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EAA's Light Plane World
  ISSUE 4, MARCH 2010      
From the Editor
We Make Our Own Wings
By Dan Grunloh, Editor, Light Plane World
If you can imagine what it's like to fly in the lower atmosphere as a 200-pound human bird, ultralights and light planes come fairly close. We best the birds in one respect with our interchangeable and repairable wings suited for different missions. New technologies are poised to take that experience to another level. The electric aircraft of today signal only the beginning of this change. Read more Dan Grunloh
Green Acres
Ramblings of an Airplane Nut
Leonard MilhollandSome folks may have been inspired to fly after seeing Leonard Milholland's Legal Eagle. For Leonard, he was inspired by the airplane nuts that preceded him, including one whom he met during his first trip to EAA Oshkosh in 1974. Read more
Light Plane News
FAA's Zodiac 601/650 Aircraft Report
ZodiacIntroduced in 2001, the Zenith, Zodiac CH 601 XL first showed signs of in-flight structural failures in 2006. A series of six total in-flight structural failures of the Zodiac Model CH 601 XL (occurring in the US) led the agency to stop issuing airworthiness approvals to those Zodiac 601 and 650 models in late 2009. These accidents prompted the FAA to conduct a thorough investigation. Pat Panzera, editor of EAA Experimenter newsletter, took a closer look at the resulting FAA report. Read Pat's analysis.
The Electric Flying Fleas
Flying FleaThe AeroInnovations section in a recent issue of e-Hotline reported news of two Flying Flea (Pou du Ciel) variants taking to the sky in Italy with electric power. The smaller of the two shown here is the Pulce Ellectrica, which has a wingspan of 18 feet and a ready-to-fly empty weight of 163 pounds, including batteries. The builder and pilot Nedo Lavorini weighs 167 pounds. Read more
Light Plane Lands on Highway
Plane on highwayOn February 13, James Riordan and a group of his flying friends were on their way to a Saturday morning fly-in near Sacramento, California, when he found himself in the situation for which all pilots must be ready. The engine quit about four miles from Cameron Airpark, and there was no obvious place to land. He attempted a restart which was unsuccessful and started looking for a clear space between the cars on Highway 50. He's quoted as saying the biggest thing on his mind was not hurting anyone else. He skillfully landed between two vehicles but clipped one with a wingtip, spun around, and broke the landing gear. No one was injured. Read more
USUA Wants FAA to Remedy Unsafe Situation
The United States Ultralight Association (USUA) issued the following press release calling on the FAA to stop delaying the release of guidance for district offices to issue Letters Of Deviation Authority. (LODAs) The USUA says the delay is creating an unsafe situation because instructors may decide to stop offering services and potential students might resort to teaching themselves. Read more
Paper Airman Certificates Expire March 31
Paper certificatesPilots who have not replaced their paper airman certificate with the required new plastic certificate risk being unable to exercise their privileges at the end of March. All paper airman certificates will expire March 31, 2010. FAR 61.19(h) reads: “Except for a temporary certificate issued under §61.17 or a student pilot certificate issued under paragraph (b) of this section, the holder of a paper pilot certificate issued under this part may not exercise the privileges of that certificate after March 31, 2010.” Read more
Safety Warning - Fiberglass Tanks and Alcohol-Blended Fuels Don't Mix
We have already been warned about the damage that alcohol-blended fuels can do to fuel system components such as hoses and seals. Not considered as often is the danger of fiberglass fuel tanks which can turn your fuel supply into a river of brown, combustion-killing sludge. Read more
Flight Design Unveils Upgraded CTLS LSA at Sebring
Flight Design showed a model of the top-of-the-line CTLS light-sport aircraft at the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo 2010 in Sebring, Florida. The deluxe CTLS comes with an even-more-loaded instrument panel, a longer engine life, and an upgraded interior treatment. Read more
Around the Patch

Sound of Silence: Testing the e-Spyder
Willi TackeElectric propulsion for aircraft is beginning to mature. German aviation reporter Willi Tacke became the first journalist to fly the e-Spyder, which will be the first production electric ultralight aircraft. Willi sent this report from a factory near Shanghai. Read more

I Landed at an Erie Place
Dennis DyerA successful airport isn't always the one with the most traffic. Often the best places to fly are where it feels most like home. Erie Airpark may seem like a quiet place, but the vibrant ultralight community has made this western Illinois airfield loud and fun for decades. Read more
Your Experimental Light Plane Annual Condition Inspection - The Benefits and the Process
Carol Carpenter and studentDuring an inspection one time, we discovered the wing bolts were installed into the holes, but the nuts were barely turned and had never been tightened. Discovering a discrepancy like this is certainly enough to get your attention. So while a conditional inspection is required, more importantly it's an opportunity to really look at the aircraft in depth-a process that may even save your life. Read more
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From the EAA Light Plane Community
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Multimedia
Videos from the light plane world
Video Video
God's Gift. Flight of the all-metal UltraCuiser designed by Morry Hummel Weight-shift trike which looks like someone tied an air mattress to a lawn chair. But it flies!
Submit light plane videos that you just had to watch again; and probably forwarded to your friends. Send them to LightPlaneWorld@EAA.org.
Featured Audio
Mathieu Heinz, vice president of ZenairEAA Radio
Mathieu Heinz talks to EAA Radio's Fareed Guyot about the FAA's report on the Zenith Zodiac 601XL and what Zenair has done to address questions that have been raised about the design.

Listen to the interview

Know-it-all
Engines
Q. How does carburetor jetting affect my 2-cycle engine?
Read the answer

Powered Parachute
Q.
Why is wing trim important?  Read the answer

Weight Shift Trikes
Q.
Is there a special technique for a crosswind takeoff?  Read the answer

Fixed-Wing Airplane
Q.
What is a stall?  Read the answer

Powered Paraglider
Q.
How long does it take to learn to fly?  Read the answer

From the archives
Morry HummelMorry Hummel: A Gift to the Ultralight Community
EAA Sport Pilot August 2006

In 1985, Morry Hummel lost his FAA medical and switched to flying ultralights. The innovator who brought us the Hummel Bird would barely survive an accident in a Mini-Max ten years later. That accident would turn out to be a blessing as Morry would design an ultralight that he referred to as "God's Gift."  Read the article

Poll Question
Q. Which do you prefer? Open cockpit or enclosed and why?

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