Did you read “Jet Access” and think this article was not for you? I get that but please read further.
Jet Access is not about airlines or military. It isn’t even about jet engines or biz jets. It is about flight school operations and which aircraft the operators find optimal. Spoiler Alert: Light-Sport Aircraft win.
Here’s the question of the hour: “Why are leading flight schools world wide choosing Evektor LSA to replace their aging legacy fleet of flight training aircraft?” The question is posed by Evektor’s U.S. Director of Fleet Sales, Steve Trerotola. Answers follow…
Evektor Is #1… Forever
You may not have heard quite as much from Evektor over the last couple years. That’s because they’ve been head-down puzzling over America’s legal system, a challenge for many foreign producers. Based in a different country, some manufacturers feel insulated from lawsuits but given America is by far the world’s largest aviation market, well… it’s wise to think differently.
The legal issue is not the subject of this article, but now that the matter has successfully been resolved, the Czech producer is back in action and raring to go.
For the three U.S.-based representatives — Steve Minnich‘s Dreams Come True, or Art Tarola‘s AB Flight, or Steve Treretola’s western dealership, Sunrise Aviation — the cloudy skies have given way to bright sunshine and a warmer climate.
One thing no one can ever take away from Evektor is their #1 position as the first Light-Sport Aircraft ever to be accepted by FAA seventeen years ago at Sun ‘n Fun 2005. Evektor and Flight Design, with the SportStar and CT respectively, were the first two LSA accepted at an opening day ceremony and Evektor was the very first. Starting almost immediately, Evektor proved to be a winner in flight school operations and that success obviously continues.
Big New Order Logged
Recently, Evektor in the USA booked an order for a dozen new Evektor Harmony LSA with the potential for as many as 100 more. Such numbers in Light-Sport aviation are more than attention-getting. This is a big order. Good for Evektor but good for all in the LSA community. Stronger manufacturers means better service and more innovation for all customers.
Jet Access began as a jet-share organization but realized that building their flight school operation was a worthy path to follow. Anyone paying attention to an impending pilot shortage is already aware of this potential. This Indiana company runs established flight schools and has plans to acquire more. “They plan to equip all these with Evektor aircraft, which they’ve seen as a great training aircraft that produces better pilots quicker and costs much less to operate than brand new or legacy GA designs,” said Steve Treretola.
“We’ll also have some interesting news at Sun ‘n Fun,” predicted Art Tarola. As the season-opening show begins, make your way to Evektor’s display near the turf runway in Paradise City (space LP-001) to learn more.
John Mauch, Jet Access’ Chief Flight Instructor and Director of Operations said, “We are the 10th largest charter in the world based on flight hours. Jet Access is the only vertically integrated aviation enterprise at a national scale. We do charter, Part 91 jet management, brokerage, FBO management, full service Part 145 MRO, Part 61 and 141 flight training with collegiate program management.”
“Headquartered in Indianapolis, Jet Access has chosen Evektor for the same reason organizations have chosen primary trainers for the last 100 years: they are two-place, light and frisky, durable, easy-to-fly and maintain, with a high dispatch rate, plus low fuel burn and operating costs,” explained west coast rep’, Steve Treretola.
“The Evektors are technically advanced aircraft with glass cockpits and autopilots,” echoed John. He added, “This prepares our students for modern piloting that improves safety, while still focusing on stick and rudder skills due to flight characteristics of the Evektors. They’re also larger inside than legacy trainers with far better visibility and cabin airflow.” With airplanes Jet Access has on order for Q3 2022 delivery, they will operate about 80 aircraft, the company elaborated.
John Mauch is an ATP instructor with experience in Cessna, Piper, and Cirrus models. He instructed for Larry Gehrig’s Sport Pilot Chicago for three years. “After flying Evektors John had no desire to return to the previous ‘standard’ flight school aircraft,” said Steve Minnich of Evektor dealer Dreams Come True. Sport Pilot Chicago continues seven-day-a-week operation with three Evektors: a Sportstar, Sportstar SL, and a Harmony.
“The Evektor fleet has amassed over one million flight hours,” Steve Treretola added. “Evektor is built using traditional metal construction, has a fuel burn of four gallons per hour, and has a 2,000-hour engine TBO making it an ideal 21st century successor to the famous trainers of the past including the ubiquitous Cessna 150 and 152 plus the Piper Cherokee series.”
Treretola observed that Jet Access chief pilot, John Mauch has amassed several thousand hours instructing in Evektor Harmony and knows the brand well. “With that experience, Jet Access felt comfortable placing an initial order for a dozen Harmony aircraft and has optioned a total of 100 [with delivery] spread out over a number of years,” Steve reported.
About Evektor Harmony
“Evektor currently has delivered 1,400 LSA worldwide,” Steve noted, adding that “half of them are in flight schools or aero clubs.” The balance are owned by individuals, he said.
Why are Evektor models so popular in flight schools? It might not be what you think, given that nearly all pilots trained in American schools over the last half century have learned on yoke-equipped aircraft. “These are great stick and rudder platforms,” Steve Treretola explained. “They create good pilots.” Properly equipped, Evektor’s LSA can qualify as TAA, or Technically Advanced Aircraft, and are thereby suitable for not only primary but instrument and commercial training.
Evektor is a leading design, engineering and aircraft manufacturing group from the Czech Republic. It has become one of the world´s most recognized manufacturers of Light-Sport Aircraft whose factory in the south of Czech has been in aircraft production since 1936. It makes sales in 40 countries and employs a staff 400 people.
Evektor has gone far beyond LSA with their four seat Super Cobra (nearby photo) developed some years ago and a twin-engine turboprop regional airliner called EV-55 Outback. These are far outside my coverage of aviation but show the depth of experience and knowledge within Evektor.
Years ago I visited their factory in Kunovice, Czech to see them building the SportStar LSA. It was an impressive facility and the region is highly aviation oriented so an abundance of talented workers is available. Evektor is also very active in design and development work for the automotive industry.
I hope to see you at Sun ‘n Fun 2022 coming in mere days as this is written. If you can’t make it, stay tuned to this website and I’ll do my best to keep you informed. Watch for a preview article coming soon…
I’ve been considering the Evektor as a possible addition to my little flight school but one thing I had heard about was a law suit brought against Evektor USA that had caused Evektor in Europe to respond negatively or slowly to support in the U.S. Apparently from your article this might not be the case but I would like feel confident that this has been resolved and that Evector would very supportive of their U.S. market.
Dan Johnson says
As I understand, the legal matter has been fully settled. Evektor is a well-established company. I see no challenges to doing business with them other than the specific deals you may wish to make.
William Snodgrass says
Thank you Dan! I appreciate the response.
Jens Oxboll says
In Evektor we always support our customers, be it in America or anywhere else in the world! We consider our customers as part of our family, and if you have any doubts, please contact us. I am sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised of the level of service and support we provide!
It’s nice to hear about your interest in our aircraft, and I hope that you’ll become part of the Evektor family in the future!
All the best,
William Snodgrass says
I am very glad to hear this! I have definitely liked the Evektor and understand there are always issues with any airplane manufacturing endeavors no matter the country. So thank you for your quick response and I will trust that this is no longer an issue.
Great for the American crew, collectively they are worthy of supporting a large flight operation. The ability to operate large flight schools on unleaded fuel is not to be overlooked.
Build the onsite brand mechanics and house the planes correctly and grow the fleet. Congratulations!
Jerry P Sorenson says
Dan – This is great, however, I cannot find a flight school around the Dallas-Fort Worth area that will even teach on LSA (and in my case I’m 25 pounds over their weight limit at 225). It’d be great if you would publish flight schools teaching on this aircraft type. Thanks.
Dan Johnson says
I wish I could keep track of all flight schools using LSA. I have tried but it means keeping tabs on hundreds of businesses and it is a never-ending task. Check with US Sport Planes; they are in the DFW area.
Dan, perhaps you cpuld have a portion of your site where schools that offer LSAs can self post with location, types, rates and website. Then all that needs to be done is have a feedback for broken links or closures by users.
Dan Johnson says
That does sound like a reasonable solution to the challenge. I would have to investigate the resources required to achieve such a directory concept.
Jerry – I know one flight school in Dallas metro, located at Addison airport. Their name is “Thrust Flight” and their website is the same: “thrustflight.com”. They have opened another campus at Denison.
Also, at Denton, TX I think there’s 2 flight schools using LSA airplanes.
But, let’s get honest on the weight. LSA have a smaller useful load. Your weight is pushing it for 2 pilots. Maybe a skinny flight instructor! 🙂 Flight schools will have to make that call.
If it doesn’t happen for training in LSA, good ol’ faithful Cessna 172 will be there for you!
I don’t have any connection to any of these schools, however, back in 2010 I did go for a Discover Flight in one of Thrust Flights Czech SportCruisers. I drove down from Oklahoma for my first ride in a LSA.
Will Green says
Looks like Darwin’s missing link between Light-Sport and GA.
May they succeed without haste.
Did you see that the Vickers Wave made its first flight now?
Dan Johnson says
Yes, I am aware. I have been communicating with the factory for details and images. Very soon…!