• If You Are Having Trouble Logging In with Your Old Username and Password, Please use this Forgot Your Password link to get re-established.
  • Hey! Be sure to login or register!

Helio Courier

Practicing uploading pic

Oh boy!!! On this site I'm sure you'll get a lot of "Cub" for an answer. I would think a Champ, Cub, or any of the old trainers is fine. Lots of Citabria's out there that can be had for a decent price.
I never thought of a Champ until I bought one from a memeber of this site. Having flown in both the J-3 and the Champ I much prefer the Champ. An auto accident makes it hard for me to get in and out of the J-3, I love the way they fly and would really like to own one but I would not be able to sit in one nearly as long as I can sit in my Champ. Champ has more room, solo from the front, and it'll teach you to use those rudder pedal. Either way it is a personal choice. Just enjoy whatever you can afford to fly and don't let the "brand specific" guys get to you.
If I go for the champ, wouldn't it have to have a full instrument plane to check out as a private pilot? I got a friend that got two champs!!
Does anybody know how to get a hold of anybody in the Brent family that is mentioned above? Does anybody know if Clarence or Sharon Brent are still around. What about Brentwing Engineering?
A friend of mine owns an H-800 and we are trying to aquire their STC for the metal gear legs for this plane. I have tried to call them, but the number is disconnected, and I sent them a letter and it came back undeliverable.

I don't think that Brent Engineering was the STC holder for the metal landing gear of the 800-700 series. I have bought them from another person. Sure it was not from M. Clarence.

How will you manufacture them since the gentleman is no more around ? He was the STC holder AND the manufacturer of the legs. They are easy to cut, but you have to find the right material. He was cutting them from some kind of aluminium that is very expensive. No laser, just plain saw with a lot of fluid. But still, i don't remember the exact kind of aluminium. Something that was used in landing gear of Boeings. The gentleman was working at a factory where they were making some parts for Boeing, so he had easy access to the stuff. And to the tools to cut it, and drill it.

Buy the way, the fiberglass landing gear is not as bad as the accident reports tells. It is not them finally that are a problem. It is the welding of the bottom part. Just by looking at it, you will see that they were weld on the outside of the angle without any penetration. So the scenario is more: The welding fail, the wheels becomes horizonta to the ground, the bottom of the legs dig into the ground, the fiberglass legs delaminate. It the weld of the metal angle that hold the shaft is redone, you won't go to delamination.

Been there once. Some kind of AD note were issued for that explaining all about the weld. Not sure if the AD was from my experience or another one in the tundra in the west. So my advice is first to correct the metal bottom part. Then you can try to find some metal legs. But just putting the metal legs with the badly weld fitting will not help. And i would not go offstrip before checking the weld.

The landing gear is more solid than the frame where it is attached. I broke two of those 800, both time the landing gear hold but broke the fuselage.



Last edited:
Here is the AD. It talks about the fiberglass gear, not the metal at the bottom.


Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
Amendment 39-5533; AD 87-04-09

Airworthiness Directives; Helio Model H-700 and H-800 Airplanes
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration, DOT

DATES: Effective March 9, 1987.
87-04-09 HELIO: Amendment 39-5533. Applies to Models H-700 and H-800 airplanes (all serial numbers) certificated in any category.

Compliance: Required as indicated, unless already accomplished.

To assure airworthiness of the composite main landing gear legs, accomplish the following:

(a) Within the next 100 hours TIS after the effective date of this AD and each 100 hours TIS thereafter, remove landing gear fairings, if installed, and visually inspect the edges of the composite main landing gear legs for evidence of delamination. Delamination is evidenced by longitudinal splitting between the fiberglass plies. This could occur anywhere along the span of the landing gear leg. If any delamination is found, prior to further flight, install FAA-approved right and left metallic landing gear legs. NOTE: On the effective date of this AD, the only known FAA-approved replacement landing gear is per STC SA2171CE.

(b) If, in between the inspections required in paragraph (a) above, it is observed that the wings do not appear level, or one side of the airplane appears to be drooping, prior to further flight, conduct the inspections and replacement, If necessary, required in paragraph (a) of this AD.

(c) The inspection required in paragraphs (a) and (b) are no longer required when FAA-approved metallic landing gear legs have been installed.

(d) Ferry permits issued in accordance with FAR 21.197 and equivalent methods of compliance with this AD may be used if approved by the Manager, Wichita Aircraft Certification Office, Federal Aviation Administration, 1801 Airport Road, Room 100, Wichita, Kansas 67209; Telephone (316) 946-4400.

All persons affected by this directive may obtain copies of the documents referred to herein upon request to the Federal Aviation Administration, Office of the Regional Counsel, Room 1558, 601 E. 12th Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64106.

This amendment becomes effective on March 9, 1987.

The STC is owned by Sharon K. Brent. When I talked to the FAA, they said that there has been no change of ownership.

STC Number:

This certificate issued to:
Brent Sharon K

STC Holder's Address:
10 Evergreen Lane
Pittsburg KS 66763
United States

Description of the Type Design Change:
Replacement of fiberglass main landing gear legs with aluminum parts.

Application Date:

Reissued, 12/05/2006

Responsible Office:
ACE-115W Wichita Aircraft Certification Office Tel: (316) 946-4100

TC Number -- Make -- Model:
1A8 -- Helio Aircraft LLC -- H-700
1A8 -- Helio Aircraft LLC -- H-800
I will check in my logbook for the airport ( Georgia ? ) where the metal leg gentleman was operating. It is at that airport that he made the FAA drop test for his new metal legs for the 700-800. May be the local mechanic could remember something more. If he still work there.

This guy ( not the metal leg gentleman, but the local mechanic) was putting his nose on anything that was going on 'his" airport. He even denounce me to the FBI for ... for ... for whatever he suspected. It took around 5 years before a Custom officer who was knowing me a little, laugh at the screen computer and remove, or fix, the note about me. He just laughed but never volunteer to tell me what was written about my "case".

I am sure Mr. 1-800-STOOL will remember everything about the gentleman who was making the 700-800 legs.

By the way, there is a 800 there that is brand new in a hangar. Own by a friend who has never pilot it. I would have bought it if it was not the fact that this is the 800 that was used for the drop test. Nothing broke, but seeing how hard is the experience, it did remove the desire from me. I prefer to broke them myself.

This 800 was also tweak for speed: some change in the fearing, removed the terrible and ugly wing tip of the 800-700, remove the useless elbrow over the windshield. He was supposed to do 150 k. or more. I did tried it once but can't remember the speed, since i am always more interrested in how slow they go instead of how fast. Anyway, going that fast with the same wing is asking for trouble even in small turbulence.

Here is the AD. It talks about the fiberglass gear, not the metal at the bottom.

I strongly suggest you do check the welding. Been there twice.

By looking around on canadian site, i am sure you will be able to find the note about the welding. I did saw it around fifteen years ago, a year after i broke the first.

The STC is owned by Sharon K. Brent. When I talked to the FAA, they said that there has been no change of ownership.

Then you won't have any luck. Mr. Brent passed away a long time ago, and if he did own this STC, he had no involment in it. Since he was the chief engeneer of Helio, he probably "signed" these metal legs, but he was not around when they were FAA tested so i doubt you will be able to find in his paper what kind of aluminium it was, or what was the manufacturing approved process. 700-800 series are not documented. A strange story about the loss of the documentation of the 800 was told to me a long time ago. I would be delighted to know if it is true.

I still have some parts of the 800. Unhurt fiberglass legs, maybe a motor mount, those adjustable screw that replace the schock absorber of the 295. The pin that holds the landing gear to the frame ( that are NOT the same as the others (391 to 295), even if your mechanic will tell you they are the same )



Waiting for low tide and transportation on a island in Iceland. Aircraft ready for transportation.
Last edited:
amazing plane


My pleasure. There are things the Helio does well, there are things all others do well, so like I said earlier not everyone is going to go out and jump on the Helio bandwagon due to the lack of support (parts) and the long gone "geared" Lycoming's, although Central Cylinder has all the Lycoming needs for this. I just happen to be a Helio nut, and you already know that, so someone has to keep the ball rolling to get something going. Maybe that will never happen, but I'm not giving up just quite yet.. The last Helio built was 26 years ago, and those were not the best models produced and far too heavy!!

I owned a 391B. When I sold it a few years back, a pilot from AK came down to look. This pilot had 6000 hours in a super cub. After the demo flight, I noticed that he finally let go of the bottom of the seat. Shaking his head, he said that if he didnt see it him self, he never would have believed ANY airplane could do what we just did. His friend in the back seat was quiet and still shaking a bit as his face regained some color.

We took off on my dirt strip between the almond orchards (about 400 feet between). With about a 200' take off roll I waited a few seconds to get a little speed and made a u turn within the orchard. This was all within the first 500' of the runway. He was sure we were going to die. We did some slow flight over the river sand bars so I could show him how much better you can evaluate the sand at 30mph instead of 45 or so. When we got back, I came in at right angles to the strip right at the threshold. There, I made a 90 deg turn and landed- we stopped about 500' from the end.
Always remember old Bob Curtis going on an on for hours about his beloved Helio, claimed he and Ray Lochee used to be down around
Cold Bay doing bear hunts and loved to fly around showing off into the high winds down there, by slowing the helio down till the wind would
Be pushing them backwards, so he always claimed it had "reverse"???? He claimed he wrecked a cub landing on his 300ft strip he had at Tichchik cause he was trying to fly it as slow as his 250 Helio. He checked us out at Hood strip in them in 1982 and it had been years since he flew them but he showed me stuff that was certainly impressive! Lochee was still flying his into the mid 1980s into old roadhouse strip in
Illiamna. They are great airplanes but that Go480 for us was very expensive to keep airborne, seamed to always have some sorta issue .Got some old VHS tape somewhere of ours doing STOL takeoffs down on Kvichak River into about a 20kt headwind, fun to watch big airplane doing 2 sec takeoffs!
Just a holeshot no planing onto the step, right straight into the air, of course plane was empty and very light on fuel .Wonderful old planes.
Last edited:
4200lb GW?

@ Bob, their gross is up to 4200 lbs. They can operate here because of special circumstances in the "experimental" category and also being used in Public Service (law enforcement)

Stewart, many thanks for your comment, we obviously like Helio's

Powerolift, Do you know what is involved structurally and mechanically to the Helio''s operating with a 4200lb GW. I'm looking at an old 1954 391B and curious what it would entail? Is it merely a category thing or are there modifications involved. If so do you know what they are? Thanks
Helio was fortunate that the CIA had a military operation ongoing in SE Asia, as they were a major customer. The Helio is so unique that it likely would have died on the vine without that customer. I used to work for the two engineers who did most of the wing structural design work at the original, now abandoned airport in Canton Mass, where Helio got their start.