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EAA's Light Plane World
  ISSUE 6, MAY 2010      
From the Editor
Louis Blériot is My Hero
By Dan Grunloh, Editor, Light Plane World
If you've seen any film documentaries about the early history of aviation, you might recall the figure of Louis Blériot posing briefly on crutches before hobbling over to his plane to become the first man to fly a heavier-than-air craft across the English Channel in 1909. He had burned his foot when a failed fuel line caused a crash during earlier trials, but it didn't stop him from making history. Dan Grunloh
Louis is my hero, because while he made it those 22 miles to the coast of England, I didn't make it to the Sun 'n Fun Fly-In at Lakeland, Florida, due to a minor injury which put me on crutches for a time. I should be back in service in about a month. Whenever my foot hurts, I think of that look of determination on the face of Louis. I missed seeing all my friends at Sun 'n Fun who reportedly had a great time. I missed the warm weather, the Spanish moss on the trees, and maybe even the fire ants a little. It's all part of the experience. Read more
Green Acres
What Is It With the Ultralight Industry?
By Scott Severen

Scott SeverenHere's what I've heard: The state of the ultralight industry is reflected in the poor turnout of vendors at the major shows such as the recent Sun 'n Fun Fly-In at Lakeland, Florida. We know the problem is a poor economy and poor sales. It's hard for companies to make ends meet. Veteran participants and vendors are depressed by the decline we've seen.
Read more
Light Plane News
Woopy Can Fly
One of the top ten most interesting new aircraft seen at the Aero 2010 International Exhibition for General Aviation in Friedrichshafen, Germany, was the Woopy-Fly as reported in a recent edition of e-Hotline. The Swiss inventor Laurent de Kalbermatten has conceived a new inflatable wing design that bridges the functional gap between paragliders and hang gliders. The Woopy first appeared in a version called the Woopy-Jump and is used as a jump extender on ski slopes. Read more
Hydrogen-Powered Ultralight Wins E-Flight Award
Hydrogen-Powered Ultralight Wins E-Flight Award
Scientists predict that someday we might use hydrogen as a fuel for our transportation needs. It's clean burning and manufactured from electricity, so the supply of hydrogen will never be dependent on a single energy source. That distant future can be seen flying today in Frenchman Gérard Thevenot's hydrogen fuel cell-powered trike, which won the E-Flight Award at the Aero 2010 International Exhibition for General Aviation. Read more
Boris Popov Wins Sperry Award
Boris Popov
In April 1982, Boris Popov introduced the ballistic activated emergency parachute to the ultralight community in Glider Rider Magazine. He couldn't have realized that 28 years later his name would be added to a prestigious list of inventors and engineers including Donald Douglas and Igor Sikorsky. Now Boris is being recognized - by the people who keep airplanes upright - for his system that helps others when things get upside-down. Read more
Runaway Trike Spurs NTSB Recommendations
Sadly, runaway aircraft accidents occur in all types of aircraft. Weight-shift trikes are also vulnerable due to their unique controls as shown in the following NTSB report. Apparently the passenger inadvertently applied the foot throttle instead of the brake during the pre-takeoff check. With both a foot throttle and a hand throttle trikes have twice as many chances for something to go wrong. Read more
Gyro Splashdown
Pilot undeterred by take-off accident
GyroxNorman Surplus encountered a major setback last week (May 1) in his bid to circle the globe in an autogyro when he was forced to ditch his heavily laden aircraft in a lake after attempting a takeoff from Nongprue, Thailand in cross-winds and high temperatures. Norman, who departed Northern Ireland in late March and planned to be on the journey for four months, has vowed to make repairs and complete his mission. Read more
Combs' 50 State Tour Stops in Oshkosh - EAA Buys Lunch
Michael CombsMichael Combs and his wife, Michelle, stopped in Oshkosh this week (May 6) as they continued on their goal of visiting all 50 states to communicate the spirit of flight. Combs' past medical problems almost derailed his dreams, but the Sport Pilot Rule made things possible again and he is determined to motivate others to fly. Read more
ILTFD Events Surpass 400!
Look for free EAA membership offer in May Sport Aviation
The number of events scheduled throughout the nation for next Saturday, May 15’s first International Learn To Fly Day has soared past 400! On that day aviation enthusiasts will help others “live the dream” of learning to fly at 406 different events, many of which were organized through, a strong supporter of the ILTFD effort. Pilot Journey has already provided more than 10,000 free tickets to the hundreds of learn-to-fly events scheduled. Read more
Getting the Lead Out of Aviation Fuels
FuelHelp is on the way with the problem of lead in aviation fuel, and it's coming from the federal government, private enterprise, and pond scum. It's just in time, because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has formally begun the regulatory process required by the Clean Air Act that may ultimately result in mandating the transition to unleaded aviation gasoline. Read more
Sun 'n Fun Ultralight and Light Sport Judging Awards
BeliteVolunteer judges chosen for their experience and expertise inspected light sport and ultralight aircraft at the Sun 'n Fun Fly-In at Lakeland, Florida, from Tuesday morning to Friday afternoon when judging closed. They used a standard judging form with categories such as quality of workmanship, safety items, innovation, ease of preflight, fit and finish, and a difficulty factor. View the winners
Webinar Offers Tips to Improve Your Chapter
EAA's line-up of Webinars (web-based seminars) continues to gain popularity. The hour-long presentations feature expert presenters on a variety of aviation topics. Registration is now open and free of charge for EAA members:

More Webinars are added frequently. To view a complete and up-to-date list of all EAA Webinars, visit the webinars page.

EAA Radio 'The Voice of EAA" Seeks Reporters
EAA Radio
For over a decade EAA Radio has been "The Voice of AirVenture." Last July, EAA Radio began its usual live broadcast during AirVenture and just never stopped, streaming past interviews and programs since the on-air light first illuminated in 1996. Last fall, EAA Radio became "The Voice of EAA" as its merry band of volunteers continued to cover aviation events as they happened. We need your help! Read more
Volunteer Videographers Sought for AirVenture
EAA Publications is seeking volunteer videographers. Volunteers will create content for future issues of Light Plane World and the nine other monthly e-newsletters EAA publishes year-round. Other projects, such as the daily AirVenture edition of e-Hotline, may be available. If you enjoy creating videos, we are seeking your discerning eye to communicate the excitement, uniqueness, and variety of aircraft and experiences that can be found at AirVenture.

Volunteers, depending on their interest, will work with EAA Publications staff and newsletter editors on specific assignments. Some video editing skills are helpful but not required, and volunteers must bring their own camera. General submissions are welcome. Please contact Fareed Guyot at or call 920-426-6555.

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Around the Patch

The Eyes of a Pilot
Scott Burris
I waited at the end of the narrow grass strip that was lined on either side by rows of baby Christmas trees, barely three feet tall. I had my favorite old, gray helmet on, the one with the yellow stripe that I used for riding motorcycles. It had served me well in the past, but I hoped it wouldn't be necessary on this sunny, July afternoon. I was nervous - it was an excited kind of nervous - but the feeling was strong enough to cast some doubt in my mind as to whether or not I should be doing this. Read more

Finding Ultralight Instruction
There can be little argument that the biggest obstacle for newcomers to ultralight aviation today is the shortage of opportunities for appropriate dual instruction. There's no doubt that people still want to fly ultralights for the same reasons they initially became popular. Those reasons are low cost, simplicity, and freedom. We were lucky for 20 years because we could teach for hire in just about anything that you could make fly with two people on board. But that is no more. With the withdrawal of the ultralight training exemption and the implementation of the sport pilot regulations, the picture has changed dramatically. The long-running debate about how we got here is of little help to the newcomer. Read more
Fly by the Horizon - It is Your Friend
Robert Wright
Most flight students and many pilots getting a flight review have heard their instructors say on more than one occasion, "Get your head out of the cockpit," or, "Don't forget your scan" or other instructions designed to refocus attention from the panel to the surrounding environment. The primary concern is safety and the avoidance of other aircraft. Read more
As I reached down to pick up my helmet, the phrase, "preflight, preflight," rang over and over in my head. It was a warm summer day, and the conditions were just right for a quick flight around the rolling country side of mid-Michigan's Napoleon Airport (3NP). Read more
From the EAA Light Plane Community and Facebook
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Videos from the light plane world
Video Piper Sport
Aerial drone lands on walls like Spider-Man Assembling the new PiperSport light-sport aircraft in 30 seconds
The Icaro 2000 electric trike
Submit light plane videos that you just had to watch again; and probably forwarded to your friends. Send them to
Featured Audio
Dick Van Grunsven Visits Oshkosh, Presents RV-12 Webinar
RV-12Dick Van Grunsven, founder of Van's Aircraft and designer of the Van's RV line of homebuilts, was in Oshkosh this week as part of a forum convened by EAA Chairman/President Tom Poberezny on the aviation industry. He also gave an EAA Webinar presentation Wednesday evening about the RV-12 light-sport aircraft kit plane - which drew 501 attendees! Van talked with EAA Radio's Fareed Guyot about the aviation industry, the RV-12, and another project he hasn't quite finished. 
Listen to the interview

Watch the webinar
Featured Photo Gallery
One Last Look at Sun 'n Fun and AERO 2010

Photo gallery

Even if you didn't visit Sun 'n Fun or Germany for AERO 2010, these are exciting times in the light plane world. We have selected some photos of aircraft that caught the eye of judges and editors at Sun 'n Fun 2010. Plus photos from AERO 2010, the European light plane trade show, gives the impression that in Europe they are having entirely too much fun. 
 View the gallery

How does carburetor ice affect my engine? Answer

Powered Parachute
 Someone told me to watch out for a line-over. What does that mean? Answer

Weight Shift Trikes
 What are washout struts? Answer

Fixed-Wing Airplane
 I'm having trouble with the roundout prior to landing. What can I do? Answer

Powered Paraglider
 Prior to flying with the motor, should I learn to paraglide without the motor first? Answer

From the archives
From the ArchivesBoris Popov - Ultralight Pioneer March 2001 Experimenter

The catastrophic failure of a hang glider wing 35 years ago led to a fall from 400 feet, which wasn't fatal but inspired the creation of the Ballistic Recovery Systems (BRS) emergency parachutes. Read the article

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