First Impressions: My first thought when I saw the Piper Sport Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) was that it was small, but it looks like a real plane, unlike some other LSAs. I am happy to say once we got in there was ample room in the cockpit. I am 6′, 170 pounds and my instructor had 3 inches on me and we both fit nicely. We hopped in and went for an intro flight. Starting the plane is pretty simple, and the taxi is smooth as can be. When we got back to the Guidance Aviation building, I sat down and talked over the different options we had with flight training; and I can’t really explain it, but Guidance just seemed like the right place for me.
First Flight: My first flight was great. I met my instructor, who clearly holds a true love for teaching others how to fly. We went out to the Orme practice area where he showed me the basic maneuvers. After about an hour we took the plane back and landed. This first flight gave me great confidence and an understanding as the student that my instructor will correct me when he needs to and let me truly learn in a safe manner.
Solo: Through a number of flights, my Guidance instructor and I laid out a game plan and tailored it after ever flight. On a Saturday we flew a presolo to Cottonwood and at the end of the flight my instructor told me that I’d be soloing the next day (winds permitting). The next day we did some pattern work and before I knew it I was alone in the plane by myself, but I was confident and excited to fly. I talked to ground, taxied, and did the run up. The tower cleared me for takeoff and instructed me to make right closed traffic. I lined the plane up, add full power, and was off. After three full stops and landings with taxis back, I proceeded back to the south ramp. I was happy as can be.
Guidance Aviation: The staff at Guidance Aviation seems to share a love of aviation not only as a business, but as an art. You can tell when you walk in the building that everyone there loves their jobs. As I said before, I don’t know why Guidance Aviation felt like the right place for me but I am very happy with my choice in flight schools.
The PiperSport LSA: You may have already looked at the stats on the plane: http://guidance.aero/PiperSportLTDSpecs.pdf
But how does all this actually translate to a new student pilot? At first glance the plane seems small, but as I stated earlier, I am 6′ and my instructor is 6’3″ and we fit nicely in the cockpit. The flight characteristics are light and responsive but forgiving. The twin dynon screens give the crew a wealth of information and are actually very simple to operate. The convenience of these screens cannot be matched, you look down and you have all flight information displayed on a easy to read screen. The canopy gives simply great views, you almost feel as you are outside the plane. The only downside to these views is that it causes the cockpit to heat up, but this is solved by a screen that you can pull over the top part of the canopy which works quite effectively. Overall its a great aircraft. The Piper Sport LSA operates great in every aspect of flight, and is extremely effective for training.
~Matt Bricker, Flight Student, Guidance Aviation