U.S. Tecnam Distributors Donate New Plane to Embry-Riddle's Daytona Beach Flight Team

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University announces that Costruzioni Aeronautiche Tecnam Srl. and Michael and Lynne Birmingham, U.S. distributors for the Tecnam line of aircraft, have donated a brand new 2009 Tecnam P-92 Echo Classic, a light sport aircraft (S-LSA) valued at $125,000, to Embry-Riddle's nationally ranked Daytona Beach flight team. The plane, along with Embry-Riddle's flight team, will be at Tecnam Aircraft's Booth #MD-005B at Sun 'n Fun this week (April 21-26) in Lakeland, FL.

Embry-Riddle's Daytona Beach flight team will be the first in the nation to fly the new plane in the upcoming National Intercollegiate Flying Association's SAFECON 2009 competition May 17-29 at Parks College of St. Louis University.

C.A. Tecnam Srl. is the largest manufacturer of LSA type aircraft in the world. Light Sport is an emerging general aviation industry in the United States that is capitalizing on market demand for airplanes that use less fuel, offer a wider range of avionics, and are lighter and more maneuverable than most standard category aircraft. C.A. Tecnam Srl. and the Birminghams donated the P-92 Echo Classic to Embry-Riddle's flight team after becoming familiar with the university's flight training program at a recent National Training Aircraft Symposium the College of Aviation sponsors each year.

"Our partnership with Embry-Riddle is an opportunity for Tecnam to demonstrate the quality of its plane – its engineering and versatility – and also to recognize Embry-Riddle's program for its high level of quality, training, and strict safety management," says Lynne Birmingham. "This donation is our way of supporting and encouraging the next generation of general and commercial aviation pilots."

The P-92 can cruise at 114 knots at 75 percent power, burning less than four gallons of fuel per hour. It has a 100-horsepower Rotax engine, with a basic weight of 710 pounds and a maximum takeoff weight of 1,320 pounds.

"We are very pleased to add the P-92 to our competitive aircraft fleet and especially grateful to C.A. Tecnam Srl. and the Birmingham family for their generosity," says David Zwegers, coach of Embry-Riddle's Daytona Beach flight team and aviation safety manager for the flight program. "With the P-92's high maneuverability at slower flight speeds, this aircraft will improve our nationally competitive flight team's performance."

For more information visit www.embryriddle.edu.