December 3, 2004    Volume 4, Number 58



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Q & A: 
Question of the Week
Question for EAA Aviation Services:

I recently purchased a kitbuilt Sonex taildragger with the Jabiru 2200 from the builder in Canada and brought it back to California where I am going through the registration process. It has 27.5 hours and has its Canadian airworthiness certificate. My local FAA inspector cited FAR 61.315A saying that if I register it as “Experimental” (for which the aircraft qualifies) I would need a private pilot certificate to fly it. If I register it as a Light-Sport Aircraft, then I could fly it as sport pilot. I was under the impression that experimentals which meet the LSA qualifications could be registered as Experimental (and maintained within those standards), and that a sport pilot could fly those planes within the SP/LSA guidelines.

Your FAA inspector is incorrect. A sport pilot can fly any aircraft that meets the definition of a light-sport aircraft (LSA), regardless of what category the aircraft is certificated in. The LSA definition (ref: 14 CFR 1.1) contains no requirement that the aircraft be certificated in an LSA category. This being the case, you could operate the Sonex as a sport pilot, even though it holds an experimental/amateur-built airworthiness certificate, so long as the aircraft fits within the LSA definition. (For the purpose of the regulations, the FAA considers any aircraft that meets the LSA definition to be a "light-sport aircraft," regardless of its certification category.)

This is a good thing, as in your case you won't have the option of certificating the Sonex in the experimental/LSA category anyway. In order for an aircraft to be transitioned into the E/LSA category, it must never have been issued an airworthiness certificate in any country (ref: 14 CFR 21.191(i)(1)). Since your Sonex was previously issued an amateur-built certificate in Canada, it is not eligible for an E/LSA certificate in the US. This being the case, you should continue to pursue an experimental / amateur-built airworthiness certificate for your Sonex. Again, you will be allowed to operate the aircraft as a sport pilot, providing that it meets the definition of a LSA.

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December 2004
EAA Desktop Calendar

EAA Chief Photographer Jim Koepnick photographed this rare appearance of Northern Lights, from atop Compass Hill at EAA headquarters in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Place this beautiful image  on your desktop by visiting the EAA website. We have five different resolutions to best suit your screen.

Sport Pilot News . . . 
FSDOs Can Issue Student Sport Pilot Certificates
The FAA has released specific instructions to its Flight Standards District Offices (FSDOs) outlining procedures for issuing student pilot certificates to sport pilot candidates. The notice, N 8700.34, Issuance of Student Pilot Certificates to Sport Pilot Candidates, should clear up any confusion in the field regarding issuance of student pilot certificates, says Martin Weaver, FAA's Light Sport Aviation Branch manager. Questions regarding the notice should be directed to the Certification and Flight Training Branch, AFS-840, at 202/267-9374.

EAA Uses eBay as Another Channel of Commerce and Outreach
EAA today launched its first venture into the world of on-line commerce in the eBay marketplace. A catalog of the offerings is available on EAA's "About Me" page. The on-line auction continues through December 10, 2004.

"This is a worthwhile and fun way to engage our members and others in raising additional funds for our projects in youth education, historical preservation, and enriched participant experiences, and to begin positioning EAA in this growing marketplace," said Elissa Lines, EAA vice president of development.
(read more)

Steve Fossett to Launch World Flight From Kansas in January
Adventurist and multiple world record holder Steve Fossett, EAA 562868, will attempt his nonstop, 80-hour solo flight around the world in the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer jet in early January 2005 from the Salina, Kansas, Municipal Airport (SLN). Favorable weather conditions will determine the actual launch date, Virgin Atlantic said at a Wednesday press conference held at the airport’s M.J. Kennedy Air Terminal. Mission control headquarters will be at the adjacent Kansas State University-Salina’s College of Technology and Aviation. The mission control team will be in constant communication with Fossett as he pilots the single-engine jet designed by Burt Rutan and built at Scaled Composites, Mojave, California.
(read more)

Live Webcasts Bring EAA Events to the World 
The EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, plays host to two very special events in the month of December, and EAA members throughout the world are invited to "attend" through the EAA Members only website. Live webcasts are planned for the December 7 commemoration, "Remember Pearl Harbor: Was Admiral Kimmel to Blame?" and the gala Wright Brothers Memorial Banquet on December 17 featuring keynote speaker, pilot and astronaut of SpaceShipOne Mike Melvill. Tickets for Mike Melvill on Dec. 17 are going fast. Get yours today!
Call for Entries...
29th Annual EAA Sport Aviation Art Competition
Entries are being accepted for the 29th Annual Sport Aviation Art Competition, showcase for some of the best aviation art in the country. Past competitions have been based on a single overriding theme, such as last year’s “Launching the Next Century of Flight.” That all changes this year, as artists can submit artwork in one of four separate categories that better reflect EAA membership:

  • Warbirds - All Military aircraft 
  • Antique/Vintage - Pre 1945 aircraft 
  • Sport Aviation - General Aviation, Ultralights, Light-Sport, and Aerobatic aircraft 
  • Open Category - All other aviation related artwork not covered above. (Commercial, space, etc.)

Another welcome addition to this year’s competition will be a $250 award prize to first place winners of each category. The work judged “Best of Show” will be awarded $1,000. Please note that competition is open to all EAA members age 18 and older. A youth art contest will be announced at a later date. The deadline for entries is March 25, 2005. For more information and entry forms, visit or contact Mary McKeown at 920/426-6880.

Reminder: B-17 Flights in Oshkosh on December 5
EAA is offering a rare opportunity for local residents to fly in a historic World War II bomber on Sunday, December 5, when the Boeing B-17 Fuddy Duddy will host flight experiences from Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh. The flights, held in conjunction with EAA’s annual B-17 Fantasy Flight Camp, are the only local opportunities for B-17 missions this year outside of the annual EAA AirVenture fly-in.
(read more)

EAA's 'Christmas in the Air' On December 13 
A festive atmosphere, holiday music from local musicians, and enjoyment for all ages are part of one of the area’s most unique holiday traditions - the 21st annual “Christmas in the Air” open house - which will take place at the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh on Monday, Dec. 13 from 2:30-8 p.m. EAA’s free Christmas program features performances by musical groups from the Oshkosh area, along with other activities and refreshments in the museum.
(read more)
Holiday Hoopla Sale at EAA Aeronautica
If you’re in or around the Oshkosh area from December 11-14, you're cordially invited to take in EAA's annual “Holiday Hoopla” sale at the EAA AirVenture Museum’s Aeronautica gift shop. Unique, special savings can be had on nearly every item in the store (sale good only at the Museum gift shop). The sale will also be in effect during the “Christmas in the Air” open house on Monday, Dec. 13.
Insurance Tips . . . 
Are you as good a pilot as you think you are?
By Bob Mackey
Falcon Insurance Agency

As I look back on my years of flying I recall that the first three or four years were spent mostly on flight training and achieving various pilot certificates and ratings. (I did my early flying and college learning at Southern Illinois University, which has a great aviation program.) I earned my Private Pilot Certificate and Single-Engine Land rating and later I obtained my Commercial Pilot Certificate and Instrument Rating. My core business classes in marketing and business administration kept me from finishing my Instructor Rating and Multi-Engine Rating. During my years at SIU it seemed I was always enrolled in flight training and ground school. Ironically, once I finished college my formal flight training pretty much stopped with the exception of passing a biennial flight review and an occasional rental check when I was between airplane ownerships. All this makes me wonder: Am I as good a pilot as I think I am?
(read more)


Goodbye, D-Wings; Hello, Military Channel
Aviation enthusiasts who regularly tune into the Discovery Wings channel will no longer be able to do so after January 10, 2005. That’s when Discovery Communications says it will transition to a new format, The Military Channel, on digital cable TV systems. The new format will offer “a broad focus on all aspects of the military, with a wide array of programming about its people, strategy, technology and history,” Discovery says. “While Discovery Wings Channel focused exclusively on aviation, the Military Channel will feature a dramatically broadened programming mission.” The network’s revamped slate of series and specials is designed to take viewers “behind the lines” to tell the personal stories of servicemen and women and offer in-depth explorations of military technology, battlefield strategy, aviation, and history. For more information, visit the Discovery Wings website.

Diamond Aircraft Certified in China, Announces 60-Airplane Sale
Diamond Aircraft has achieved Chinese certification for both its DA20 and DA40 airplanes and announced a significant purchase agreement for both aircraft models with a Chinese flight-training customer. The two-seat DA20-C1 received its CAAC certification in July 2004 and the DA40 in November 2004. The first four aircraft, DA40 DiamondStars, will arrive in Beijing early this month at Beijing PanAm International Aviation Academy. The order totals 60 aircraft and includes 41 DA40 Diamond Stars and 19 DA42 Twin Stars, both types including Garmin G1000 all-glass cockpits. “We anticipate the growing Chinese aviation market to potentially become a very significant portion of our future business,” said Christian Dries, Diamond CEO. “This initial contract with Beijing PanAm is significant in that it is the first introduction of state-of-the-art composite aircraft with all glass cockpits to China. These initial deliveries are the tip of the iceberg and we expect to make additional exciting announcements regarding Diamond Aircraft and China in the very near future.” For more information, visit

ARM Sees Increase in Aero Lift Sales
Once the idea of “stacking” aircraft in existing hangars caught on, sales for ARM Aerospace’s Aero Lift began to take off. ARM says it’s shipped over 150 units in the past 18 months and looks for further increased demand as word gets out. The Aero Lift makes use of heretofore “dead” overhead hangar space by allowing stacked storage of aircraft. Accelerating FBO purchases are fueling much of the growth providing operators new ways to accommodate more customers. ARM’s solutions allow General Aviation aircraft to be “racked and stacked,” which dramatically increases the number of aircraft that can be accommodated in existing hangars. Aero Lift also allows two owners to split rising hangar rents. The Aero-Lift and accessories can accommodate almost any type of single engine GA aircraft or helicopter. For more information, visit, or call 520/886-7329.

'Educated Owner' Video Series Now Available on DVD

Approach Aviation’s The Educated Owner Video Series, the fist video series dedicated to helping aircraft owners and pilots increase safety and reduce the costs associated with aircraft ownership, is now available on DVD. Approach Aviation re-edited the series to provide direct navigation for viewers to jump directly to key chapters and topics contained within each volume. The series includes Volume 1 - Preventive Maintenance; Vol. 2 - The Annual Inspection; and Vol. 3, Introduction to Aircraft Ownership. They cover the entire aircraft ownership experience, taking viewers step-by-step from finding the right plane and negotiating the deal, to owning and maintaining general aviation aircraft. Retail price for each volume is $39.95 or $109.95 for the entire series for Visit or call 877/564-4457 for more information.

Schools Acquire New Glass-Equipped Trainers
The University of Cincinnati (UC) Aviation Technology Program and Phoenix East Aviation (PEA), Daytona Beach, Florida announced this week that they have each added new Garmin G1000-equipped aircraft to their respective training fleets. UC purchased a new Cessna Skylane with a G1000, while PEA acquired a G1000-equipped Cessna 172SP Skyhawk "It's imperative for a leading collegiate aviation program to be on the cutting edge of flight deck technology," said UC's Director of Aviation Technology Eric Radtke. "The experience our graduates will gain from this airplane will be a tremendous competitive advantage in the marketplace." PEA General Manager Rick Trussell commented, “Our students are very excited about the opportunity to learn more about this integrated avionics system. Future generations of pilots will all be using such a system, so our students will have a superb opportunity to train with it now.” UC’s Aviation Technology Program is administered by Sporty's Academy, Inc., For more information on PEA, visit

Raytheon Offers One-Year Support Plus Maintenance Trial Plan 
New Beechcraft and Hawker customers can now subscribe to Raytheon Aircraft's Support Plus maintenance program for a one-year trial period. At the end of one year, owners will have the option of continuing the agreement for the full five-year term or ending the agreement with no further commitment. The owner will experience the same new-aircraft hourly rates as five-year subscribers. Support Plus provides owners of aircraft up to 10 years old with selectable options covering all maintenance issues. For a monthly service fee, Raytheon Aircraft becomes responsible for expenses including parts and labor for scheduled and unscheduled inspections, maintenance, and component removals, as well as service bulletin coverage. The program previously covered aircraft up to five years old. For more information, contact Derek Taylor at 316/676-3413, visit

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