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FlareAssist Helps With Landings

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An Alaska inventor has come up with a relatively low-cost ($2500) solution to a vexing problem for float and amphibian pilots and, well, really all pilots. John Pursey says his FlareAssist will help anyone skim (or grease) their landings through the use of ultrasonics. Pursey, whose background is in sensing technology, had one too many abrupt landings in his SeaRey amphib and put his knowledge to work. The result is a simple-to-install system with a transducer that sends ultrasonic measurements to a computer, which converts the impulses to annunciated distance calls in the pilot's headset. The device starts working at 15 feet and counts down to one foot.

Pursey said he designed the system for floatplane and amphibian pilots who encounter glassy water and have difficulty judging height in the last moments before touchdown. However, he said the system works as well on land and will be especially handy for taildragger pilots doing wheel landings. Beta versions of the system have been installed on several aircraft and Pursey will spend the next few months analyzing their results and tweaking the system before officially launching the product at Sun 'n Fun through Recreational Mobility and Jim Ratte as the exclusive sales agent.

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