About Brian FitzGerald – The Sky Surfer
Brian FitzGerald of Wichita, Kansas is an independent video producer and recipient of numerous awards for TV commercials and documentaries. He has 28+ years experience in the television business working in production, news and advertising. FitzGerald is the cameraman for all of the footage used in his movies (except for some standups and some “ground-to-air” taken by Ted Lewis and Jeff Johnson (see – The Making of “MXing It Up” for more about Ted). FitzGerald is also the editor and writes/performs a good deal of the music.
Prior to entering the video business in 1981, Brian was a rock/blues musician based in Northern California where he had 3 different bands that played in N. California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. Using various synthesizers and his trusty 1971 Gibson SG, his Ibanez bass, his daughter’s Stratocaster and digital drum loops, he writes and produces virtually all of the music heard in his videos.
FitzGerald is also the proud son of a career Fighter Pilot for the U.S. Air Force who flew P-47’s over France during WWII and, as an F-105 squadron commander, carried the flag into downtown Hanoi.
I have good reason to believe he was a Wild Weasel as well.
Brian is married to Debra and has two children Bevin and Jack. He has a private pilot license and has flown ultralights since 1983.
“It is my belief that flyers of ultralight aircraft are perfectly able to pilot their machines with the current minimal amount of government regulatory oversight. The history of the movement has proven that properly maintained, well-designed ultralight aircraft are safe. I believe that pilots should continue to be responsible for obtaining training on their own and that they should continue to be responsible for maintaining their proficiency without any governmental licensing. American ultralight aviators have shown the world that we are indeed “…the land of the free…” Let’s keep it that way! Fly smart… Fly Responsibly.”
Been watching your YouTube videos. Awesome! I have a question if you don’t mind. Open or closed cockpit? I have been thinking about buying a QS and not sure which one is really the best. I live in south central Wisconsin and would like to fly year round if possible but not critical. I like the idea of not looking through Plexiglas like in a GT400 or 500 but from riding motorcycles with and without a windshield, the windshield keeps the wind and bugs off your face, clothes, etc. With your excess of 1,000 hours of flying in-type as you mentioned, what do you think is the best plane for me to get, a Sport or a GT400? I also weigh 265 lbs. and was concerned about the useful load in a Sport and GT400 so for safety, should I get an MX 2 or a 2S or a GT500?
Any help is appreciated. I would also get a BRS installed on it.
Your videos are awesome. I truly enjoy them Brian.
Bill in Wisconsin
Thanks for your uplifting comment regarding my movies. I work hard to make them as good as I can with the tools I have available. Please refer my work to all your Buddies!
Regarding weather and weight, etc,:
I called up my Buddy Steve Ewing who used to be a Quicksilver dealer and who still owns a GT-400 and a 2 seat Sprint.
He said the GT-400 used to have two different nose configurations. One had the windshield like I have on my MXL. The other windshield design goes all the way back to the wing. The 400 did not come with doors but many guys have fabricated their own for Winter Flying. So, my answer there is that you have the potential with a 400 to go both ways if you want to invest in the two types of nose pod/windshield combinations and then have the best of both flying worlds.
I really love flying in the open air when the temperature allows BUT having done some experimentation with expanding my windshield for Winter flying – at this point – I will say it is not easily done with an MXL like mine or the 2 seat version (MX2 or 2S).
Regarding your weight, I don’t see that you couldn’t fly any of these with the main problem being which design you fit into better. The GT’s have more room and are easier to ingress/egress due to their seating configuration. My MXL is rather strenuous to enter and exit and does not have as much leg room as I would like. I am 6’1″, so if you are taller than that, that is an issue.
For some additional answers and considerations to your questions I direct you to Bever Borne of Air-Tech in Louisiana (http://www.air-techinc.com/). I buy my Quicksilver parts from him and his wife Kim. He is a Quicksilver Dealer and may soon be the owner of the Quicksilver line. He can tell you more about whether an MX2, 2S or GT500 might be a better fit for you.
I hope that is helpful. Let me know what you do.
Blue Skies & Tailwinds!
Brian FitzGerald – The Sky Surfer
Hi Brian…first off I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed your “Harper Run” video! You did an excellent job of capturing Kansas in all it’s beauty; you made of of us Kansans proud; thank you!
My name Phil Walker, I live in Wichita, and have been watching videos of ultra light flying for about 5 weeks after developing an “intense interest” in learning to fly, and even owning an ultra light aircraft. Hopefully, you can help me with some questions to get me started down that path. Who might you recommend for training in this area? Do you know of reasonably price hangar space (NW Wichita) availability? What type of ultralight would you recommend? I’ve located a new Aerolite 103 in Florida that seems appropriate. Also, a used JetWing trike in Oklahoma very reasonably priced. Again, keep up the good work, fly safe, keep on putting out such quality videos-Phil Walker
Nice to hear that you liked “Harper”. If you want to see some others of the same type I produced after that, you can go to my YouTube channel (link below) and check them out. All of that type have “POV” in their titles. I get good comments on “Mustang Valley” and “The Flint Hills Fandango”.
I would be very interested to talk to you about Ultralight Flying. A good Buddy of mine has an Aerolite 103 and I think it is as good or better than my Quicksilver.
Please send me your telephone number and when I get a chance I will give you a ring.
Blue Skies & Tailwinds!™