Posts Tagged ‘new pilots’

An LSA experiment to watch

Friday, May 1st, 2009

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.

Potential student pilots are everywhere

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

I was in Telluride, Colorado, Sunday and walked into a nature photography store, Wilderness Wonders . There I found Tony Newlin, a photographer who would love to fly. He was introduced to general aviation by his brother during many rides in a Cessna. Now the brother flies an F-16 and Newlin stays close to aviation as a passenger aboard Alaskan floatplanes. Newlin rides into the wilderness to take photos of grizzly bears–about 30 miles from where a videographer and his girlfriend were killed by bears several years ago. Newlin says the bears have a mean season, and he leaves them alone at that time of year. He’s a trained computer engineer with a degree or two and experience at Intel, but as long as the photos keep selling at his three Colorado shops, he’ll keep shooting and let the (computer) chips fall where they may. Here’s one of his photos.

His true passion is panorama photography, but it was difficult to fit in this space. Look for more photos of Telluride in my story “America’s Airports: Telluride, Colorado” in the February issue of AOPA Pilot magazine.