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

In his five years as a pilot, Tim Greer has 500 hours of mostly weekend flying, with several longer trips including from Phoenix to Seattle and Baja, Calif. Single-seat kitbuilder Harold Sweet prefers the local turf. "Ninety percent of our flying is 'around-the-patch' style within 10 miles of our home field. Maybe once or twice a year, we travel 30 miles for a meal and to visit flying clubs."

Brian Kerr flies about once a month and has 85 hours total as a renter. Brian Garrett flew around 50 hours last year but says, "My goal is to fly 100 hours a year. An incident during my checkride resulted in an emergency off-airport landing and structural damage." The plane will be down for several months, so meanwhile, Kerr rents and work on his proficiency "in a GA aircraft."

More fortunate is Tim Grinolds, who describes his flying activity as intense, "usually three times a week."

Since checking out in his rented Remos GX, Rob Finfrock averages five hours per month. "Fortunately time (and not finances) has been the primary limiting factor," he adds.

Sam Dollenmeier tries to fly twice weekly and logs 100 hours a year, while Steve Mink flies "every week it's not raining, probably 125 hours per year. I fly 40 minutes to a dealer center for service."

Another anonymous Sting S4 owner took 12 hours of lessons in the spring of 2011 "to see if I liked flying and whether I was capable of earning a SP license." He passed his sport pilot written and during the next 10 months logged 108 hours—55 for training.

Tecnam Sierra partner Phil Howe averages five to 10 hours a month, while LSA owner Ron Gibson tries to fly twice a month but still averages 25 hours a year. He's currently grounded: His Tecnam Bravo was badly damaged in a landing accident. "It's taking forever to get repaired and there are no acceptable LSAs for rent in my state (Seattle area.)"

We'll wrap our survey next month with our responders' insights and opinions on the sport pilot category and what LSA flying has meant to them. Once again, thanks to everyone for sharing your personal aviation histories!

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