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  Yikes-trikes 1990

In AustraliAirborne Buzzard 582 Osprey - Aero-towing at Ayers rocka - flying trikes in the 90's was exciting, adventurous and when these fun flying machines became recognised as legal light sport aircraft .. yahoo..!  In 1990, we could fly legally in Australia, as a Weightshift Controlled Aeroplane - in accordance to the requirements of CAO 95.32 - Exemption to the CAA Regulations of the time. 

The Australian microlight trike industry was now ready to mature in Australia. The mid 90's.. there were some twenty or more microlight (Powered Hang Gliding) flying schools operating and tAero-Towing Ayers Rockraining students to fly these simple flying machines.

The HGFA - Hang Gliding Federation of Australia began to administer the Operations & Pilot Certificates for a majority of trike flight schools with Qualified CFI's - Chief Flying Instructors operating Flight Facilities everywhere.

In contrast, the AUF - Australian Ultralight Federation Executives, quietly conferred they only wanted ultralights, and trikers should fly the HGFA banner... 

In more recent times, industry opinion has changed with a large proportion of trike pilots now members of the (AUF) RA-Aus, Recreational Aviation Australia for a variety of different reasons.

The abstract politics within the Aussie trike industry has affected the fair growth of the sport, and we are the only country in the world where trike pilots can choose to be a member of either... the HGFA or RA-Aus.

Regardless of the politics, in the late 80's.. flying trikes was illegally mad fun - see video WOMBAT.

The CAA Sport Aviation Inspector - Mr Trevor Burns and certain industry sport aviators, including Paul Mollison, Chris Brandon and Ian Jarman, basically collaborated and developed CAO 95.32, for Government Acceptance in 1990.

Today there is less aero-towing of hang gliders and trikes are more orientated towards recreational flying and adventure touring.

Microlights are becoming faster, can carry more weight, more fuel and ideal for cruising the skies with all the creature comforts, including heated flying suits, sophisticated helmet intercoms, transponders, in-flight music, GPS and more...!

Yikes-Trikes....Triking in the 90's is gone forever.......

   Chris Brandon - Airborne Edge Aircraft in Nairobi. Africa HGFA Chief Flying Instructors Aero Towing at Magin's place - East Gresford

  CASA Acceptance

Obviously, with the freedom to mix it with the heavier metals in the aviation world... Microlight Design Certification became compulsory for all flexwing & microlight manufacturers under the Requirements of CAO 95.32.

In brief, the (CAA) CASA -Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia implemented Civil Aviation Order 95.32 which outlined the design, operational and administration requirements for weightshift controlled aeroplanes in AustAirborne - Picture Magazine - Yarna Wench 1992ralia.

CAA acceptance of trikes in Australia was a big thing in the early 1990's.!

Fredrick Hogarth from the UK - a friend to Chris, was instrumental in getting the attention of media and CAA to see that trikes in the UK and around the world, are flying safely, are legal aircraft, and its really happening..!

Go see the -  ZA Hornet - a video which highlights the experience Fredrick brought to the Aussie trike industry in a nutshell.

It was from this friendship with Frederick, that Chris's knowledge and wisdom developed with ever increasing paperwork, meetings with CAA, all with a passion to get trike pilots legally flying in Australia.

This was an important time to the yikes-trikes story.... as it created, a unique friendship between Chris and the late Fredrick Hogarth. A direct influence of their relationship and the UK Regulations, is rippled into CAO 95.32, with the English microlight Design Standard - BCAR Section S, recognised as an acceptable standard to CASA for trikes, as it is today...!

Chris decribes Fredrick as a  true gentleman, who gave faith, direction & guidance to the endeavours of his flying career.


  How many hats can you wear..?

As HGFA National Coaching Director - Chris created and implemented the HGFA powered hang gliding pilot licence system and flight training syllabus - conducted several National Coaching Seminars spanning over four years.

The result, some ninety three qualified HGFA microlight instructors and about twenty two flight schools approved to operate by 1994. Chris's original HGFA trike pilot training methods are standard practice in the microlight industry today.

Chris Brandon - HGFA Instructor of the Year 1994


A few of Chris's greatest accolades of achievement...

Recognition as HGFA Instructor of the Year 1994 - for design & implementation of the HGFA - PHG Instructor System.., and the accreditation as AUF - Ultralighter of the Year 1998 - for a tangible and practical contributioAUF Ultralighter of the Year 1998 - Chris Brandonn to the Australian weightshift aircraft industry. 

A busy time for hats....

During these fast moving years in the mid 90's, Chris held positions as the Newcastle Hang Gliding Club President/Secretary, and was pro-active on the HGFA Powered Hang Gliding Committee as Convenor, all inclusive with the responsibilities as HGFA Chief Flying Instructor in Hang Gliding, and Powered Hang Gliding, operating the Airborne Hang Gliding & Triking School in Newcastle.

Youtube video link here: Flyright 1994


  Fly Right Aviation

The 90's was a period of improved performance for the powered hang glider...

The evolution of the microlight emerged into the heavy metal world of sport aviation, like a butterfly....  Trikes flew faster with high powered Rotax engines, intercoms for better cockpit communication and the ability to operate from licenced aerodromes with a VHF radio. We could also fly to a height of 5000 feet AMSL.

Chris in the TanargDuring the eighties and into the early nineties - as Managing Director of Airborne Windsports - Chris gained considerable experience, wisdom and knowledge with operating this growing enterprise, with the Duncan Brothers from the grass roots, to the design certification of the original Airborne Edge 582.

Chris - Long Wall Coal Mining - 1988Undoubtably, a particularly demanding period in Chris's life juggling a coal miners job as a fitter, and operating a small business. Chris applied himself with committment in the contribution to the Airborne businesss and eventually left the coal mines to manage the flight school and factory at Redhead, Newcastle.

During the growth years with Airborne, Chris was appointed by the CAA - as the Airborne Quality Inspector, responsible for inspection control of materials, batching and traceability of tubing, hardware, components, bolts..etc. Basically anything to do with quality control, traceability and the processes to get the Airborne trikes to the flight test stage for compliance.

At the end of the manufacturing process of any aircraft, an authorised signature by the Quality Inspector will confirm the integrity of the machine... is the aircraft, assembled & certificated in accordance to the Design Specifications, are all the documents for traceability correct, is the aircraft legally safe to fly.?

As it's said, blood iFlyright Aviation - NSW Pegasus Distributor 1993s thicker than water, so after some ten years with Airborne.., Chris moved on to establish his own flying business and began importing European microlights.

Chris established - Flyright Aviation in the Hunter Valley, at the Royal Newcastle Aero Club - Maitland.  A significant foot print for trikes.. entering the Aero Club's environment.

The RNAC is well regarded by aviators as the home of the Tiger Moth and one of the biggest Aero clubs in the country.

Chris conducted deliberate responsible flying, 7 days a week at Flyright with many RNAC Committee members having a change of thought on these little rocket ships of fun. Chris eventually won over BJ, Bernie Sarroff - CFI at the club, and to this day trikes are active aviators at the RNAC airfield.

In search of the safest microlights to fly, Chris began importing the English Pegasus aircraft, with John Goodrich.


As the NSW Pegasus Agent in 1993 - many pillots came to fly or rent the latest Quantums, Quasars and Chaser S trikes. Flyright Aviation - Pilot Wings Graduation

After several years of flying the UK trikes, with a noticeable reduction in operating costs and better handling - Chris investigated further into the European microlight market to find the largest microlight manufacture in the world - Air Creation.

The answer for the safest trike - 1994..!  Chris established the Australian Distributorship for Air Creation in Australia.

Chris commenced the certification acceptance of the Air Creation aircraft in 1995.. a challenge bigger than the Pacific Ocean..!

Yikes-trikes... in 1996, Air Creation was recognised as an international microlight manufacturer with over 5000 aircraft flying across the globe.

Air Creation trikes & wings - Flyright Aviation - 1st Air Creation Shipment of Aircraft 1996 Certification compliance in seven countries at the time. Compliance with the French DGAC Design Certification, and recognition as the most quiet microlight in the world. Perfect!

All Air Creation wings had passed the toughest flexwing Design Standard. The German DULV - the DULV request Wing Pitch Stability Test Compliance.


  A true story few know...

The certification process for CAA acceptance of imported microlight aircraft designs during the 90's was extremely difficult, primarily due to pragmatic attitudes amongst the industry authorities.

Ever wondered wFlyright Flight Centre - Newcastle Aero Club 1996hy.. so many Airborne trikes are flying the Aussie skies?

In comparison, there are hundreds of imported ultralights..!

In 1995, Chris & his father Eric, attended a short meeting with the CAA to outline the simple process for import application for Air Creation aircraft.

No problem! Chris compiled & hand delivered all the necessary documents for submission in accordance to the CAA Foreign Aircraft Importation Requirements. The Air Creation factory provided all the approved handbooks, certificates, test reports, including complete Master Drawing Lists & Manuals of their aircraft.

In April 1996, Chris & best mate, Gavin Wills travelled to France for the required factory Distributor training & instructioFlyright Hangar - XP15 Wing Overhauln with the arrangement to return with three new Air Creation microlight aircraft.

All was looking good... not so! These sparkling Air Creation machines arrived & assembled, were unable to fly for almost - three months.

Even when these amazingly well engineered trikes could fly - it was only by issue of a CAA Permit to Fly and only to a radius of 15 NM around RNAC. A true fact, Chris applied for nineteen Permits to Fly - over an 18 month period, with some not being re-issued after the 30 day expiry.

Many a day, the CAA went home without sending the permits by fax...  the AC trikes remained in the hangar unable to fly without a permit.

The story continued for several years, with the CAA requesting mountains of paperwork and more acceptance documents, even if it meant creating one just for the 3 point safety harnesses.  There was further translation of documents, triplication of manuals, test reports, etc, etc.! The most extreme request - CAA approval for manufacturing at the hangar for the aircraft & develop an ISO 9002 Quality Control System in accordance to the CAA Regulations, providing there was no carpet on the floor.. What tha..!

At one point - the CAA even lost/misplaced Chris's complete Air Creation certification submission, which mysteriously reappeared some six months later. How do you mis-place almost 25 kgs of very important documents, stacked a metre high?

German DULV -Wing Pitch Stability Testing Vehicle

Not to be outdone, the CAA change department personnel handling the process, and moved it from Sydney to Sport Aviation Airworthines - Canberra....!

Basically any measure as to restrict, delay or cost more money for the approval acceptance of the superior Air Creation microlight aircraft.

Sadly, Chris was forced to terminate Flyright Aviation in 1999, a direct result of CAA Regulations & Exemptions and the cohesive behaviour of 29 people..!

Acceptance of Air Creation microlights occurred 8 years later - August 2007.

Moral to the story ..

If you believe You can...! Don't give up.... Never, never..NEVER.!

In 2012 - Chris celebrates a memorable, 17 years as the Air Creation General Importer and today you can legally buy, fly and enjoy Air Creation microlights in Australia - the safest light sport trikes in the world.

You gotta fly one - feel the difference... Go see - A Secret Tribute   (click here)


  the Journey...

The weightshift controlled aeroplane, microlight or trikes... are an affordable, safe recreational flying vehicle that has evolved from the humble origins of a delta kite - to hang gliders and powered hang glider.

Microlight aircraft today  - are capable of mustering around the paddock.. cruising up the beach, or flying across the globe. You can carry sufficient luggage, two persons on board at speeds above 70 knots (150 klm/hr)....  Imagine THAT..!

We trust you have enjoyed our journey into the history of triking in Australia...

Chris has 14,000 flying hours, safely launched hundreds of student pilots off hills in hang gliders... instructed, prepared and authorised over 700 first solo flights for trike students, & established & operated two of Australia's leading flight schools.

Tanarg 912es BioniX Flying the clouds Giles Bru - The Air Creation Master - Racer 503 Pilot Chris Brandon

Many hang glider & trike pilots of these earlier years are still flying today... Maybe you are one of them..? 

Satis-Fly... your Passion..!