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EAA's Light Plane World
  ISSUE 3 MAY / JUNE 2012
From the Editor
It Was 30 Years Ago Today
By Dan Grunloh, Editor, Light Plane World

In June of this year, it will be 30 years since the FAA issued the regulation that defined ultralights in the United States and eliminated the requirement for foot-launch capability. This simple cost-effective approach stimulated three decades of innovation and advancement in light planes that we enjoy today. Plans are underway to celebrate the 30th anniversary of FAR 103 at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2012 with special events and programs down on “the Farm.” Read more

Dan Grunloh
Green Acres
Leverage Your Fun – a Talk by Roy Beisswenger
By Dan Grunloh, Editor, Light Plane World
Award-winning aviation journalist and powered parachute instructor and examiner Roy Beisswenger gave a talk at the 2012 Illinois Ultralight and Light Plane Safety Seminar about adding a new category or class to your pilot certificate. The 200 or more attendees got the benefit of some really terrific advice on the subject, but the rest of you missed it. So I want to share with you some of the secrets revealed. Read more Roy Beisswenger
Light Plane News
FAR103 30th Anniversary at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2012
By Timm Bogenhagen, EAA Ultralight & Light-Plane Community Manager
Ultralight vehicles regulated by FAR Part 103 celebrate a 30th anniversary this year. Since the enacting of Part 103 in 1982 aviators have taken to the sky to fly just for fun. During the week of July 23-29, 2012 various activities will take place in the ultralight/light-plane area to celebrate the tremendous freedoms and fun that flying ultralights offer. EAA encourages ultralight owners to either fly or trailer their planes to Oshkosh. 30 years
Read more
Bensen Days 2012 Gyroplane Fly-In
By Tim O’Connor, EAA 714900, for Light Plane World
Every April for the past 39 years, PRA Chapter 26 (Sunstate Wing & Rotor Club) has hosted an event called “Bensen Days” at an airport in Florida.

This event is named for Dr. Igor Bensen who helped give birth to the homebuilt aircraft market, created the Popular Rotorcraft Association (PRA), and worked with the FAA to create the experimental and FAR 103 ultralight regulations.
Bensen Days
Read more
Rotax 912 Oil Filter Gasket Cost $20,000
The oil filter gasket of a Rotax 912 series engine can cost $20,000 or more if it is one you don’t need, according to a safety tip received by Light Plane World.

An experienced Rotax 912 owner was distracted and failed to notice the old oil filter gasket was retained on the engine case when a new filter with gasket was installed.
Rotax 912
Read more
FAA Grants New Exemption for Operation Migration
An FAA exemption has been granted that will allow the weight-shift-trike-led whooping crane migration effort to continue, according to an announcement by project leader Joe Duff.

The pilots will not need to obtain a commercial rating but must upgrade from sport pilot to private pilot, and the trikes must be factory-built S-LSA type beginning in 2013.
Read more

Indiana Safety Seminar 2012 Report
By Mark Poliak, for Light Plane World

Indy Flyers EAA Chapter 1527 hosted the 2012 Indiana Safety Seminar on March 17, 2012, at Indianapolis Executive Airport. The airport facility served us extremely well although a dense morning fog prevented early flights in.   Indiana Saftey
Several ultralight and GA pilots from Wabash, Crawfordsville, and Richmond hung out at the Eagle Creek Airport for an hour and a half and then flew in midmorning. Total attendance was just less than 100 pilots for the daylong event.

Read more
Zenith Introduces New Larger CH 750
Zenith Aircraft revealed a new version of its STOL CH 750 design at the 2012 Sun ’n Fun International Fly-in & Expo. The cabin, which was already very roomy, has been increased in size by raising the cabin height by nearly three inches.   Zenith
The ceiling has been raised and is now part of the lifting surface of the aircraft. The formed Plexiglas top window adds to the lifting surfaces of the aircraft, providing additional performance and capability according to the Zenith website.
Air Creation Skypper LSA Coming to United States
Neil Bungard of Air Creation USA LLC confirmed that the first Air Creation Skypper trike to be certificated as a special light-sport aircraft (S-LSA) will arrive in the United States from France in May. The 100-hp Rotax 912 powered trike will be fitted with the new NuviX variable geometry wing. Skypper
The Skypper is intended to replace Air Creation’s very popular GTE and incorporates many advanced features of its top-of-the-line Tanarg LSA and BioniX wing. Read more
Readers Respond to Moller LSA News Story
By Dan Grunloh, Editor, Light Plane World, EAA 173888
Light Plane World readers were quick to respond to a news story in the recent February/March 2012 issue. It summarized a news brief from Moller International Inc. stating the company had completed preliminary plans for two VTOL aircraft that, in its words, “may qualify for the light-sport aircraft (LSA) category.” Our readers felt strongly that we failed to point out relevant information about the story and about the company. Moller
Read more.
Sam LS: Modern Retro LSA Takes Shape
Unveiled at Sebring and expected to show at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2012, the Sam LS from HAIM Aviation Inc. is a modern LSA design that looks like a WWII trainer, but promises economy, comfort, reliability, and reparability. Sam LS
Company founder Thierry Zibi said, “I want people to know that the Sam LS project is real—it’s not just the dream of some guy with a computer.”

Read more
Sun ’n Fun Fly-in and Expo 2012 Award Winners
The Grand Champion ultralight at the 2012 Sun ’n Fun International Fly-In & Expo was a Skycycle trike by Michael Theeke of Wildwood, Georgia, and the Grand Champion light-sport aircraft was a Vans RV-12 by Pete Krotie of Bell Buckle, Tennessee. Sun'n Fun
The complete list of winning aircraft for the 2012 fly-in can be viewed here. Photos and lists of past winners can be found under aircraft judging in the “events and activities” tab at
Around the Patch
Who Was Flying The Predator?
By Vance Breese, EAA 705840, for Light Plane World
I recently had a very strong experience while flying my Predator gyroplane, and I have talked to other pilots who also feel they were watching someone else fly. I felt I had been watching someone who knew what they were doing without thinking about it or struggling with it emotionally. Vance Breese
The timing was impeccable and the control precise. Whoever it was I want to fly with them again. Read more
My Adventure Flight to Florida – in a Trike
By Krista Miller, for Light Plane World
Tuesday, February 14, 2012. A certificated fixed wing pilot flying to Florida in January in a trike? Crazy, you say? Perhaps. Cold, you think? Indeed. Adventure, you wonder? Definitely!

On Saturday afternoon, a very dear friend, John Williams, arrived at the York County Airport (KUZA) in Rock Hill, South Carolina, from his home airport in Williamsburg, Virginia. We were flying in his trike to Cedar Key, Florida.
Krista Miller
Read more
Trike Adventure to Lake Superior
By Kevin Szalapski, for Light Plane World
My name is Kevin Szalapski from St. Paul, Minnesota. I have been a sport pilot for 6 years and currently fly an Airborne 912XT weight shift trike. Every year since 1985 my two friends Tom and Aaron and I have taken trips to Lake Superior in July or August with two personal watercraft to explore the miles of remote and wild shoreline of Lake Superior. The islands, bays, lighthouses, shipwrecks, and history kept bringing us back year after year. Superior
Read more
AirVenture Oshkosh 2011 Diary, Part 2 – The Fun Begins
By Jerry “Engine” Anderson, EAA 351622
In the continuation of “Engine” Anderson’s Oshkosh diary, he tells the personal story of what it’s like to be a part of the action down on “the Farm” in the ultralight and light plane area at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. On his second day of flying, he and his Kolb Firefly ultralight have a close encounter of the undesirable kind. Read the story Engine
Magnetic Fingers Shop Tip Feedback
Patrick Lynn, EAA 598536, a machinist and toolmaker working in the defense and aeronautical field, wrote to say he has had problems with “magnetic fingers” as mentioned in the February/March 2012 issue of Light Plane World. They work fine in a clean environment, but any metal chips produced from cutting or grinding will find their way to even hardware that is only in contact with a magnet for a short period. The screws, washers, and nuts picked up with magnetic fingers all gain a little magnetism. When you strip off excess hardware from a magnet, the hardware picks up a bit of magnetism and gets put back in the case to rub against all the other hardware, so all the hardware is contaminated. The small magnetic chips and grinding dust will contaminate fiberglass layups or paint jobs, leaving people trying to figure out what went wrong. Tweezers or needle-nose pliers do a better job without the risk of contamination. When you strip off excess hardware from a magnet, the hardware picks up a bit of magnetism and gets put back in the case to rub against all the other hardware, so all the hardware is contaminated. The small magnetic chips and grinding dust will contaminate fiberglass layups or paint jobs, leaving people trying to figure out what went wrong. Tweezers or needle-nose pliers do a better job without the risk of contamination. 
Videos from the light plane world
Kamron Belvins Flying a Trike at Sun ’n Fun
Wing and trike designer Kamron Blevins of North Wing Design flying a Scout XC Apache S-LSA trike with strutted wing at the 2012 Sun ’n Fun International Fly-In & Expo.

  Light Plane World Videos
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Gyroplane Flying at Bensen Days
Passenger’s view flying at Bensen Days gyroplane fly-in March 2012 in Wauchula, Florida. The gyroplane is a Tandem Dominator with a Rotax 914 engine. Video includes air-to-air footage of Butterfly Monarch gyroplane with a smoke system.
Light Plane World Videos
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Rotax Introduces the Rotax 912iS Fuel-Injected Aircraft Engine
Dave Loveman captured an expert and detailed tour of the new Rotax 912 iS fuel-injected aircraft engine in an interview with Eric Tucker of the Rotax Flying and Safety Club during the 2012 Sun ’n Fun International Fly-In & Expo.
Light Plane World Videos
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Submit light plane videos that you just had to watch again; and probably forwarded to your friends. Send them to

Q.How do fuel pumps differ between two- and four-cycle engines?

A. A diaphragm pump is the primary pump in the fuel system for two-stroke engines. Air pulses in the crankcase actuate a diaphragm and provide fuel under pressure to the carburetor. Four-stroke engines have a mechanical pump driven directly off the engine.

Both engine types sometimes use an electrically driven auxiliary pump for use in engine starting and in the event the engine pump fails. The auxiliary pump, also known as a boost pump, provides added reliability to the fuel system. The electrically driven auxiliary pump is controlled by a switch in the cockpit.

Powered Parachute
Q. How can I center the wing under the cart while on the ground?

A. The steering controls can be used to reduce the wing’s side-to-side oscillation, or assist with the centering of the wing during the rolling (takeoff) preflight. For example, if the wing is far left of center and is beginning to move back to center (from left to right), you can add some left control pressure to slow the wing’s (right moving) inertia and thus keep it from overshooting the center position above the cart. Or, if the wing is far right of center and you want to begin the wing’s motion back to its normal and safe position above the cart, you could help initiate the wing’s motion to the left by applying slight left steering pressure.

Weight Shift Trike
Q. How is pitch controlled on a trike?

A. The pitch control system is a simple hinge on the keel at the hang point that allows the pilot to push the control bar out and pull the control bar in to control pitch. This wing attachment is different for each manufacturer, but all designs have this hang point wing attachment so the control bar is always perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the aircraft. This raising and lowering of the nose is the pitch control system for the weight-shift-control aircraft.

Fixed-Wing Airplane
Q. How do I hand-prop my airplane?

A. An engine should not be hand-propped unless two people, both familiar with the airplane and hand-propping techniques, are available to perform the procedure. The person pulling the propeller blades through directs all activity and is in charge of the procedure. The other person, thoroughly familiar with the controls, must be seated in the airplane with the brakes set. As an additional precaution, chocks may be placed in front of the main wheels. If this is not feasible, the airplane’s tail may be securely tied. Never allow a person unfamiliar with the controls to occupy the pilot’s seat when hand-propping. The procedure should never be attempted alone.

When hand propping is necessary, the ground surface near the propeller should be stable and free of debris. Unless a firm footing is available, consider relocating the airplane. Loose gravel, wet grass, mud, oil, ice, or snow might cause the person pulling the propeller through to slip into the rotating blades as the engine starts.

Both participants should discuss the procedure and agree on voice commands and expected action. To begin the procedure, the fuel system and engine controls (tank selector, primer, pump, throttle, and mixture) are set for a normal start. The ignition/magneto switch should be checked to be sure that it is OFF. Then the descending propeller blade should be rotated so that it assumes a position slightly above the horizontal. The person doing the hand propping should face the descending blade squarely and stand slightly less than one arm’s length from the blade. If a stance too far away were assumed, it would be necessary to lean forward in an unbalanced condition to reach the blade. This may cause the person to fall forward into the rotating blades when the engine starts. The procedure and commands for hand propping are:

  • Person out front says, “GAS ON, SWITCH OFF, THROTTLE CLOSED, BRAKES SET.”
  • Pilot seat occupant, after making sure the fuel is ON, mixture is RICH, ignition/magneto switch is OFF, throttle is CLOSED, and brakes are SET, says, “GAS ON, SWITCH OFF, THROTTLE CLOSED, BRAKES SET.”
  • Person out front, after pulling the propeller through to prime the engine, says, “BRAKES AND CONTACT.”
  • Pilot seat occupant checks the brakes are SET and turns the ignition switch ON, then says, “BRAKES AND CONTACT.”

The propeller is swung by forcing the blade downward rapidly, pushing with the palms of both hands. If the blade is gripped tightly with the fingers, the person’s body may be drawn into the propeller blades should the engine misfire and rotate momentarily in the opposite direction. As the blade is pushed down, the person should step backward, away from the propeller. If the engine does not start, the propeller should not be repositioned for another attempt until it is certain the ignition/magneto switch is turned OFF.

From the archives
Collection of Ultralight Advertisements From 1982

From the ArchivesThis assortment of full-page ads seen in EAA’s Ultralight magazine in 1982 captures the state of the technology just prior to the introduction of the FAR 103 ultralight regulations. Check out the prices and see the photos of a Quicksilver being foot-launched. All unregistered ultralights prior to FAR 103 were required to be capable of foot-launching. View the collection

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