Your connection with the sky

Lessons from the Edge

Arty Trost is a female ultralight pilot who flies cross-country, multi-week flying adventures that cover thousands of miles. Her Maxair Drifter looks like an ultralight, but is actually a registered Experimental Light Sport Aircraft. About Arty Trost

What Type of Certificate? It depends on your flying choices.Maybe Even None At All

January 21st, 2010

Remos - high end Light SportI was standing in line at a hot dog booth at the Arlington, WA fly-in, a wonderful 5-day event full of airplanes, airplane lovers, vendors, educational sessions, and mostly junk food. I couldn’t help overhearing the two people in front of me.

Person #1: “I’ve GOT to start flying! It looks like so much fun, and I’ve put it off too long. There’s an instructor here who can give me lessons in a Light Sport airplane, and I’ve decided to work on a Light Sport pilot license [certificate].”

Person #2: “Why in the world would you want to go for a Light Sport License [certificate] when you can work on a Private license [certificate]? You don’t want an LS license [certificate] – you really ought to get a Private.” Read More >>

Falling in Love With Ultralights

January 15th, 2010

IMGI’ve been flying my my Maxair Drifter – an ultralight-type Experimental Light Sport aircraft – for 18 years. It’s my second “ultralight”. My first, a true ultralight, was an Airmass Sunburst – 240 lbs., two 2.5 gal. gas tanks, 40 foot tube and fabric wings, and spoilerons instead of ailerons. It had an inverted V-tail. The seat was low in a cage of aluminum tubing, and I used my feet for brakes. With a 25 horse Cuyuna engine, it cruised at 32 mph and top speed was 38 mph. The only instrument was a tube & bubble airspeed indicator.

How I loved that ultralight! I bought it soon after I began taking flight lessons in 1989 (in a two-seat Quicksilver ultralight,) and was so elated when my instructor allowed me to taxi my own Sunburst up and down the grass airstrip. Of course, the long wing meant it was very susceptible to wind, and since the airstrip is bordered on one side by a row of tall fir and hemlock, I was always worrying about getting “gusted” into the tree line. Read More >>

Learning about life – from flying

November 30th, 2009

As I look back on over 20 years of flying, I realize how much I've learned - not just about flying itself, but about taking on new challenges, making risk acceptable, and pushing away the fears and anxieties which hold us back from what we’d really like to do. One of the things I've learned is that you need to be Pilot-In-Command. You should listen to experts, but then you need to rely on your own judgement and make your own decisions. Read More >>

In Community

November 4th, 2009

Last month a friend in Minnesota sent me an e-mail. “I saw an ad in Barnstormers last week about a Kolb MarkIII for sale in southern Oregon,” he wrote. “But now I can’t find the ad. Do you know anything about it?” I live in northwestern Oregon – hundreds of miles away. But only two weeks before, I had been part of a group of ultralighters (and ultralight-type E-LSAs) that were flying the Oregon coast. And one of them was a friend who owns a Kolb MarkIII– which he was trying to sell! I sent an affirming e-mail and got the two of them in touch. Just another example of the ultralight community – a community that enfolds you regardless of where you are. Read More >>

Glad To Be On Board

October 16th, 2009

Hello, pilots and those who are exploring flying! I’m delighted to play a part in AOPA’s Lets Go Flying program. In this Blog I want to share the lessons I’ve learned through flying. I especially want to encourage you to “live out loud” — to push your boundaries, and explore new possibilities … to soar even if you never leave the ground.

A bit about me: I’ve been flying ultralights and Experimental Light Sport Aircraft for twenty years. I soloed in a Sunburst ultralight in May, 1989. That sweet bird had a five gallon gas tank, 40 foot wings with spoilerons, a 28 hp Cuyuna engine, and a cruise speed of 32 mph. I flew it happily, often pushing it to its 40 mph limit since everyone I flew with flew much faster than I could. They were the “big boys” flying CGS Hawks, Flightstars, Quicksilvers, and other ultralight types. Read More >>