Aviation is always and ever about having new experiences. And, ideally, sharing those experiences with others. At Oshkosh, I had the opportunity to fly the Remos GX, a light sport aircraft (“LSA”) manufactured by Remos Aircraft. And I did it with a group of good friends that ran the gamut of skillsets, missions, and capabilities.
This was my first time flying an LSA of any kind. I had been thwarted by weather the few times that I’d tried to schedule a flight in a Flight Design CT in my old stomping grounds of Hillsdale, Michigan, where Flight Design’s northern Midwest distributor, Hillsdale Aero, is located.
We showed up at Orion Air on the field at Oshkosh in the morning and each hooked up with a demo pilot and airplane put of a rotating fleet of three GXs and departed to the north of the field to go crank and bank for awhile.
I enjoyed flying the airplane. It was responsive, it met all of the book numbers, and struck me as meeting all of the promise of the LSA category. I need to fly a couple of other LSAs in order to have a real feel for how the Remos GX stacks up, but I’m a confirmed fan of LSAs if the GX is at all indicative.
But here’s the best part. As I was preparing to do the coverage, I realized that I didn’t have enough of an experience out of one flight to fully cover the aircraft for my podcast, Airspeed. I really needed some other perspectives. Rod and Mike had gathered such a wide-ranging group of people to fly the demos that day that I decided to just throw the doors open wide and invite everyone who flew that day onto the episode to talk about the aircraft. David Allen, Scott Murphy, Bill Williams, and Mike Miley accepted the invitation and all piled onto a Skype call and recorded a really interesting episode.
David and Scott are student pilots to varying degrees. Bill Williams is a recent private pilot. I’m a reasonably experienced private pilot. And Mike Miley is a highly-experienced instructor. We had the waterfront covered.
The episode just recorded itself. I didn’t really have to moderate at all. Each of my friends asserted his point of view and identified what mattered to him from his perspective. The students talked about each of operation, cost of training, and the likelihood that the aircraft would be available at flight schools in their areas. The already-certificated pilots talked about gross weight and ability to accomplish go-places missions. Mike talked about what it would be like to instruct in the aircraft.
And, in addition to taking away some insights about the aircraft that I had not had myself, I was reminded just how much one can learn among pilots by just sitting back and listening. Especially if we’re used to talking and being listened to. I recall a couple of points in the conversation where I just left my microphone off and took notes as the students became the instructors, identifying with great clarity and energy what mattered to them about this aircraft and what ought to matter to LSA manufacturers, regulators, and others.
This could have been a perfectly acceptable episode of the show with just me talking. But it turned out to be so much more just by adding some additional voices.
As pilots, we’re all pretty good talkers. It’s what we do. If the words “there I was at five thousand feet . . .” don’t come out of your mouth at some point during the first couple of years of your flying, you’re not doing it right. It’s about adventures and experiences worth relating to friends and anyone else who will listen.
But it’s also about listening. It’s about including others in your conversations and figuring out how their experiences matter for your own purposes. How what they’re learning applies to you. How what they know will help you along in your own journey. And how glimpses back along the road that you’ve travelled make your own journey so much more special.
Long and short, I set out to put out a regular episode about a very capable LSA. And I got a welcome reminder about how much out collective conversation matters.
You can see the show notes and listen to the episode at http://tinyurl.com/kludml.
Pictured in the group shot above are (L-R): David "Ducky" Allen, Scott Murphy, Cole "FOD" Tupper, Bill Williams, Rod "Fanboy" Rakic.