Monday, November 23, 2015


I have seen the Goodyear Blimp and a 747 up close and they are big, but the National Business Aviation Association Convention (NBAA) is huge.

I could write an article about all the vendors, speakers and airplanes; but that is not what I wanted to convey to readers as dozens have done that. Having a press pass I received over 40 requests for interviews so I could write about different products. That was not my interest.

The convention is split among numerous vendors in the convention hall occupying two buildings. It took me one day of of a three day event to walk it, and it took me 6.7 miles to do it.

The convention floor did not look that crowded, except for a couple of booths because it was so spread out, but there were a lot in attendance. I did have one complaint that like vendors were separated all over the convention floor.  I would like all headset, internet providers, interior companies etc. to be grouped together so that I did not miss anything from those vendors.
Listed are some of the vendors in attendance by category.

Scientific equipment
Airplane management
Plane batteries
Medical Air support
Internet Connectivity
Fuel Vendors

There were three vendors that I took time to talk to in detail.

Bose: I asked if they had any plans to make an in the ear ANR headset. Bose does make this for listening to devices in stereo from IPhones etc. I asked if they could attach a headset for aviation use. Right now there is only one in the ear headset manufacture that I know of. I have been flying with in the ear headsets for years. If anyone could make this successful it would be Bose.

Lightspeed Headsets: Lightspeed introduced a new wireless headset just before the convention. I tried then out and at 17 ounces they were heavy. They have 2 lithium batteries that stated use is 12 hours. If the batteries go out then there is a cord to connect the two together. However I would hate to have to do that flying an approach in IMC. I love the idea, but it has a ways to go yet.

Stratasys: I found this company to be fascinating. They make 3D printed parts for airplanes out of titanium and plastic. If you are part of their program you can send them a picture of a broken part so Stratasys can scan, print it and ship it out overnight. I think 3D printing is the wave of the future.

One other thing I enjoyed about my tour of the convention floor was meeting in person people I have only known on Social Media.

The convention also featured numerous speakers and classes. This trip I could not listen to these speakers and attend classes and do the convention floor. If I am invited back by NBAA I plan to skip the floor and attend as many classes and speaking sessions as possible in 2 days.

The last part of the convention was the static display at Henderson (HND) airport. First I have to congratulate the controllers and airport staff for a magnificent job.  Everyone was outstanding. I had to laugh a little when on approach 7 miles from HND I was asked to slow down. In 20 years flying my Bonanza this is the first time ever I was asked to slow down. Usually I am asked to keep my speed up. I was originally given 35 R to land on and was asked to transition to 35L on final. That worked great for me as I exited on the taxiway adjacent to self fuel. I filled the airplane and taxied as per ATC to South parking. Again I can not say enough about what an excellent job the controllers did in a very high traffic environment.

There were over 80 jets in the static display. There were small light jets such as the Eclipse all the way up to large business jets. I was overwhelmed by the amount and different types of jets. They were available form 1000-6500 mile range.

I want to thank NBAA for their gracious press pass and how organized the event was. It is impossible to do everything in 2 1/2 days. I am looking forward to going back and attending the speakers and classes venues.