Fighting Fires In Ecuador With The Flight Design CTLS


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Fighting Fires In Ecuador With The Flight Design CTLS


December 29, 2010 - A fire fighting department located at 8,300 feet above sea level in the Ecuadorian Andes has acquired a Flight Design Light-Sport Aircraft as its aerial support unit. With support from John Hurst and Jeremy Endsley of Sebring Aviation, the Basin Fire Department began operations at the Mariscal La Mar airport.  

Hurst and Endsley, representing the Southeastern USA distribution of the best-selling brand, traveled to Ecuador to train fire department employees in assembly, maintenance, and flight training of the CTLS. The group operating the LSA is called the Air Volunteer Fire Department of Basin. 

"Using the CTLS in this way, our Fire Department has an effective tool to help in search functions, recognition and support of ground operations by providing a better service to the community of Cuencana," Fire Department leader, Hugo Cobo said. "The decision to buy the CTLS was made after studying different information of other aircraft manufacturers including experimental, LSA and other general aviation. The light sport aircraft was the only aircraft that meets the safety operation and performance requirements for the Fire Department. Besides the low cost acquisition and operation made the CTLS our choice for search and ground support operations. 

"For the intended use including training this aircraft is certainly the best choice for a low cost operation. For the moment the CTLS is the first and the only aircraft to be used in all the Fire Department operations including search and ground operations support. We estimate a monthly use of 25 flight hours considering that there are months in the wild fire season that the CTLS will have a greater use. Our pilots received 5 hours of training at Sebring and approximately 5 hours of training in Cuenca. We find this very helpful because the training is not that long and this time assures a good training for a safe operation." 

"The aircraft will certainly improve the Fire Department's response capability giving more and better information about different emergencies we will be dealing with. As the Cuenca's Fire Department supports other Fire Departments in the region and nationwide the CTLS will be a helpful tool we can depend upon. "Although our operational base is located at 8,300 feet MSL the two-occupant operation capabilities are not limited. We decided to fly always a two occupants due to the orographic characteristics of our area."

Flight Design is a 23-year-old air-sport products producer based in Germany. The company remains the worldwide market leader thanks to its well-received CT series of light aircraft. More than 1,500 of these aircraft are flying in 39 countries. One of the first aircraft certified under ASTM International standards in 2005, the CT ("composite technology") remains the top-selling LSA in America through five consecutive years. Flight Design sold the first LSA to India and was the first LSA to earn Chinese Type Design Approval.










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