Features

June 2010 Issue

Tips for “Full-Circle” Pilots

If youíre getting back into taildraggers to do LSA, thatís what you are. Forget flying by the numbers and think attitude, instinct, hand-eye coordination and...the rudder pedals.

Itís inevitable. Youíll be standing on the ramp, clutching an avgas receipt rivaling Greeceís national debt. Your chest throbs. You canít breathe, and ripping off your bolo tie, you scream, "Enough! I canít take this anymore!" Heart attack? Time to kiss 30 years of flying good-bye? Perhaps, but in this scenario, no. Instead, as you wander off toward your car, itís first-love rekindled as you spot an old flame lounging in the grass across the field: a 1946 Aeronca Champ. And as your six-place Twin Turbo-Moneysucker is tugged off to its hangar, you stumble zombie-like toward the little taildragger and stammer to its owner, "I learned to fly in one of theseÖ." She, then, takes your hand, guides you into the front seat and whispers, "Itís time. Weíve been waiting for you." When she swings the prop by hand the 65-hp engine barks like a puppy on Christmas morning, and off you fly back to your aviation roots. Your flying life isnít over. Itís merely come full circle, thanks to old airplanes that qualify as Light Sport Aircraft (LSA).

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