BRISTELL USA LP and Aviation Access Project yesterday announced an agreement to work together to promote the growth and development of the pilot community. Stated Aviation Access Project (AAP) CEO, Rick Matthews, “The agreement is “critical” in enhancing both parties’ ability to grow the sport pilot population. Our fractional ownership and management model allows more current pilots and those who have a passion for aviation the opportunity to own a brand new highly capable BRISTELL for about the cost of a used car. With a monthly maintenance fee of less than half of the average new car payment, we think we can offer the pubic an unparalleled opportunity to enter or re-enter the world of aviation for a fraction of the cost they expected.”

According to Barry Pruitt of BRISTELL USA LP, the combination of two innovative companies will benefit both.  “We like the AAP model’s focus on improved training, community-building and distribution of costs. We think for a large segment of the market, aircraft partnerships like this make sense.  And we know the AAP guys like our airplane. To us, it is a natural combination.”

The BRISTELL has several advantages according to Len Assante, VP of Communications for AAP. “First, the plane sells itself. In our focus groups of non-pilots, the BRISTELL was consistently picked as the most desirable aircraft. Next, it is a 5th-generation design that makes it one of the more mature in the LSA market.  Finally, we are confident in BRISTELL USA LP’s ability to support the aircraft for our airshare owners here in the United States. We looked at lots of airplanes, but we kept coming back to this one.”

The two companies plan to roll out their first joint operation in January at the 2013 Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, FL, where they will be sharing display space along with LoPresti Aviation.

Built in the Czech Republic by manufacturer BRM Aero, the BRISTELL features a 51-inch-wide cockpit and large canopy that give it the feel of a larger airplane. Powered by a 100 hp Rotax 912 engine, the BRISTELL has a useful load of 617 pounds and a range of 700 nautical miles. BRM Aero has built over 50 examples of the airplane and 6 are flying in the United States.

Credit for the BRISTELL’s attractive design goes to Milan Bristela, who also had a hand in the Evektor SportStar and Czech Aircraft Works (now Czech Sport Aircraft) Sport Cruiser programs.  In the U.S., the plane is marketed by BRISTELL USA LP.

Aviation Access Project was formed as a result of the 2011 AOPA study on pilot training. Headed by veteran fractional sales and service executive Rick Matthews, AAP is made up of a group of aviation and education professionals who desire to double the number of active pilots and cut by half the dropout rate for new pilots.