Friday, March 28, 2014

Funny how things happen by George Karamitis



The year; 1993.  It was a cool, cloudy fall day as I flew my Quicksilver Sport11 into Green Bay’s Austin Straubel Airport. I flew there to show my Quicksilver to an old college friend who was the president of Jet Air Corporation.  The usual snide remarks were made....”Do you have a death wish flying that thing” , or “what’s an airline pilot doing flying a thing like that”  The weather turned suddenly bad and I had to leave my plane in their jet hangar.


After several days I returned to fly my Quick back home.  I was met by my friend and several other corporate officers, along with several of their mechanics.  Turns out that they were very impressed.  “Hey this has all aircraft grade hardware”,”look at the attention to detail”, “The design looks great”. And after giving several flights they were almost speechless. A few weeks latter, after a trip to Temecula, California Jet Air became a Quicksilver Distributor.

Why is all this history important?  Because Quicksilver Aircraft is on the verge of having their two place Quicksilver Sport 2S certified LSA. What does that mean to me and other pilots?  It means a huge stamp of approval.  It means that the design philosophy; the quality control, the engineering standards that Quicksilver has steadfastly adhered too will finally be rewarded. It will put an end to the death wish questions. It will give legitimacy to a product that thousands already knew was a well engineered product. It will prove correct what the folks at Jet Air already knew some twenty years earlier.. 


How does all this happen? You have to have the “Right Stuff” First the the right kind of people have to be in place.  Then one must have the right product.  Quicksilver had both, and continues to have the right mix.  Going way back to Dick Eipper Bob Lovejoy, and Bill Bennett with Eipper-Formance and then the name change to Quicksilver with Lyle Byrum the right people were in place. A lot of the original people have moved or passed on, but the commitment to a quality product continued.  People like Dave Gronk, Tom Price,John Lasko, Paul Mather, Chuck Whitlesy, Gene Borne, Todd Ellefson Carl Von Hirsch, and his sons, and the many dealers that gave so much,that made Quicksilver the company it is today deserve a lot of credit.


Today under the capable hands of Chief Operations Officer Daniel Perez and Quicksilver Aeronautics President Will Escutia the Sport 2S will become a true accomplishment. The Sport 2S will prove itself in the market place by giving present and future pilots a choice.  One will be able to purchase the aircraft from the factory already built and test flown.  Flight schools will be able to charge for the lessons.  And the cost for doing this will be a lot more manageable.  The “death wish” baloney will disappear.  After all, The Sport 2S  is and will be a real and proven Aircraft.   

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