Ultralights soar over Harvard for 10th anniversary.
HARVARD — Members and guests of the Husker Ultralight Club gathered inside a hangar at Harvard State Airfield Saturday, munching on a biplane-shaped cake and gazing into a sunny sky. It was the right sort of day for flying ultralights.
“No wind or light wind. This is perfect,” said Dave Nissen, club newsletter editor.
HUC includes 48 members from south central Nebraska this year, all ultralight enthusiasts.
The club celebrated its 10th birthday Saturday with a meeting, meal and fly-in at Harvard.
Ultralight vehicles come in many shapes: tricycles, powered parachutes, foot-launch parachutes, hang gliders and more.
They all follow criteria listed in the government’s Part 103, which stipulates that the vehicle can carry a maximum of five gallons of gasoline, carry only one passenger, weigh no more than 254 pounds, etc. True ultralights require no license to fly and do not need to meet airworthiness certification standards.
Anyone can fly these things, with instruction, club members said.
Club president Kevin Wilkinson flies a Mini-Max Eros that he calls “Twerp,” named after the daughter who sometimes interrupted his work while building the plane. He said club members are in their 40s or better and he’d like to see younger people get involved in flying.
Though tricycles only carry 1 1/2 gallons of gasoline and run for about 45 minutes, veteran Hugh Martin said, Wilkinson’s fixed-wing holds 10 gallons. It took him from his home in Grand Island to Elgin, on to Omaha and back to Grand Island one day in about four hours of flying time.
It’s a cheap way to get around, especially since the planes can land at any non-towered airfield for free. Cost isn’t nearly the factor people think it is, Wilkinson added.
“It’s pretty cheap to operate. It only burns four gallons an hour of regular car gas,” he said.
To read more, see Monday's Hastings Tribune or the Tribune e-edition
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