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LightSport Man Flies Over Obstacles
By Johnathan Mark Smith
July 6, 2016 - Everyone knows Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man but do you know who LightSport Man is?
LightSport Man is me, a pilot named Johnathan Mark Smith from Brooklyn, New York, who is currently living in Surprise, Arizona. Ever since I was a little boy I loved flying and aviation but then, in 2016, found a love of light-sport aircraft (LSA) at a late age. But there is a lot more to this story.
I was born with a very bad stuttering disorder and was told as a kid that I would be working on cars or packing bags at the local supermarket, if I was lucky, due to my disorder. Everyone in the school system had the same story: I was not going to become anything due to this stuttering disorder.
Back in about 2010 I started to looking into becoming a pilot. I always loved flying but was informed by a CFI that due to my stuttering disorder I would never pass the medical exam, so I quit thinking about becoming a pilot.
In December 2015 my girlfriend, Regan Goldring, and I went to Las Vegas for a weekend trip and had a helicopter tour. Regan turned to me and said she had “a great time and loved flying” and that was it! Hearing this from her made me think I needed to be a pilot. Within a number of hours, I contacted several flight schools in Arizona and found out about the sport pilot certificate, which meant I would not have to take a medical exam to become a pilot. Once again, though, I was informed that with the stuttering disorder I may not pass the checkride, but within a few weeks I passed the checkride and am now a sport pilot.
After looking back at everything, I said to myself “I am not stopping now: I am going to be a light-sport CFI” and now I’m well on the way. But there’s one more thing: I’m so happy to have found out about LSA that I want to share my love of it with others. I started LightSport Man to document my path to becoming a light-sport CFI and also to open the world of LSA to others that would never have found out about it. I am willing to give free flights to anyone that passes the qualifications.
What are the qualifications? You need to never have had a discovery flight, not be a pilot or student pilot, and be medically capable of flying. If you meet these qualifications, I will take you on a flight in an LSA for free.
Nothing in the world feels like flying in an LSA, not a Cessna, Piper, or 747. I want to open the doors into light-sport aviation for those who may not ever have had the opportunity.
My mission is to get as many future pilots into light sport as I can, and show how one man with a stuttering disorder has overcome it and is now a pilot.