Pilot February 2012 Issue on sale NOW!

Gracing the cover of the current February issue is the Zlin 526, aviation’s equivalent – according to our petrolhead Editor – of the E-Type Jaguar. Certainly it makes the same kind of straight-six engine noise and handles beautifully...

Wind and low cloud seem to defied most private flyer's intentions to get in a bit a 'aviating' over the Christmas and New Year period, perhaps allowing a bit more time for contemplation of last year's highs and lows, not to mention what 2012 might bring...

One of those 2011 lows - albeit a welcome one - is the latest US NTSB figures, which show the GA accident rate to have reached a twenty-year low, even as total hours flown increased following the recession. On the subject of accidents, or prevention the same, congratulations to the British Gliding Association, whose Safe Winch Launch Scheme has just won the 2011 CAA General Aviation Safety Award.

Looking forward to 2012, the Royal Institute of Navigation (RIN) and CAA have joined forces to host a free Olympic airspace briefing day in central London on Saturday 10 March. The event will be held at the Royal Geographical Society and features presentations and question-and-answer sessions. It opens at 1100, with presentations from 1300 to 1630. Pre-registration is essential: email your full name and any affiliation (e.g. flying club) to olympics@ rin .org .uk

Gracing the cover of the current February issue is the Zlin 526, aviation's equivalent – according to our petrolhead Editor – of the E-Type Jaguar. Certainly it makes the same kind of straight-six engine noise and handles beautifully...

Helicopters reappear in the magazine, in the form of Helen Krasner's flight test of the Bell 412EP/HT1 – a 'Huey with all mod cons,' they say. Grassroots and microlight pilots are not neglected, our Flying Adventure this time taking four flexings to the French Alps for some spectacular alpine flying. By contrast, the subject of our regular airfield Profile is Shoreham, where an enthusiastic airfield manager is making a determined effort to restore this 'art deco jewel of the South Coast'.

Finally, Colin Goodwin asks if it is time for the clubs and schools to start making more use of new-generation, Rotax-engine training aircraft. His conclusions might surprise you...

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Still available is great winter reading in the form of our 116-page Pilot Aircraft Buyer's Guide http://www.subscriptionsave.co.uk/ABG Priced at �4.95 and packed with flight tests, features and expert advice, this is essential reading for anyone thinking of buying an aircraft - and fascinating to delve in for anyone simply with an interest in today's light aeroplanes. From LSAs to helicopters, biplanes to tourers, we've got it covered.

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