GA Meets Communist China

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In Shanghai this week, businessman Li Linhai expects to take delivery of his brand-new Robinson R-44 helicopter, the first light aircraft bought for private use on the Chinese mainland. Li will fly his helicopter for business trips and family visits, he told the China Daily. Despite the high cost of flight training, about $241 per hour, demand is growing, and another businessman has already placed an order for the first private light airplane. China aviation authorities are mapping out regulations on the application for the purchase of planes and for takeoff procedures, according to China Daily, and the market for light planes in China is projected at 10,000 in the next 10 years. Until recently all private flight was banned in China. Private enterprise is growing, and China now has more young millionaires than any country other than the United States, the BBC reported this week. Ultralight flying already is popular among the sporting crowd.