Roy Beisswenger is lucky. When he can’t be flying, he gets to talk or write about flying.
As host of the Powered Sport Flying Radio Show and editor of its monthly magazine, Beisswenger will receive the Bax Seat Trophy tonight. Established by Flying Magazine, the award is given annually to a journalist who communicates the excitement and romance of grassroots aviation.
Beisswenger’s weekly two-hour radio show features interviews with representatives from the spectrum of powered sport aviation.
Beisswenger said he was writing for UltraFlight Magazine (now Powered Sport Flying Magazine) when someone suggested they do an Internet radio show. The publisher agreed it was a good idea, and Beisswenger thought it would be fun to try.
That was 10 years ago, and it’s still fun for Beisswenger. He said he doesn’t have any favorite show. “The favorite thing for me is to talk with all my heroes,” he said. “Those are the folks who have been icons in the sport, who have helped create the ultralight movement….”
For show ideas, he reads a lot of aviation news and brainstorms with some of the regular guests. “There is always something to discuss,” he said.
A longtime ultralight instructor for powered parachutes, Beisswenger (EAA 537928) was selected to be in the first designated pilot examiner (DPE) class and then became one of the first two powered parachute CFIs and DPEs in the country. He is also a designated flight instructor examiner and a designated airworthiness representative, and has his light sport repairman with maintenance rating. In 2007, Beisswenger became the first sport pilot flight instructor to earn a gold seal flight instructor certificate from the FAA.
Besides Powered Sport Flying Magazine, Beisswenger has also written for many other magazines, including EAA Experimenter, Sport Aviation, UltraFlight, Kitplanes, Ultralight Flying, and the Australian magazine Pacific Flyer. In addition, some of his stories have been translated into German and published in Flügel, and he’s the only U.S.-based editor for the World Directory of Free Flight, editing the paratrike section.
When he’s not writing or producing a radio show, Beisswenger, who is based in Greenville, Illinois, operates a powered parachute training school.