It was good to get a chance to sit down and talk to Luis Gallo, the owner of LAG Ultralight.  LAG Ultralight is located in Medellin, Colombia.  They the approved Rotax independent Service Centre for Latin America and are authorized to provide RFSC iRMT training programs.
Q: How long has your company been invited involved with Rotax Aircraft engines?

A: Since October 1991.

Q: What made you want to get involved with aircraft and aircraft engines?

A: “For me, it started as a passion for flying. After 5 years of pursuing flying as a hobby, I noticed that there was a large lack of support for the flying community in our region.  In 1991 I came to Sun-n-Fun for the first time.  I met Mr. Eric Tucker and started asking some technical questions. One thing led to another and I set up the first Rotax training class in October 1991.  This led to us becoming a repair centre at first and then later the Service Centre for Colombia.  In 1998, our region was expanded to include all of Latin America.”

Q: What are some of the major changes you have seen in this region over all these years?

A: In the middle of the 90’s there was a shift away from the 2 stroke ultralights like Quicksilver, Flightstar, Max air Drifter and Condor, to 4 stroke powered aircraft like the Kit for, Searay, Flight Design and Zenair.  The longer TBO and greater fuel efficiency of the four stroke, meant less parts sales but a lot of happy customers.   This changed paved the way for new 2 seated aircraft and in turn that made it a little more family friendly sport.

Q: How has servicing an aircraft changed in this time frame?

A: The change from 2 stroke to Four stroke meant servicing became a little more technical as the engines became more sophisticated.

Q: How have you handled the change?

A: We have to expand in service, inventory, and enlarged our facility. We also increased the amount of courses we were offering in a year.  We also started expanding our repair centre network to other countries and offered the new independent Rotax Maintenance Technician training.

Q: What are some of the adversities you face operating a business in Latin America?

A: Rules between countries regarding general aviation and light sport are not similar – there is not one set standard.  So what is allowed in one country may not be allowed in another. Thanks so confusion leads to a lack of growth in our light sport segment.

Q: How are you helping with this?

A: We are spending time training independent technicians from Mexico all the way to Peru. Sharing knowledge with the authorities of the different countries to make the flying of LSA activity more safety an under same rules in the near future.