Summer’s coming: Cool it, fellow pilots!

Across the northern U.S. states and across much of Europe it was a lousy, cold, snowy winter. It seemed everyone I spoke to at AERO in Friedrichshafen, Germany, complained about the crappy winter and their laments mirrored those from America’s northlands. However, the weather appears to be going directly from winter to summer. It was warm in Slovenia when we visited Pipistrel and it’s now getting hot across much of the USA.

That’s great, perhaps, as it foretells an active flying season. However, as the weather warms, it can get mighty hot in the cockpit and not only because you’re on short final on a gusty day in a responsive LSA.

[Read more...]

Quicksilver Aircraft Northeast will cover New England

TEMECULA, Calif. – Quicksilver Aeronautics has dealers around the globe. In fact, significantly more sales are made out of the United States than domestically. The company started in the early 1970s and can boast 15,000 aircraft flying in nearly 100 nations. However, the American market remains Quicksilver’s home and they seek the best dealers to represent their aircraft.

[Read more...]

Sebring Expo: A real game-changer

It used to be that January was one of the slowest months of the year. Freezing cold in the northern states combined with short days across the northern hemisphere to produce a sluggish month for all but transport or working aircraft. Recreational flying slowed to the pace of thick syrup pouring from a chilled bottle.

[Read more...]

Pilot celebrates 100th birthday flying his Evektor SportStar

By John McVey, The Journal

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Thomas Guy Reynolds Jr. eased back on the stick of his Evektor SportStar light sport aircraft and it lifted effortlessly off the runway at the Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport (MRB).

He circled the field three times, making a couple of low passes over the runway for pictures, and softly set his plane down.

That would not be extraordinary, but Reynolds flew Dec. 1 on his 100th birthday.

[Read more...]

Good to go in China

Things are happening in China. “So, what’s new,” you say? “We’ve been hearing about China for months.”

Things may move slowly in China but recently Airshow China was held in the southern city of Zhuhai and my colleague, Jan Fridrich was present. He reported that some LSA are displayed including Triton’s Mermaid and SC3D (based on the SportCruiser), Flight Design’s CTSW (pictured), Colyaer’s Freedom, and other aircraft. [Read more...]

Troubles at the top

Even aircraft giants can have problems. Cessna recently issued work orders for more than 200 Skycatchers in an effort that has to cost the big Wichita company well over $300,000*.

[Read more...]

Sport pilot to celebrate 100th birthday flying his Evektor LSA

On Nov. 30, Guy Reynolds will celebrate his 100th birthday by taking a flight in a Light-Sport Aircraft. Putting a finer point on it, he’ll take this flight in his LSA. Are you surprised that a centenarian has an LSA? Admit it…I was. However, Guy is no ordinary guy. He bought his Evektor Sportstar back at the beginning of LSA and he’s been flying it about 100 hours every year. That’s probably more than you fly your LSA. Impressive even for a young 50-year old pilot, this fact is, well… astounding for a 90-something pilot.

[Read more...]

A sigh of relief

Soon, it passes. I don’t refer to the move from summer’s heat to the cold days of winter, but rather to the merciful end to the political season that cannot come too soon for many aviators. Of course, we worry about how various moves by the government may influence our flying, both in costs and in privileges. Yet, the onslaught of ads and constant yammering of the political class tends to distract us from what we really love — flying our airplanes above this beautiful country in relative freedom.

Regretfully it won’t end on election day. That’s because another, even larger battle looms soon afterward. [Read more...]

‘Half the cost, twice the safety’

I recently attended an ASTM meeting. This is for the standards that are used to “certify” Light-Sport Aircraft. Yes, it’s pretty dry stuff but it is the way such a staggering development of 128 new models of LSA has been possible in just seven years, an accomplishment not replicated anywhere in aviation, worldwide, since airplanes first flew. That would not be possible when using government certification systems.

So successful has it been that the FAA is now moving with surprising swiftness toward a similar system for Part 23 or regularly Type Certified aircraft, such as Cessnas and Cirruses.

[Read more...]

SLSA #127: SAB Vulcan

SAB’s Vulcan isn’t entirely new. The design has existed in Europe and arrived in the USA more than two years ago, but stealthily avoided our radar as a Special Light-Sport Aircraft until the 2012 Midwest LSA Expo at the Mt. Vernon, Illinois airport. The secret is out now and Vulcan C-100 has been added to our SLSA List and comes at #127.

[Read more...]