September 28, 2009
By Jill W. Tallman
In January 2007, Chesapeake Sport Pilot opened for business with a single light sport airplane and a business located in a trailer at Bay Bridge (W29) in Stevensville, Md.
Today, Chesapeake Sport Pilot is the largest sport pilot flight school operation in the country with a fleet of seven aircraft, 17 instructors, and 70 students. And on Sept. 26, the school’s owners held a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house to christen a brand-new 6,000-square-foot hangar and office building.
“This was not in the plans,” said Tim Adelman, one of Chesapeake Sport Pilot’s owners, “but demand for light sport training overwhelmed us.”
Visitors got a chance to see the new building, which includes 4,500 square feet of maintenance space and a new classroom, pilot shop, and aircraft sales office. They also got to see new LSA aircraft such as the Tecnam Eaglet and Sierra, as well as Tecnam’s new twin-engine aircraft. A line of children waited at the edge of the ramp to take Young Eagles rides, and business was brisk: Adelman said 42 children were preregistered to take rides, and another 10 or 15 had walked in that morning.
Absent from the flight line was the school’s most recent acquisition: a SeaRey amphibious seaplane, which the company will use to provide seaplane ratings from sport through commercial. Chesapeake Sport Pilot co-owner Al Adelman said the airplane got weathered in at Richmond, Va. Chesapeake Sport Pilot is forming a club of seven or eight owners who will lease back the SeaRay to the flight school. Five owners are on board, he said.
AOPA Technical Editor Jill W. Tallman is an instrument-rated private pilot who owns a Piper Cherokee 140.
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