Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Light-Sport Chronicles: Sport-Pilot Survey Says! Part II

More feedback from our poll of the LSA flying community

Last month, through our survey, we met our group of respondents and found out what light-sport aircraft (LSA) they fly. This month, let's find out more about their endorsements, further ratings planned and how often they fly.

Survey newcomer Matthew Geoff McHarg, a physics instructor at my alma mater, the U.S. Air Force Academy, flies in the Denver area in a rented AT-4L (formerly Gobosh G700). His fixed-base operation (FBO) is Aspen Flying Club, Centennial Airport (KAPA). At press time, he needed just one hour more of hood time before his private pilot license (PPL) checkride. Good luck, Geoff!

Thomas W. Ivines of Port Charlotte, Fla., echoes the sentiments of many sport pilots: "My private pilot license (PPL) affords me all the privileges except night flight when I fly an LSA." He also has a taildragger endorsement.

Ivines first trained 40 years ago! He worked for an FBO in his 20s, bartered to pay for flight lessons and got his PPL in less than 40 hours. Then financial realities (marriage, school and children) prohibited him from even renting an airplane, despite "what we now think of as a ridiculous price of $27 an hour wet for a Piper J3." He didn't fly for 20 years.

Last month, I mixed up information I got from two pilots, so here's the fix: Tim Greer has a PPL and trained in a C-152 at Deer Valley (KDVT) near Phoenix, Ariz., ("the busiest GA airport in the USA," he says). He's the sole owner of a 2006 Flight Design CTSW. After soloing the 152, "I switched to the CT, and spent another 20 hours to solo that." Greer got his license in 75 hours and holds a Class B airspace endorsement for Phoenix.

Harold Sweet flies locally in a single-seat LSA-legal kit plane (unnamed), and laments the difficulty in being taught single-seater flight. "Training in a bigger bird than what I am flying does me no good at all. I am forced to train in a plane with a yoke, not a stick. Sport-pilot-certified flight instructors (CFIs) have lost sight of the fact that the sport-pilot license (SPL) is also for single-seat powered parachutes, trikes, gyroplanes, etc."

Tecnam P92 Eaglet renter C. Brian Kerr plans to move up to the recreational pilot license "if the (AOPA/EAA) petition to remove the Class III medical exam gets approval from the FAA." As a sport pilot, he has all the airspace and the higher- speed (above 87 knots) endorsements. He trained at Chesapeake Sport Pilot, Bay Bridge Airport (W29), Md.

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