The Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) will begin using Remos GX aircraft—the first U.S. collegiate aviation program to use an LSA for primary flight training, Remos and FIT officials announced April 23.
FIT has a fleet of 40 aircraft in Melbourne, Fla., and will begin acquiring Remos GXs as it retires high-time airplanes. FIT officials would not say how many Remos LSAs it will buy, but it plans to retire about 11 airframes in the next 12 months.
“People who professionally analyze the market see the value of LSAs,” said Corvin Huber, Remos CEO. “The technological advances in LSAs are being recognized. LSAs have arrived and are here to stay.”
Remos sold about 120 aircraft in the United States last year, company officials said. The GX model includes a stronger landing gear system designed for primary flight training.
Nick Frisch, FIT’s director of flight training, said the school narrowed down its choice for a new aircraft to two models, and Remos won the final fly-off.
“It’s a delightful machine to fly,” Frisch said.
Frisch said the LSA’s folding wings will allow the school to store the airplanes in a hardened hangar building when hurricanes threaten—an annual occurrence in Florida. And the airplane’s relatively low operating costs will enable students to obtain sport pilot certificates for about $5,000 instead of the estimated $10,000 for a private pilot certificate.
“With the Remos, we’ll be able to fulfill the promise of the LSA category,” he said.