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Flight Design CTLS Fighting Fires in Ecuador and Four-Seater Coming!


Dan Johnson

A firefighting department located at 8,300 feet mean sea level (MSL) at Cuenca, the third largest city in Ecuador, has acquired a Flight Design CTLS light-sport aircraft as its aerial support unit. The Air Volunteer Fire Department of Basin has begun operations at the Mariscal Lamar Airport with support from John Hurst and Jeremy Endsley of Sebring Aviation who bothtraveled to Ecuador to train fire department employees in assembly, maintenance, and flight training for the CTLS.

Fire department leader Hugo Cobo said, “Using the CTLS in this way, our fire department has an effective tool to help in search functions, recognition, and support of ground operations by providing a better service to the community of Cuenca.” The Flight Design CTLS is the first aircraft to be operated by the fire department and was chosen in part because of its low operating costs.

Cobo estimated the average monthly use will be 25 flight hours with the greatest use occurring during the fire season. All flights will be two-occupant even though the operational base is at 8,300 feet MSL. The aircraft is expected to improve the fire department’s response capability, giving more and better information about different emergencies. The Cuenca Fire Department supports other fire departments in the region and nationwide.
YouTube videos show the first flights of the CTLS under control of the fire department. Watch the takeoff video or this video of a landing at the airport in Ecuador. Flight Design is a 23-year-old air-sport products producer based in Germany. More than 1,500 of the CT series of light aircraft are flying in 39 countries, and the CT is the top-selling light-sport aircraft in the United States.

Flight Design is also nearing completion of a proof-of-concept four-seat model of the CT series and expects to show the new aircraft for the first time at Aero in Friedrichshafen, Germany, in April of 2011. Following the German debut, Flight Design will bring the four-seat concept aircraft to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.

The U.S. contact for Flight Design is John Gilmore (jgilmore@flightdesignusa.com), national sales manager of Flight Design USA, and the number is 612-759-2252. Flight Design USA in Connecticut can be reached at 860-963-7272. Also check out the Flight Design USA website.



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