Posts Tagged ‘sport pilot’

Sling LSA joins the market–new video posted

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Now you really have choices. South Africa sent its Sling to America, through a dealer at the Torrance, Calif., airport, and it has passed ASTM standards. It is built like a tank, wide and comfortable, Rotax powered, gets 108 knots, and costs less than the leading light sport aircraft. Most of them top out at $160,000 (well, one hits $400,000), but the Sling starts at $125,000 and tops out with full glass panels and an airframe parachute in the nose for $145,000.The dealer thinks he can speed it up with a new prop he will test soon. I just made a video here. I took it for a flight above the Pacific Ocean off Long Beach and Torrance. Now, about all those choices. Dan Johnson, head of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association, says he knows of a dozen more LSAs on the way to market. But as he has pointed out in the past, only 30 or 40 are serious contenders for the market.

Fun, fun, fun on Maryland’s Eastern Shore

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

The winds were gusting to 30 knots at Bay Bridge Airport last Friday, and there wasn’t a whole lot of flying going on. Saturday, however, dawned calmer and clear, and pilots came out in droves.

I was there to write a story about sport pilot aviation, which is blossoming at this modest nontowered airport that’s located a few hundred yards from the Cheapeake Bay. (If you’re landing on Runway 11, your base and final are over the water.) From my perch in the pilot lounge, I could view a steady stream of aircraft taking off and landing. It was gratifying to see, given all of the crappy economic news we’ve been dealing with.

Even better was the opportunity to talk to student pilots who, quite simply, love flying. Some of these folks drive more than an hour to train here. None of them seemed to think that was any hardship.

In an upcoming issue of AOPA Flight Training, you’ll meet:

  • Barry, whose years of sailing experience means she knows the watery landscape of the Eastern Shore intimately–but admits she has a little more trouble picking out landmarks on the ground…
  • Anthony, a master mechanic who completed the King Schools home study program before he ever took a flight lesson…
  • Tim, who at over 6 feet tall is probably the last person you’d think would want to fold himself into a light sport airplane–but he does, and has room to spare…
  • Karen, a grandmother who lights up the room when she talks about learning to fly; and…
  • Whitney, who soloed in November, plans her weekends around her lessons, and prefers her trainer’s handbrake to toebrakes.