount of resources to improve and it’s very important to do it correctly. For example, taxi clearances at busy airports can be especially hard to read back if you don’t write them down. I use my own short-hand to capture the clearance, helping ensure the correct read-back.  I also have a chart handy and include it as part of the approach brief so I'm aware of the correct runway exit and where the FBO is on the field (part of the preparation). Refer to AIM, Chapter 4 section two on radio communications for a review.  


Fourth is the absence of an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) to instantly employ in any emergency that requires immediate corrective action from the pilot, such as engine failure on departure or in-flight fire. Practice the EAP often and be ready at any moment to put your plan into action.  I use the phrase prior to advancing the throttle for departure, “Today is a good day for an engine failure.” It sets mind ready for the EAP.


The final mistake is a pilot's lax personal discipline and recurrency program. The truth is most pilots don't have a very good one. An example is a pilot who flies 30 hours per year and trains only when it’s time for a Flight Review. That level of training is the bare-minimum, not proficient, especially for safe IFR flight. Set a personal minimum goal for training each year and stay proficient. The best plan is to discuss your goals with your CFI and find ways to maintain a high level of skill. 

PIREPS © 2013 is a publication of Premier Aircraft Sales, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Last Updated on Monday, 25 March 2013 10:21

Can A Personal Plane Offer Big Business Benefits?

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(Photo - Piper Aircraft Inc.) 
By Dale Smith, Editor Premier Aircraft Sales. 

You bet, particularly when you’re talking about Piper Aircraft’s top-of-the-line Meridian.

I think that far too many people who could benefit from private aircraft travel underestimate the value of a modern propeller airplane. They suffer from “if it’s not a jet, it’s not for business” type of thinking. How wrong they are. Take the Piper Meridian. It’s a single-engine turboprop so despite the propeller, it is truly jet-powered and that really means business. Admittedly, I’m a Piper fan from way back. I the lead copywriter on the Piper account when the Meridian’s older brother, the piston-powered Piper Malibu was introduced. It was love at first flight. With its pressurized cabin and ability to fly high over most weather, the Malibu defined a new class of cabin single-engine airplane.

While the Malibu was a good, airplane it was elevated to “great” when Piper mated the Malibu fuselage and wing to a Pratt & Whitney PT6A turboprop engine. The result, called the Meridian, is truly amazing, especially if you’re lucky enough to pilot one.

Jet-Powered Piper Meridian Scores Big On Performance

I’ve had the pleasure of flying a lot of airplanes, and the Meridian is one of my all-time favorites. With 500 shaft horsepower, it is solid and responsive at its 260 kt (300 mph) high cruise speed as well as slow 75 kt (86 mph) landing speeds, and that responsiveness is a very nice complement to the Meridian’s short 2500 foot runway capability. It can easily takeoff and land at small community airports many of which have runways that are too short for even the smallest jets.

That kind of performance makes the Meridian a natural step up for any owner/pilot who is currently flying a high-performance, single-engine piston aircraft. That alone will make most insurance carriers happy, and while type-specific training is always a good idea, there’s no FAA requirement to get a type rating to fly the Meridian.

One of the coolest things about flying a Meridian is taxing. With that big propeller and the ability to use reverse-thrust, you not only have a lot of control without wearing out the brakes, you get the added bonus of announcing your arrival with what can best be described as a growl as the prop cycles into the reverse range.

Cockpit Capabilities And Cabin Comfort.

The current version is equipped with the Garmin G1000 avionics suite – the same package that’s in the popular entry-level Cessna Mustang – so suffice it to say that the Meridian is at no loss for capabilities and situational awareness enhancements. It even includes an onboard four-color weather radar. That’s one piece of equipment that I think is essential for hard-core business travel. Satellite weather is good, but it’s no match for live radar – especially if you fly in the southeastern U.S.

Now that I’ve compared the Meridian’s cockpit to a entry-level jet, let’s talk overall performance. The Meridian delivers an honest 260 kts (300 mph) and a range of just over 1,000 nm (1150 miles – New York to Memphis). So on a typical business trip, your Meridian will cost you a few minutes in travel time, but save you hundreds of dollars in fuel compared to a small jet. And with a $2.176 million sticker price, the Meridian is about a $1 million less than one of the top selling entry level jets so that will cover a great deal more fuel cost, as well.

While the Meridian may be everything a pilot could want, the folks fortunate to be traveling the cabin will be equally content. The cabin, with club seating for four, is spacious and the seats are Lexus-like in their comfort. In addition, with the Pratt & Whitney engine far up front, the Meridian’s cabin is quieter than many small jets that I’ve traveled in.

So the next time you’re dreaming about flying privately, don’t limit yourself to jets. Try the impressive Piper Meridian. Chances are this single-engine turboprop may dramatically change your view of business and pleasure travel in a very big way.

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