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EAA's Light Plane World
From the Editor
If It's Broke, Fix It
By Dan Grunloh, Editor, Light Plane World

It began as an occasional single drop of fuel from a brass fuel shutoff valve at the lowest point of the fuel system on a weight-shift-control experimental light-sport aircraft. It was rarely noticed, and never apparent when operating from sod airstrips. The owner considered it to be little more than an inconvenience for months, until it was parked for a time on a concrete tarmac for breakfast at a local airport restaurant. Read more

Dan Grunloh
Green Acres
Teacher Flies High Learning
and Teaching Aviation
By Helen Woods, EAA 686952, for Light Plane World
Rob Rice never dreamed that he'd be learning to fly a light-sport airplane as part of his first teaching job when he was earning his master's degree in integrative science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education at Virginia Tech. Most sunny afternoons, however, Rob can be found at the Bay Bridge Airport in Maryland doing exactly that. He was hired to teach an aeronautics ground school; the high school sent him to be trained as a sport pilot so he could better teach his class. Read more Rob Rice
Light Plane News
Flight Design Extends Warranty
In a move to ensure its customers gain added value with the purchase of a new aircraft such as the CTLS, MC, or the new four-seat C4, German manufacturer Flight Design has significantly improved its warranty program, calling it the XP or eXtended Protection Warranty.  Flight Design
The extended five-year airframe warranty is offered at no cost and is even applied retroactively. Warranty aircraft must be serviced at the selling Flight Design Service Center or another repair facility with preauthorization. Read more
Chesapeake Sport Pilot Accepting Deposits for the New SeaRey LSX
Chesapeake Sport Pilot, the largest light-sport flight center in the country, is now accepting deposits for the new factory-built SeaRey S-LSA (special light-sport aircraft). Delivery of factory-built SeaReys is expected to begin in 2012, and a deposit of only $5,000 will secure one of the first delivery slots. SeaRey LSX
The SeaRey is a two-place, amphibious flying boat. It has been available as a kit for nearly 20 years with nearly 300 flying in the United States and over 500 sold worldwide. Read more
Moller International Designs VTOL LSA
By Dan Grunloh, Editor - Light Plane World, EAA 173888
Moller International Inc., the developer of the vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) Moller Skycar aircraft, announced the completion of the initial design phase for two new Skycar aircraft that may qualify for the light-sport aircraft (LSA) category.  Moller Skycar
The company website has published projected specifications and performance predictions for both single-seat and two-seat versions. Unlike other Moller designs, the 200LS concept aircraft uses two fixed nacelles for forward thrust and a single lifting duct in the body. Read more
Beware of Unauthorized/Counterfeit FAA Handbooks
Flight instructor, author, and filmmaker Paul Hamilton of Adventure Productions reported that one of his students complained about poor-quality, unusable black-and-white graphics contained in printed copies of FAA handbooks purchased through the Internet. Apparently some publishers have been reformatting, shrinking, and printing FAA publications in black  WSC Manual
and white, so they are not up to the original standards. Unfortunately the books are presented as approved FAA publications and do not clearly disclose the loss of color graphics. Online reviews by purchasers confirm the problem. Read more
Rocky Mountain Light Sport Expo
The 2012 Rocky Mountain Light Sport Expo will be held May 19 to 20 at the Front Range Airport (KFTG) in Denver, Colorado. The event, sponsored by the Colorado Pilots Association, is the only one of its kind in the area. Vendors are already signing up. You can register online to win a free flight in a Sky Raider LSA.  Rocky Mountain LSA Expo
The Rocky Mountain Light Sport Expo website provides driving and flying information for this Class D airport and will give a better view of the classic aviation poster art by Joe Jones.
Watch PBS The Aviators UL Episode Online
You can watch full 25-minute episodes of the PBS aviation series The Aviators online, thanks to the movie host Hulu. Episode 10 from the first season is about ultralights and aircraft auctions and includes video footage from the 2010 Sun 'n Fun International Fly-In & Expo. The Aviators
Highlights are an extended interview with Airborne trike dealer Scott Johnson and flyby action that includes float planes, light-sport aircraft, and the late Mark Stull with his Lucky Stars ultralight. Some of the dialogue about ultralights is curiously outdated. Watch this and other The Aviator episodes on or on the site
Aircraft Reporters TV Website
A new website containing videos related to ultralight and light-sport aviation has been established by Heartland Aviation Group Inc., the publisher of Aviators Hotline. Its motto is "Specializing in bringing buyers and sellers together since 1966." The website already contains 173 professionally produced quality viewable videos and is sure to grow much larger. Aircraft Reporters
A built-in search function makes it easy to find videos on any subject. If you have a slow connection, the player may take a minute or two to load, but once it starts you will see the latest videos about ultralight and light-sport aircraft. Check it out at
Duc Prop Safety Information
The latest newsletter from includes safety warnings about the use of Duc propellers on direct-drive engines. Love4aviation is a New Zealand-based company that supplies aviation products, including the Dynaero line of aircraft, propellers, silencers, and aircraft management systems. Love4Aviation claims that safety issues related to the use of Duc propellers on Jabiru and other engines have not been effectively communicated to the users. Due to alleged quality control problems and unsatisfactory warranty response, Love4Aviation says it will no longer supply Duc props to clients and have, in its words appearing on the website, "repudiated" the French company Duc Helices. Read more
Around the Patch
New York to Florida in a Remos LSA
By Gregory Lettieri, for Light Plane World
I am a sport pilot instructor for Mid Island Flight School in New York, and I recently completed a flight from New York to the Florida Keys in a Remos GX light-sport aircraft. Obsessed with flying ever since I could walk, I had my eyes set on becoming an airline pilot. Greg Lettieri
Achieving my pilot certificate in high school, and getting my instrument rating a year later, I was well on my way toward my goal. Obstacles were a commercial certificate and about 1,000 hours of flight time. Read more
AirVenture Oshkosh 2011 Diary
By Jerry Anderson, EAA 351622, for Light Plane World
Everyone has an image in his head of the perfect vacation. Travel to an exotic destination, a white sand beach, a five-star hotel. My perfect vacation is 10 days in a Wisconsin cow pasture sleeping in my van. Crazy? Why yes, thank you, I am crazy for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. Kolb
I have attended EAA's annual convention for the last 22 years and I'm looking forward to the next 22. I did upgrade my accommodations this year; I got a newer van. Read more
Rotec Liquid Cooled Heads for Jabiru Engines
By Marino Boric, EAA 1069644, for Light Plane World
Numerous owners of Jabiru-powered airplanes worldwide have the same problem in certain meteorological conditions. As the air outside warms up-let's say over 85 F-the most consulted gauge is the CHT (cylinder head temperature).  Rotec Heads
Those flying in really hot regions like Texas and Australia have an even bigger problem. For the pilot, relief is a sip of cool water from the bottle, but for the "fever" in the engine compartment there wasn't a solution until Paul Chernikeeff from Rotec Engineering in Australia got an idea. Read more
Challenger Project Patrol in Experimenter
By Chad Jensen, EAA 755575, EAA Homebuilders Community Manager
The January edition of the Experimenter newsletter includes an article about the construction of a new Quad City Aircraft design, the Challenger II Special by Don Weigt of Madison, Wisconsin. The story includes a dozen photographs of the construction and lots of details about the HKS-powered project. Experimenter is an online newsletter for the EAA homebuilt and kit plane community that features articles and news stories which may be of interest to light plane enthusiasts. Read the story Experimenter
Magnetic Fingers - Shop Tip
By Paul Fiebich, EAA 577724, for Light Plane World
The convenience of those small clear plastic hardware storage boxes is sometimes overshadowed by the difficulty of removing hardware from the small compartments. By the time I get a finger and thumb in the compartment, I can't separate them to grasp a nut, washer, or other small hardware item.  Magnetic
My solution is to use a magnet on the end of a flexible cable. Once the attracted hardware is removed from the compartment, strip off the items needed and return the balance to the compartment. A magnetic screwdriver or tack hammer will do the job just as well.
Videos from the light plane world
Spin-Testing the Eurofox
World and U.K. microlight champion competition pilot Paul Dewhurst of Flylight Airsports Ltd conducted spin tests on the Eurofox LSA. Paul is the only pilot to have won international gold medals in all four classic microlight categories: single-place and two-place, in both trikes and fixed wings.

  Light Plane World Videos
Watch the video

Wonderland - The Real Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines
A documentary follows three teams of microlight enthusiasts (out of 69 total) who attempted to navigate their way across Britain for three days of flying armed only with a map and compass, hoping to win the Round Britain Microlight Rally.
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

Featured Photo Galleries

The Airplanes Built by Mark Stull
This collection of photos features the designs built and flown by the late ultralight builder and designer Mark Stull. None of these airplanes exist anymore because he used components of each creation for construction of the subsequent model. The sequence of designs shows he was a very creative and free thinker. The photos are all courtesy of Bill Yeates. View the gallery


Q. What are the common sources of fuel contamination?

A. Clean fuel is imperative for the safe operation of an aircraft. Of the accidents attributed to powerplant failure from fuel contamination, most have been traced to:

  • failure to remove contamination from the fuel system during preflight
  • servicing aircraft with improperly filtered fuel from small tanks or drums
  • storing aircraft with partially filled fuel tanks
  • lack of proper maintenance.

Rust is common in metal fuel containers and is a common fuel contaminant. Metal fuel tanks should be filled after each flight, or at least after the last flight of the day to prevent moisture condensation within the tank. Another way to prevent fuel contamination is to avoid refueling from cans and drums. Use a water-filtering funnel or a funnel with a chamois skin when refueling from cans or drums. However, the use of a chamois will not always ensure decontaminated fuel. Worn-out chamois will not filter water; neither will a new, clean chamois that is already water-wet or damp. Most imitation chamois skins will not filter water.

Powered Parachute
Q. Where can I fly my powered parachute?

A. The powered parachute can be transported by trailer from one flying field to the next. For as many benefits as this provides, transporting the powered parachute into unfamiliar territory also includes some safety and operational issues.

Make contact with the airport management to inquire about any special arrangements that may need to be made prior to departing from an unfamiliar airport. Check the Airport/Facility Directory (A/FD) for traffic pattern information, no-fly zones surrounding the airport, and special accommodations that may need to be arranged.

While in the vicinity of an airport within Class G airspace, FAR 91.126 states that powered parachutes must avoid the flow of fixed wing aircraft. In addition, you should inform local pilots about some of the incidentals of powered parachute flight (such as flying low and slow); the more information that other category pilots know about powered parachute flight characteristics, the more they will understand the specific needs of the powered parachute in flight. Sharing the same airspace with various aircraft categories requires pilots to know and understand the rules, and understand the flight characteristics and performance limitations of the different aircraft.

Weight Shift Trike
Q. What are the battens?

A. Stiff preformed battens are parts of the wing that create and maintain the airfoil shape from the root to the tips of the wing. They serve a similar purpose and are like a rib in a fixed wing airplane. Battens are removable so the wing can be taken apart for storage or transporting. Additionally, a foam or Mylar stiffener is inserted in a pocket at the leading edge to keep a rigid airfoil shape between the battens from the leading edge up to the airfoil high point. Double surface wings have additional ribs on the bottom surface that are straight or formed to maintain the bottom surface camber.

Fixed-Wing Airplane
Q. What is an effective visual scanning technique?

A. Effective scanning is accomplished with a series of short, regularly spaced eye movements that bring successive areas of the sky into the central visual field. Each movement should not exceed 10 degrees, and each should be observed for at least one second to enable detection. Although back-and-forth eye movements seem preferred by most pilots, each pilot should develop a scanning pattern that is most comfortable and then adhere to it to ensure optimum scanning. Even if entitled to the right-of-way, a pilot should yield if another aircraft seems too close.

Q. What is a slip in the helicopter?

A. A slip occurs when the helicopter slides sideways toward the center of the turn. It is caused by an insufficient amount of antitorque pedal in the direction of the turn, or too much in the direction opposite the turn, in relation to the amount of power used. In other words, if you hold improper antitorque pedal pressure, which keeps the nose from following the turn, the helicopter slips sideways toward the center of the turn.

From the archives
Firefly - The New Generation of Ultralights

From the ArchivesDennis Souder of Kolb Aircraft explains how the Kolb Firefly ultralight evolved from the earlier Kolb Firstar model. The Firefly has a reduced wing area but employs wing flaps specifically to comply with the requirements of ultralight advisory circular AC 103.7. The design goal was to produce an FAR103 legal ultralight that could be powered with the popular Rotax 447 twin-cylinder engine. Read the article.

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