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 »


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 »

New HUD for LSA

“Situational Awareness” is one of those phrases you hear a lot when aviation safety is the topic…and when isn’t aviation safety the topic in a cockpit? New on the market is a device to allow pilots to keep their eyes on the skies…while also having instrument readouts right in their field of view. HUD, of more »

iFly 720 GPS Raises the GPS bar

I just wrote up a piece for the Tech Talk Dept. of Plane & Pilot on the iFly 720 GPS, a really amazing, super-affordable, Air Gizmo-dockable unit that’s got more features than Carter had pills (that’s a reference for older readers). Here’s my lead from that article, out in the next issue : “If you more »

Terrific Oshkosh Airventure 2012 App from Sporty’s

For all you smartphone and iPad users, here’s a great guide to Oshkosh from Sporty’s Pilot Shop.  You can read all the details here, and I’m posting a couple of my own screens. There’s lots to like, because anybody who’s been to the Big Show (It’ll be my 32 year this year) knows it’s total more »

The Year of Cub Love

In case you hadn’t heard, this is the Year of the Cub…the 75th anniversary celebration of that wonderful proto-LSA, the Piper J3 Cub. Of course, I’m excusing my post on the FAA-certified J3 here because it is also legal to fly as a Sport Pilot, along with many other venerable Golden Age flivvers.  I fly more »

Another Voice on Affordable Flying

Ben Sclair, who publishes General Aviation News, wrote a nicely thought out piece on the nuances of the high cost of flying, with a focus on LSA in particular.  He laments the black/white thinking that permeates such discussions and makes a decent case for that time-worn truism, if you really want to do something, you’ll more »

FAA Tells LSA Industry: “Get That Paperwork Done!”

The Federal Aviation Administration just released a document about its assessment regarding the performance of the LSA industry, specifically in regard to LSA producer’s, shall we say, sub-par performance toward compliance with the ASTM airworthiness standard set out in the very definition of the Light Sport category. In a nutshell, the primary offense of several more »

Catching up with Renegade and the Lycoming 233

I’ve been a (budget) international jet setter the last couple months so figured it was time to update through an e-chat with Chris “Doc” Bailey, who’s heading up a hydra-like push at Renegade Light Sport to get the Lycoming IO-233-LSA engine in as many birds as possible. I’ve talked before about the many-pronged attack Doc and more »

Dump The Flight Medical?

Although we Sport Pilots only have to self-certify (and have a driver’s license) to legally fly Light Sport Aircraft, the success of the self-certification “medical” has no doubt factored into AOPA and EAA’s joint proposal to FAA to expand the concept to include Private Pilots. To add your comments to the FAA page about such more »

fire season

Finally getting to work. Fire season officially opened here at the Chico Air Attack base today and since today was my official “day off” I get started tomorrow. Really looking forward to it.

Flynano Makes First Flight!

This is pretty cool, I have to say: a flying…what, waterbike?  Winged pontoon?  Powered box kite?  Here’s the home page for Flynano: and doesn’t this supremely giddy pilot in the illustration remind you of U2’s Bono?  Hmmm…backer?  Person of Interest?  Is Lindsay Lohan going to buy one?  Stay tuned… A year ago, I wrote about more »

Chico Fire Season

Chico is just about to open their Air Attack Base for fire season. We’re one of the latest bases to open. There was a fire in our region the other day and a tanker from Hollister came up for it. Needless to say I’m ready to go. The base is great and I am realy more »

Three LSA now EASA-legal

* REVISED June 21:  Missing text at end replaced. * Some big news developing recently regarding the European Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) certification of the first three light sport aircraft in its new category designed to legitimize ASTM-certified LSA. The new category is called EASA CS-LSA.  We’ve talked about it before, see below, but this more »

Sling Shot at the U.S. Market

Catching up from the road after 3 weeks (1 day to go) in Hamburg, Germany on family business and a laptop double-meltdown (don’t ask). The Sling is a South African LSA that made a splash in 2009 with a ‘round-the-world flight just received its official S-LSA Airworthiness certificate, making it #125 on the official list. more »