Looking ahead to a better year

Happy New Year! Everyone in aviation from hang gliders to jets is hoping for a year of improvement in 2012. Certainly it’s been a tough four years since 2008’s tumble.

Many see hope and promise in the arrival of a new year and that mood is powerfully amplified by the Sebring LSA Expo in January. Starting its eighth run with new management, the Florida event, slated for Jan. 19-22, is a welcome respite. More than 10,000 attendees will flock to the Sunshine State to catch the action in the newest, most dynamic slice of the aviation pie.

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Now that’s a cross country

N726KA in the Snow prior to leaving Idaho

Paul Leadabrand, owner of the Boise, Idaho-based Stick & Rudder Aviation, is flying a factory-built Kitfox S-LSA to the Jan. 20-23 U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Florida. The 2,100-mile flight will be flown VFR, of course, using only a Dynon SkyView and an iPad for navigation. Paul says, “since I will have come all this way — a short flight over to the Bahamas for a few days of warmth will be a must!”
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Lycoming O-233 flies on Falcon 2.0

The Falcon 2.0 from Renegade Light Sport flew for the first time Saturday, Oct. 2 (see video and test pilot interviews here). Lycoming‘s new O-233 LSA engine provides the power for the Falcon 2.0. First flight lasted .6 hours with four takeoffs and landings. Test pilot Rob Runyan, “saw 1,000 feet AGL by the end of the 4,000 foot runway” at Lee’s Summit, Missouri. Weather in Missouri has limited follow-up flights, but Renegade’s Christopher Bailey reported, “daily flights will start today [Oct. 7].”

Popular Mechanics: ‘Who’s Killing the Electric Plane?’

Popular Mechanics writer David Moland asks, “Who’s Klling the Electric Plane?” According to Moland, “The FAA decrees that LSAs be powered only by reciprocating engines, a measure intended to keep high-powered turbine engines out of the hands of novice sport pilots.” Read the complete story and the large handful of comments here.

Midwest LSA Expo gathers more positive press

The Mt. Vernon (Illinois) Register-News reports planning for the October 1-3 Midwest LSA Expo is proceeding nicely. The Expo is a collaborative effort that has brought together several disparate area organizations.

[Chris] Collins [Mt. Vernon Outland Airport airport manager] said the Expo, which will be held Oct. 1 through 3, has been a joint effort between the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, City of Mt. Vernon, Jefferson County Development Corporation and Mt. Vernon Outland Airport. So far, 37 of the 47 aircraft slots have been filled, and about 15 exhibitors have signed on board, according to Collins.

Read the complete story here.

New flight school opens at ISM

Orlando Gateway Sport Pilot Flight Training Center, a sport pilot flight school, recently opened at Kissimmee Gateway Airport (ISM) in Florida.

Roger Frechette, a certified flight and ground instructor, owns and operates the training facility along with three instructors. Frechette and his team have nearly 20 years’ flight instruction experience.

The center is associated with Remos Flight Training Center and one of four locations in Florida. Participants can be certified with a sport pilot license in as little as three weeks. The center also offers Discovery Flights, which are for those who want a flying experience as a passenger, for $79 per flight.

For more information: 407-414-8359 or www.orlandogatewaysportpilot.com