Largest Light Sport Distributor In The US Keeps On Selling
Airtime Aviation in Tulsa, OK, has reached a sales milestone in its association with Flight Design aircraft. The dealer recently delivered its 100th LSA to a returning customer.
Tom Gutmann Jr., who operates Airtime with his father Tom Gutmann Sr., said the new owner is Rex Austin, an instrument rated Private Pilot with single & multi-engine credentials and has logged more than 2,600 hours in 30 years of flying. Austin buys hogs for packing companies for a living; he has also owned a trucking company and sold insurance and securities. “I have owned a 172 Cessna, a Piper Seneca, a Bellanca Viking, two Mooney models, two new Cirrus aircraft, and this is my second new Flight Design,” said Austin. “I enjoy the low operating cost and large cabin. I played basketball in college and at 6 foot 6 inches tall, I value the large cabin. The Flight Design is the only aircraft I have ever owned that I didn't bump my head on the roof in rough air.”
Austin said that his wife likes the extra level of safety provided by the airframe parachute, which is standard equipment on all new Flight Design aircraft. Austin’s dedication to his wife of 43 years shows as he special ordered the N-number on his last four planes with their anniversary date or her name or maiden name in the initials.
"The long range tanks, autopilot, and glass cockpit make flying effortless,” said Austin. “Flying is now more fun than at any other time in my life. Airtime Aviation has been good to work with and arranged the sale of my 2009 CT and the purchase of my new aircraft. After three years of flying the 2009 aircraft I have been very impressed with the quality and low oil and fuel consumption. I have had back surgery and can move the aircraft in and out of the hanger without strain.”
“We are so pleased to be associated with Airtime Aviation since before Light-Sport Aircraft officially became a category defined by FAA,” said Mathias Betsch, CEO of Flight Design GmbH. “Airtime has been great to work with and are now like part of the family,” echoed Tom Peghiny, president of Flight Design USA, importer of the CT and MC line of LSA and the new C4 four seater in development.
Tom Gutmann Sr. purchased the first Flight Design CT airplane in the U.S. “What started as a hobby soon turned into Airtime Aviation,” he said. He enjoyed flying the plane so much and received so much positive feedback that he began distributing the plane in 2003, a year before the Light-Sport rule was announced. Shortly after forming the new enterprise, Tom Gutmann Jr., joined Airtime Aviation. Together, they have served as president and vice president of the Ultra Sport Flyers organization, the local EAA Chapter 10, and have been instrumental in promoting the Tulsa Fly-In. “We were the first to earn FAA acceptance for a Light-Sport CTsw in 2005 and the first in 2011 to win approval for the CTLS Floatplane,” added Tom Gutmann Jr. “Airtime Aviation has consistently been the number one selling Flight Design distributor in the USA.” Authorized by Flight Design as a Master Service Center, Airtime Aviation plans to provide professional service for years to come."
(Pictured L-R Tom Gutmann Sr., customer Rex Austin, and Tom Gutmann Jr. CTLS pictured in file photo)