Thursday, January 30, 2014

Guest Post on Airplanista: Where We Belong

When I initially entered the social media world of aviation, Dan Pimentel's blog, Airplanista was one the first I came across. His blog is the go-to for all that is aviation news. I was honored when he approached me to be a guest blogger this week. I was to write about a topic we both find extremely important in keeping general aviation alive: increasing the female pilot population. Read Airplanista today to find out Where We Belong.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Women of Aviation Week pushes limits

January 27, 2014
Runway Girl Network

It’s no secret that the technical workforce of the air and space industry is composed mostly of men. Women occupy less than 12% of all technical posts in the industry, and some occupations such as pilots and aircraft mechanics “are even more diversity challenged” counting only 5% of pilots and 2% of aircraft mechanics as women, according to the organizers of Women Of Aviation Week.

Because men constitute an overwhelming majority of the workforce, some qualified female candidates don’t always see the industry as an option for them. Women Of Aviation Week is working to help change this perception issue.

Every year, Women of Aviation Week is kicked off during the week of 8 March – the anniversary date for when French actress, balloonist and artist Raymonde de Laroche became the world’s first licensed woman pilot (in 1910). The goal of this awareness week is to foster diversity in aviation by celebrating history, raising awareness, and sparking vocations as thousands of girls and women are introduced to aviation through industry-wide collaboration.

“Women of Aviation Week is not an organization that you can join. We don’t have you join and pay a fee. We don’t hold conferences or anything. We’re all about encouraging you pilots out there or aviation enthusiasts to welcome other woman pilots into the industry and our funding comes from businesses that become partners with Women of Aviation Week,” pilot Victoria Neuville explained in a recent episode of the highly popular Airplane Geeks podcast.

She adds, “Flight is just one part of aviation. You know there are so many pieces that make it work together – air traffic control, the people who design our charts that we use to navigate with. All of those people are very vital to the aviation industry and all of them are welcome to Women of Aviation Week because it’s not just about learning to fly. There is so much to [it] that these women can become interested in.”

A total 37 countries on four continents took part of the Women Of Aviation Week since it was established in 2011. Each year, the week’s theme highlights women of aviation’s accomplishments at the worldwide level. The theme for the 2014 Women of Aviation Week – to be held from 3-9 March – is: “Pushing the limits: 100 years of female aerobatic pilots and 50 years of women flying solo around the world”.

“It’s national women’s month in March so the timing is perfect,” notes Neuville. “And another reason we have it in March as well is we get these people interested early so they have enough time to complete their private [license] by the end of the year so they can get started in the spring and have this good flying weather, so timing is everything about Women of Aviation Week.”
Because she is in the aviation insurance business, Neuville also talked about that industry segment on the Airplane Geeks podcast. Follow Neuville on Twitter at @toriafly.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The U.S Spins into Women Of Aviation Week



Life is full of demands and full of to do lists. Often, you may not know which direction you are headed and feel that you may be spiraling out of control. You’re a plane performing a roll through the sky, then a spin downwards towards earth. Behind those many to do lists and in the cockpit of that plane are just one thing: determined women.

The plane isn’t out of control after all, the spins are carefully executed. Years of practice turn spirals into aerial art. Clear out your to do list this year and make room for something life changing: Women Of Aviation Week. This year, we celebrate 100 years of female aerobatic pilots. It all started with one confident woman: Lidia Svereva. She smashed through gender barriers while running an airplane factory, then became the first woman to perform a loop in an airplane. During Women Of Aviation Week, March 3-9, 2014, thousands of determined girls and women will realize that, “Yes, I can do this, too!” What airport will the next Lidia Svereva fly out of? The United States is throttling up and ready to celebrate!

Three week-long activities are planned in the state of Washington. Methow Valley is getting in on the action for the first year while Twisp Airport hosts their second annual event. The Museum of Flight in Seattle is encouraging women for their third year in a row. Women are welcomed to take flights on Saturday and Sunday and are also invited to enjoy STEMTASTIC activities.

San Carlos, CA is hosting Women Of Aviation Week events for their second annual year, offering free flights to girls and women all week long. Friday the Hiller Aviation Museum will be hosting a panel of accomplished women of aviation such as Lieutenant Colonel Olga E. Custodio the first Hispanic female military pilot.

The big state of Texas is home to three events! Addison Airport and US Sport Aircraft offers a day dedicated to the ladies complete with discovery flights, snacks, tours and special presentations! Meanwhile, both Calhoun Air Center locations in Victoria and Port Lavaca will be flying hundreds of girls to keep their “most female friendly” titles again this year.

Fly it Forward, Boise is Idaho’s classy Women Of Aviation Week event. Following their first flight participants are invited to enjoy snacks and sparkling cider to toast this adventure! Afterward they can spend time touring static displays and booths to learn more about general aviation.

Holladay Aviation, a brand new flights school in Jacksonville, FL knows how important gender diversity is and immediately agreed to participate in Women Of Aviation Week. Participants will receive free flights, learn about aviation careers and be able to assist a local charity, as well!

Frederick Municipal Airport, in Frederick, MD, is happy to be hosting their fourth annual event entitled “Passport to Adventure”. That is exactly what’s waiting for all those who attend: Interactive airport activities, special guests and free flights are just a sample of what’s in store for Frederick participants.

All the fun starts off with the Women Of Aviation Week Opening Ceremony on March 3rd in College Park, MD, which includes special guests like World Aerobatic Champion Aude Lemordant. Can’t make it? It will be aired online so people around the world can get in on the celebration!

With just over a month to go, new events are being added each week. Will your airport be among them? During Women Of Aviation Week girls and women from all walks of life will walk on to airports, some timid, some excited. Soon they will discover that the airplane isn’t just flailing through the sky. How many girls and women will add getting their pilot license to their to-do list this year? Will it be you?

Monday, January 20, 2014

REIL Remarks #22

It's time for another segment of my blog featuring the funny finds in aviation publications!

"BE ALERT SEA OTTERS ALSO USE SPB RAMP/TIE-DOWN AREA," KTB, Alaska

Wow. Sea otters have really evolved!



Have some to share?  Feel free to send them my way and I will add them to the REIL Remarks archive!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

SMAC064 – Island Flying In The Bahamas, Haiti, And Ignored Go Arounds

The SMAC gang is cold! Carl’s braving 30º temps in Florida, Victoria’s taking cover from frost-quakes, Len’s in his Chi-beria bunker, Sean’s absent, loaded up with bronchitis antibiotics, and Rick is holding it down in Boston. Even though they’re frozen right now, Carl and Victoria have each been to the islands recently. 

Victoria, her husband Bob, and their dog Turbo flew down to the Bahamas for some relaxation. She’ll tell you all about what it’s like getting in and out of the islands in a GA airplane with a dog. Carl flew a trip down to Haiti recently. He’ll discuss what it’s like getting in and out of the country and how his crew had to adapt to new rest rules. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Women of Aviation Worldwide Week set

January 8, 2014
Girls and women will get free introductory flights during Women of Aviation Worldwide Week. (Photo courtesy WOAW)

During the week of March 3 through 9, airports and pilots in five continents will introduce girls and women to aviation through free flights, aviation activities, and more.

This year’s event celebrates “pushing the limits,” according to U.S. Team Leader Victoria Neuville Zajko, and honors 100 years of female aerobatic pilots and 50 years of women who flew solo around the world.

An opening ceremony will be held March 3 at 10:30 a.m. at College Park Aviation Museum in College Park, Md. Guest speakers include wing walker Jana McWhorter, aerobatics and Reno race pilot Jacquie Warda, and world aerobatics champion Aude Lemordant. That event will be recorded for online viewing via the website.

A First-to-Solo challenge sponsored by Sennheiser will award $1,500 for flight training to the first girl or woman who takes a flight during Women of Aviation Week and then documents a solo flight. King Schools Inc. will award a Get It All online private pilot course to the first U.S. girl or woman to solo after having flown during Women of Aviation Week.

The airport that registers the highest number of nonpilot girls and women introduced to aviation throughout the week will be named "Most Female-Pilot-Friendly Airport Worldwide," and a similar designation will be given to a flight school that achieves the same goal.  

As in previous years, Frederick Municipal Airport, AOPA's home airport, will hold a Fly It Forward event during Women in Aviation Week, offering free introductory flights to girls and women.

Last year’s international event introduced more than 5,000 girls and women to aviation, Zajko said, and pilots are encouraged to organize events at their airports. Pilots can find more information or register their own events at the website.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Sunshine in Our Lives

You were the sunshine in our lives, even when all you felt was darkness. I pray you are now in a place where all you feel is love and warmth. My sister in law and I will be walking an 18 mile overnight walk to help others find their way Out of the Darkness. In the memory of Carla and Melissa, please support team Kiwisparkle: http://theovernight.donordrive.com/


Friday, January 10, 2014

AirplaneGeeks 281 – Women of Aviation Week is Coming!

A big shout out and a huge thanks to the guys over at Airplane Geeks for having me as a guest on their podcast earlier this week! They are so much fun and I really enjoyed talking with them and seeing how they run their podcast. Of course, I talked a lot about Women Of Aviation Week and how YOU can get involved. Take a listen!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

SMAC063 – The ‘Best Of Stuck Mic AvCast’ First Edition

HAPPY 2014!!! Episode 63 is in the house, woot woot.

We hope you all had a fantastic holiday season and the happiest of New Year festivities. The SMAC gang is nursing food comas and holiday hangovers, so we decided to share some highlights of our favorite episode bytes from the past two and a half years!

We'll return on January 15th with a hot new show so saddle up cuz it's podcast day!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Bahamas - Travelling with 4 Legged Friends

Importing an animal to different countries requires some preparation, as it did when we flew to the Bahamas. Unfortunately, there is not much info to go on online, but it was a semi-painless process. We were so happy to share our trip with our pup, Turbo.

First, your pet must be at least six months of age and hold the proper vaccinations. They also must have been given within a specific time period. Prior to your arrival, a pet import permit must be applied for and the importation fee paid (we paid $10). This permit is only valid for one trip and must be visited within a year. Remember, even the Department of Agriculture runs on "island time" and it takes awhile for your paperwork to travel via snail mail. So, ensure your application is submitted a few months in advance.

The tricky part is that you must bring the pet to the veterinarian for a wellness check up and to sign the import paper work no more than 48 hours prior to arrival. I requested a medical certificate as well and my vet prepared an international certificate to be safe, however, it was not necessary. One thing to watch out for if the vet is a stickler on the coronavirus requirement on the paperwork. Most vets in the US don't even give or provide this vaccination anymore. We were fine entering the Bahamas regardless and there is no quarentine for pets arriving from the Bahamas or US. Upon our return to Florida, customs did not need to see any documentation on Turbo and they gave him a treat!

With customs worries out of the way, we also had to make sure to provide for Turbo's safety in flight and to ensure his travels were comfortable. First, since life vests were a requirement for all souls on board, we made sure Turbo had one, too. I had him wear it while in flight, that way if God forbid we had to ditch, Turbo was already prepared to be in the water safely and quickly.

Packing wise, we made sure his travel bag had all the comforts of home: treats, his blanket, and several toys. Also, having more than enough of his regular brand food was a must. Animals digestion do not always adjust well to change and you do not want to make that change ruin your magical island trip. They have enough stress with the travelling and an upset to their routine already as it is. So, it's not wise to change their food and eating habits.

Turbo did great! He ate pretty well, albeit slower than usual. He adjusted quickly to the island weather and his digestion was only "loose" (if you know what I mean) for a few days. The locals and other travelers got to know him and he got greetings and pets everywhere we went. All outdoor restaurants were pet friendly, so it was easy bring him about. I highly recommend having pet-cations whenever you can.

More extensive details on vaccination requirements and the permit application can be found here.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Bahamas Flight - Part 4


Boy was I relaxed. Several days prior, Bob, Turbo and I flew to Florida, then on to the Bahamas. We had four days of sunshine and waves, but now it was time to go home. I expected the stress to flood back in, but a day full of flying, especially with part over beautiful waters, prevented that.

It was a quiet morning as it was New Years day, we took the first ferry off Great Guana Cay to return to Marsh Harbor. Customs was a buzz-kill, the lady Bob provided our forms to was an uncooperative grouch. Luckily, clearing customs was easy and quick beyond that. Then, we also had to pay which cost us more than the gas it took to flew there. Here's what to expect at Marsh Harbor:

$25 per person departure tax
$50 government tax
$10/night parking
$5 service charge (Bob calls the fee for collecting the fee)
$12 facility fee - This was based on airplane weight. They automatically put us in the 3,000 piston single weight. Bob corrected them stating our aircraft is 800 pounds so it was dropped from 20 to 12. So if you are looking to save a bit of cash, make sure they have you in the proper weight category.

We departed from Marsh Harbor with a Bonanza shortly behind us. The ATC in the area does not have radar so we had to check in reports while flying. While flying out, you must create and activate a VFR flight plan and they will give you the appropriate frequency to use prior to crossing the ADIZ where you will pick up a squawk code and continue on your way to the US. The flight plan must be done in ICAO format. Our flight was clear until just miles from the shore where we started to encounter some clouds that required some dodging to reach our airport of entry, FXE.

Customs at FXE was super easy, but you must unpack everything from your plane for it to be inspected. The gentlemen were much nicer than the customs agents we encountered in the Bahamas. In unfamiliar with FXE, ask for progressive taxi instructions to customs as it's a small building and easy to miss.

We departed from FXE headed for St. Augustine (SGJ) for super cheap gas (from the city pump) and a $100 hamburger at the Fly By Cafe. Luckily we had filed IFR as we were in and out of clouds the entirety of the flight. We flew the ILS into SGJ just as it started to rain. The lineman we met was helpful in letting us pull the plane to an underhang so it would not leak and drive us on his golfcart to the FBO. Once there, we discovered the Fly By Cafe kitchen had closed so we spent time in the plush pilot room while awaiting pizza to be delivered. Hungry Howies to be exact, I haven't had that since living in Michigan. Yum! We also passed Area 51. Apparently, it's no longer in Roswell, haha!


Our original plan was to break the trip up and land again in NC. However, we were making great time due to tailwind and decided to make the return from SGJ in one hop. We averaged 190 knots over the ground. The flight from northern Florida through North Carolina was either in between overcast and undercast layers or IFR. Once the overcast disappeared we enjoyed a lovely pink sunset then clear skies when entering the DC area. Our flight time was exactly 3 1/2 hours. I did my first landing of the trip at FDK and it was beautiful, I might add. We were greeted by 36 degree temperatures as we put away the plane. Oh, to be back in the Bahamas!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Bahamas Flight - Part 3

In part 1 of my Bahamas blog series, Bob, Turbo and I flew from FDK to FXE. The following morning, we were soaring above the ocean and the clouds to MYAM, in the Abacos Islands of the Bahamas. Our final destination was the relaxing island and home to the Bahamas longest (and one of the most beautiful!) beaches, Great Guana Cay.

Great Guana Cay is the middle of the cays that parallel Great Abaco. The island is home to only 150 people and nine miles long. A third of the island belongs to a private resort community, Bakers Bay. So, that left us six miles to explore. There are basically two main roads on the island, the one on the bay side and the one going through the middle of the island. The house we rented, called the Treehouse, was just a quick walk to the beach or the main road on the bay.

Great Guana is very laid back and low key. It is not a common tourist destination, so many celebrities frequent here. There are only several restaurants, so we found ourselves at the grocery store and cooking from "home" a majority of the time, which was great. The only nightlife could be found at Nippers, a bar on the beach that offers a delicious and popular pig roast on Sundays. The best sunsets can be found at the newly opened Sunsetters Grille, or Grabbers on the other end of the island. A popular sweet cocktail that can be enjoyed on Great Guana is the Guana Grabber that's available at Grabbers and a fun small tiki bar on the main road. Ice cream and burgers can be found at Flavours by the docks.

Whether on the beach or walking (or golf carting) the roads, everyone was super friendly. With such a small island, all the locals and frequent visitors new each other and their pets, too! All outdoor restaurants were dog friendly and everyone came to know Turbo. As always, he was the center of attention, even on New Years Eve at the bar.

The beach was one of the most beautiful I've seen. The sand was soft and took up a wide area. There were large rocks to walk upon but did not take up the entirety of the beach, which is five miles long. The tide varied greatly, offering different scenes throughout the day. I'm not a person who can just spend hours upon hours daily at the beach. But I have become claustrophobic from piles of responsibility in my life. This vacation and this beach helped me to let go of the tension and be at peace. I spent hours upon hours at the beach, taking a dip, reading books, burying Turbo in the sand and watching Bob snorkel in the distance. I know I could have easily spent more time there and if you visit, you would agree!

Usually, Bob and I fill our lives with adventure and activities. We did not island hop or boat. Instead, we reflected on the year that lay behind us, taking time to wind down and relax. It was just what the doctor ordered. The laid back days flew by and ended with a New Years fireworks display offered by Nippers on the beach. 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Bahamas Flight - Part 2


 In part 1 of this serial blog, I announced our departure from Frederick to Ft. Lauderdale with a stop in North Carolina. After a scrumptious breakfast with a friend, we were on our way to the Bahamas. Flying to the Bahamas isn't ordinary as there are several rules to follow, but they are easy to heed. AOPA provides a good list here. There are also requirements to follow for importing pets, which I will describe in a later post.

Before departing, Bob had completed the eAPIS (electronic advanced passenger information system) required before crossing the border. I've received many questions about this and while Bob completed them both when we went to Canada and the Bahamas, I took a look and it's quite simple. First, you have to register online at https://eapis.cbp.dhs.gov/. Once logged on, you can create your crew and passenger manifest to be stored online where you can use it again. Before each departure or arrival you must create a new notice of arrival or departure. Your estimated border crossing time must be within 15 minutes or you'll have to update with flight service. That estimate and ensuring you have an internet connection can be the tricky parts of eAPIS. We experienced no problems.

It was a beautiful 1.2 hour flight (a bit of flight-seeing was thrown in) to our airport of entry, Marsh Harbor, MYAM in the Abacos. It was cloudy departing Ft. Lauderdale and it took some dodging to get to an altitude to remain VFR. Later, we found ourselves soaring over broken layers with sparkling glimpses of the ocean below. I thought I might begin to hear engine problems as every pilot tells tales of when flying over open water. But, I was tickled pink for our island adventure. 

Soon, Grand Bahama came to view and we reported when passing Freeport as requested by ATC. Camera clicks picked up pace as water turned a brilliant green and more islands, cays and sandbars were spotted along our route. It's no wonder that the Bahamas are on many a pilot's bucket list.

Marsh Harbor was busy, we could hear many aircraft in the pattern on frequency. A King Air was on downwind as we turned final. Many jets and multi-engine aircraft were on the ramp along with a few smaller planes mixed in. Apparently, Marsh Harbor has daily commercial flights from Florida as well. We unpacked and walked into customs which we cleared within several minutes. The catch-ya is they make you pay your fees when you depart, which is quite a buzz-kill. If you have a pet with you, they'll hold on to him/her while you clear customs and will be waiting for you upon exit. The agent with Turbo must have spoiled him, she said he recognized the word "treat"!
Our final destination was Great Guana Cay, a 40 minute ferry ride from Great Abaco. There are plenty of taxis awaiting you outside, just make sure that they bring you to the proper ferry dock as there are two. The taxi ride was $20 and the ferry ride on Albury's Ferry service is $17 one way or $27 round trip. Dogs need to be in carriers while on the ferry, but we got away without one. Although not knowing how lax your captain may be, call ahead and request one if you don't have one.

We started the morning by car, then by airplane, followed by boat and ended with...a golf cart! I will tell you all there is to know about paradise a.k.a Great Guana Cay in Part 3!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Bahamas Flight - Part 1


After Bob rescued the Glasair from upper Michigan, it was finally time to breathe a sigh of relief and head on our way to paradise-the Bahamas! It was a rushed week, Christmas festivities were followed by a day of work then a vet visit for Turbo to be cleared to the Bahamas. Yes, Turbo got to go too! Following the appointment that took longer than expected, we departed Frederick and into the evening sky.

There's no night VFR flight in the Bahamas, so our plan was to stay in Florida that night then depart for blue skies and sandy beaches the following morning. I admit, I was tired and grumpy. We had recently been discussing upgrading to a Glasair III, so all I could think of was having more room to move and more knots to get there. Bob flew most of the way and I broke up the ride for him occasionally. But after a long day on the go, I decided to listen to the music we were playing and nod off here and there. 

We stopped at CPC, Columbus County Airport in North Carolina to stretch our legs, fill up some cheap gas, and the plan was also to have some food. There was a Cessna 410 already there filling up, they happened to be on their way to the Bahamas as well. We chatted and let Turbo do his business. Unfortunately, there was nowhere to eat in walking distance and the FBO was closed with no code to enter at night. The aircraft before us said their was a Papa Johns that would deliver, but we decided to munch on the snacks I packed instead. We took off again and before the Cessna, which would trail behind us 15 minutes later as we heard each other on the radio.

Two and a half uneventful hours later my tired husband, puppy and I parked by a DC3 and unloaded at World Jet FBO at FXE, Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport. World Jet was pretty friendly and honored a lower avgas price across the field. It is a 24 hour FBO and just across the street is a dog friendly LaQuinta with a McDonald's next door that's open until 1AM. We placed our order at 12:55. Full of fast food, we soon fell asleep eager for the morning flight.

...but we had to eat, first! Our friend, Matt, happened to be in town as well so he came to pick us up for breakfast. We found a great diner with dog friendly outdoor seating, the Red Fox Diner. Coconut dipped french toast with strawberries-that's all I have to say! Drool.
Prior to breakfast, Bob had filled out our eAPIS to cross over to the Bahamas. With full bellies, Turbo donned his life jacket and we set ours within reach.We did not get a life boat as there was no room and were not going to be more than 100NM from any shore at a time. The cameras were ready, aimed for the clear blue ocean we would soon soar above. 

It was a beautiful sight, but you'll hear more about that tomorrow.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Understanding Light Sport Aircraft

Just a little something I wrote up at AIR for Aviation Digest. Enjoy!

Understanding Light Sport Aircraft
by Victoria Neuville 
From: Aviation Digest; January 2014 

Excitement. Travel. Freedom. These are all words many pilots use to describe what it is like to fly. Today, there is a plethora of aircraft options tailored to fit these descriptions and the needs of each and every pilot. In 2004, the FAA added a new category of aircraft: Light Sport Aircraft, or LSA. By adding this category, a new genre of pilot certification was also introduced, the sport pilot. Reduced training minimums and removing medical requirements allowed many pilots to take to the air again, or for the first time. These breakthrough additions were not popular at first, but are gaining momentum now more than ever. 

Inexpensive. Advanced. No medical required. These are some of the many reasons pilots list regarding their decision to purchase or rent a light sport aircraft. What qualifies as a light sport aircraft? The aircraft must meet several requirements to include: a two seat maximum, a maximum take-off weight of 1,320 pounds and a 45 knot clean (no flaps extended) stall speed. In addition, the aircraft must have a single, non-turbine engine and fixed landing gear. Requirements can differ for amphibious LSAs. 

While several new models have entered production to specifically fit these requirements, many vintage and other standard category aircraft have also been able to squeeze into this category. Many Aeronca and Taylorcraft airplanes are able to fly under light sport rules. Another popular existing model is the Piper Cub.

LSA pilots, like the aircraft they fly, must meet certain requirements, although these are a bit more relaxed compared to the private pilot certificate. A major benefit to the sport pilot rating is that an aviation medical certificate is not required: A valid driver’s license will do. However, if you have been previously declined a medical by the FAA, you may not fly under sport pilot rules until the medical situation has been reviewed. In addition, the Code of Federal Regulations 61.23(b) states “a person shall not act as pilot in command, or in any other capacity as a required pilot flight crewmember, while that person knows or has reason to know of any medical condition that would make the person unable to operate the aircraft in a safe manner.” When in doubt if you are able to fly legally under sport pilot rules, consult your physician. 

Earning a sport pilot certificate is cost effective as minimum flight training time for sport pilots is 20 hours, versus the 40 hours required for a private pilot. An FAA sport pilot knowledge test and practical exam are also required. However, a sport pilot certificate does have its limitations. All flights must be conducted in day visual flight rules (or VFR) conditions. Flights also cannot be performed for hire or for business use. Sport pilots wishing to become sport flight instructors must complete the fundamentals of instruction training and knowledge test, as well as a sport pilot instruction written test and practical flight. Additionally, they must have five hours experience in the make and model aircraft before giving dual instruction. Pilots who are already flight instructors may instruct in sport planes without any additional FAA requirements. 

Ease. Experience. One call. With the dawn of the light sport market came the need for LSA specific insurance products. Aviation Insurance Resources (AIR) was quick to provide a variety of options to suit their needs. 

 Aircraft insurance is available on many levels for light sport aircraft. At a minimum coverage for bodily injury and proper damage is available, often known as “liability only”. For those wishing to protect the hull of the aircraft, physical damage is also available. There are several options available for the hull coverage, first being full, in-flight coverage. Others include ground-not-in-motion or ground and taxi only coverage. 

These products can protect LSAs categorized as standard certified LSAs as well as amateur built (experimental) LSAs. For those constructing their own amateur built LSA or restoring a vintage classic, builders risk policies are available during the process, regardless of piloting experience. For those who chose to rent versus purchase their very own LSA, non-owned, or renters insurance, is also available and covers flying an LSA aircraft. 

When contacting your insurance agent for a policy on an aircraft you own, it is helpful to have some information handy. First being aircraft information, such as N#, make and model, and the hull value you are considering. Next, flying history on the pilots that will be flying the aircraft is needed. This includes full names, age, and ratings. An estimate of flight times, specifically, time in the make and model of aircraft being insured and time flown in the last 12 months will also be requested. 

Kyle Grim, the owner of a Rans S7 LSA recently stated, “I love my LSA’s unique capabilities and was impressed how easily AIR was able to understand what I need in insurance to ensure my piece of mind.” 

To keep more cash in your wallet for avgas, there are several opportunities for insurance discounts. Be sure to inform your agent if your aircraft is kept in a hangar at your airport base: Many times discounts are available for keeping it safely tucked away. Members of aviation organizations such as AOPA and EAA can also receive extra insurance perks and discounts through certain insurance carriers. Be sure to have your organization member number handy when shopping for an insurance quote. Some carriers offer up to 5% off non-owned coverage for those that complete a WINGS – Pilot Proficiency Program phase prior to their renewal. Others offer discounts on owned aircraft policies when a WINGS phase or annual recognized training is completed. 

Whatever words you chose to use to describe your passion for flight or your type of aircraft, safety and peace of mind are words you cannot ignore. The agents at AIR will be happy to help you find an insurance package that is right for you as you navigate the new world of light sport aircraft so you can focus on the words that mean the most to you.