The Year of the Sport Pilot

2005 was “The Year of the Light Sport Aircraft and the Sport Pilot Certificate.”

The LSA rule was approved in September 2004 and by April 2005 FAA certification of aircraft was well under way.

Among the first to get the nod were European imports qualifying as Special-LSAs, ready to fly models that can used for dual instruction.

As of Dec. 1, 2005, at least one such aircraft from these companies had received an S-LSA certificate:

- Aerosport Ltd. Breezer and C42 Ikarus

- Aerostar Festival

- Aircraft Manufacturing & Development Co. Zodiac CH 601 XL

- American Legend AL3C 100 Cub

- B&F Technik Vertriebs FK-9 Mark IV

- Czech Aircraft Works Parrot and CH-601-XL

- Evektor SportStar

- Fantasy Air Allegro 2000

- Flight Design CT

- GRYF Aircraft Spol MD 3 Rider

- Indus Aviation T211 Thorpedo

- Iniziative Industriali Italiane Sky Arrow 600 Sport

- Jabiru USA Sport Aircraft J170-SP and J250SP

- JIHLAVAN Airplanes KP-5 Kappa

- RANS S-7LS

- Tecnam Bravo, Echo Super and Sierra

- TL-Ultralight Sting Sport

- Zlin Savage

The LSA Tour

To introduce Light Sport Aircraft to pilots, the Experimental Aircraft Association launched a Sport Aircraft tour. On the tour, which is similar to the air tours of the 1930s, manufacturers and importers flew around the country en masse to show off their aircraft.

Downside

There were some lowlights as well, however. On Aug. 7 the first LSA fatality occurred when an Allegro 2000 crashed during a training flight in Supply, N.C., killing both the instructor and a student pilot. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

In November CubCrafters of Yakima, Wash., the manufacturers of the Sport Cub, filed suit in a Texas federal court to stop Sulphur Springs, Texas-based American Legend Aircraft Co. from using the names “Cub” and “Legend,” as well as the well-known yellow with black stripe design on their Legend Cub.

Both the Sport Cub and the Legend Cub are based on the Piper J-3 Cub. Both feature a wider cabin than the Piper and modern refinements, such as an electrical system and a relocated fuel tank so that the aircraft can be flown safely from the front seat.

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