Brrrr, it’s mighty cold in northern places like Oshkosh, Wisconsin, headquarters for EAA. However, those seasoned veterans of winter’s chill know how to warm things up.
After Covid, so many things changed for so long that, today, it’s getting hard to remember how it was. EAA hosted (in-person) Ultralight Days for some years, with a wintery gathering of aviation’s lightest flying machines at their splendid facilities right behind the HQ building. Specifically I mean Pioneer Airport. Covid played a role in suspending that event.
Yet EAA’s helpful experts, led by Charlie Becker and Timm Bogenhagen, had a fresher idea. While corporations were Zoom-meeting with staff and clients, Timm and Charlie sprung into action. In the new age of working remotely, how could EAA convey lots of knowledge to their members and how could non-members get a great object lesson in how experts can help?
Using their system that worked beautifully for homebuilders, EAA cooked up Virtual Ultralight Days.
EAA said, “Subject matter experts of the ultralight community will present webinars on the lighter side of recreational aviation including how to get started in ultralights; how-to instructions on a variety of ultralight aircraft such as gyroplanes, powered parachutes, and trikes; and overall informative topics on maintenance, airport operations, safety inspections, and more.”
That covers a lot of ground. How could EAA gurus deliver all this useful information? One word: Webinars… and plenty of them. In about two weeks — over February 21-22-23, 2023 — EAA will present five seminars a day, a total of 15 highly information presentations. See all sessions referenced below.
Never attended a Webinar? — Don’t worry, it’s easy. And free. See “Directions to Register” below. You pay nothing and EAA will email you with credentials to join the gathering. The organization also conducted a similar event for homebuilders. Some presentations attracted hundreds of interested aviators. Most of these are much better attended than any airshow forum, for an obvious reason: you can attend from the comfort of your home.
As with live forums at airshows, you can ask questions (via typed messages). All listening computers and devices are muted so everyone can hear well, but you can be heard. EAA organizers will pick good questions and ask the presenter to address them. The meetings are hosted by GoToWebinar but you don’t need any special software; almost any computer or device will work well.
Yet that’s not all the interaction you can have. During these talks, EAA can survey listeners. As one of the presenters, I am excited about this. When I give a talk in person, I often start out asking some questions of attendees so I can better suit my remarks to their interest and experience. On a webinar the presenter cannot see his or her audience so how do they know who is watching? Surveys will help plus give you a chance to interact.
VUD … Virtual Ultralight Days
“Ultralight flying continues to be one of the purest, and most accessible ways to enjoy aviation. EAA Virtual Ultralight Days is a way to make our community stronger, safer, and more fun,” said Timm, who is EAA’s Ultralight and Light Plane Community Manager.
“Anyone can register for any presentation,” EAA said, “by going to their special VUD webpage and clicking the title of your talk.”
“All webinars are free of charge to everyone interested in ultralight aviation, with the live sessions featuring a Q&A segment. On-demand recordings of the presentations will be available to EAA members.”
All fifteen presentations are live sessions presented by well-known subject matter experts in the ultralight community. A generous question-and-answer period is useful to ask specific questions. Attendees cannot speak during the presentations but can type questions that will be moderated and chosen by EAA organizers.
If you like a topic, you check the time, register, and EAA will send you a drop-dead-simple button to click. If that time doesn’t suit you, no problem as you can watch the recorded version later. It may take a short time to get these ready but then they will be available for a long time. For example, I enjoyed a couple presentations from 2022.
EAA began Virtual Ultralight Days last year on the 40th anniversary of Part 103 becoming part of the FARs.
I hope you can tune in — or watch later. Following is the entire schedule or see Article Links below to quicken your search.
15 Great Sessions
February 21, 2023 — from 1:00 to 7:00 (75 minute sessions)
Getting Started in Ultralights — Timm Bogenhagen, EAA
Powered Paraglider Training Basics — Jon Eisele, powered paraglider instructor
Mosquito Ultralight Helicopter — Norbert Richter, Composite FX
Quicksilver Aircraft and Aero 1000 4-Stroke Engine — Gene “Bever” Borne, Air-Tech, Inc.
Rotax Two-Stroke Operation and Maintenance Tips — Brett Lawton, Leading Edge Airfoils
February 22, 2023 — from 1:00 to 7:00 (75 minute sessions)
Quad City Challenger Maintenance and Inspection Tips — Mark Murray, Certified Flight Instructor
Flying Clubs and Ultralight Flight Instruction — John von Linsowe, Scott Skalski, and Rick Hayes, Michigan Ultralight Ass’n.
Sailcloth Covering: Installation and Maintenance Tips — Malcolm Brubaker, Great Sails
Ultralights Buying Guide — Dan Johnson
February 23, 2023 — from 1:00 to 7:00 (75 minute sessions)
Badland Aircraft: The Folding-Wing Ultralight — Chris Deuel, Badland Aircraft
Airport Operations and Ultralights — Tom Charpentier, EAA
Safety Condition Inspection for Ultralights — Denny Demeter, long-time ultralight owner and pilot
Weight-Shift Trike Training Basics — Paul Hamilton, Sport Aviation Center
Top 10 Causes of Two-Stroke Failure — Brian Carpenter, Rainbow Aviation Services
Directions to Register:
- Go to EAA’s Virtual Ultralight Days link
- Scroll to gray bars listing days and click or tap on any of them (you can open them all at once)
- Pick a talk that interests you and click or tap on its title
- On the next page, enter your first and last name plus email address — THAT’S IT!
- Attendance is free and EAA membership is not required (but you’ll get many benefits when you join)