LSA importer AeroEdge is setting out on a new future after suffering a heart-breaking setback in February last year.
AeroEdge was formed to import and market the DirectFly Alto 912TG, an all-metal low-wing LSA. The company was the joint inspiration Peter Harlow and Ido Segev from Foxbat Australia, who sought a low-wing to complement the Aeroprakt A22LS Foxbat and A32 Vixxen aircraft they represented in Australia.
The company was entrusted to Segev and another enthusiast, Rob Hatswell, and was based out of Tyabb in Victoria.
Then tragedy struck in February 2020 when Segev and instructor Peter Phillips died in a mid-air colliosion near Mangalore whilst flying a Beech Travel Air on an IFR training exercise. The ATSB has yet to determine the cause.
"Understandably both family and friends were inconsolable." Hatswell recalls. "Ido and I had just worked out days before, the options and ordered what would be the third Alto in Australia, which is now my demonstrator."
The crash rattled AeroEdge, but it is now back on track with renewed vigour. With Harlow retiring this year, Hatswell has assumed the sole mantle of Australian representative of the Alto 912TG, and relocated the company to Gawler, NSW. The aircraft will be assembled in Australian by new Aeroprakt representative SmartAir in Albury, NSW.
"Peter has passed the responsibilities to myself to continue to offer this outstanding aircraft and manufacturer to the Australian market," Hatswell said.
The Alto 912TG is powered by a 100-hp Rotax 912, which gives the aircraft a max cruise of 115 KTAS at 6000 feet. It has a useful load of 212 kg and carries 100 l of fuel.
Australian Flying editor Steve Hitchen tested Alto in July 2019, describing it as "one of the easiest LSAs I have ever flown and is well ahead of the others in the landing stakes."
More information is on the Aero Edge website.