Steve Pike sole proprietor of LSFS
Thanks for visiting my web site and finding out more about myself and Light Sport Flying. I have been involved with aviation since the 1970s and in those early days just as a recreational pilot. I initially flew radio controlled model aircraft and then moved onto hang gliders, before converting onto microlights. I gained my Restricted PPL (Group D) licence at Popham in 1984 prior to that I logged a good few hours as there was no requirement to be licenced. At first I was just flying locally on a single seat weight shift microlight which I shared with a friend, having built it from a kit, a Mainair Triflyer.
A good friend purchased a two seat weight shift, a Mainair Flash 1 and was kind enough to let me fly as P1 from time to time logging up a few more hours.
In 1988 I did a short differences training course at Popham to convert to a three axis microlight, a Thruster TST tail dragger. Many hours were spent flying this locally until I removed the restrictions on my licence by completing two qualifying cross countries.
Now free from the restricted area of 8nm I started exploring, managing trips to the Isle of Wight and also Cornwall for the annual Popham fly-out to Davidstow airfield. The Thruster was powered by a Rotax two stroke 503 engine and so I became quite adept at forced landings, it also had a small tank and the two stokes are thirsty so lots of stops to refuel.
After a few years ,1988 to be precise, I purchased with the same friend a Rans S6 which we kept at White Waltham. Great, now we had a proper aircraft with a cabin.
1999 I started another conversion course at Denham on a Sligsby Firefly with the aim of getting a full PPL, however in the year 2000 the microlight rules changed and the MTOW increased to 450kgs. I gave up the PPL training and with the same friend purchased a Jabiru kit, the rest of the year was spent building with the help of an experienced builder. We kept the Jabiru at Wycombe Air Park( Booker) and we now we were able to go to more places as the aircraft had a good touring speed and endurance. I did a good few long distance flights including the Shetlands and France.
Also in 2000 I started a training course at Popham with Mac Smith to become an AFI, soon after that I gained my FI rating, I worked for Mac and Paula for a number of years as an instructor. Eventually in 2002 I set up a school at Wycombe Air Park (Booker)using a CT, there was some opposition to us running a microlight school there but once they saw that the CT was faster than a Cessna150 we soon got established. The school grew over the years and we trained many pilots to PPL, many still flying today. Our share system in Eurostars became very popular and at one point we had seven Eurostars in share groups at Wycombe, all based on the North Side.
Myself and a colleague Ed started Light Sport Aviation in 2013, taking over from Cosmik Aviation, building the Eurostars. We achieved CAA A8-1 Approval for manufacturing and went on to introduce the Eurostar SL microlight complete with GRS. We built and sold 28 of these in total before selling the business. After this I went back to instructing, the school remained open during this time with the help of my instructor Peter Newman.
Slowly things deteriorated at Wycombe and with new management came restrictions on flying and a lack of ATC meant airfield closures, and then came Covid 19 which meant total closure.
I moved the school to Pear Tree Farm at Marsh Gibbon in 2020 but with a lack of students and feeling that things were just not the same anymore I decided on 1st May 2021 to give up training and close the school. I look back with many fond memories, but now look forward to once again to be able to fly out with other pilots to trips locally and stopovers. Twenty one years of instructing and more than 4000 instructing hours - it's time to hang up the flight training knee board.
I am the UK dealer for the Galaxy GRS systems and very busy servicing and supplying new systems to customers.
Thanks to all my students over the years and customers at LSA, I'll see you around I'm sure.