A dozen years ago, at the beginning of September 2004, FAA’s newest regulation became “effective” as the agency terms it. That regulation gave birth to Sport Pilot and Light-Sport Aircraft. The former is a new pilot certificate and the latter is a fresh breed of aircraft that gained acceptance in a completely new way.
How is it going on the 12th birthday of the new category? [Read more…]
SUGAR GROVE, Ill. — When David Spano and Tony Sabos set up SimplyFLY six years ago, their goal was to provide flight training under the banner of Power Sports.
They wanted to focus on growing sport aviation by targeting the general public. They do this by taking a REMOS mockup aircraft to local fairs, festivals and other events. There, they sell Discovery Flights: A half hour instructional flight for $75. Around 15 percent of those who make the flight go on to become sport pilots or private pilots.
All of the training is done in REMOS aircraft. SimplyFLY has four of them, plus a new dealer demo aircraft for sales. [Read more…]
Although I’m a longtime regular at Oshkosh, this year I did something I’ve never done. I flew out of KOSH and then returned.
If you’ve never flown into Oshkosh during AirVenture, you may not know what an experience such an arrival can be. This is the world’s busiest airport for one week. Airplanes arrive every few minutes and all of them do so in a unique, follow-the-plane-in-front-of-you method where no pilot uses the radio.
Departing was fairly simple. Arriving is always an eye-opening experience.
In my many years in aviation, I’ve learned this about light aviation pilots: If 80-horsepower is good, then 100-horsepower is better, and even more is best of all.
It explains why interest was so high when Rotax announced its new 915iS that will provide 135 horsepower. It also illustrates why the 180 horses of the Titan X-340 is succeeding in the Light-Sport industry. [Read more…]
No, he’s not going to fly into the hangar… you hope, but Greg Koontz’s airshow act keeps you wondering.
Probably you’ve seen an act like this before. A crazy-acting farmer or a supposed drunk hops into a Piper Cub or similar aircraft after the regular pilot leaves it unattended for a few minutes. The crazy guy has no flying experience but somehow proceeds to start up the airplane and to take off in the most out-of-control manner imaginable.
As he erratically careens around the sky, handling the aircraft wickedly out of control, he nearly hits the ground over and over. The entire act takes place within a couple hundred feet of a hard-as-concrete surface. To top it off? He lands on a pickup truck.
Even though it’s only an act and even if the pilot is actually a gifted aviator, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and fear that nutjob is going to whack the airplane into the ground right in front of the airshow crowd watching in fascination. [Read more…]
Are U.S. sales or registrations of Light-Sport Aircraft near where they were expected to be by now? The short answer is, no, but more finesse is needed to obtain a complete answer.
While the numbers entering the U.S. fleet are well below forecasts from 2004, a couple obvious reasons help explain the shortfall. [Read more…]