Excerpt from ULTRA FLIGHT magazine August 2005)
A Full Service Sport Pilot Facility
With the FAA’s acceptance of their 16-hour fixed-wing repairman course, Carol and Brian Carpenter, owners of Rainbow Aviation and co-authors of a recently released light-sport aircraft book, Sport Pilot Airplane: A Complete Guide, are in the distinctive position to offer any service a fixed-wing sport pilot might need, including the written exam, flight training, aircraft inspection, the practical exam, as well as the 16-hour repairman course.
The Carpenters will be offering their first 16-hour course on August 13th and 14th. “With the FAA restriction of 16 students, the first class filled immediately,” says Carol. However, additional courses will be held at the Corning Airport in Corning, California on the second weekend of every month. They also offer to travel with the course by special appointment. After successfully completing the course, a sport pilot repairman will be able to perform the annual condition inspection on any ELSA aircraft that he or she owns.
As of date, the repairman course is one of only two in the country, since the EAA receive FAA acceptance on the same day as the Carpenter’s. With Carol’s background as a classroom teacher and Brian’s aviation expertise the course promises to be an excellent blend of information in a well-organized format. “We are planning to begin work on the repairman course for weight-shift right away, followed by power parachute,” says Carol who is also planning to take on the enormous task of writing the 120-hour maintenance course for fixed-wing.
The couple began reorganizing their business to include the new FAA Sport Pilot regulations shortly after the rule was finalized in September. Long time flight instructor and aircraft designer, Brian Carpenter was selected as one of the first eight candidates to attend the first FAA Sport Pilot Examiner seminar last January. He has a long and illustrious background with certified aircraft. He is an A/P mechanic with an inspection authorization, a commercial pilot, and certificated flight instructor with an instrument rating, as well as a sport pilot instructor examiner. What’s more, he is currently completing his DAR (designated airworthiness representative) training. Since, Brian will return from the training on July 1st, Rainbow Aviation plans to be transitioning fix-wing aircraft as early as this summer.
With Carol preparing as a sport pilot instructor, Rainbow Aviation will be in a position take a new student pilot and offer all stages of instruction through to the practical check ride and certification. Carol holds a FAA ground instructor certification with an advanced rating. She is also a private pilot and an ultralight instructor. This is quite unique since, according to the FAA Statistics only six percent of licensed pilots are women. In the ultralight community, less than one percent are women.
The Carpenters are also involved in the aviation community. Says Carol, "One of the things we want to do as a company, and as individuals, is give back to the community. We teach private pilot ground school at Shasta College each spring semester. And, we do a lot of speaking at aviation gatherings on the Sport Pilot rule. Brian and I are both FAA Safety Counselors as well as EAA chapter officers. We do a lot to contribute to the aviation community."
For more information or to register for the 16-hour course call 530-824-0644, email [email protected]., or visit www.rainbowaviation.com.