Among the couple hundred readers who commented on my recent Mosaic article, several referenced private pilots who consider a sport pilot to be “unqualified.” I’ve heard that, too. In fact, I’ve heard similar comments my entire career.
It’s a pecking order thing, I suppose, a natural human response, but I dislike when one aviator puts down another. Is a hang glider pilot somehow less than a power pilot? Is a LSA pilot doing a lesser job flying than a GA pilot? Indeed, is the humble prop pilot somehow less than a jet pilot? Are pilots who like rotary or seaplanes oddballs? I think not, but such opinions are too commonly heard.
Similarly, why are pilots so ill-informed about Part 103? Most pilots have heard of the category, yet most of them know next to nothing about the aircraft type. Contrarily, I can say this: the ones who learn about Aerolite 103 know this is a right-proper light aircraft, and they want more for less.
As a single point, price is important to nearly all consumers. Even in 2023, Aerolite 103 is available for around $25,000. That price comes after three years of high inflation, after the upset of Covid and its effect on supply chains, quadrupled shipping costs, and the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine. Despite an overload of upsetting, price-increasing actions, Aerolite 103 remains a terrific bargain by almost any measure.
Most of that success at keeping Aerolite 103 affordable is due to just two men.
In the video below, nearly a half million viewers have heard inventor Terry Raber describe his Aerolite 103. Raber built and delivered several hundred of these, it is reported. But many years ago he chose to exit aircraft manufacturing to pursue other interests. He connected with former Challenger build shop operator, Dennis Carley, who has breathed new life into the enterprise.
Carley moved Aerolite to Deland, Florida, and began to set up manufacturing. Prior to Aerolite, he won awards for his craftsmanship. He…