"Father of Ultralight Aviation", Light Sport Aircraft Pilot News
Light Sport Aircraft Pilot is a directory of aircraft that generally fit
into what are described as ultralight aircraft, advanced ultralight
light sport aircraft, experimental light sport aircraft, experimental
aircraft, amateur built aircraft, ELSA or homebuilt
aircraft in the United States and Canada. These include
weight shift aircraft, more commonly known as trikes,
powered parachutes, and powered para-gliders.
At Sun N Fun
2012, in Paradise City I had the opportunity to interview
John K Moody "the Father of Ultralight Aviation" and Dan
Johnson a recipient of E.A.A.'s John K Moody Award.
According to Dan, in 1975 while at a hang gliding site in
Michigan, John was the first person that he saw fly what are
now called "ultralight aircraft." John indicates that Dan
was referring to the Ikarus II with a West Bend 8 HP two
John had three aircraft on display, an Eagle with Coca Cola
sails, an Eagle XL, and an Easy Riser. While looking at the
craft Dan noticed the the Easy Riser had wheels that where
painted bright orange. John explained that was so that they
could be found, when they were shot off the plane while he
was flying it! Say What?
For a number
of years John would perform at various airshows with his
Easy Riser. He would pretend to take off and fly in the
circuit without permission from the airshow host. The host
would then order him back down on the ground. When he was
unsuccessful communicating his wishes to John, the host
would then come out with a shot gun, and proceed to try to
shoot John out of the sky!
With the first rifle shot of blanks John would kick off the
nosewheel, then with each subsequent shot he would release
one of the main wheels, then the other, and then would have
the tail blow off the plane. Off course the Easy Riser was
originally designed to fly without a tail, and was foot
launchable so John really didn't need them, so he could
continue to fly.
But then the next shot would appear to take out the engine,
John would rev it up and make it miss and backfire and then
finally it would appear to quit. The crowd of course would
think that John was about to crash with no engine, no tail,
and no landing gear. John would make a few sharp turns, as
if he had lost control and was about to crash and then set
up for a landing dropping his legs at the last minute to
The reason the wheels were painted bright orange was so that
they could be easily found in the long grass. I should
mention that during one of these shows at Sun N Fun, I was
video taping John and at the last minute caught something
bright orange out of the corner of my eye as one of the
wheels just missed me!
You can see John doing his show on You Tube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPJDz4PG3Ww
According to John the EZ Riser he had on display weighed in
complete at 115 lbs.
For more information contact:
John K. Moody
1015 Lochmont Drive
Brandon, Florida 33511
813-685-2718 · 813-431-2712 cell
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