My first trike, an Arrowquest Everest with an inverted 503 cc Rotax engine. I recently sold this aircraft to make room for a 2008 Northwing Apache.
My newest trike, Northwing Apache S-LSA
Welcome to Want to Fly a Trike,
at 12flyatrike you will read about my experiences flying weight-shift control aircraft. A weight shift controlled trike, also called a flexwing aircraft or microlights, is as many of the light sport pilots say is "like flying a motorcycle in the sky." Please read on and return to this "pattern" often as I write about people, places and the flying adventures and experiences that I've had learning to fly both single seat FAR Part 103 legal ultralight trikes and two-place Light Sport trikes in the upper Midwest of the United States.
September 24, 2016: Flying in a Vacuum
Living in South Dakota and flying a trike is for sure flying in a vacuum. The population of our state is just over 858,000 as of July 1, 2015. I live in Sioux Falls the largest city in the state and our population at this time is about 275,000. So how many trikes and pilots do we have within the 46th most or should I say least populous State within the United States? Currently there are a whopping total of five trike pilots but one of them sold his aircraft last year and I haven’t heard from pilot number four in quite a long time, so we could be down to three.
What can a person do to locate other pilots with similar aircraft and interests? There is a website that can be found easily if you do a Google, Yahoo, Bing or whatever search for “trike pilot locator map.” This will take you to a map that you can look anywhere in the United States or the World and find a few pilots and instructors. That is a great place to start and although I have submitted my information, I am not pictured on the map yet. It did introduce me to a new pilot in my state and although I haven’t met him yet, we have talked on the phone a couple of times.
Another great way to let the air into the vacuum is to get yourself a copy of “the only print magazine that focuses on personal aviation every issue” entitled Powered Sport Flying Magazine. The magazine has great articles about all of the light aircraft that may interest you besides trikes and has a Calendar that lists many events across the country for you to visit and meet like-minded people like yourself. You can find the magazine in most large national bookstores or check them out on Facebook.
You can also check out the local airports in your area, the smaller the better, and just start asking questions and checking out their bulletin boards. Bulletin boards are a great place to find aircraft and hangars for sale or for rent and many groups post announcements about fly-ins or Pancake Breakfasts or Burger-Burns that you can attend.
Lastly. don’t forget to checkout Social Media dumb as that sounds. Yahoo has several Groups that you can join and the same goes for Facebook. As a matter of fact, a new group put together an event last year and it kicks off again this year on the 1st of October 2016. The event is called WUFI 2016 – World Ultralight-Fly In 2016. Search the internet and if you are already an Ultralight or Light Sport Pilot you can register and participate in this worldwide event, it will be bigger than last year for sure.
Flying ultralights and light sport trikes can be like flying in a vacuum but you can break out of it quickly and easily. One important thing to remember is that this is a very small community. It doesn’t take too long to get to meet people or know of people within the community. Treat them all with respect and hopefully they will treat you the same way. I will try to introduce you to a few of them that I have met personally, talked to at length or have just learned about through my short time while learning to fly my trikes, until next time Train Well and learn to Fly Safely.
September 10, 2016: Jetwing chassis #1135 is FOR SALE $3750 Firm
For more information about purchasing this trike go to Contact Me at the
bottom of the page. Rotax 447 engine, gearbox, 4 bladed prop, Demon
Wing. Hours are unknown for the chassis, engine, and wing. Current
owner says he recently purchase this aircraft and on takeoff it climbs too
fast for his taste so be trained thoroughly and prepared for a real tiger!
September 10, 2016: One of the best things about flying my Northwing Apache Light Sport trike is the ability to fly cross country to nearby fly-ins. Don’t get the idea it is as easy as jumping in your car because it isn’t. A lot of planning goes into each time I decide to go for an adventure like this. First off you need a good deal of flying experience in all kinds of weather and turbulence. You also need plenty of time in the event the weather turns sour and you can’t return home when you had originally planned. More on cross country flying later but don’t jump right in without serious planning and consideration.
The other day I wrote: “During my next writing I will tell you how I met a guy at a fly-in about 4 years ago. He traded a motorcycle for a Jetwing chassis and begins his quest to fly trikes.” I met this guy at a fly-in about 4 years ago. I arrived on Saturday morning and gave a couple of rides, then had lunch and then talked to the pilots and the people that came to see the aircraft fly. I talked to one guy in particular that would call me in the very near future. I should have committed this guy to memory because it seemed he had a very keen interest and he asked a lot of questions.
A few days later the guy called me, he was an over-the-road truck
driver and with his blue tooth engaged he started asking me every
question in the book about flying trikes. The man is Ken Lantgen and he is
interested in flying and he thinks trikes might be the way to go.
Apparently the answers I was giving him made him begin a search to find
himself a trike and find one he did.
He found a trike, chassis #1135, for sale in Texas. It was a Jetwing
built by Flight Designs circa 1979. The guy wanted around $900 for it so
Ken told him as soon as he sold his Goldwing motorcycle he would buy
the Jetwing. When Ken told me about the impending deal I suggested
that he call the Jetwing owner and ask him if he would trade for the
Goldwing. Ken thought that was a good idea so he called the guy. Not
only did he say yes, but he wanted the Goldwing so bad, he hauled the
Jetwing from Texas to South Dakota for free the following week. Now Ken
needed a wing and the preference was to locate a Flight Designs Demon
wing, just like the one sold with the Jetwing back in the day. The trouble
was, Demon wings are not that plentiful. Ken would constantly call me
and ask me about another brand name that he found and wondered if we
could make that work. I kept suggesting to him to be patient and finally
he located one in Pennsylvania. Another trucking friend of Ken’s was in
Pennsylvania so he picked the wing up and brought it back to South
Several years went by as Ken meticulously restored the trike, ensuring
everything would be safe for flight. It was a challenge for Ken since he
was on the road trying to make a living. He would work on the Jetwing as
time would allow but many times when he was home he would be
catching up on projects around the house and important family things
like birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and the like. The Jetwing would
always come last as hobby things generally do.
Ken and I would talk regularly and sometimes he would talk about
selling the project since he didn’t have time to take flying lessons from
me, the closest Certified Flight Instructor within 600 miles. He just didn’t
have time juggling work and family. Another trike friend of mine caught
wind of this trike sitting idle and since he had sold his trike the year
before, he asked Ken if he would consider selling #1135 to him. They
came to an agreeable price and #1135 was on it’s way to a new home and
hangar in Sturgis, South Dakota. Well that purchase was short lived as
you can see in the for sale ad recently listed on this website.
Ken Lantgen and me.
September 9, 2016: One of the most important and timeless articles ever published about Jetwings was written by a man named Dan Johnson. Dan flys new aircraft all the time and then writes about them in great detail to help pilots make the decision whether it fits their needs. In 1982 Dan flew a Jetwing and wrote an article that describes what it is like to fly this incredible machine. I have posted Dan's article in the right side column under "Latest News." Click on the colored picture of a Jetwing with a black Demon Wing. If you are going to fly a Jetwing, commit Dan's description to memory because it may save you damage to you and your aircraft.
September 8, 2016: Today you may have noticed that I added to the right upper column under Latest News, a picture of the original Flight Designs Owners Manual for a Jetwing All Terrain Vehicle and a Flight Designs Demon Wing manual. If you click on either picture you can download the manuals that was included with the Jetwing kit and wing back in the late '70s and early '80s. These manuals were found on a yahoo group website and are photocopies from originals so they have some marks on them, and they aren't great copies, but if you don't have any originals these will be of great use to you I'm sure.
September 7, 2016: One of the things that seems to get the most attention on my website, is the information that I post about Jetwing trikes. I thoroughly enjoyed my experiences flying that great vintage ultralight trike but when my goal was to become a Certified Flight Instructor, I concentrated on flying my two seat Special Light Sport Aircraft and my Jetwing sat quietly and neglected in my hangar. Finally I decided to sell it so that it wouldn't go to waste and sit idle. Unfortunately the guy that bought it, decided to assemble it and taxi it around. He assured me he wouldn't fly it before he got training. Well as happens all too often, it looks and seems too easy and the Jetwing has an uncanny ability to fly, which it did, and he crashed it and was seriously hurt. The story has a good ending although not for the trike, so far that is. The guy healed up to a fashion and went on to earn his Private Pilots certificate in a fixed wing aircraft. The Jetwing remains were repurchased by me and I am putting it back together with another Jetwing chassis that I own. I will report more on the progress in the near future. One thing I discovered is that many of the Jetwing trikes had a serial number stamped on the engine plate and so I have been asking current Jetwing owners to look at their engine plates and let me know what numbers they have. Mine is #1233. So far we have found a trike in South Dakota and a trike in Mississippi are 6 numbers apart. So calling all Jetwing Owners, help us start a Registry for a fine vintage trike, probably the first commercially built ultralight trike in the United States. During my next writing I will tell you how I met a guy at a fly-in about 4 years ago. He traded a motorcycle for a Jetwing chassis and begins his quest to fly trikes, come back soon.
January 13, 2012
Today I received an email from a yahoo trike group member that provided a link to a clip of a video from the first episode of "the Finder", a new show on FOX. View this:
This is what a Jetwing looks like during takeoff and flight. You can begin to understand the fascination with this simple aircraft by so many pilots. I know you will enjoy it.
January 7 & 10, 2012
I had two great opportunities to fly the Jetwing recently, each time I flew about 48 minutes. The Jetwing is such a beautiful low and slow flying aircraft, it just seems very effortless. The temperature was in the mid 40's and the wind was 7 knots or less, hard to believe this was winter flying in southwest Minnesota.
January 4, 2012
I am long overdue for updating my webpage. It seems that a lot of you are interested in light weight trikes, better known as Part 103 ultralight trikes in the USA. Several viewers have contacted me about the Jetwing ATV trikes that were designed in the late '70s. As you may have read on this website, I am an avid Jetwing flyer. There is so much interest in the Jetwing we are talking about starting a Jetwing Owner's Association. Supposedly there were somewhere between 2000 and 3000 of these trikes built and sold. I wonder how many ever flew and are still flying today. They continually show up on the net for sale in various conditions. I have bought a couple of them myself. There is also a Jetwing restoration blog written by a guy in Minnesota that I met through this website named David Brownlee. Dave and I became friends over the last couple of years via phone and email as he was restoring his trike after he crashed it. Luckily he is okay and I finally got to meet Dave when he brought his trike to Luverne, Minnesota. Check out his webasite and story at:
North Central Plains Ultralights
As in any sport or hobby, eventually you start to meet the people that have the same or similar interests as you. I was reading an issue of Ultra Flight Magazine, checking out the Calendar when I noticed there was a Fly-In at Centerville, South Dakota. Since it was close to my hometown of Sioux Falls, South Dakota it was an event that I should attend. This is where I first met a group of flyers called the North Central Plains Ultralights. Quite a number of these guys fly Powered Parachutes and as flyers do they add other ratings as time goes on. Several are now flying fixed wing aircraft and one flies a trike. Each year this group has about 7 fly-ins in South Dakota and Minnesota. I will add our schedule of events as soon as they become available.
If powered parachutes interest you, I am adding a resource called the Powered Parachute Flying Handbook in the left column above. This manual is an FAA publication but it is no longer posted on their website. I am now printing these manuals and making them available if you want one, check out the Powered Parachute Flying Handbook page.
__________________________________________ Where to Start Learning About Trikes It is difficult to say where a person should start learning about trikes, but as I promised when I began this website, I said I would introduce you to products, people and places. When I began I was hooked so hard after my introductory flight, I bought an aircraft in a short period of time. That is really putting the cart before the horse and if I was just starting today I am not sure I would do it that way again. If you live close to an instructor, I would began by hanging out at their hangar or school and start asking questions until they throw you out, although I doubt they will do that. If an instructor isn't nearby you could search the internet for information and like an old television commercial used to show, you could finish that task in a few hours, ha ha. My best suggestion is to check out the folowing two items. The first is what I call the Trike Handbook, the most recent resource written specifically for trikers in quite awhile. It is really entitled "Weight-Shift Control Aircraft Flying Handbook." It has 280 pages of information, colored pictures and diagrams that was a great value to me as I progressed through my training to take the Sport Pilot Oral and Checkride. The price is $44.00 plus shipping. Just click on the item and it should take you to an order form.
The next resource is a little cheaper and you may prefer to purchase this product first, if you don't order them at the same time. This is the "Starting Triking" DVD from Adventure Productions. The video includes First Lessons, Tandem Instruction in the Skies and Spectacular in-air Footage. If you haven't taken an introductory flight yet this video will inspire you to do so. The price is $29.95 plus shipping. Again, just click on the item and it will take you to an order form.