Leading Edge Flight Training School New Tenant at Airport

Sebring Airport Authority is thrilled to announce the first flight training facility in Sebring and their newest tenant, Leading Edge Flight Training School.

Leading Edge Flight Training School is ready and open for business with a Cessna 172 and a Lake Amphibian Seaplane. The school is also offering simulator training on the Redbird FMX, a superior-quality, full motion, Advanced Aviation Training Device. The simulator’s electric motion platform and wrap-around visual offer a realistic training environment approved by the FAA. The state-of-the-art simulator will be available for anyone to try out at the January 24-27 US Sport Aviation Expo.

Owner Brant Howell had this to say about his decision to relocate from Virginia to Sebring, “I chose Sebring because it’s in the middle of everything and options for world class flight training were limited. The Sebring Airport has so much to offer and now a professional flight school is here. It’s a great time to be involved in aviation, the airlines are hiring, and career opportunities have never been better.”

Continued Brant, “ We’re going to be doing seaplane training, which is new for Sebring. We’re excited to be the only flight training operation in Sebring with all these resources and opportunities.”

Down the road Leading Edge will offer flights to the Keys and major airports as an added benefit to customers.

About Leading Edge Flight Training School
Leading Edge Fight Training School has over 40 years of aviation experience providing training from private pilot through commercial and advanced pilot ratings. They provide pilots the opportunity to learn within a structured academic environment and receive a quality aviation education. The training school employs a team of professional flight instructors who are highly trained, experienced, and committed to providing the best training available in general aviation. Visit https://www.leadingedgeflightschool.com/ for more details.

Brant Howell
Brant Howell has been involved in General Aviation for more than 30 years and his experience includes thousands of hours of instruction given and flight experience in many types of aircraft ranging from Piper Cubs and Cessna 172’s to the latest advanced aircraft available. He is a long time member with the National Association Of Flight Instructors (NAFI), president of the SML Pilots Association, and a veteran of the United States Air Force 1550th Aircrew Training and Test Wing.

About Sebring Regional Airport & Commerce Park
Sebring Regional Airport is a 2,000-acre commerce park and airport. The airport is a designated Foreign Trade Zone offering many tax benefits and is home to Sebring International Raceway. Sebring has been named in the State Aviation System Plan as the growth airport for South Central Florida. SRA celebrates the 14th anniversary for U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in 2018.

IRMA: Highlands County damages – second worst in the state.

Gov. Scott Issues Updates on Continued Hurricane Irma Response Efforts

Today, Governor Rick Scott joined FWC officers to tour Hurricane Irma damage in Clay County and the Florida Keys. The Governor will continue to be in constant communication with state and local emergency management officials, city and county leaders, law enforcement and National Guard leaders, and utility officials as Hurricane Irma response continues.

More than 53,000 people in Highlands County were waiting for power to return on Monday, according to Duke Energy. That is the majority of the county.
Residents are also running desperately low on water and ice, said the Highland’s County Sheriff’s Office. ABC Action News was there as gas stations had lines 70 cars deep waiting for fuel.

One woman we spoke with had been in line for three hours waiting for gas along US 98 in Sebring. “It would have been nice if they had had some Port-a-potties along the way,” she said.

A Highlands County Sheriff’s deputy said many of the gas stations do not have power or access to a generator, and therefore cannot get their pumps up and running.

Another driver said the situation is growing increasingly difficult for many residents, including hundreds of elderly and disabled in the community. Read more here

Sebring Expo’s 2018 Keynote Speaker has an incredible story to tell.

And, we can’t wait.

Captain Rahmani, first female fixed-wing pilot in the Afghan Air Force Slated to be KEYNOTE at U.S. Sport Aviation Expo 2018.

Aspirations and accomplishments run wide and deep in some people. Capt. Niloofar Rahmani is one of those people. As the first female fixed-wing pilot in the Afghan Air Force, she has a life that reads like a movie.

Capt. Rahmani trained on C-130s with the US Air Force in 2015 and completed the training program in December 2016. She received the U.S. State Department’s prestigious International Women of Courage Award in 2015 and continues to inspire women and men alike.

Join us for Captain Rahmani’s keynote speech, which promises to be a compelling story of perseverance, determination and above all, the will to keep flying.

INTRODUCING HENDRICKS: The new MASCOT for Sebring’s U.S. Sport Aviation Expo, a Playful Choice While Paying Homage to Area Aviation History.

MAY 18, 2017, Sebring Florida – Today SAA staff and Executive Director, Mike Willingham and his team proudly present Hendricks, the new MASCOT to represent all that is exciting, educational and fun about Sebring’s U.S. Sport Aviation Expo.

Hendricks who is (clearly) colorful and dynamic embodies many of the same traits as the hundreds of aviators and aviation enthusiasts that attend the iconic event every year!

The name Hendricks is a historical one and pays homage to the B-17 pilot school that once operated near Sebring – Hendricks Field. The flight school operated from 1942 to 1945 and was named in honor of 1st lt. Laird Woodruff Hendricks, Jr.

1st Lt. Hendricks was born in Ocala, grew up in Jacksonville, graduated from USMA, West Point N.Y. in 1029, and was tragically killed in a B-17 crash in England in July, 1941… just three days after he arrived to train other RAF Pilots.

On January 14, 1942, the Sebring Area base was officially named in honor of Lt. Hendricks. On January 29, 1942, the first B-17 was flown into Hendricks Field where pilot and crew training began almost immediately. In January 1943, Hendricks Field became a 4-engine pilot school with approximately 120 B-17’s in service and ultimately trained over 10,000 pilots.

Willingham wanted to create a fun yet memorable mascot that could be used to communicate various details throughout the year leading up to the event. “We wanted to identify Hendricks as an aviator and enthusiast, and tap into some legitimate aviator traits and characteristics, as well as be playful with some of their more stereotypical characteristics-—all the while paying homage to the area’s rich and powerful aviation history.”

Look for HENDRICKS U.S. Sport Aviation Expo mascot on Facebook, in ads and on our website!


Save the Date: Jan. 24-27, 2018: 14th Annual U.S. Sport Aviation Expo

Don’t miss the 14th annual U.S. sport Aviation Expo at Sebring Regional Airport.

The annual Sport Aviation event features sport aircraft and includes conventional aircraft, kit planes, powered parachutes, trikes, gyros, amphibians, drones and innovative designs such as electrically powered aircraft—over 150 aircraft on display.

Early Bird Special for Exhibitors

This year, reserve your space by August 31st and receive a 20% discount on your indoor or outdoor space.

To learn more, visit www.sportaviationexpo.com/

Pictaio Aerospace has relocated to Sebring Regional Airport

Pictaio Aerospace has relocated from Dubuque Iowa. Explains CEO, Chris Lord, “Recently we teamed with ELA Aviation (a Spanish Gyroplane manufacturer of 20 years) and decided that the best location for us is at Sebring Airport.”

Pictaio Aerospace has been in the Gyroplane business since 2012 offering sales, service, and training. Pictaio Aerospace is the only company to train the FAA in gyroplanes. Chris is one of a select few FAA pilot examiners in the USA, a test pilot for numerous aircraft, has flown more than 24 models of gyroplanes and has obtained thousands of hours in gyroplanes in a short while.

They are currently set up and operational at Sebring. Building 102 Bay C2.

Get more information:  815-402-3076, or email Chris@Pic-Aero.com

Spencer Aircraft Supply At Sebring Airport

Spencer Aircraft has a brand new location in the Sebring Airport Galleria. They’re selling a wide range of aviation products and parts while also adding additional product lines. Get pilot supplies, aircraft parts, industrial & MIL-spec hardware, fabric covering, advanced cleaners, avionics services, plus aviation related apparel & gifts here.

Don’t See what you want? Call 1 (253) 848-9349.

Please visit Spencer Aircraft the next time you fly into SRA. They can’t wait to see you!


Sebring Airport Authority boasts two new Tesla charging stations.

Tesla owners are now able to charge their cars at the airport.

The Sebring Airport Authority has teamed up with Tesla Motors to provide an increasingly desirable amenity; Tesla Destination Charging.  Sebring will make charging available for all Tesla customers in need who may not be airport clients. Said Mike Willingham, Executive Director, Sebring Airport Authority, “We are beyond excited about being part of this wonderful new venture, which will bring new visitors to Sebring.”

Tesla Destination Charging Stations
The Sebring Regional Airport and other Tesla Destination Charging locations are hosted on Tesla’s interactive webpage and were recently GPS located on Model S and Model Xs’ navigation through a free software update sent wirelessly to the car. Tesla owners are now able to use the in-vehicle 17” touchscreen to easily plan trips and locate the property.
 About Tesla
Tesla designs, engineers and manufactures premium, all-electric vehicles and is leading a revolution to transform the automotive industry with zero-emissions technology. In particular, theAnchor Model S is a class-leader in performance, efficiency, functionality and safety. Tesla’s charging infrastructure provides them with a competitive advantage compared to other automobile manufacturers and is made up of home charging, Supercharging and Destination Charging.

Save the date: Pistons & Props Nov. 30-Dec. 4

ATTENTION PILOTS! Fly in to Sebring Regional Airport and join us for this unique, historic event

The HSR Classic 12 Hours of Sebring, Pistons and Props, will follow the same concept of HSR’s Classic 24 Hour at Daytona.
The immediate success of the Classic 24 Hour at Daytona, which has quickly ascended to “must-attend” status on the worldwide motorsports scene, provided the inspiration behind the similar event on the iconic grounds of Sebring International Raceway.
While the Rolex 24 Hour At Daytona is America’s premier 24-hour race, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida, has gained equally legendary status as the oldest major sports car race in the United States.
An entirely unique aspect of the Classic 12 Hours of Sebring, Pistons and Props, however, will be the simultaneous celebration of Sebring’s rich military and civil aviation history that is as much a part of the 12 Hours of Sebring as the race itself.


FOR MORE INFORMATION: Phone: 727-573-1340
Email: registrar@hsrrace.com

Web Link: http://www.hsrrace.com/events/2016_events/classic12hour

Click to download: Race Entry-Form.pdf

Airport director’s business acumen pays off

When most people look at an airport they see planes, runways, taxiways and fuel. When Mike Willingham looks at an airport, he sees a real estate opportunity.

On Aug. 1, Willingham will have been executive director of the Sebring Airport Authority for 25 years. Willingham, 64, is also a pilot with an additional three years of experience in Fixed Base Operations at the airport, but it is his out-of-the-box thinking and business acumen that have made his tenure at the Sebring Regional Airport so successful.

Besides its obvious role as a flight center, the property under Willingham is now a 2,000-acre business park hosting 44 tenants and is part of a Foreign Trade Zone, also known as a Free Tax Zone, spanning six counties.

Hang a left turn off of U.S. 98, pass the Humane Society of Highlands County and you’ll start to see the Sebring Regional Airport “shopping mall.

The famous race track is a tenant, along with aviation companies like Tecnam Aircraft, who assembles, sells and distributes piston-powered aircraft across the Americas. Lockwood is here, constructing its Aircam, a revolutionary craft originally designed for National Geographic. The location is also a military refueling station.

But the airport isn’t all about planes. Other tenants include Genpak, a plastics manufacturer; E-stone, an Italian granite products company; and the newest tenant, CitraPac, the creator of “fruit pearls,” a kid-friendly, no-sugar-added frozen citrus product.

Willingham said he came into the role with an eye to “running the business and delivering value to the community.” That boils down to making decisions that pay the bills while also boosting economic development and job creation, and Willingham made it a point to foster good relationships with important community players like elected officials and the CRA.

“That has paid dividends,” he said.

See more