Take a day to learn and get together with flying friends,
it's time to get a ready for spring flying!

The Illinois Ultralight Advisory Council, the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Aeronautics, and the Federal Aviation Administration, Springfield FSDO, are presenting the 43rd Annual IUAC Ultralight/Light Sport Symposium on Saturday, February 24, 2024, in Granite City, IL. Admission is FREE and pre-registration is not required. The Symposium will cover a broad range of subjects. Along with the talks, there will be ultralight, engine manufacturer, and accessory displays representing UL/sport/recreational type aircraft. Anyone representing any item of equipment used in this segment of aviation and interested in displaying such items should contact Bob McDaniel at dusterpilot@charter.net.


Aviation-related vendors are invited to show their wares at no cost, although donations are welcome. Do you have parts or pilot supplies that you would like to sell? Bring them along and grab a table at the event! There should be room for lots of people.

Key to Good, Safe Fun

The topics featured at the symposium will help keep you safe and give you a chance to learn more about the sport you love. You will also get a chance to learn about new possibilities like drones and powered paragliding!

Wings Credit

If you participate in the FAA Wings program, some of the sessions can be used for Wings credit. Want to learn a little more about the program?

Learn about Wings

The Speakers

Master Classes from light aviation experts

Bob McDaniel


Bob McDaniel, retired airport director and ultralight pilot.

Bob has more than 50-years’ pilot experience, flying a variety of aircraft from powered parachutes and experimental home-builts to large transport and supersonic jets. He also has more than 20 years’ experience as an airport director and currently operates his own country airstrip. (2020 Speaker)

Dr. Rich Hehmann, MD, FACS

Dr. Richard
Hehmann, MD, FACS

Senior Aviation Medical Examiner

Dr. Hehmann is a pilot and flight instructor and is a practicing board-certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon in the St. Louis metro-east area. He holds flight instructor certificates and actively instructs in both airplanes and gliders. He also holds helicopter ratings and serves as a tow pilot and Chief Flight Instructor for the St. Louis Soaring Association.

Richard McDermott


USHPA Certified Paragliding Instructor

Richard is a cofounder of STL Paragliding.

Diane Earhart


Master Pilot/CFI & Retired Air Traffic Controller

Diane is a writer and a CFI.

Greg Gremminger


CFI for Gyroplanes

Greg has been a pilot for more than 50 years and has logged more than 4,000 hours of flight time, 3,000 of it in gyroplanes. He became the first US representative and dealer for the Italian Magni Gyro in 2000 and has trained more than 30 gyroplane pilots and assisted many of them in constructing their gyroplane kits. In addition to gyros, he has built and flown Quicksilver Ultralights, Kolb 2-seat Experimental LSAs, and an Air Command 532 Gyroplane in the 1980’s. As a recognized gyroplane expert, he served as Chairman of the ASTM Gyroplane subcommittee that developed the US Gyroplane Standards.

Clyde Ehrhart


Owner, Ehrhardt Aviation Agency

Clyde has been a pilot for more than 55 years and in the aviation insurance business more than 48 years. Unlike large insurance brokerage firms, he provides personalized service tailored to your individual need. He insures everything from amateur-built and antique aircraft to Boeing 747's, helicopters, sail planes, airports, aviation businesses, homes built in fly-in communities and even space satellites. He also provides liability coverage for students, instructors, and others flying non-owned. He doesn’t have customers, he has friends.

Bob Karpinski


President, Gateway Area Ultralight Association.

Bob's fascination with flying began in his childhood with R/C model airplanes and he now has more than 43 years of ultralight experience in hang gliders, weight-shift control aircraft, and trikes.

Jon Humberd


Project Manager 701 kit airplane, Zenith Aircraft Company

Jon is a Tennessee farmer who got his start in aviation by flying ultralights for several years. He completed building the Zenith Super701 in 2018 and pilots it all over the US to many events and flying competitions, including the Oshkosh STOL Invitational and the National STOL competition at SunNFun in 2021, which he won!. Jon is now the Project Manager for Zenith Aircraft Company's new fully CNC 701 kit airplane that will be coming to the market soon!

Dan Johnson


Dan Johnson, Sport Aviation Leader.

Dan Johnson is a prolific aviation writer, blogger, and Youtube personality. (2019 Speaker)

Conference Schedule

packed with high quality content, just for you.


Registration Opens / Breakfast Available prepared by EAA Chapter 64


Welcome and Opening Remarks

Bob McDaniel

Jeff Hurst
Aviation Safety and Education Bureau Chief
Illinois Division of Aeronautics

Randy Ottinger
FAA Safety Team Program Manager
St. Louis Flight Standards District Office


Pilot Medical Issues and Medical Certification

Dr. Rich Hehmann, MD, FACS
Aviation Medical Examinert



10:15 - 11:15

The History of Gyros, Gyrocopters and Gyroplanes and How to Get Started in the Sport

Greg Gremminger

TurbulenceWe live in interesting times. Dan talks about the present and future of ultralight and sport aviation.



11:00 - 12:00

Aviation Insurance Issues

Clyde Ehrhardt
Ehrhardt Aviation Agency LLC

12:00 - 13:00

Lunch Break

Lunch will be available on-site
prepared by EAA Chapter 64

13:00 - 14:00

How to Get Started in Ultralights

Bob Karpinski
Gateway Area Ultralight Association

13:00 - 14:00

How to Prepare for and Start a Kit-Built Aircraft Project

Jon Humberd
Project Manager for Zenith fully CNC 701 kit airplane
Zenith Aircraft Company



14:20 - 15:00

The Status of the Light Sport Aviation Industry and Coming Changes

Dan Johnson
Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association (LAMA)


Drawings & Closing Remarks

Safety Words of Wisdom

You hafta AFTA. (Always Fly The Airplane) Frank 'Woof' Beagle
Illinois Aviation Hall of Fame Member
In flying I have learned that carelessness and overconfidence are usually far more dangerous than deliberately accepted risks. Wilbur Wright
In a letter to his father, September 1900
There are two critical points in every aerial flight — its beginning and its end. Alexander Graham Bell
There's simply no substitute for experience in terms of Aviation Safety. Chesley Burnett "Sully" Sullenberger, III
Pilot of US Airways Flight 1549
If safety is a joke, then death is the punchline. Paul Laforest
Hug your kids at home, but belt them in the airplane.

Why is this conference for you?

Stay Ahead of the curve

Skills and knowledge atrophy over time. Just as important, new things are constantly being introduced. Get tuned up for a season of flying.

Become a pilot or pilot something new

Are you already a pilot? Do you want to be a pilot? Do you want to be a drone pilot or perhaps learn about another category of aircraft? This conference will help you move towards all these goals.

Networking opportunities

Some people only get a chance to visit with flying friends at conferences like this. Never mind the speakers! (Sorry speakers.) This is also a great aviation meetup. A fly-in without airplanes...

Visit vendors and other experts

Bring your questions to the event. The speakers are typically available for questions during breaks and there are a lot of great aviation resources just waiting to answer your questions.

Sponsors & Partners

Interested in becoming a sponsor? Get in touch

Location and Venue

area full of great things to do.

Bring the family. While you enjoy the aviation program, they can enjoy shopping and visiting in Downtown St. Louis, located only 12 miles away!


Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC) in Granite City, Illinois

4950 Maryville Road

Granite City, Illinois

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