February 2013

Experimenter is a magazine created by EAA for people who build airplanes. We will report on amateur-built aircraft as well as ultralights and other light aircraft.

Issue link: https://experimenter.epubxp.com/i/108002

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Page 36 of 44

Lon Pinaire's Ultra-Aire was beautifully built and few well, but by 1983 standards it was already behind the technology curve. They both love aviation, and both also fly foot-launched powered paragliders. However, it was becoming hard for his dad to foot-launch, so they wanted to get into trikes. The pair purchased a maroon Sky Cycle trike manufactured by Fly Hard Trikes in Wildwood, Georgia that was displayed at the 2011 Sun 'n Fun International Fly-In & Expo at Lakeland, Florida. Later they traveled to Tennessee to train in a two-seat trike with designer and manufacturer Michael Theeke. Each pilot received several hours of dual instruction over a weekend, but they didn't solo. The plan was to return later for more instruction, but they never managed to do it. He flew around the pattern and appeared to make a landing approach but was not aligned with the runway. He angled away from the runway as if to go around for another try when suddenly the trike descended wings level as if in a stall, from an altitude of about 100 to 150 feet. The engine was still making power. Just before it Jeff said he doesn't remember how it happened, but apparently he and his dad decided to take the Sky Cycle to the airport and try some low hops down the long 5,200-foot runway. His dad tried it first and got airborne briefly; the single-place trike handled quite a bit differently than the two-place trainer. He pulled back on the control bar too much after the initial liftoff, and the trike descended sharply and landed hard enough that he felt a bit shaken up. Dad brought the trike back to the start of the runway, and Jeff took his turn. According to witnesses, Jeff made a full takeoff and climbed away from the runway. Photography by Dan Grunloh Te Sky Cycle trike involved in the Edwards accident when it was on display at Sun 'n Fun 2011, where it won the Best Type Trike award. EAA Experimenter 37

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