Lightwing 158 has been with the club longer than most of our members, and will keep going for many more years to come. She's no speed demon, but is great fun to fly, and is a tribute to the days of grassroots aviation. She will suit someone who flies for the love of flying, who enjoys the journey more than the destination, and who appreciates a good, solid Australian icon.
As with many Lightwings, she has a long history, which one of our long-time members has shared below.
"Lightwing Zero One Five Eight"
It was a glum meeting of Sydney Ultralight Flying Club in November 1991 – we were grounded. A volunteer, one-aeroplane flying club and our first aircraft had a broken crankshaft!
"Actually" said Instructor Bob Conrow "I think I took off with the crankshaft broken. The only indication was the smell of burnt electrical insulation!"
We have always had great committees and a great Club Spirit. The old AUF Magazine was scanned and scanned over the next few months until we saw an aircraft that would make a suitable second trainer for the Club. Instructor, Dr Roslyn Skinner was putting her Lightwing on the market. Always L2/LAME maintained it was a perfect match for "Good Old 81" and with a bit of financial wangling we became a two-aeroplane flying club and business boomed – three days a week.
"One Five Eight" was a good buy for the Club and for a while Ros instructed with us. They both had a history. Ros had bought 158 only a year or so earlier, It was one of many aircraft Ros has owned and with this one she crossed Bass Strait each way on a Rotax 503!
Sydney Recreational Flying Club (SUFC) were one of Hughes original customers and our engineering staff had selected the Lightwing for its ease of maintenance, a good trainer and its crash-worthiness. With almost 9000 hours on this type with multiple aircraft over the past 25 years, we have proved all three criteria. At some point, someone had suggested getting Howie (Hughes) to upgrade her to a GR912 (Rotax 912). It was another of our Club's famous "whip-arounds" to raise the funds for one of these new fangled engines.
It took a long time but eventually Greg Davies and Nigel Bisset flew 158 home from Byron Bay. I remember Nigel showed us the track, the first time we had seen tracking GPS. Our two Lightwings soldiered on, not many students wanted to start on taildraggers with so many Jabirus around.
Time marched on, and Greg our CFI determined we needed to add something more modern and tricycle as an easier beginner's aircraft – enter our first Foxbat. Well before long we acquired our third aircraft – yet another Foxbat. Suddenly we were a mainly nosewheel club, with a Lightwing pushed into the back of a crowded hangar. Hard to get out. she was flown occasionally by those who loved her, but utilisation on her went right down.
We've since bought another Lightwing, this one a 912S fitted out for touring, to satisfy our members who learnt on Foxbats but now want to learn tailwheel, and do some touring at the same time. As such, four aircraft is too many for our small club, and we are now looking to sell 158 to someone who will enjoy and love her as much as we have.
With seven instructors in our friendly club, the purchase of this aircraft comes with a full training package included - to full RAA Pilot Certificate. If you buy the aircraft, we will provide any necessary training based at our airfield at The Oaks, whether you already have an RAA licence and need type training, just need a tailwheel endorsement, are converting from General Aviation, or even have no flying experience at all.
Feel the breeze - doors off on a hot day