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Old 04-27-2009, 11:14 AM   #1  
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Default Flight schools switching to LSAs.

In the current economy it is no surprise that flight schools are desperately looking for ways to improve their profits. Many have chosen to decrease the size of their fleets or buy smaller aircraft that consume less fuel. This is normal practice and has been seen in schools like Saint Louis University where the fleet went from heavy duty Socata Tampicos to the lightweight but efficient Diamond DA-20. Such changes are in the long run welcomed because for example, the DA-20 is spin rated and handles better at slower speeds than a Tampico. But these planes are still certified under the FAR part 23.

Some flight schools have been using Light Sport Aircraft for some time due to their low cost. But only just recently did a major university, Florida Institute of Technology change to operating LSAs. Particularly the REMOS GX. This particular LSA is pretty much brand new. But here comes the issues, flying Cessna 172s is easy enough, imagine learning from an LSA. Reaching blazing speeds of over 90MPH! and taking off in less than 300 feet. This might all sound nice for people who just wan't to fly around without the need of a medical but for people who wan't to make a career out of it. Going from a REMOS GX to a Seminole for example could be quite a difficult one and perhaps even a dangerous one. It is true that the plane does not make the pilot and many airline pilots today learned from the forever great piper cub, but lets be honest, a piper cub is a piper cub and a challenge to fly in crosswinds for example. An LSA can literally be flown in reverse. The REMOS has folding wings and one recently crashed due the pilot not fastening the wings correctly. Pilots, especially students forget things all of the time, imagine forgetting something as deadly as not fastening the ailerons correctly. Things happen.

I think my point is that flight schools should stick with the certified aircraft for their private pilot+ training and leave the sport ratings for the LSAs.

I am saying this because I almost decided to attend Florida Tech and this decision would have seriously made me regret attending. I would have understood perhaps for their initial training but for their entire program?

Here is what the e-mail says:
Quote:
FLORIDA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY SELECTS REMOS FOR FLIGHT TRAINING
Melbourne, FL - FIT Aviation, LLC, a part of the Florida Institute of Technology, has decided to utilize new REMOS Aircraft on its flight line. GX 2009 models will be available for primary flight training as well as for time building exercises relating to the university's professional pilot training program. They will also become part of Florida Tech's flying club. "Our university is committed to offering students a high quality aviation experience," said T. Dwayne McCay, provost and executive vice president of Florida Tech. "In order to provide this, we are always looking for new tools and equipment to support our educational programs."
As part of its continuing dedication to aeronautical education, Florida Tech opened the $5.1 million Emil Buehler Center for Aviation Training and Research at Melbourne International Airport earlier this spring. The center serves as home base for FIT Aviation. "We appreciate the opportunity to work with REMOS in opening this new chapter for FIT Aviation," said Winston E. Scott, dean of Florida Tech's College of Aeronautics. "Together, we are providing great flying experiences for our students."

The selection process that led to choosing REMOS began with a team of people from inside FIT Aviation. The group began by considering the entire field of Light Sport Aircraft. In determining which design showed the highest potential for flight training, they focused on the aircraft and the manufacturer. The selection was eventually narrowed, as company representatives visited FIT Aviation to explain design concepts and manufacturing practices. Copies of various design were flown by the flight training staff, students, and others who support FIT Aviation.

"We were very impressed by the useful load factor in the REMOS," said Nick Frisch, director of FIT Aviation. "The fact that we could fill it with fuel and take up two large adults with room to spare, spoke highly of the aircraft's capability. It emerged as the more mature design. We asked everyone who flew the airplanes for their overall impressions, their response to the ergonomics, the layout of the aircraft, its performance and handling. Our staff and students were overwhelmingly enthusiastic about the REMOS. In the end, nine out of ten picked the REMOS GX."

Frisch added that they had also studied maintenance records from another flight school that was using the REMOS for training and were impressed with the fact that all entries fell into the category of "routine." Holding up to the rigors of flight training was a key factor. Folding wings also played a role in the choice. "We're in hurricane country," said Frisch, "and we have a new hangar that's designed to withstand hurricane force winds. The fact that we can fold the wings on the REMOS allows us to store four of them in place of one aircraft that won't fold up.
"This is a new dimension for us," Frisch added. "We are very excited to be adding the newest in aircraft technology and we look forward to spending many productive hours in the sky with the REMOS GX."
REMOS Aircraft President Corvin Huber said: "REMOS is pleased to have emerged as Florida Tech's LSA supplier of choice from a very rigorous selection program conducted by aviation experts. By their actions, Florida Tech has issued a strong endorsement for Light Sport Aircraft as a viable flight training tool. What's significant here is that FAR Part 23 aircraft are now being replaced by newer, more technologically advanced LSAs. This is clearly a paradigm shift in aviation training."

FIT Aviation offers GA and professional flight training that takes students up through multi-engine and IFR ratings, along with the written exam for the ATP rating. In concert with The Pilot Training College of Ireland (JAA Pilot Flight Training - Pilot Training College Ireland - professional pilot courses honours BSc degree level) , FIT Aviation offers a combination FAA/JAA training program that leads to a JAA Commercial License. The Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) is an associated body of the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) representing the civil aviation regulatory authorities of a number of European States who have agreed to co-operate in developing and implementing common safety regulatory standards and procedures. For more information on Florida Tech and FIT Aviation visit Florida Institute of Technology and FIT Aviation, Flight School in Florida, learn to fly here. FAA, Part 141, Part 61, College of Aeronautics, Florida Tech (FIT).
To learn more about REMOS Aircraft visit Remos - GX Light Sport Aircraft - Start.


Florida Institute of Technology
Office of Undergraduate Admission
150 West University Boulevard
Melbourne, Florida 32901
Tel: 321-674-8030
Tel: 800-888-4348
Fax: 321-674-8004
Home: Florida Institute of Technology

P.S. -- Florida Tech is ranked as a "Best Southeastern College" by The Princeton Review.

Florida Tech is listed as a Barron's Guide "Best Buy" in college education and named as one of the top 15 technical institutions for engineering in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2002-2004.

Florida Tech is located in Florida's High Tech Corridor, home to more than 5,000 high-tech companies and the nation's fifth largest HIGH TECH work force.
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Old 04-27-2009, 01:52 PM   #2  
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Be careful how you use the LSA description. The DA-20 DOES NOT fit that designation despite being lighter than the TB-9s that Parks replaced. I've flown both and the eclipse is a better aircraft in many respects. It's much more efficient and handles much better. In four years of flying them as a student and instructor, I had more than two people in that plane exactly three times. The DA-20 also has a 10 year track record behind it already so it's hardly a new design. However unlike a tampico, it's purpose built. The TB-9 a TB-20 with a shorter wing and about 100 fewer ponies. I've also seen DA-20s take abuse that would put a tampico out of commission.

As far as doing your private in an aircraft that's approved for LSA, why not? Tens of thousands have received their private in J-3 cubs, luscombes and other aircraft that fit the designation.
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Old 04-27-2009, 01:58 PM   #3  
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After piquing my curiosity in gliders I learned a few things (as a CFI) - I would recommend a new pilot aspirant go fly gliders for up to 200 hours at $5-$15 per hour before heading toward powered flight. A huge majority of the time transfers to fixed wing flight!

Total cost is far far below becoming a commercial powered aircraft pilot, and then just "add on" the powered flight requirement.

LSA's, there are a bunch of people that have found that the cost of an LSA is as much or much greater than the cost of a used C152, Archer, etc - and in addition the insurance companies are not insuring people who do not meet the training and experience required of current certificated pilots specifically if they do not retain a current medical certificate, twice annually flight reviews, etc.

LSA's have a huge roadblock to incude resistance of CFI's and DPE's to earn the additional ratings for the low productivity and percieved lowered saftey of LSA flying. A local DPE told me there was "no way" he would ever sign off or pursue LSA. I have to support him.
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Old 04-27-2009, 02:31 PM   #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilotpip View Post
Be careful how you use the LSA description. The DA-20 DOES NOT fit that designation despite being lighter than the TB-9s that Parks replaced. I've flown both and the eclipse is a better aircraft in many respects. It's much more efficient and handles much better. In four years of flying them as a student and instructor, I had more than two people in that plane exactly three times. The DA-20 also has a 10 year track record behind it already so it's hardly a new design. However unlike a tampico, it's purpose built. The TB-9 a TB-20 with a shorter wing and about 100 fewer ponies. I've also seen DA-20s take abuse that would put a tampico out of commission.

As far as doing your private in an aircraft that's approved for LSA, why not? Tens of thousands have received their private in J-3 cubs, luscombes and other aircraft that fit the designation.
I don't understand what you mean. I just said that the DA-20 was spin rated and handled better at low speeds. I have never flown a tampico but was told it tends to want to roll when put into a stall allot more than the eclipse.

Did you read what I wrote? I was talking about the REMOS GX, not the eclipse.

The REMOS is the plane FIT decided to go with. I assume they will change their fleet of pipers with it.

And about the J-3 cub, I also wrote about it in my post. If you agree with the fact that the cub is as easy to fly as a composite glass paneled LSA then I will shut up.

Listen guys, I am not trying to get on anyones bad side. I am just giving my opinion on why flight schools should not change the time tested and certified fleets for Light Sport aircraft from companies, that could in all honesty, go out of business at any moment. It is just my opinion.
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Old 04-27-2009, 02:41 PM   #5  
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Pip, did you run a DA-20 into a wall and have it survive or what? The TB-9's took a huge beating...for what, 15-20 years?

I would instruct in a TB-9 over a DA-20 even if the Eclipse had 4 jet engines. I liked most of my students, but not enough to be overlapping shoulders with them for hours at a time. The Tampico wasnt fast, but boy was it comfortable!

But really, that's besides the point. I do agree with Pip that a (civilian) primary trainer is a primary trainer, no matter how many horses it has. With one MAJOR exception.

I strongly believe that there should be an instructor signoff required for IFR flight in a six-pack if you did your primary training on glass. Probably also the other way around, but I think that training in glass is way worse for a student pilot developing the basics than training in an LSA. God forbid your GPS goes out and you actually have to use pilotage and dead-reckoning.
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Old 04-27-2009, 02:43 PM   #6  
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I did read what you wrote. However you have to understand that at this point, flight schools are doing everything they can to stay afloat. Switching from aircraft that burn 10-12gph to aircraft that burn 5-6gph is huge.

Truth be told, most training, particularly private, is done in the pattern. You'll likely spend most of your time at less than 100kts. Hell the TB-9 wouldn't do 100kts.

I'm not familiar with remos, but the school wouldn't be investing in the aircraft if they didn't feel the support was there. Since you brought up parks, I'll use them as an example. Lack of support from Socata was one of the biggest reasons they replaced the fleet. They bought a couple aircraft from Riddle when they switched to cessnas but those aircraft had a ton of corrosion. If a student bent a spar or struck a tail hard enough the plane was often down for months why they found a replacement part. The traditional manufacturers aren't immune from vanishing overnight.

And 250, the DA-20 had more shoulder room than a 172. Never had a problem with it and yes, I liked flying it much more than a 172 or TB-9 for a number of reasons.
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Old 04-27-2009, 02:44 PM   #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HectorD View Post
Listen guys, I am not trying to get on anyones bad side. I am just giving my opinion on why flight schools should not change the time tested and certified fleets for Light Sport aircraft from companies, that could in all honesty, go out of business at any moment. It is just my opinion.
Have you done any research on the LSA industry? Honestly, you've got Flight Design with their CTSW/CTLS line, as probably the biggest manufacture. After that, I'd say Remos is way up there on one of the most stable LSA manufactures there are.

I guess I'm not sure why you have an axe to grind against LSA's. If you don't like them great. I'd bet you've never flown one, let alone the Remos GX. Go get an hour or two, and come back and tell me what you think about it. Unlike a Cessna, a Remos actually requires you to use those pedals, which do something. LSA's will help bring back some stick and rudder skills.

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Originally Posted by BrandedPilot View Post
LSA's have a huge roadblock to incude resistance of CFI's and DPE's to earn the additional ratings for the low productivity and percieved lowered saftey of LSA flying. A local DPE told me there was "no way" he would ever sign off or pursue LSA. I have to support him.
Why would a CFI and DPE need to get additional ratings to teach/examine in an LSA? Sure, if an examiner wants to do Light Sport checkride's, they need a different authorization, but otherwise, a normal CFI can teach Light Sport candidates. Plus, a DPE could do a PPL ride in a Remos with nothing other than would be required in a C172 or PA28.

Seems to me everyone has an axe to grind against LSA's.

Last edited by KSCessnaDriver; 04-27-2009 at 02:57 PM.
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Old 04-27-2009, 02:55 PM   #8  
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I've flown a couple and had no problem with them. Many of them are coming from European companies who have years of experience or companies that make experimental aircraft.

KSCessnaDriver, please change your second quote. Those aren't my words.
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Old 04-27-2009, 03:00 PM   #9  
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Quote:
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I've flown a couple and had no problem with them. Many of them are coming from European companies who have years of experience or companies that make experimental aircraft.

KSCessnaDriver, please change your second quote. Those aren't my words.
Sorry about that. Clicked the wrong button. I would totally agree that most of them are good airplanes. Lots of fun to fly, have basic (glass) avionics in them. Good for training from a student standpoint, because you can get the fuel burn down to around about 3 gallons an hour. Plus, when 100LL goes away, you can still run pump gas in the Rotax engine. In fact, I think it runs better on the pump gas.
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Old 04-28-2009, 05:16 PM   #10  
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A plane is a plane is a plane. If you can fly a 90knot plane well, you can fly a faster plane well. The problem is, most people don't fly the 90kt planes well.

Proper instruction and student mentality is key here. You will learn to be a much better stick & rudder pilot by flying a slower, underpowered, light aircraft. My favorite plane to train people in was the C152 because it offered all the above. It was simple, so you concentrated on the actual flying, not all the "gadgets" that are in things now.

Just my opinion, but what do I know with 1100hrs of dual given
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