Dec 22nd

How to promote triking for the good of all

By Paul Hamilton

We have had a decline in triking, along with GA and I feel we can all make an effort to build up triking which will help us all. As the big valley thermal rises, all the aircraft rise together.

Here are some ideas I have which hopefully we can all work together on.


I feel we have shot ourselves in the foot by posting all the "another trike death" as though is was commonplace and how technically difficult it is to fly and land a trike. I have received allot of feedback from people who look at the social sites for triking and see all the DIRTY LAUNDRY that is highlighted. It does look dangerous and technically difficult. Everyone dying and figuring out how to land is how WE are all promoting ourselves. What else would we expect with this persona. We need to look at ourselves in the mirror and think about others looking at us It is time we ALL made an effort to promote triking as positive safe flying machines, as they are, if you get proper training of which feel is lacking. That is why much of my efforts have been towards comprehensive training to minimize accidents and allow pilots to fly with safety and confidence.

So to provide a place to go over the accidents, causes and solutions I have created a new group where we can put this information to inform and learn from accidents.


Please ALL OF US, refocus our accidents to this new group so the general public's persona of triking is not ANOTHER DEATH.




Another area is to SEND PEOPLE TO INTRO FLIGHTS. Buy a gift certificate for your friend to take an Intro flight. I have noticed that most of my students who started triking took and INTRO FLIGHT and fell in love with it. Support your local CFI.

Dec 21st

Fuel Filter Safety Alert

By Paul Hamilton


Have been meaning to get out some important information on fuel filters. The nice see through fuel filter comes in good designs and bad designs. It is hard to tell the difference and few people know there are differences. I was using the bad design and it failed on me after about 300 hours on a 503.



Here is a picture of the bad filter that failed on me. Note that where it screws into the housing there are only about 1/4 of the threads. With a nice and smooth operating  engine with spacers and no pressure on the threads they stripped and the fuel filter opened up and the engine failed. The fuel goes on the side of the threads to get through the filter element. You can actually see the stripped threads if you look closly.


Luckelly it was on taxi.


Now look below at the good design. Note there are full threads and there are holes for the fuel to go through the shaft to get through the filter element. Generally they both look the same at first glance. Two shots below of the better design I suggest you make sure you have.


Make sure you have full threads rather than partial threads.




Image result for motorcycle fuel filter imagesRelated image








Dec 21st

2016 Aviation Trike Make Models Year in Review

By Paul Hamilton


This year has been a great year for trike development and  improvement with a number of new designs released into the market. Here is a year in review (my opinions) of the major brands to reflect on.




Evolution trikes.


Will start with the introduction of the REV from Evolution trikes builder of the Revo. The REV is an ultralight, made in the USA, which is a completely new design aimed at the lower cost introductory ultralight market. I have not flown one but I hear they are really nice and a new concept on folding and transport. For many of these details I will put links to the products rather than details here




Along with Evolution trikes new REV the world famous REVO has continued to have constant design improvements as the trike is continuously evolving with improvements such as anhedral/dihedral, sail tension, wing camber, strut angle, hang block, roll dampener, and the list goes on.  Incredible wing Evolution. I must thank Larry for such a master piece and awesome contribution to triking. His service is incredible and his expensive top of the line trike is worth every penny.


Switching to a Revo is one of the best decisions I have made running a full time FBO flight school.


There is a strong rumor from reliable sources that Evolution Trikes is going to come out with a new lower priced 2 place model. No details but it might be at Sun @ Fun this year. From my information, it will be another game changer for affortable trikes. Not a speed machine is as much as I can say..... Stay tuned




Airborne Trikes.


Airborne finally made a much needed improvement to their flagship trike with all the basic things people wanted: greater comfort, more room, better handling, greater stability, MGL glass panel option, dual disk brakes. Why does it take so long for airborne to make the needed improvements? Because the more stringent certification in Australia. It is more expensive and time consuming to make changes to the trike design.  With the engine canted and wing fins it should get rid of that incredibly irritating right P-Factor and torque turn that drove me crazy on long full speed full power legs. This was my biggest complaint of the old Tundra/Outback design.




Does not look like Airborne have incorporated the 100 HP carbonated or fuel injected engine.




I will be taking delivery with one of these new Airborne M3-Sport trikes here very soon, middle January 2017 I hope, and will provide you my report.  Will be able to crank out some hours and see how she flies.




P @ M Aviation




Well for a trike carriage breakthrough, the new PulsR has made it to the USA market for commercial operation and looks really nice. The new carbon composite body with enclosed cockpit really looks sharp. A great addition to the top of the line trikes.


Looking at the pricing, WOW, if everyone wants to complain about the high price of trike here is a new clear leader as the target. It looks like it leaves the Revo in the dust after you add all the accessories. But if you want the most futuristic looking trike this is it. I would personally like to get my hands on one out west here and run it through its paces and give you my unbiased report. HINT, HINT to anybody out there.....

Also P@M has released a new Trike the HypeR. More room and all the improvements you would expect from P @ M.





I know Northwing has been incredibly busy building hang glider wings, their own S-LSA/E-LSA trikes and Ultralight trikes in addition the wings for the REVO. Northwing provides the lower cost trike made here in the USA. I must congratulate Northwing in being one of the pillars and foundation for triking here in the USA. They came out with a new wing the Conquest which is their Speed wing. and an upgraded Masverik trike They are continually evolving their trikes and getting trikes and trike wings out to the industry.




Air Creation.




The trike I did my first ultralight pre sport and “official  FAA training” back in 2004 to get my CFI and DPE for trikes was in an Air Creation. This was the first trike I rented from Lockwood aviation.  I flew their new top of the Tanarg in Hawaii in demanding conditions.  Air Creation is another standard in the industry producing a full range of quality trikes.


AC made a complete upgrade to the BioniX with the BioniX2 wing wing which is the flagship product. Better in every way


They have great trikes but still no strutted wing yet. This continual and rigid opposition to the strutted wing design I feel has slowed sales of the product. Many of the E-LSA get a used Tanarg and put a competitors strutted wing on their Tanarg and have a pretty nice E-LSA. However this is not possible for a S-LSA. However, for 2016, I see that they have a new single place iFun 13 SP model for "short pack" wing that is strutted for easy takedown but still has a king post and top wires.


Perhaps they see the light/future and will join the rest of the world and start producing quality strutted wings.


 Aeros trikes.


Aeros has added the ANT trike which is so small and compact it can easily fit into the trunk of a car.

This is a nice breakthrough for the ultralight trikes.




Apollo trikes.




Well, Apollo produces a very nice competitively priced trike which is a nice trike. An upgraded Monsoon. However, they/Abid are moving more into Gyrocopters but continue to support my fleet of S-LSA Apollo trikes including the Delta Jet, the Monsoon and the new Delta Jet 2 which is coming back to Reno/Carson soon with a new student who bought it from the original owner. I must thank Apollo/Abid for continuing to support Apollo trikes in and offer the Delta Jet 2 as an option. If for some reason you want to get into a Gyro, perhaps the SilverLight Aviation Abid's own gyro should be a consideration.





That is the end of my look at 2016. Please provide any other opinions or additional information as you see it. Positive information is welcomed here to get a comprehensive year end review of our beautiful machines.




Dec 18th

Fuel filter for trikes

By Rizwan Bukhari

Today I have a question about fuel filters. Can anyone tell me what kind of a fuel filter do you use for your 912 trikes.


My 912 came with a glass filter and I believe my first Airborne trike (582 Bluehead) also had a similar to the picture below,

My filter looked in pretty poor condition and very dirty so I order a new one from Aircraft Spruce, I wasn't entirely thrilled with it's quality. The one on Aircraft Spruce comes with different size plastic fittings.



I read up a little bit on this particular fuel filter (above) and it seems that the mesh is much finer then what Rotax recommends and in some cases this filter was responsible for clogging the fuels flow causing engine outs. One guy had picture of his completly destroyed aircraft, the cause was clogging by this filter that starved the fuel. 


Which brings me to this question, what brand fitlers do you use on your trikes, does anyone know if Rotax has a preferred filter? Does anyone know of issues caused be the fuel filters.





Dec 13th

another sad day for trikers.

By monty stone

 one in australia, one in california.            are we experiencing more trike fatals lately? is there any connection between 'transitioning' ga pilots and 'first' solo  crashes? are high performance trikes more likely to be involved? i'm not 'knocking' any particular form of trikes, like any other device, be it motorcycle, dump-truck or bicycle, in the right hands, with sufficient instruction of the correct kind they should be able to be safely opperated. is there a 'central' depositary where CORRECT accident info can be accessed in order to learn from these tragedies to maybe reduce them. we don't get much from the 'papperatzy' publishing their 'if it bleeds it leads' accounts of these events. after all, if they are relying mainly on 'eye-witness' accounts, with the close-up of an excited face of a suddenly famous 'eye-witness' who is more interested in being seen by their buddies than they are recounting an accurate account of what they saw. the ntsb and faa don't seem to be too interested in 'ultralight' accidents, especially pilot only involved. i do realize that every time i challenge gravity and take-off that this might result in 'gravity 1, monty 0, and accept that risk. passengers often don't, or didn't have the info necessary for them to assess the mortal danger of aviating. if sport pilot has done anything good, it maybe flushed the 'wide-seat' ultralights from taking up uninformed passengers on sometimes tragic flights. the house i bought in arizona sold by a lady who's husband, a ga pilot took her grandaughter up in his luscombe, showing her a loop and crashed, killing them both. she still curses him! i guess it all boils down to what happened, why it happened, and what could have prevented it, and how can we learn from it. also, brs were probably carried in these recent events, but sadly, as usual not deployed. my boring 'rants' on 'recovery' systems that rely on the pilot to deploy are too repetative to repeat, so i won't repeat them, LIKE HELL I WON'T! WHEN ARE THE CHUTE MFRS GONNA ' GET WITH IT' AND AUTOMATTICALLY DEPLOY, AS DO AIRBAGS ON AUTOS!  . quote' those that forget the past are doomed to repeat it'.'again and  again..............                                                                                                                                         ps. as the 'big boys' ntsb and faa usually refer 'ultralight' accidents to local police agencies perhaps they could 'encourage' them to ask that the closest 'trike flight instructor' be invited to help with the investigation, with, i'm sure a more accurate outcome.  pps. the use of the word-age  'trike' and 'ultralight' is simply because that's what they are perceived to be by ' non triking' earthlings! ', of course, we 'flex wing opperators' know better, don't we'? ,though, if it looks like a trike, flyes like a trike, it just might be a trike! somehow, 'flex wing pilot social' just doesn't 'cut it'. 'eliptical winged aircraft'? nah! SPITFIRE!                                                                                                                          freazier nuttszoff

Dec 12th

Replacing Rotax 912 Fuel Pump

By Rizwan Bukhari

Hi all,

So, I may have to replace my fuel pump soon and I was doing some research, which I would like to share with you and then I have a few questions that I hope you can help with.


In my search for Fuel Pumps for the Rotax 912 80hp, I found two different choices on CPS




And then you have 893-115


Both of these are mentioned in the Rotax Service Bulliten below as viable replacement pumps.


What is the benefit of the 893-115?

There is this website that explains the benefit of 893-115


And I am still confused, but what I understood is that it (893-115) is just a fuel pump by itself and you can buy the accessories that are needed for your 912 engine (because apparently there is a few different types of fuel pump out there so this fuel pump allows you to buy only the needed accessories).


Following are some more questions that I have for anyone who can help here, I am getting together with my A & P to replace fuel pump on mine and would like to be prepared with answers to some of the issues others have faced.


Fuel Pressure Issues?

I have read on many Forums that when the fuel pump was replaced, they had Fuel Pressure issues, did any of you notice that in your trikes (after replacing your fuel pump) and if so what was the fix?


Does Rotax reimburse you any costs for following the Service Bulletin and changing the fuel pump?

On the online forums, some people claim that they got half of the replacement costs by sending in the old fuel pump back. Most say they didn't. Does anyone know anything about it? 


What if there is no indication of a problem with fuel pump, should it be replaced?

Well if it is an SLSA then I guess you don't have a choice, but what if it is an Experimental? On some forums a few people said that they called Lockwood Aviation and asked them that if their existing fuel pumps were working fine and there was no indication of an issue with the fuel pump (such as leaking weep holes), should they still replace it and the Lockwood Aviation told them NOT to replace them. What is your view on it?


Lastly I watched this video on youtube, I believe the captions are in Italian so it is hard to understand but is this scientifically a correct demonstration of pressure issues? in this video I think they are demostrating that the old pump doesn't have enough pressure and should be replaced.


And as always thank you for helping.





Dec 8th

Another Fatal Trike Crash :(

By Rizwan Bukhari

Pilot was Matthew Wilson, does anyone know what caused the crash.

Pilot Killed in Ultralight Aircraft Crash

The ultralight crashed through a carport before striking multiple vehicles.

Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire

The ultralight crashed through a carport before striking multiple vehicles.

Originally published 11:15 a.m., December 6, 2016
Updated 3:37 p.m., December 7, 2016

The pilot of an ultralight motorized hang glider died in a Tuesday morning crash soon after taking off from the Santa Barbara Airport. The pilot has been identified as a 45-year-old male but his name has not been released.

According to County Fire spokesperson Capt. Dave Zaniboni, the glider went down in the parking lot of the Willow Springs apartment complex in Goleta, crashing through the roof of a carport and striking two vehicles. No one on the ground was hurt. The glider took off at 10:04 a.m. and the crash was reported at 10:09 a.m.

Zaniboni said emergency crews remain on the scene as the FAA conducts an investigation.

This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates as they become available.

[UPDATE] The pilot has been identified as Matthew Erwin Wilson of Santa Barbara. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Coroner’s Office is investigating the cause and manner of his death.

Dec 4th

Mounting options for your Antennas

By Rizwan Bukhari

Hi all,


We have a nice discussion going on mounting Antennas on trike so I thought of organizing it a little bit with pictures to help anyone wanting ideas of mounting antenna to their trikes.


For my Airborne trike, I bought a flag/whip antenna mount from axis alloys and this is what it looks like, it's adjustable so can be adjusted for a horizontal, vertical or any angled roll bar.


Here is an idea posted by Doug used by Gregg Ludwig, looks pretty simple and clean




The part for the above mount is SS Tang from West Marine website


The next one in line is Todd's mount made by Neil Bungard of AirCreation, looks like a very clean set up.




And last but not least is Doug Boyle's mount on his old trike, I like the Strobe and the Antenna nicely and neatly organized together.




Here is an example on a Delta Lite Trike



 Sirio-Antenna-Moved to Landing-Gear (2)


Doug Boyle's DIY mount for your keel




Doug Boyle's mounting on the landing gear close up




If you have any close ups of your antenna mounts, please feel free to share. I think on this blog the best way to shareis copy and then press Ctrl V (you can't insert pics, unless if I don't know what I am doing :)





Nov 27th

prov. ' neither a lender or a borrower be '.

By monty stone

well, i was, and i did! while having an excellent memory, it doesn't last long, and i had forgotten when i loaned my trike to a 'many hour fixed wing pilot'. the recent tragedy involving a FWP, and his fatal flight with a borrowed trike jogged it. in 1994 i had taken my home-built trike to Alvord fly-in and a pilot, well known to me, very accomplished with most flying things asked to try my trike. he said he had flown trikes 'a bit', so, against my 'inner voice' ( the one that yells NO! NO! when i'm selecting a second cream-filled donut)     screaming NO! i let him. ( i was  Mr nice guy, then! ) well, the flight went ok, BUT, he was wearing HUGE, hob-nailed boots, with thick soles, and with no 'brake feel' had locked the front end on landing, did a 'stoppie', standing the trike on it's nose. the forks bent back, making the trike un-useable till i was able to repair it. no tragedy, fortunately, but it mean't a 1200 mile round trip wasted, for me, and re-inforced an obeyance to the above proverb. ( though if larry wants to lend me a REV, preferably yellow, for say, three or four years i might ammend this rule!)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  freezier ballsoff                                                                                                                                                                             ps. i keep hearing about 'naked trike flying. is this a new fad? i personally prefer a flying suit and gloves. am i missing out?  where would i keep my chewing gum? OH! i know..........                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Nov 25th

re-inventing the wheel, again. or the blog that never was!

By monty stone

us 'retirees', (euphemism for 'west-ward' bound!) have WAY too much time to muse on what-ifs, what could be-s or cood-a bins. anyway, i was 'musing' on the huge amount of 'Trikeology' there must be in this sites archives, but more or less inaccessable, without some kind of reference index. such as 'Rotax, wing info, training available, regs, how to, where to , why to, etc,etc.'newbies' that wish to learn or ' oldbies' who have forgot could then take advantage of the experience of others in the 'Trikeing world. i'm abyssmally ignorant about sites, (in addition, i'm told,about other things, too!) so have no idea whether  such an index exists, or could exist. other sites i use have such a provision listed as 'maintenence, repairs, data, etc, etc. therefore, re-inventing the wheel, or, the blog that never was...................                                                                                                                                                          ps. kinda like the road sign my wing-tip hit in mexico, i swear it read " ignore this sign". i did, but my wing-tip didn't.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  freezier ballsoff