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EAA's Light Plane World
  ISSUE 3, FEBRUARY 2010      
From the Editor
The Dunning-Kruger Effect in Aviation
By Dan Grunloh, Editor, Light Plane World
In 1999, two Cornell University scientists published a paper titled "Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments," which concluded what we already know: "You don't know what you don't know." Their research also went a bit further and supported another belief long held by teachers and philosophers: "the less you know, the more you think you know." Dan Grunloh
The results were so conclusive and widely accepted that the effect was soon named after the authors. Its implications are now recognized in areas such as business management, finance, medicine, and antique furniture appraisal. It may be caused by the way our brains work; no one was or is immune, not even Einstein, Mozart, or a space shuttle pilot. Read more
Green Acres
Top 6 Reasons to Become a Light-Sport Instructor
By Carol Carpenter
Carol CarpenterFirst let me just start with an important fact: A good flight instructor is by far the best asset a student pilot can procure. Let me also note that good instructors arenít necessarily good pilots, and good pilots arenít necessarily good instructors. But if you think youíve got what it takes to be a flight instructor, consider becoming part of the solution to the light-sport instructor shortage. Even though flight instruction doesnít promise the most lucrative of careers, keep in mind that by becoming a sport pilot instructor, you will be answering a calling and sharing the dream of flight. Read more
Light Plane News
Sport Pilot Rule Revisions Could Make Training Unnecessarily Burdensome
The training exemption for E-LSA used for flight instruction expired on January 31, 2010, causing many instructors to close their businesses and leave the sport they love. The FAA failed to develop guidance for the issuance of letters of deviation authority (LODAs) under ß91.319(h), which would have allowed these experienced and knowledgeable instructors to continue to use their aircraft for training.
Read more
Legal Eagle XL Ultralight Introduced
Eagle XL
Leonard Milholland has announced the availability of plans for a new enlarged version of his Better Half VW-powered Legal Eagle XL ultralight, especially designed for larger pilots. The Legal Eagle XL isn't merely an enlarged cockpit version of the original. It's an entirely new airframe. The original Legal Eagle was limited to a pilot weight of 225 pounds, but the new Legal Eagle XL is rated at 575 pounds gross weight and designed to accommodate a 275-pound pilot. The empty weight of the Legal Eagle XL is 246 pounds. Read more
Upcoming Ultralight and Light Plane Seminars
Annual ultralight and light-sport safety seminars have been announced for Illinois on February 27 and Indiana on March 13. The tradition of these events was started nearly three decades ago by Charlie Wells, an aerobatic pilot and ultralight enthusiast who helped Illinois bring safety information to the growing ultralight community. The seminars quickly grew to include light planes and have become a fun and educational way to meet friends and fellow pilots in your state. Read more
Multi-Continent Trike Flight for Charity Ends in Tragedy
Martin Bromage
What was supposed to be the beginning of a six-week adventure flying a microlight from London, England, to Sidney, Australia, ended in tragedy January 18, with the loss of the pilot over the English Channel on the first leg of the trip. British adventurer Martin Bromage planned the 11,733 mile flight spanning 18 countries to raise funds for wounded veterans. His aircraft was a 100 hp weight-shift trike, the P&M QuikR, which had a 38-gallon fuel tank and a range of 500 miles. As he approached the coastline of France his progress was stopped by low clouds and mist. Unable to find an alternate landing spot due to the weather, he apparently decided to return to England. Read more
Shell Aviation Launches New Two-Cycle Oil
Shell Aviation announced the availability of AeroShell Oil Sport Plus 2 for two-cycle engines, such as the Rotax air-cooled and water-cooled engines, at the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Florida. It's a major development for ultralight operators who previously used Pennzoil for air-cooled two-cycle engines. Read more
Belite Offers New Trike and Superlite Models
Belite Aircraft has unveiled its new Trike and the Superlite models this week at the Sebring US Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Florida. Like the original Belite 254 FAR Part 103 compliant ultralight aircraft, both models incorporate extensive use of weight-saving carbon fiber. The Trike features a free castering nose wheel and composite main gear, a 5 gallon spun aluminum fuel tank, and a fully-covered cockpit interior.  Read more
Hummingbird Sails Under New Ownership
Ron Jones of Thunderbird Aviation LLC and Phil Miller of North Fork Aviation have joined forces and acquired the assets of Hummingbird Sails, producer of pre-sewn wing, fuselage, and tail feather coverings for most ultralights and experimental aircraft using the pre-sewn envelope method of covering. The acquisition included complete patterns for 35 aircraft, and partials such as tail feathers for another 10. Thunderbird Aviation already manufactures the Hiperlight, including fabric coverings. The addition of two more experienced employees will make it possible to produce sails for a wide variety of ultralights going all the way back to the Weedhopper and Hummer. In addition to conventional Dacron, they can also build sails with the Mylar-laminated Dacron used on the T-Bird and others. Custom orders are welcome, and free shipping will be standard for all orders in 2010. Operations began February 1, 2010, under the name Hummingbird Aviation LLC at the North Fork Airport (97WI) between Stanley and Thorp, Wisconsin. To place an order or get pricing information, contact Thunderbird Aviation LLC at 586-212-5862. You can also e-mail or contact Phil Miller at 715-577-9532.
Around the Patch

A Lazair in Australia - and More
I consider myself fortunate to have been around at the beginning of the ultralight movement in Australia during the '70s. Ron Wheeler had begun the movement here with his Skycraft Scout, a simple high-wing two-axis machine powered by a lawn mower engine. Ron must have been a good talker, as he had convinced the then-Department of Aviation to allow what was then termed as "minimum aircraft" the freedom to fly these machines without a certificate or registration (similar to the FAA Part 103 regulations) Before long, there were several different manufacturers, and I found myself working for one that was starting to build a small machine called the Stolaero. Read more

Takeoff Checklist - Easy as A-B-C
Jim Bair
My basic philosophy on takeoff checklists is that they must include the items that can really do you or your equipment damage (seems obvious) and be easily useable (or they won't get used). Paper checklists can get very long in an attempt to be so complete that nothing gets missed. This may actually detract from safety by taking the pilot away from the really important task at hand-simply flying the aircraft. Or they end up not being used while flying a single seat machine. Read more
Finding a Flight School
Tecnam Eaglet
Locating a flight school for sport pilot training can be a frustrating matter. As with many successful new ventures, demand has greatly outpaced the industry's ability to provide training in most localities. However, we have good news: There are growing options and an increase in the number of schools offering training. Read more
From the EAA Light Plane Community
The message forums at Oshkosh365 are humming with activity. Here are the latest discussions!


Videos from the light plane world
Flying Car A Drifter flight in Israel submitted by EAA member Nati Niv.
The Maverick flying car is designed for use in unimproved areas. A Drifter flight in Israel submitted by EAA member Nati Niv.
Submit light plane videos that you just had to watch again; and probably forwarded to your friends. Send them to
Featured Audio
The Samson Motorworks SkyBikeEAA Radio
Sam Bousfield of Samson Motorworks talks with EAA Radio's Fast Eddie at AirVenture 2008 about the SkyBike, a 120hp roadable flying motorcycle made of carbon-fiber and titanium, featuring collapsible wings.

Listen to the program

Featured Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery

This month we bring you additional photos from the February issue of EAA Sport Aviation featuring Andrew Sneddenís M-7.  View the gallery

Other than reducing noise, what does the exhaust system do for my two-cycle engine?  Read the answer

Powered Parachute
How do you make adjustments to the center of gravity (CG)?  Read the answer

Weight Shift Trikes
What are the advantages of a strut braced or topless wing?  Read the answer

Fixed-Wing Airplane
How does ground effect affect my airplane?  Read the answer

Powered Paraglider
Can I teach myself to fly a powered paraglider?  Read the answer

From the archives
WoodhopperThe Woodhopper story is an interesting page in the early history of ultralights. The plans-built ultralight designed by John Chotia was made famous when it was featured in Popular Mechanics magazine in November 1981. It arrived five years after John Moody's first flight at the EAA convention. Thousands of plans sets were sold worldwide, as ordinary people embraced the idea of building their own ultralight. Read more
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