May 18th

FAA selects Sport Aviation Center - Paul Hamilton to train their new safety inspector to fly trikes.

By Paul Hamilton

FAA Light Sport Branch in Oklahoma City who manages Sport/Private Pilot Weight-Shift Control implementation has selected Sport Aviation Center  - Paul Hamilton to train their new safety inspector to fly trikes.

Paul Hamilton comments on his WSC trike flight school:

“We have two full time private pilot trike CFI’s, we specialize in full time trike training 24/7/365, we wrote the FAA WSC Flying Handbook and we developed the only comprehensive trike flight/ground  training system for FAA WSC pilot certification. We have great weather for flying 300 out of 360 days per year and fly modern state of the art equipment”.

Sport Aviation Center now trains in the top of the line Evolution Revo which has the easiest to handle with a reliable 912S 100 HP Rotax engine for maximum power and reliability.

May 18th

The story about FAA Light Sport Branch AFS 610

By Paul Hamilton

I have been working with the AFS Light Sport Branch for over 10 years now from the beginning to current. Do I like government regulation? NO. Do I agree with all the rules? NO. Do I wish we could have less government control for aviation? YES. Do I wish we could have less government control for all aspects of the government? YES (But look at the people of the US, they are voting for bigger government - WTX).


I have learned to deal with this because IT IS WHAT IT IS. I decided about 15 years ago to quite my high paying career as a professional engineer to pursue what I loved, flying trikes. I have done what ever I needed to do to pursue this. WHAT EVER IT TAKES.


Never imagined I would be an FAA DPE. This was farthest from my mind but……


If I were running things from the top level things would be allot different.



OK back to the topic. The Light Sport Aviation Branch manages and provides oversight of the sport pilot examiner and the light sport aircraft repairman-training programs. The branch also provides subject matter experts for FAA and the aviation industry concerning the sport pilot/light sport aircraft safety initiatives.

They perform

Acceptance of Light Sport Aircraft Repairman Training Providers

National Examiner Board

Oversight of Designated Pilot Examiners (Sport Pilot)

Designated Pilot Examiner Initial Training Seminar

Designated Pilot Examiner Recurrent Training Seminar




It must be understood that this AFS 610 branch are a group of LSA enthusiasts. Yes there have been some people in AFS 610 that were not helpful to us but generally these are good people,. They are just like any other profession (engineers, bankers, scientists, police, fast food server, cashier, construction worker, etc…), they do what they are told by their bosses/upper management. These AFS 610 FAA inspectors are the same. They enact policy passed down by their superiors. As I tell everyone, if you want to change things for the better, you must go to the top. The policy makers who created Sport pilot/LSA AFS 800 in Washington DC. If you try and blame the low level 610 branch for your problems, you are shooting at the wrong target, barking up the wrong tree. This is a waste of time and a detriment to the industry overall. Thanks for Part 103


I have had my disagreements with policy, procedures, and especially with many of the current SP/LSA laws, but IT IS WHAT IT IS and just like I do as an engineer on a project, I do WHAT EVER IT TAKES TO DO THE JOB/COMPLETE THE MISSION. Do I always like this? NO


Right NOW I know AFS 610 is transitioning management and I think there will be a number of improvements coming such as my three favorites.

Commercial WSC trike license.

Sport Pilot CFI time can count towards Private pilot.

Easier LODAs for training in E-LSA

Any other suggestions that we should put in the pipeline?

May 18th

Tips and tricks of setting up a wing

By Rizwan Bukhari

Today as I attempted on setting up my new wing, I found it very challenging to secure the last 4 or 5 battons with the cord (bungee). Is there a tip to make it easier. I thought of disconnecting the strut where it attaches the cross bar so the wing has a bit more play but I was not sure if that would be a good idea. Do you have any tips.

My Manta wing just like the Northwing I use to have does NOT have a bungee to secure the battons but it is a little cord or rope. Bungee would have made it easier.




May 9th

Apollo Delta Jet II (SilverLight Aviation version)

By Abid Farooqui
As some of you may know, SilverLight Aviation is bringing a US version Delta Jet II to market. There has been many hours of deliberate scripted test flying going on at Zephyrhills between Apollo AG-1 gyroplane test program that recently finished and Delta Jet II 912S trike whose test flights continue.

AG-1 can reach and hold 106 knots at 5500 RPM (Rotax 914 UL). Climbs at 1350 FPM one up and 900 FPM at gross weight (515 pounds of payload) in standard conditions. Its smooth and can cruise at 87 to 90 knots comfortably and slow down below 30 and do what most gyros can do. The control forces are small.

Delta Jet II recorded consistent 1450 FPM climb rate one up in standard conditions with Cheval 12 wing. The wing has been getting its icing and changes. It started out not being able to go any faster than 75 mph. After certain changes and tweaking, I am able to get it to cruise via electric trim at 90 MPH hands off with 2-up at 5000 RPM with Rotax 912ULS. There are still some small changes and tweaks to come. I like good tracking and smooth handling so one of the changes was addition of small winglets that kept its light center handling and a linear increase in roll resistance for steeper banks. A slight unloading to start the roll gives a nice carving through the sky (J maneuver).

I installed a static port on one side on the composite body after flying with a bunch of yarn stuck to the body to get a more accurate indicated airspeed and more accurate climb rate and altimeter reading.

Today I was able to fly it in gust factor of 15 mph (indicated airspeed was jumping up and down by 15 mph 6 to 8 times a minute) and got to see its etiquitte in frontal conditions. I think those can be improved a little. But then again, you take the AG-1 gyroplane in that and you wonder where it all went away to? I had not much issue (besides saying, its gusty darnit) landing the trike either but a new pilot would have gotten spooked. That's where I think a gyroplane has an edge over trikes when the pilot experience level is lower and they want to fly in gusty conditions etc.

Look for this beast getting its S-LSA in coming weeks.
May 5th

How do you short pack a wing?

By Rizwan Bukhari
Hi everyone,

I bought a new wing and my 19 meter strut wing has to go. I wanted to know how do you short pack a wing.

Has anyone short packed a 19 meter wing, how long of a crate do you need for that. The wing crate I have is about 18 feet by 1 foot by 1 foot. Would that be a big enough crate for a 19 meter wing? If you have pictures that show how to short pack the wing, I would really appreciate that.


Apr 27th

P&M Aviation LTD - 2014 Spring Newsletter

By Tony Castillo
P&M Aviation LTD
2014 Spring Newsletter
(.pdf format)

Apr 25th

About the Weight-Shift Control Aircraft Flying Handbook. Who, what when and where.

By Paul Hamilton

Since there have been allot of questions about the FAA WSC Flying Handbook expressed through the years, I thought I would share with you the development of the book.

How The Book Got Started

With the new weight-shift control (WSC) category, the FAA had to write a book to set standards used to train pilots and provide information for the FAA Knowledge exam. Safety Research Corporation of America (SRCA) was contracted to write it. Typically SRCA hires different industry experts in the appropriate field or subject to write different chapters. And typically, SRCA obtains the pictures and copyrights for a project.

A trike pilot was contracted by SRCA to write for the project but not much was produced. The project got behind schedule and SRCA was running out of time fast to complete the project on time. I got a call from SRCA asking if I could help with the project in 2007. I agreed to help and I took on one chapter and banged it out it out with pictures and provided copyrights to the pictures, because I was the photographer. They were amazed.

We did another chapter and they were again very happy with the results. After I proved that I could accomplish the task, they asked and I agreed to do the complete book, beginning to end with text, photos, diagrams and drawings. It took about a year to complete.

The Process

The process was that I would write a chapter and send it out to a handful of industry experts and SRCA. SRCA would comment on the content and send it on to the FAA for their comments. For each page I submitted to SRCA and the FAA, I would receive back, on average, 2 pages of questions and comments. Half of the comments were useless and questions ridicules. But, the other half were very useful and a big help overall.

I’m an engineer and entertainer…Not a graphic artist. So, one of my greatest joys on this project was submitting a rough engineering diagram and getting it back the next morning in beautiful artwork. It was incredible. The SRCA artist was amazing.

As far as the Acknowledgments in the book, yes, the FAA was allowed to only acknowledge image contributors. But, I listed both image contributors (of which there were not many) and the industry experts who reviewed and contributed to the content. I have since revised this list of contributors in the print and downloadable eBook editions I publish to:

Paul Hamilton of Adventure Productions

AirBorne Australia

Matt Liknaitzky of MGL Avionics

Jon P. Thornburgh

Abid Farooqui of SilverLight Aviation

Gerry Charlebois of Birds in Paradise

Wills Wing, Inc.

Larry Mednick of Evolution Trikes

I will explain the development process of each chapter in upcoming posts. Each chapter had unique challenges, beginning with the history section of Chapter 1, which the FAA slashed from 12 pages to its current 6 pages. 

Apr 23rd

What do we need to know? What can we learn from Gerry's accident in Hawaii

By Paul Hamilton

Gerry from Birds in Paradise, a commercial training operation  in Hawaii had a fatal accident March 11, 2014. Gerry was a huge influence on triking and myself and we mourn his death and will miss him greatly. I flew with Gerry’s operation for 5 months, 24,000 miles in Gerry’s trikes and know Gerry from the old days of Hang Gliding, we have been friends for decades. However, with this loss, I feel it is important what can we learn together as pilots to help us all in the future.


Yes there is allot of speculation about what happened to Gerry in Hawaii. What does everyone need to know to learn and be safe to avoid what ever happened, to make sure it does not happen again and we all learn from his mistake is simply:  Do not  modify your trike (including/especially the fuel system), without the expertise, engineering background, manufacturers consultation/approval  and/or experience for similar trike modifications or it could end badly. Simple.


What exactly happened, we will all form opinions, speculate and may never know. For every pilot/wife/child out there, what happened exactly does not really matter. Let me say it one more time:  Gerry was modifying his fuel/venting system with the intent of carrying more fuel. This ended badly.

Here is the actual accident report which I will make comment on after:

NTSB Identification: WPR14FA135
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, March 11, 2014 in Kekaha, HI
Aircraft: EVOLUTION TRIKES REVO, registration: N98EV
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On March 11, 2014, about 0910 Hawaiian standard time, a special light sport Revo Evolution Trikes weight-shift control aircraft, N98EV, impacted terrain and was consumed by fire in Kekaha, Hawaii. Birds in Paradise, LLC., owned by the accident pilot, was operating the trike under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The certified light sport instructor and student pilot sustained fatal injuries; the trike was destroyed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the instructional flight. The trike departed Port Allen Airport, Hanapepe, Hawaii about 0850 and the introductory flight was intended to take 60 minutes before returning to the airport.

A second Birds in Paradise certificated flight instructor (CFI) was giving instruction in another trike while flying in close proximity with the accident trike. He stated that about 0615 that morning he met up with the accident pilot at the company's facilities. They began to take their respective trikes out of the hangar and he noticed the accident pilot was on a ladder routing compressed air into the accident trike's fuel vent. The second pilot commented to the accident pilot that the fuel cap was still affixed on the tank and removed it for him, which produced a "pop" sound from the compressed air escaping the system. They wheeled the trikes over to the staging area and greeted their student pilots shortly thereafter. After fitting the students with flight suits and helmets, the pilots gave them a briefing and departed around 0850.

After departure, the accident pilot told the second pilot that he was going "on company," meaning that they would communicate to one another on the company frequency 123.450; this was the last transmission the CFI heard from the accident pilot.

Approaching the Barking Sands class D airspace, the second pilot transmitted over the company frequency that he was switching to the Barking Sands frequency to receive a clearance from the control tower, to transition through their airspace as a flight of two.

As the CFI's trike was approaching the northwest side of Polihale Beach , he descended to about 600 feet above ground level (agl) and observed the accident trike about 1,000 feet agl and 75 feet away horizontally at his 1-o'clock position; that was the last time he saw the accident trike flying. The CFI and his student performed two near-360 degree turns over the ocean and attempted to contact the accident pilot over the radio. They noticed smoke on the base of the ridgeline and maneuvered over to the area.

The trike came to rest at the base of a ridgeline about one nautical mile east of Polihale State Park. The main wreckage was consumed by fire but all major structural components were located within the wreckage debris area. The accident pilot had recently had problems with the fuel system suctioning the fuel supply out of the main vent line (located in the belly of the aircraft). In an effort to rectify the problem, he routed the vent line up the mast and through the keel pocket toward the trailing edge.

The wreckage and a camera were recovered for further examination.

End of NTSB report



Paul’s comments:

Fuel venting is a critically important part of the design to keep the engine running. Not enough pressure the engine will stop. Too much pressure and a number of things can happen, lines/tank/fittings can leak/burst, fuel pressure could rise and pop the carb venting onto the exhaust, vent line could pop spewing fuel all over………. Plenty of options that will be batted back and forth.


Since I fly a Revo I have received calls from concerned pilots/instructors and I am pretty sure this unfortunate accident is the result of unauthorized modification of the fuel system by someone who is not an engineer and should not have been making such modifications. To all pilots, do not modify your trike without the practical experience on the modification being performed, engineering background to perform the modification or manufacturers consultation/approval  for the modification.


This is a very simple lesson for all. If you have not learned it yet, please learn from this.

Apr 10th

Financing your trike

By Rizwan Bukhari
All of us dream about flying and owning our own trike. Some of us already own a trike but are thinking about owning another trike but other than our significant others, the biggest hurdle is finances, so I wanted to help ease your worry about the finances and if you want I can talk to your significant other and convince her too.

By profession I am a banker, loan officer and investment broker with the Wells Fargo bank. Recently I became an authorized representative for Ace Trikes USA. My desire to become a representative was for two reasons, one I believe that Ace Trikes offers a great aircraft that is about 6k or more cheaper than a comparable trike made here. Secondly at 13,000 dollar for the complete trike, it is a very easy trike to finance without taking much risk.

So what are the options? The best option for cheaper trikes in my opinion is either an Unsecured Loan or Line of credit. Loan and lines are very similar when it comes to the interest rate compounding but there are few differences as follows.

Unsecured Loan: No risk to you since no collateral is required, fixed interest rate and a five year (60 month) max term. No fee. No prepayment penalty. Decision in two hours

Unsecured Line of Credit: No risk to you since no collateral is required, variable interest rate (due to our crappy economy the interest rates haven’t really changed on the line of credits in the last three years). A line of credit is good for 10 years. There is a 25 dollar annual fee. Decision in two hours. Your minimum payment is 1 percent of what your borrowed + interest. There is NO prepayment penalty. So, for example, Ace trike at 13,000 dollars. Your minimum payment will be 130 dollars plus interest. In my opinion this is one of the best routes to go because for a small monthly payment you could own a second trike for soaring.

Portfolio loan or line of credit: If, you wanted to further reduce the interest rate, you could go this route. In this scenario you put money in the cd and borrow against your own money. Great option for someone who has some money saved that they are not planning on using any time soon but would rather keep their savings. There is NO prepayment penalty.

Home equity loan or line: This is NOT the ideal option for inexpensive trikes but might be a good option for E-LSA or S-LSA trikes. Money is secured against your house. Interest rate is the lowest. I booked a Home Equity line few weeks ago and the interest rate came at 3.87, which I think was great considering that the US Prime rate is 3.25 (this is the rate below which the bank won’t lend money). Home equities can take up to 4 weeks to book and have an annual fee of 75 dollars, which is waived the first year. If you pay off the home equity line before three years there is a penalty.

My prediction is that in the coming quarters the rates will go higher because the feds haven’t raised the rates in the longest while and what goes down must go up.

I hope this helps you in understanding how financing works and if you need my help in financing the Ace trike or any other trike, you are more than welcome to get in touch with me at or you can send me an email at my work address or call me 208-713-1844 cell

P.S. The loan or line approval depends on a lot of things including but not limited to your credit score, debt to income ratio. etc. Also different banks have different rules and fees, this article is just to give you a basic idea, you should consult with your bank or contact me if you need my help. Rizzy