Coming to America: More S-LSAs are certified by the FAA

The Light Sport Aircraft field is growing.

In mid-May the Hansen AirGroup received FAA certification for two Special Light Sport Aircraft (S-LSA), a Tecnam Sierra and a Tecnam Echo Super Echo. The company expects to have a third aircraft certified by mid-June.

The aircraft are manufactured by S.R.L. Costruzioni Aeronautiche Tecnam of Italy and are imported by Hansen AirGroup of Kennesaw, Ga.

According to Lynne Birmingham, president of Hansen AirGroup, each individual aircraft has to be inspected by a DAR before it can be certified as S-LSA. The “special” indicates the aircraft will be used for instruction or will be available for rent.

According to Birmingham, one of the things that set the Tecnam designs apart from other LSAs on the market is that they do not look like traditional ultralights.

This can be both a blessing and a curse, she says, noting that when the airplane was on display at Sun ‘n Fun, it did not get much attention from the LSA crowd because it didn’t look like what they thought an LSA should look like.

“But when they learn that it is an LSA and see the low fuel burn (less than 5 gallons an hour on some models), they look again,” she explained.

Also joining the ranks of the FAA certified S-LSAs is the StingSport built by TL Ultralight in the Czech Republic. It received S-LSA certification May 24. SportairUSA of North Little Rock, Ark., distributes the mid-wing aircraft in North America. The StingSport has been in production since 2000 and there are more than 200 flying throughout the world.

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