Here, I sit beside Dale in the co-pilot seat while he warms up the engine (no, I'm not planning on touching anything).

From a technology standpoint, the most fascinating piece of gear on board is the Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) unit. Built in the dash (not installed yet when this picture was taken) and about the size of a CB radio, the GPS unit uses a signal from a worldwide grid of satellites to precisely show the position of the plane at all times.

Navigation is made incredibly easy! You simply dial in the code for your destination airport and then steer to keep a line on the display representing the plane aligned with a line representing the airport. You can't get lost. There is no need to even get out a map. A digital display continually shows the remaining distance to your destination.

If you were to have an emergency along the way, press a button and the GPS unit instantly displays the direction and distance to the nearest alternative airport. The unit cost around $2400, but now can be bought for a fraction of that price. No plane should be without it.