Monday, November 2, 2009
Breezer II: The Girl Next Door
Familiar and lovely, easy to be with and great to fly
The Breezer II’s sliding split-bubble canopy allows pilots to stay cool while taxiing on a hot day. The panel’s beveled center angles toward the pilot for easier viewing of the GPS.
That jaunt was one of my first in an LSA. I’d had few dates in the class and was still a bit shy. So when I got another chance a year later to date Breezer again, I jumped. Mike Z picked me up at Wallaby Ranch Flight Park near Orlando, a hang glider paradise. I climbed in and adjusted the rudder pedals via two cabled T-handles just under the “dash” (handy and effective).
The panel is roomy and beautiful. A terracotta-colored leather-like covering backs the standard steam-gauge package, while the beveled center section angles toward the pilot for easier viewing of the GPS. The ship we flew comes standard with Garmin’s 496, SL 40 COM radio and GTX 327 digital transponder. This deck would shine with an EFIS screen.
Breezer sports a more traditional split bubble in favor of the forward-hinged single-piece canopy other LSA have. That dictates a roll bar–like joining brace arcing across your upper-forward field of view.
One advantage here: You can keep it cool on the ground without worrying that a strong tailwind will slam the canopy forward like a front-hinged bubble can. Just slide the canopy aft while taxiing, then dog it down with the overhead cam lever when you’re good to go.
Visibility is terrific: a 360-degree horizontal panorama, since the canopy reaches back quite a ways behind you. The configuration bestows a vaguely ’50s fighter-jet look, too. The padded control stick is also handholding comfortable. Flap rocker switch and choke control on the center console make for an easy reach. Nosewheel steering is effective and pedal-top toe brakes make ground handling a breeze (sorry, couldn’t resist).
“You can hold the airplane still with those Beringer brakes even at full throttle,” Mike Z says. Works for me. The only complaint about the interior was a loose carpet underfoot, which bunched up under the pedals: a potential distraction. I’d glue it down; easy enough to do.
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