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The golden age of Ultralights is now past and gone.  We're now totally in this new age of Sport Pilot.  The latest installment removed my authorization to conduct flight instruction for hire in my Experimental LSA Trikes.  I needed to have a Special LSA, now.    What that means for you and me is... I can only train you in "your" trike, right now. Actually that means I don't instruct anymore. Sorry.  You have to go somewhere else, now.  

Where as Sport Pilot has been a boon for Airplanes and old pilots,  it's been a total disaster for Trikes.  This latest action has had the immediate effect of reducing available instructors even more.  This will result in you having to travel farther and spend more money to find an instructor with a “Special LSA” Trike.  Or you having and hauling your own trike to where an instructor can train you.  If you want to learn to fly floats, you'll have to have the aircraft. period.  There are no Special LSA trikes with floats right now.

The FAA was going to issue Letters of Authority called LODA's to allow continued training in some Experimental LSA Trikes.  I applied for and received one in February 2010.  It was quickly revoked.  Apparently the various factions in the FAA are squabbling over their bureaucratic interests and control issues.  It's been months with no relief in sight.  The new rule is out and I'm not even eligible, because there is already one S-LSA in my district.  So now there are only two instructors in the whole. Pacific Northwest.   I’ve totally given up.  Government bureaucracy is all about denial and limitation. No help here.

So now, unfortunately, Trikeing is no longer the easy, affordable alternative to airplanes.  They are still a fabulous Motorcycle in the sky, an experience beyond belief.  But you're going to have to really want to fly one.   You're going to have to expect to travel quite some distances for training, and the costs won't be cheep any more.

This is a good example of what happens when the Government comes up with a new plan.  I expect it will just be too burdensome for most to continue.   Trying to make this a viable business, has been less than a pleasant experience, as the FAA mindlessly throws up blockades at every turn.

So my new motto has to be,  "Get it while you can".  It's not going to get any easier or cheaper if you wait.  Everything is going to cost more, with less choices and opportunities available.  Check out the EAA flight instructors web-sight to find an instructor near you.  Best Wishes and Good luck.


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