The Australian LightWing SPEED

The Australian LightWing SPEED
2 and 4 Seater Ultralight SPORT Aircraft

ALW YouTube Channel


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Flight Instructor

Are you an RAoz qualified instructor and looking for work ?

Call Nick or Howie NOW !

We have the best school facilities, (absolutely superb lounge, briefing room, bar, the best ( a new SP-2000 and an SP-2000 tail-wheel) aircraft and the best vibe,

all located in the best part of the world, the scenic, beautiful, gorgeous NSW Northern Rivers !

call 0433580047
or (02) 6686 8658

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Recent Cowra Fly In September 2010

Did we see you at Cowra, if not see you at Temora 2011 (late April) ??

Cowra was small, well, ok personal, with many aircraft unable to get through the clag down south.

Fantastic aerobatics and a display by the Avenger, we had fun and a great talk from Keith Englesmon at the Saturday night dinner, Rick Harper (who has a fly-in coming up on 2nd and 3rd at the Old Bar) did a great job Mc-ing the dinner, I had a little fun introducing Keith....

On introducing Keith Englesmon, my comments were far too blue for one lady who told me off. I couldn't understand this as Rick had referred to topics like oral sex in his talk and he didn't seem to attract the same castigation from this lady, he told this great yarn, I'm not sure if its true but it goes like this..............

On stepping onto the lunar surface way back when, Neil Armstrong said the bit about "one small step for man etc. etc... but he also went on to say, " and this is for Mr Gorsky".... this was edited out of the recorded footage.

It seems that when Neil Armstrong was a 10 year old and Mr and Mrs Gorsky lived next door (Mr Gorsky by the way, is reported to have built a 10 seat 4 engined aircraft back in 1910 in Russia, but that's another story ), Mr Gorsky's wife Mrs Gorsky was heard to say.......... " oral'll get oral sex when that kid next door walks on the moon !!", this has recently been made public since Mr Gorsky died !

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Cowra SAAA Convention Fly-In

We hope to see you at Cowra SAAA National Convention and fly-in on 17 and 18 September 2010.
Here's all the information you will need to visit the Convention!

Available now FOR DELIVERY .. new SP-2000 (nose-wheel) with Glass Cockpit including artificial terrain on 10" screen, variable in-flight pitch prop, (120 kt cruise at 20lph fuel burn) X-Com vhf radio, electric flaps, carb heat, leather upholstery, Firgelli - ALW 3 axis stick controlled trim and lots more features, to have a look at this brilliant aircraft and also have a look at our beautiful region click here! , by the way, we may discount your airfare to Ballina if you purchase an SP-2000 soon!

Color: white with highlights and wheel fairings, DISCOUNT price AUD $145,000 inc GST, deduct 10% for export, add $1,900 for packing and shipping for export.

For a basic SP-2000 with no extras $118,000 ex GST

The hand built SPEED Range has been designed to compete head to head with imported 2 and four seat fully built and kit aircraft, the difference being that the SP Range is 100% Australian made, with Australian backup, repair and spare parts.

Enjoy a test flight in the SP-2000 priced from $95 for a 20 min flight to $175 for 50 mins, see Ballina and Byron Bay from the air. Your choice of a cup of locally brewed coffee or tea is included.

Call Howie on the mobile 0433580047 to book your flight and / or discuss a great deal on this new Australian made aircraft.

What the others regard as extras, we fit as standard !

Thursday, June 10, 2010

NOR RA-Aus FLYIN 2010 @ Monto, QLD

Hello Dear Readers,

I would like to extend an invitation to you to visit and view the Australian LightWing Aircraft and team at the Monto Fly In, this Queens Birthday long weekend.

The North Burnett Regional Council welcomes aviators and friends to the inaugural RA-AUS Northern Region FLY-IN and extends a warm friendship for an enjoyable, relaxing and safe stay.

The Fly-In has a full schedule of events, entertainment and aircraft, so come along and check it out and say hello.

Useful Links:

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Recreational Aviation Pioneer 2010

On Saturday, the 3rd of April 2010, the Ra-Aus (Recreational Aviation of Australia) awarded Howard Hughes of 'Hughes Group of Companies' in Ballina, the recognition of achievement as a “Recreational Aviation Pioneer 2010”. He was acknowledged for over twenty-five years contributing to the Australian Aviation Industry. The award was presented at the National RA-Aus Temora Airshow in southern NSW.

Howard (Howie) Hughes and his team have been manufacturing the Australian LightWing two and four seat aircraft range for twenty-five years. After beginning in a colourful career based in architecture, he then included boat building, hang gliding, building trawlers in Ballina in the 80's, and more recently:- electric green cars, catamarans, computer software and back to architecture into his repertoire of interests and passions. Howard has been involved, inspirational and eccentric and always focused on sharing his passions with fellow enthusiasts and local and international schools and university aeronautical programs.

The Hughes Group of Companies is a family owned and operated group, with supporting staff who are just as involved and dedicated to their projects. Nick Hughes, Howard's son, is your 'aircraft dictionary' on aircraft repair, parts and service. Shelly Hughes, Howard's daughter, creates all things digital for the company's products, with a background in music recording.

We would like thank the Ra-Aus for the acknowledgement of Howard's achievements and accomplishments, and would like to raise a toast to the next twenty five years in Australia's thriving aviation community.

Thank you!

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Lesson in Airmanship

On the return trip from Temora to Ballina after the RA-Aus Annual Fly-Inn, a rather serious lesson in situational awareness (SA) to ues the gurrent uzz words !! and/or airmanship was learnt on the last leg, from Armidale to Ballina

Thanks RA-Aus for the ‘Recreational Aviation Pioneer Award’ and thanks also to Rod Birril for the nomination, I had a great time on the stage accepting the award and talking about long ago disasters like the time the Jabiru hit the horse at Holbrook back in... err 199somthing.

On taking off out of Armidale on a rather sunny Sunday afternoon, about 15 minutes into the trip I could smell something a little different in the cockpit.

Not a strong smell, certainly not a burning smell, but, a smell nevertheless. I looked around for bushfires below me and any other sources of the smell.
However, as the trip continued and as I was heading direct: Armidale – Ballina, over some pretty nasty terrain, I decided to veer towards Coffs Harbour where there were green hills and paddocks in which to make an emergency landing. Thereby obeying Mr Rotax's rule of never operating his engine over an area where the aircraft can not be landed safely below. A little further into the trip and with the coast more or less in view, the smell turned into small droplets of oil on the windshield, which clearly explained where the smell was coming from: I had an oil leak.

During the next 20 minutes, the problem exacerbated into more oil and a strong smell indicating the leak was increasing in its volume and with Coffs Harbour coming into view I felt a lot easier. I sent out an emergency call to the Coffs Tower and happily managed to glide in and make a safe landing with the oil pressure holding.

After a few scotches that evening and a comfortable stay in a Coffs motel, Nick and I discovered the source of the oil leak was a minute crack or hole in the oil filter located under the hose clamp which we used to secure the oil filter.
And after cleaning the oil which had by that time leaked all over the aircraft, replacing the oil and cleaner, I continued the journey home after thanking the Coffs Harbour Controlers.

*A word of warning to pilots flying into the Coffs Harbour. The turbulence over the trees along the north/south runway is quite savage, particularly when you’re already got the jitters and you can’t see the runway very clearly through the oil slick.

The oil filter was brand new, as was the engine, which at that stage had only done about 20 hour flying. So, the source of the hole that was right next to a dint in the oil filter, indicated that it had been with the engine since it left the Rotax factory.
This dint is difficult to explain, as ‘Bert Floods’ //Wall insists that all oil filters are tightened only by hand, whereas this one looked like it had been tightened using an oil filter spanner, which consists of a small piece of steel and a loop of strong fabric used in conjunction with a spanner. It looked like this had then dinted the filter body to the point that it had ruptured. However, what caused the dint and subsequent hole must remain unknown.

Lessons to be learnt from this exercise to me were; Never ignore a strange smell in the cockpit, no matter what it is- if it’s unusual- Turn back to where you came from, if possible, and find out what’s causing it.
If I had of done this and returned to Armidale then any risks I had taken would have been negated.

Lesson Number 2
Always obey the rules clearly specified by the engine manufacturer, that is – never ever fly over an area where you can’t make a safe landing beneath the aircraft within an adequate gliding distance.

Lesson number 3
Even though we are not supposed to fly into control zones, in doing so in an emergency, the Coffs Tower afforded us every courtesy and assistance even offering a fire truck if I needed it.

Lesson number 4 SA !
Had I taken the direct route from Armidale to Ballina, there is no doubt that I would have lost my aircraft and possibly my life in the valleys and canyons of the Great Dividing Range. Situational awareness played a big part here, I had not sat down and planned the deviation as CASA say to do in their DVD, it was simply a very very obvious thing to do. But go on... call it SA !

Thanks for reading. Have a great day,

Howie Hughes.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Controlled Airspace in Australia


The following is communications between myself and Mr McCormick CASA CEO regarding the issue of CTA (Controlled airspace) endorsement for RAAus pilots.

I believe this should apply conditionally, I point out that I am not totally familiar with all the issues involved.

I am in favor of this for a number of reasons but Mr McCormic is not in favor at this time. His reasons are safety related and no doubt influenced by recent mid-air collisions both here and in the USA so I assume his theory is less aircraft flying = less possible collisions which explains his maximum of 6 aircraft in the circuit rule.

BUT also…….. he says that since announcing the decision to put the RAAus CTA on hold, he had two to one correspondence (20 to 10) supporting his negative decision so please, if you agree with me that it's a good idea to gain a CTA approval, send an email in support to
I believe its hard to argue against RAAus pilots increasing their skill levels if they want to ??
Mr McCormicks reply was short and too the point, he took the time to attend RAAus meetings in Sept 09 so he is obviously interested in our organization but his negative decision to put off the RAAus CTA, is regrettable in my opinion. I do not write this on behalf of anyone but myself.

ALSO, there are probably some political overtones in the whole CTA argument where CASA is under pressure to keep things safe and therfore conservative, so a letter or email to your local PM would not go astray, saying that ....."hay, there are 10,000 of us RAAus members now, we have come a long way, there are now more RAAus schools than GA schools and more RAAus pilots than GA, only a few will want or even ever use CTA but just like lesser skill road users are allowed to use community facilities like ROADS !! why shouldnt we use our tax payer funded airfields provided, the laws are revised, RAAus training is put in place, we have the necessary skills, aircraft, medical requirements are met and we do not compromise the safety of others.

The Letters.

1st letter =

Dear Mr McCormick

Firstly, I agree that we did not expect to fly in CTA back in the 1970's but we where not allowed to fly over roads then either. If RAAus members remained restricted to flying 1 seat aircraft powered by lawn mower engines then we would not have close to 10,000 members today. When we began manufacturing aircraft in Ballina in 1984, we where not allowed to operate at the Ballina airfield, as a result of this, the then AUF organized for skill levels to increase, Radio, regulatory skills, flight skills etc and we where then permitted to use this airport then an MBZ, now a CTAFR, we do so alongside RPT's. With a further increase in skill levels, the transition to CTA use, as I see it is the same again. I fail to see the logic of a safety authority arguing against the increase in skill levels of RAAus members as would be required for a CTA endorsement.

Second: History shows there will always be critics of increases in RAAus aircraft quality and use but I hope this would have little influence on your decision making as I am not suggesting you make a CTA endorsement compulsory.
Third: There are 3 CTA's in Australia where approvals have been given to flying schools to permit RAAus members and aircraft to operate in their CTA's, (nowhere else) I do not believe that the safety record of these CTA's has been compromised as a result of this.
Howard Hughes
CEO LightWing.

2nd letter=
Dear Mr McCormick

From your initial response, it is my opinion that your concern about RAAus pilots entering CTA is unfounded.
This opinion is based on the existing issue of these endorsements to date and my past experience in this area.
If a broard RAAus CTA option was introduced I believe that, based on the schools in Tasmania and NSW that have been issuing RAAus CTA endorsements for some time, there would be no more than a few hundred additional issued per year and as in the past, they would be issued to the highest standards.
Note : RAAus CTA manual produced by Ex CASA staff Steve Tizzard.
part of the group that will line up for the endorsement will be the ones that will purchase high end aircraft such as mine (this is based on actual potential orders) and as such, putting off this introduction at a time of extreme economic pain is unfortunate.
Others that would seek a CTA will do this as a step towards a PPL, others will do this to simply increase their level of skill, there will me many and varied reasons, as there has been no downside in the past, I believe that there will be none in the future.
In Tasmania, the RAAus CTA applies to Class D airspace.
I urge you to give this matter additional consideration, jobs here depend on it.
Howard Hughes

Please feel free to comment.