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EAA's Light Plane World
  ISSUE 12 DECEMBER 2011  
From the Editor
Celebrating 25 Issues
By Dan Grunloh, Editor, Light Plane World

A little over two years ago, my life was interrupted by a phone call from Mary Jones at EAA headquarters asking me to become editor of their new online newsletter for ultralights and light-sport aircraft. It would be called Light Plane World. I couldn’t come up with a good reason to refuse, so I agreed to the position without thinking about it for very long. That was probably for the best. Read more

Dan Grunloh
Green Acres
Bigger and Better Than Ever - Sebring U.S. Sport Aviation Expo Headed to a Strong Event
With the holiday season now in full swing, we're hearing more about the Sebring U.S. Sport Aviation Expo. The reorganized Sebring operation has been sending more e-mail, running more ads, and releasing more news. That helps, but clearly the midwinter event in the Sunshine State has plenty of appeal. The eighth running of the Sebring U.S. Sport Aviation Expo is fast approaching and with it a new year of recreational flying. Read more Dan Johnson
Light Plane News
Mark Stull Dies in Crash of New Design
We are sad to announce that ultralight experimenter Mark Stull died on the afternoon of November 15, 2011, at Ducote Air Park near San Angelo, Texas, during the first test flight of his newest ultralight aircraft.  Mark Stull
A witness said the plane had just taken off for its first flight when it stalled at about 50 feet and impacted the ground near the runway. Read more
Clutton FRED on the Web
Matthew Long has announced the establishment of a website to share and collect information about the Flying Runabout Experimental Design (FRED), a pioneering British homebuilt light plane of the 1960s designed and built by Eric Clutton and E.W. Sherry. FRED
In 1963 it first flew at Meir Aerodrome Staffordshire, powered by a Triumph motorcycle engine. About 30 to 40 examples have been built, many powered with a converted Volkswagen engine. 
Read more
'Angry Bird' Knocks Down Ultralight
U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory teams recently tested devices intended to nonlethally bring down ultralight aircraft used for drug smuggling along the U.S.-Mexico border. First was the "Angry Bird," a projectile weapon fired from an M4 rifle with a range of 1,000 feet that deploys a net which entangles the propeller.  Ultralight
Second, a small remote-piloted vehicle, guided with onboard cameras, rams into the propeller, breaking it and stopping the engine. Read more
Former Young Eagle Earns Sport Pilot Certificate
Former Young Eagle James Power earned his sport pilot certificate August 20 at the age of 18. He has longed to fly since he was 10 when his father surprised him by taking him to a Young Eagles Rally, where members of the EAA were offering free airplane rides to youth. James had his first airplane ride that day and became 100 percent hooked on flying. Encouraging his love of flight, James' parents gave him a flying lesson every year for his birthday. Read more James Power
Report on Southerland Freebird Fatal First Flight
On December 2, 2010, Larry Southerland was cleared by the Decatur Airport control tower in Illinois for a high-speed taxi test of his newly completed amateur-built Freebird Litesport Ultra registered as N415US. According to the just released NTSB factual report, what followed was apparently an inadvertent takeoff in an airplane that couldn't be controlled in pitch, leading to an in-flight breakup consistent with structural overload. The right wing separated from the fuselage and was located 285 feet from the main wreckage, and the pilot was found about 63 feet from the wreckage. Read more
Around the Patch
Flying Light Planes and Ultralights on Skis
In this article, several ultralight and light plane pilots share their experiences flying their planes on skis in winter. Read how they did it and learn how to build your own economical skis with included photos and drawings.  Skis
Also included are sources for ready-to-fly skis and retractable skis. Don't let the snow on your runway reduce your enjoyment of the clear smooth air of winter flying. Read more
Henry Mignet HM 360 Project
What got me started on building an HM 360 Pou de Ciel (Flying Flea) goes back over 55 years to the mid to late '50s. Back then, we kids were called ramp rats, and we were always welcome because we would do any kind of work for a little flying time, or better yet, some flight instruction.  Flea
One day I saw a picture of an HM 14 on the front page of a magazine in the airport office, and I said to my friend John, "If I live to be an old man, by gosh, I'm going to build me one of those planes." Read more
Sirocket Twin-Jet Ultralight
It's called the Sirocket and it looks and flies like the name implies. Called a single-seat deregulated (SSDR) aircraft in the UK, the modified Sirocco microlight features two twin Jetcat P200SX large scale model turbines, each producing 52 pounds of thrust.  Sirocket
Builder Dave Stephens has almost eliminated the wing dihedral and shortened them by 8 feet. Its first flight reached nearly 60 knots, but aileron flex prevented an attempt at the max speed of 80. 
Watch the video
Lazair Designer Dale Kramer
Dale Kramer comes from a flying family, quickly earning his private pilot certificate at 17. He became fascinated with soaring and spent the next few years focused on building glider time while studying aeronautical engineering. Taking inspiration from the Superfloater design, Dale built from scratch what was to become one of the most successful ultralight designs in its era - the Lazair. He brought the completed machine to Oshkosh for AirVenture 2011, delighting crowds with his amazing yet practical electric-powered aircraft. 
Watch the video
Dale Kramer
How to Bail Out and Survive!
This webinar explores all aspects of a bailout including mental attitude, preflight preparation, getting out of your aircraft, deploying your parachute, and landing safely back on earth. You'll also learn other steps you can take to increase your chances of surviving a bailout and even how to choose the right parachute for you.

All webinars begin at 7 p.m. CST unless otherwise noted. To find out more about upcoming EAA webinars and to register, visit the webinars page. 

EAA gratefully acknowledges the support of Aircraft Spruce and Specialty Co. for its generous sponsorship of the webinar programs.

Videos from the light plane world
Ballistic Parachute Test
Shark Ballistic Parachute Rescue system test firing was successful but with an unexpected ending.

  Light Plane World Videos
Watch the video

Lazair Hovering
Twin-engine Lazair ultralight hovers in a 28-mph headwind.
Light Plane World Videos
Watch the video
Winter Flying Clothing
Paul Hamilton explains his system for electrically heated clothing for open-air aircraft and trikes.
Light Plane World Videos
Watch the video
Submit light plane videos that you just had to watch again; and probably forwarded to your friends. Send them to

Q. Do engine temperature gauges read high or low in the winter?

A. It depends on the gauges and the application but most round analog gauges do not compensate for ambient temperature. They measure the difference between the probe and a reference connection built into the instrument typically assumed to be at 59 degree F. If it is colder than 59, the instrument will display a reading higher than actual temperature at the probe location. Your gauges may read high in winter. Read more engine questions and answers

Fixed Wing - Skis
Q. What requirements are there for an ultralight or light plane to be modified with skis?

A. Ultralight vehicles operated under FAR 103 can be modified with skis provided they don't increase the empty weight above the 254-pound limit. There's no extra weight allowance for skis. No vehicle or pilot authorization is required. Read more

Q. Is there a reference for technical information about installing skis?

A. Yes, the FAA publishes Advisory Circular 43.13-2B. Chapter 5 in this AC provides details of ski installations. A copy of the AC can be downloaded from the Internet by clicking here.

Q. Is there a reference for technical information on the operation of ski-equipped aircraft?

A. Yes, the FAA publishes a Skiplane and Seaplane flying handbook, FAA-H-8083-23. Chapter 7, in this handbook provides operational details of skiplanes. A copy of this handbook can be downloaded from the Internet by clicking here.

From the archives
Supercat Super Champ Experimenter, November 1994

From the ArchivesSteve Carruthers was a national champion in American Model Association's (AMA) Pattern Precision Aerobatic contest when he was building his Supercat. Designer Bobby Baker used wood and foam for his plans-built Bobcat and the Supercat designs. Steve liked his father's Supercat but wanted to make one even better. His significant changes made it really super. Read the article

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From the EAA Light Plane Community
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Q. Which statement best describes your experience with rejected takeoffs (more commonly known as aborted takeoffs)?

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