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Sport Pilot in a Week!

September 21, 2005 - EAA member Randy DiNapoli of Placerville, California recently became a sport pilot in one week! He took advantage of a special training program offered at St Charles Flying Service, an active flight school outside St. Louis, Missouri.

“I’d been looking all over the west coast for someone to train me as a sport pilot, without success,” reported DiNapoli. “I checked California, Oregon, and Nevada to no avail.” He came upon the St Charles program through the EAA website, www.sportpilot.org . DiNapoli commented that the instructors were extremely knowledgeable about sport pilot certification and light sport aircraft in general. He flew the Evektor Sport Star during his training, which led to his certification as a sport pilot on Sunday, 18 September.

DiNapoli, 50, had previously been certified as a Private Pilot, but was only authorized to fly sailplanes. “The Sport Pilot world was designed perfectly for my needs!” he said. “I’m not interested in flying in bad weather or at night. Unfortunately, there are very few light-sport aircraft near my home, but I’m hoping to find an Aeronca Champ to fly once I get my taildragger endorsement.”

Dennis Bampton of St Charles Flying Service is enthusiastic about the response to the company’s instructional program. Five more students are scheduled for training during September, and more in October. They have logged more than 150 hours on the light-sport aircraft to date. Then company has recently ordered a second Sport Star for delivery in October. Bampton stated that DiNapoli was the second pilot to earn his sport pilot rating this year. Norman Johnson of Dana Point, California, was certified as a Sport Pilot in 17 September. He is pictured above with John Teipen, MCFI, the Designated Pilot Examiner who conducted the practical test. Teipen was selected as the 2005 Flight Instructor of the Year.