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Mon, Jun 05, 2006

Pacific Aerosystem Announces Disabled Pilot Option On Sky Arrow LSA

Sidestick Controls Rudder Inputs; Can Be Removed For Conventional Ops

One reason the 40s-vintage Ercoupe remains a popular aircraft today -- especially in the sport-pilot category -- is its lack of rudder pedals. In addition to making flying simpler for all pilots, the rudderless set-up allows disabled pilots, who don't have use of their legs and feet, to operate the aircraft.

Pacific Aerosystem Inc. is keeping the needs of disabled pilots in mind. On Monday, company representatives told ANN the company will now offer its Disabled Pilot Option on its Sky Arrow 600 light sport aircraft.

The SLSA-certified Sky Arrow, manufactured by Iniziative Industriali Italiane (3I) in Italy, follows the FAA Part 23-certified Sky Arrow 650 TCNS in offering an option for pilots who cannot operate rudder pedals with their feet.

Unlike an Ercoupe -- in which rudder inputs are connected to the control wheel, intended to prevent pilots from cross-controlling the airplane -- the Sky Arrow setup still gives disabled pilots full rudder authority. The system uses a left-side control stick to apply yaw input, and also incorporates a throttle control -- thus giving pilots with only the use of their hands full control of the plane.

The standard right side-stick controls pitch and bank, and also has buttons for electric rudder and elevator trim as well as radio push to talk. The brake levers are also controlled by the right hand, just as on the conventional Sky Arrow.

The first US Sky Arrow 600 with the Disabled Pilot option received its airworthiness certificate on May 23, 2006, and the company will use the plane to demonstrate those features for prospective buyers.

The left sidestick can be quickly removed for easy entry. When it is removed from the plane, the conventional rudder pedals are fully operational.



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