Sport Pilot

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AOPA/EAA medical exemption request strong, steady

Advocacy | Feb 27, 2012

AOPA and the Experimental Aircraft Association are unwavering in their effort to open more aircraft to pilots using a driver's license and medical self-assessment despite the FAA's recent denial of a pilot's request to expand the driver's license medical to private pilots flying aircraft 6,000 pounds or less.

Pilot-run airport backs medical petition

Advocacy | Feb 23, 2012

The airport in Simsbury, Conn., is home to about 50 pilots who share the cost of maintaining their home field. There is strong support here for the petition about to be filed by AOPA and the Experimental Aircraft Association that will seek to extend to all pilots the ability to fly four-seat aircraft - with single engines up to 180 horsepower - without a third-class medical certificate.


Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2012

Mike Collins touched my heart with his article "Honoring the Tuskegee Airmen" (December 2011 AOPA Pilot). Lt. Col. William Holloman III of the famed 332nd Fighter Group was a dear friend and passed away in 2010. Bill was a national treasure. Prior to his passing, he was looking forward to climbing back into a Stearman.

LSA financing options abound for individuals

Article | Jan 25, 2012

For well-qualified individual buyers, financing a light sport aircraft purchase is no different from financing a certified aircraft, provided the light sport in question is one of the top-selling and established brands. But flight schools face financing challenges.

Gobosh LSA reborn as Aero AT-4

Article | Jan 24, 2012

Of the dozens of aircraft that converged on the Sebring U.S. Sport Aviation Expo Jan. 19 through 22, the Aero AT-4 had the most challenging journey. The Polish-made light sport aircraft was nearly grounded by U.S. Customs inspections, caught in a Catch-22: Inspectors sought an airworthiness certificate that could not be obtained until the aircraft cleared customs.

Sebring LSA Expo booms with traffic, sales

Article | Jan 23, 2012

Good weather, good attendance, and strong sales gave light sport aircraft manufacturers a lift at the Sebring U.S. Sport Aviation Expo. FAA officials logged 1,256 air operations Jan. 21, the busiest day of the show, including 200 in the first hour--a rate of arrivals and departures that rivaled the nation's busiest airports, and made Sebring Regional Airport the busiest airport in Florida.

EAA announces dramatic expansion of education programs

Article | Jan 20, 2012

For too many would-be pilots, the path to that first certificate diverts to a dead end. Eagle Flights, a new initiative outlined for light sport aircraft industry leaders by EAA President Rod Hightower on Jan. 19, is designed to address a critical shortcoming of pilot training: As many as eight in 10 pilots who start training never earn a certificate.

Sebring light sport expo launches 2012 season

Article | Jan 19, 2012

A flying car made for missionaries, lightweight aerobats, and two-seat autogyros turned more than a few heads Jan. 19 as light sport aviators shook off winter blues under clear skies in Sebring, Fla.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2012

How a hot air balloon looks from above and photographed from a Piper Super Cub. A hobby becomes a sideline Dave Tunge is, at age 66, moving into the “do what I want to do” portion of his life.

Aerotrek: Half price, full featured

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2012

Many of you have expressed your frustration that the $60,000 light sport aircraft you expected back in 2004 when the LSA movement was approved have not materialized. Today most of the models are more like $130,000 and even $180,000. Here’s an aircraft with a price tag about as close as you'll come to previous expectations. Out the door, a fully equipped Aerotrek from Aeropro in the Czech Republic with a 100-horsepower Rotax engine and a GPS moving map is $78,000. (Zlin Aviation claims a similar price for its Savage, a tailwheel LSA Cub lookalike.)

Keep flying: ‘Hoorah’

Advocacy | Dec 01, 2011

When it comes to medical certification and staying in the air, pilots want the best of both worlds. That's why AOPA and the Experimental Aircraft Association's request for an exemption to allow pilots to use their driver's license and medical self-certification to fly certain aircraft recreationally is resonating with members.

Rally GA: The doctor doesn't need to be in

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2011

Richard Fox has been flying since his teens, but—like thousands of U.S. pilots—he's considering shifting to the Light Sport aircraft category because of the potential burden posed by the third class medical examination.

President's Position

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2011

Every time you get behind the wheel of a car, you're making a judgment call. Are you fit to drive? Have you taken any medications that could impair your performance? Do you have a medical condition that would make you unsafe? Are you too tired to drive?

The LSA Star Fighter

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2011

Flight Design's 100-horsepower CT light sport aircraft (lsa) has led the U.S. market since the light sport industry started six years ago with the delivery of the CTSW model. That honor could come to an end next year, when Cessna Skycatcher deliveries are scheduled to overtake those of the two-seat, Rotax-powered CT; 330 CTs have been delivered in the United States. Worldwide, the total is 1,600.

AOPA Action

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2011

National, State and Regional aviation advocacy news; AOPA membership products news; Air Safety Institute news; AOPA Foundation news; AOPA Airport Support Network news; AOPA Aviation Summit news

AOPA Action

Article | Sep 01, 2011

National, State and Regional aviation advocacy news; AOPA membership products news; Air Safety Institute news; AOPA Foundation news; AOPA Airport Support Network news; AOPA Aviation Summit news


Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2011

I enjoyed the article about the Jabiru J230-SP in June’s AOPA Pilot (“Prime Time for the Jabiru”), but am at a loss to understand the 104-degree-Fahrenheit operational limitation. Is there a degradation in airframe strength when heated? Is the expansion rate of the dissimilar materials likely to cause delamination? Will this be a problem if the aircraft sits on the ramp when it is up to 120 degrees in the sun? I used to fly a Mooney out of Chico, California, where it often was more than 104 degrees F.

License to Learn

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2011

Several months ago, I wrote “License to Learn: The Limited Flight Instructor Certificate” (February 2011 AOPA Pilot). The article produced many positive comments, but one fellow wrote to express his dismay about permitting private pilots to become limited flight instructors (or sport pilots to become sport pilot instructors).

Prime time for the Jabiru

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2011

With the pattern at Avon Park, Florida, clear of traffic, I taxied the Jabiru J230-SP light sport aircraft (LSA) onto the runway behind an older Cessna 172 carrying AOPA Senior Photographer Mike Fizer. Despite letting the Cessna start its takeoff roll and reach rotation speed prior to releasing the hand brake, the 120-horsepower Jabiru quickly caught the 160-horsepower Cessna on the climbout and could barely stay behind it. The Jabiru was a hawk that had just seen lunch—the 172.

Fulfilling its promise

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2011

Wingless and painted in green primer, every Cessna 162 Skycatcher is a world traveler by the time it arrives at Yingling Aviation's loading dock at Wichita Mid-Continent International Airport in central Kansas. The two-seat trainers—and Cessna’s first foray in the Light Sport Aircraft market—are built in China and made ready for flight there.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2011

There’s nothing unusual about two pilots enjoying spectacular scenery above a thin cloud layer on a moonlit night, except these pilots both are disabled by spinal injury. Heather Schultz, 26, is a quadriplegic, although she can walk with a cane and electronic devices, while Sean O’Donnell, 32, has lost the use of his legs.

Out in the cold

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2011

The PiperSport seemed like the perfect airplane for launching a new flight school designed for sport pilots, and Tim Fleming bought the airplane after a single demo flight. Sleek, sturdy, and roomy, with an expansive bubble canopy and an airframe parachute, the all-metal airplane could attract the youthful, technology-embracing new student pilots that Fleming sought.

License to Learn

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2011

A Polish immigrant visited his local flight surgeon to take a third class medical exam. The doctor had him stand in a specific spot, then pulled down a chart showing the letters: CVOKPTNXZYKV.

Back to the Future

Article | Feb 01, 2011

In a major victory for veterans and the general aviation community, Congress voted overwhelmingly in December to enhance the GI Bill of Rights by including new flight and vocational training benefits. The move is a golden opportunity to increase the number of GA pilots and A-and-P mechanics in the future - both vitally important goals for general aviation and AOPA.