Al Marsh

An LSA experiment to watch

May 1, 2009 by Alton K. Marsh, Senior Editor, AOPA Pilot

The light sport aircraft community, admittedly off to a slow start these past four years, ought to watch an experiment by the flight department at the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) in Melbourne, Fla. Director of Flight Training Nick Frisch has purchased two Remos light sport aircraft to join his fleet of 41 trainers. He is challenging a “significant unknown,” in his words, and that unknown is the public’s general acceptance of light sport aircraft.

Frisch is betting that among the school’s 7,000 non-aeronautical students there are a number of pilot candidates who will jump at the chance for a $5,000 sport pilot certificate. To improve chances for success, he will offer the Remos aircraft to the Melbourne community as well in a flying club. Some of the 41 trainers are ready for retirement. Will serious FIT pilot candidates accept the Remos because of its lower rental cost?

He is starting with two aircraft, but additional Remos aircraft will be purchased if the experiment works. So watch FIT’s flight department at the end of this year. That is when Frisch’s “significant unknown” will be known, and when a new order is, or is not, made.

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6 Responses to “An LSA experiment to watch”

  1. Justin Shelley Says:

    We have used the Remos in our Sport Pilot training program for over a year now. With an average fuel burn of 2.5 gallons per hour, low maintenance costs, and that “new aircraft” appeal, it has been a great success.

  2. Don Buckey Says:

    $5,000 for sport certificate training is no bargain. Others do it for much less than that.

  3. Tom Conte Says:

    Flying the Remos is a little different from the “regular” GA aircraft I have been flying for over 37 years but its fun. As an instructor I believe LSA is more attractive to new pilots that just want to fly local and have fun. I find it interesting that there is only one flight training school school in my area that sees the potenial and offers the Remos for rental. Even a local Cessna dealer doesn’t understand why anybody would want to learn to fly in anything smaller the a C-172

  4. Dick Snell Says:

    A local FBO requires an FAA Medical to fly its Light Sport aircraft. Is this the usual requirement?

  5. Bob White Says:

    To Dick Snell
    No, a medical is not required to fly under light sport rules. You must have either a 3rd class medical or valid drivers license

  6. Roger Fane Says:

    A medical isn’t required under Light Sport / Sport Pilot rules. However, I have heard of some flight schools requiring it, due to their insurance company mandating it.

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