Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Light-Sport Chronicles: If You Build It…

...will they come? Time, work, imagination, and location, location, location will tell.

A Cessna 150 and probably a C-172 on leaseback will soon join the flight instruction fleet, along with a new Quicksilver Sport 2S S-LSA for sport-pilot training.

"And I'm a Cub guy," Chris adds. "So we'll offer taildragger training, too. My other dream is to manufacture pure Piper J3 Cubs. I've built components for Legend Cub in the past, but they and all the LSA Cub clones use Super Cub technology. I want to build the straight Cub design, probably the PA-11 Cub Special variant with enclosed cowl."

Dreams, like all living things, need to eat, so veteran businessowner Bruce watches the bottom line. For all the fun, Harris Airport is still a business.

"We're at that 'where to start, where to stop, what to build next?' place," says Bruce. "What are people willing to pay? Can the airport sustain itself? We'll see."

Chris, an active social networker, will market the operation online and on his website ( Bruce's helicopter business is already thriving, which will help.

"This could become a premier jump zone," says Bruce. "I've found two things on everybody's bucket list: fly in a helicopter and jump out of an airplane."

"People are excited about ultralight flights, too," Chris says eagerly. "It's not like flying in an airplane. You're out there like a bird."

I leave the partners to go back to chatting with their remaining visitors, grab a snack from the hot lunch they laid out, then we walk back to the car.

As we drive away, I'm thinking of another iconic movie quote, from a concerned Jeff Goldblum in the movie, Jurassic Park. "Life finds a way," he says, worrying that the dinos will multiply and wreak havoc. "Life always finds a way."

Reflecting over the prevalent gloom and doom around general aviation these days, I believe lovers of flight will find a way, too. Ask Charles Lindbergh, Paul Poberezny or the Wrights.

Can you hear that whisper through the tall green grass of Harris Airport?

"If you build it, they will come..."

Oh, let it be true.


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