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NAFI Plans First Sport Pilot Symposium at Sebring Expo

Certified Flight Instructors (CFIs) can acquire important information regarding their crucial roles in the new sport pilot/light-sport aircraft (SP/LSA) community by attending a two-day symposium October 29-30, to be held at the Sebring (Florida) Sport Pilot Expo, hosted by the National Association of Flight Instructors. The NAFI Sport Pilot Symposium will give CFIs a comprehensive introduction to SP/LSA, as well as how the new regulations can benefit them and their businesses.

Each day will include a half-day of presentations by well-known aviation professionals and a half-day of hands-on demonstrations featuring a variety of light-sport aircraft (fixed-wing, powered parachute, weight-shift trikes, etc.). Subjects for the morning forums include:

Introduction to the light-sport aircraft and sport pilot rating

  • Operations at airports featuring a mix of general aviation and light-sport aircraft
  • Insurance for sport pilots
  • Creating and operating an airpark
  • Practical test standards
  • The “Trade-A-Flight” program - where symposium attendees receive a coupon to take to an ultralight instructor in their area for a free demonstration flight.

    “Sport pilot/light-sport aircraft introduces people to basic flying in basic aircraft,” said NAFI Executive Director Rusty Sachs. “It’s a wonderful and inexpensive entry point into aviation. By creating this potential for many new pilot starts, sport pilot offers flight instructors an enormous opportunity to expand their businesses.”

    Sachs added that the symposium committee, which met to develop the program during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2004, aims to conduct other symposiums at several sites over the upcoming year.

    “This is a chance for CFIs to return to their stick-and-rudder roots,” said EAA President Tom Poberezny. “It’s an opportunity to train eager, passionate students - prospective aviators looking to experience aviation for the sheer fun, joy, and wonder of flight.”

    Among the confirmed symposium participants are Paul Hamilton, creator of the Hamilton Flight Systems; Sue Gardner, FAA sport pilot project manager; Jack Vandeventer, seasoned CFI and marketing expert; John King, co-founder and owner of the King Schools; and Marty Weaver, manager of the FAA’s Light-Sport Aviation Branch in Oklahoma City. Many more EAA, NAFI, and industry experts are also slated to attend.

    Attendance is limited to 120 and will be on a first come, first served basis. Symposium cost to EAA/NAFI members is $100, and $140 for non-members. (An EAA or NAFI membership is $40 per year, so non-members are encouraged to join and receive the membership rate.)

    To make a reservation, call EAA Membership Services at 800/JOIN EAA (564-6322) or register online.