Category Archives: July 2016

July 2016


Eagle Creek Commander 695A on display at AirVenture 2016

Every pilot knows that EAA’s AirVenture is the largest aviation gathering in the world, by a proverbial nautical mile. The combination week-long fly-in, daily airshow, and trade show happens at the end of July every year, and the 2016 edition may rank among the most successful yet, at least in terms of attendance. Organizers extended the aircraft parking area adjacent to Runway 36/18 to the south, well past the runway threshold, and by day two all parking spots on the airport were taken. Arriving aircraft were being sent to Fond du Lac and Appleton for lack of camping and tie-down space at Oshkosh.

Wittman Regional Airport is a veritable aviation city during AirVenture, teeming with people, displays, and airplanes—airplanes with pop-up tents set up under or beside their wings, airplanes on static display, and a constantly changing parade of aircraft—from certified production models to auto gyros, helicopters, ultralights, seaplanes, and squadrons of warbirds in formation—making endless circuits around the pattern beginning at 6:00 am and continuing nonstop until last light.

And in the thick of it this year is a gorgeous Twin Commander 695A Model 1000, the centerpiece of Eagle Creek Aviation Service’s AirVenture display near show center. Eagle Creek recently refurbished the Commander with a Garmin G950 panel and S-TEC 2100 Digital Flight Control System, freshly overhauled engines, a new interior, an Enviro air cycle machine conversion, and custom paint.

This is the second straight year that Eagle Creek has completed a G950 Twin Commander and delivered it to a customer at Oshkosh. It is going to a client who commutes from Seattle to San Francisco and New York, and who appreciates the versatility, reliability, and low costs for which the Twin Commander 1000 is known. This is the seventh G950 Commander that Eagle Creek has completed.

Garmin G950 in 695A Commander at AirVenture

As appealing as the Commander was to show-goers, the main attraction during the week was a Martin Mars, a gigantic four-engine, World War II-era water bomber that has been fighting fires in British Columbia up until a year ago. Coulson Flying Tankers brought the 200-foot-wingspan, 10,000-horsepower flying boat, named “Hawaii Mars,” to AirVenture and based at the nearby EAA Seaplane Base as the Mars has no landing gear. It did fly-bys every other day, releasing its 72,000-gallon load of fire-retardant-injected water that it scooped up from nearby Lake Winnebago.

Gigantic Martin Mars at EAA Seaplane Base at AirVenture.

“Hawaii” and its sister ship, “Philippines,” also owned and operated by Coulson, are the last of the five Mars built at the end of the war. Coulson retired them in favor of Lockheed C-130s, reportedly at the insistence of the BC government, which contracts with Coulson for fire-fighting services. Coulson is willing to part with one of the Mars for a mere $3.5 million. Or, if you are a bargain shopper, you can pick up both for just $5 million. You’ll definitely have bragging rights to the largest airplane on the field.


Twin Commander Aircraft has a deal for you. The new CK190 LED cabin flood-lighting system is on sale. From now until Labor Day the kit is 10 percent off. These LED lights positioned on each side of the headliner provide brighter, more even lighting in the Commander passenger cabin. The LED technology produces low heat from the lamps and improves longevity.

Installation is simple and quick—the four existing power supply units are replaced with four new plug-and-play units, and eight LED bulbs, each with a printed circuit board, are installed in existing fluorescent bulb receptacles. That’s it—no wiring harnesses to remove and replace, no major component replacement.

CK190 is available for all 690A and later Twin Commander models. The discount applies only to in-stock inventory, which is extremely limited, and as noted the sale ends this coming Labor Day. Don’t delay, order your cabin lighting system upgrade kit today from your authorized Twin Commander Service Center.


Every Twin Commander owner has a story. What’s yours? We are looking for Twin Commander owners and operators with an interesting story to tell—something special about your aircraft; great places you’ve flown to; how you use your Commander in your business and/or personal life; other kinds of flying you do. If you have an interesting story or two to tell, please let us know. Go to What’s your story? and tell us something about yourself, your airplane, your flying.


As you know, we’ve been polling Twin Commander owners and operators about where you’d like to see the 2017 Twin Commander University take place. First we asked which region of the country you’d prefer for the spring event (typically the University convenes in the month of May), and the winners were the Northeast and Southwest. Last month we asked you to narrow the regions down to specific cities, and the top vote-getters were all in the Southwest: Santa Fe, New Mexico; San Antonio and Austin, Texas; and Scottsdale and Sedona, Arizona.

Now it’s time to cast your vote for one of those five cities. We’ve been to Scottsdale a number of times and it is a great place to have our biennial owner/operator/pilot get-together. Sedona, north of Scottsdale, is surrounded by red-rock buttes, steep canyon walls, and pine forests. It’s noted for its mild climate and vibrant arts community.

Santa Fe is a wonderful city and area of the country—the high desert with a mountain backdrop, steeped in Native American history and culture, and a world-class center of art and artists.

San Antonio is the most-visited city in Texas, and for good reason. There’s the Alamo, of course, and also the Riverwalk—a canal that loops through downtown that is lined with restaurants, shops, music, and beautiful landscaping. Austin, the state’s capital city at the foot of Texas hill country, is young and progressive and known as the “Live Music Capital of the World.”

Any of these five cities will make for a great setting for the 2017 University, but we need you help in choosing which one. Cast your ballot today.

Santa Fe at night