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.
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