The Comet is the first fully aerobatic two-seat SLSA and the first biplane SLSA.
The golden Florida sun is living up to its reputation this day. Glowing deep-afternoon light drags the shadows long across the green airport grass as a light breeze refreshes, just enough to take the edge off 88-degree heat.
Jim DeHart of Atlanta Light Sport Aviation helps me climb into the open front hole of the FK 12 Comet’s “tuholer” tandem cockpit. And this is a “real” cockpit I sink down into—the term was born in 1914, when single-seat biplane scout ships, soon to be converted to fighters, overflew the horrible trenches. Easing into the comfortable seat, the fuselage side rails reach the tops of my shoulders, evoking cherished memories: my USAFA cadet orientation flight in a T-33 jet; that supersonic ride to 55,000 feet in an F-101 Voodoo; turning 10 consecutive spins in a Pitts Special with Bill Finagin, the famed aerobatics instructor from Annapolis, Md. There’s something about nestling deep in the body of an airplane that makes you feel fused to all its life and vitality.