Blog

If It Works For Morgan Freeman…

In case you don’t know about Able Flight, here’s a link to the organization’s website, and another to its donation page. This wonderful endeavor helps paralyzed and otherwise physically challenged people, both civilian and war-wounded, to achieve their dreams of flight by taking them through a complete Sport Pilot training  course. Able Flight uses specially-outfitted Sky Arrows more »

The Longest Flight

U.S.Sinus motorglider owner/dealer Rand Vollmer recently flew 1170 statue miles nonstop at mostly economy cruise settings from Oshkosh to Florida on one 24.5 gallon fill up in his Pipistrel Sinus, 49-foot span motorglider. Color me green with envy and drooling from sheer lust for flight. For the trip, Rand’s average speed was  102 knots.  Fuel more »

Tecnam’s New Entry-Level (and Affordable!) LSA

Tecnam North America’s CEO Phil Solomon dropped me a line yesterday to make sure I heard the news that there’s a new, all-metal, budget-priced Tecnam LSA, just released, that should generate some enthusiasm among the “LSA: too expensive!” crowd. It’s called the P92 Echo Classic Light. It’s priced at $74,999, and that’s fly away from Richmond, more »

Quicksilver Adds Five Aircraft to FAA Kit List

Last Spring I had the pleasure of photographing the several aircraft that make up the stable of the re-emergent Quicksilver Aircraft company. Quicksilver is the once-and-future, Cessna-style flagship of the ultralight industry back in the 70s and 80s, when it sold almost 15,000 single seater and two-seat aircraft kits under the FAA Part 103 regulation. What more »

Seaplanes To Be Banned From New Mexico?

There’s been a hue and cry from the seaplane community over New Mexico’s proposed ban of all seaplane operations in the entire state! The rationale for the ban, as put forward by the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Dept., would seem to be the danger to boaters from seaplanes landing on water, and more »

Wheels-DOWN Water Landing!

I posted this in a comment to my SeaMax story yesterday after finding it on an Aussie website.  One of the big no-no’s in traditional floatplanes and perhaps (I honestly don’t know) traditional amphibs like the Lake Amphibian and others is landing with the wheels down.  On a float plane, it can cause a disastrous more »

Raising Kids Propper-Like

While looking for images for my RV-12 post the other day, I came across the smile-worthy video below. It was put up on YouTube by an RV-7 owner who treated his little brother to a flight, with some aerobatics thrown in for grins, and what a delight to see the sheer joy on the little more »

Flying Club Initiative

AOPA during its annual Summit convention that ended this weekend announced during the event a program that makes a lot of sense: a national network of flying clubs with the aim to grow general aviation at all levels. We’ve been talking about alternatives to the modern steep cost of private flying for some time now, more »

Popular RV-12 Kit Now An SLSA!

We’ve been wondering when/if the highly popular Van’s RV-12 E-LSA kit airplane would ever be produced as an SLSA. That question is now answered with the newly announced SLSA version, and at a very attractive price: $105,000. In addition, 12 “Signature Edition” models with all options at $115,000. The purpose, says Van’s, is to “define and codify the more »

Calling All Sport Pilots

For my next column for Plane & Pilot, and to grow a dialogue here on the blog (diablogue?), I’m putting out a call to all Light Sport pilots across the country (and around the world!) for your input on some topics we all think about and kick around with our flying pals.  Think of it more »

Leaf Peeper Round Up

As fall colors begin to pop their chromatic yumminess on New England, it’s time to do some shotgun Light Sport factoid gathering. * Sebring U.S. Sport Aviation Expo Model Airplane Contest: Pandering shamelessly to the inner kid in all of us, as well as the kids we bring to the event, the LSA event this more »

Amelia?

The TIGHAR group just doesn’t give up! What about this: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2012/08/20/Amelia-Earhart-search-yields-debris/UPI-13411345481396/?spt=hs&or=tn

Financing The Long Haul

This has been a tough semi-decade for people in the Light Sport industry with big ideas.  And for people everywhere with this kind of thinking:  “Hey, let’s throw a few mill bucks at this mega-concept and see if it changes the world!” Cessna’s Skycatcher endured a couple non-recoverable spins and parachute deployments in its intensive more »

Birds of a Composite Feather…

Top General Aviation manufacturer Cirrus Aircraft, which makes the Cirrus line of four-seat, all-composite aircraft, just announced it’s partnering with another composite company, one that’s had its share of delays in getting to market: Icon Aircraft. The Icon A5, a sleek, highly-promoted amphibian SLSA, has gathered several hundred orders although the company, formed in 2005, more »

Oshkosh Saturday

Another beautiful day.  Warmer, but humidity not stifling and a steady breeze was evident most of the day.  Not a huge crowd compared to some earlier years but many LSA and GA exhibitors alike reported good, focused interest and not a few sales. Pipistrel in particular seems to be riding the crest of ever-growing reputation.  more »

Oshkosh Refreshed

Just put in my first day at the show, only doing 3 days this year, plus a layover day to pick up any after-show-convenient flight reports. Uncharacteristically, Oshkosh had a truly beautiful weather day after a week of 100 degree days and microburst winds and thunderstorms that sent people scurrying hither and yon.  The crowds more »

Skycatcher To Move To Primary Aircraft Category!

Edit:  There was some confusion after I first posted this a few days before Oshkosh, so I hope this addendum clears things up: First Piper, now Cessna…wow, didn’t see this coming.  I’m referring to Piper leaving the LSA field after dropping the PiperSport a couple years back.  Similarly, Cessna will no longer list the Skycatcher more »

CAAB

Hola – greetings from Chico. One month down, and three to go. I’m missing Oshkosh but since I made Sun & Fun and will be there again next year, not too sad…although I miss seeing my friends. A few of them are giving me updates though! Fire season in Northern California has been pretty busy more »