Rusty Pilot Takes Up GA Flying Again

Fernandina Beach, FL – Tom Piscatello, who recently turned 78, has returned to GA flying in a Grumman Tiger. He never got away from flying completely as he traded his first Grumman for an LSA. Attracted to Sport Flying by the absence of a medical requirement and the economy of flying with a fuel burn below 5 GPH, lower maintenance costs, and reduced insurance rates, Tom embraced LSA flight for ten years, and served on the LSA’s ASTM Committee.

Like a number of people before him, however, the trade-off in economy caught up with his desires to fly cross country. Over his decade of involvement, Tom lost a number of his like-minded friends to “aging out” and passing. He also grew a little tired of what he called the “go nowhere in particular type of flying”. So, after landing on a sod strip and losing his LSA to a soft patch of sand that won an argument with his nose wheel, he decided to return to the world of Part 23 General Aviation. The decision was made easier by the fact that he had been maintaining currency as both a CFI and an IFR rated pilot all along. Desiring to preserve the economical aspect of flying, he bought another AA5B, and, as was the case when he got his original Tiger, he immediately installed a Power Flow Tuned Exhaust System, in order to reduce the fuel flow and enhance his climb performance. “Now I’ll have one of the best birds in the sky again,” said Tom. “It’s nice to be home flying faster and going further. I don’t regret my LSA experience, and consider myself extremely fortunate to have made a safe transition back to a Part 23 aircraft.” Tom takes a safety pilot along, when he can, for flying IFR and enjoys taking three kids up for Young Eagle flights instead of one, in VFR conditions.

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