Forget made in America for LSA?

The LSA rule seems to favor new airplane designs over the old ones Bob Locher would like to see authorized (Letters to the Editor, LSA rule is discriminatory, Aug. 24 issue). While I agree with him that Sport Pilots and higher rated ones enjoying the new freedom of flying without an FAA medical certificate could probably handle a 172 just fine, I don’t agree that the new rule discriminates against heavier Americans.

It is true that some new LSA designs don’t allow two 200-pound people to fly with fuel, but there are others that actually can handle two 300-pound folks. The Flight Design CTSW with an empty weight of 595 pounds and a Rotax 912 ULS engine would be just fine for all but morbidly obese Americans. On the other hand, the over-hyped Cessna 162 with its 830-pound empty weight is useless for two normal adult Americans. I suspect any LSA with an American made engine will severely limit the weight of the two people allowed.

It is easy for us to favor “Made in America” products like the Cessna and Piper airplanes popular in the last century.

For LSA, it seems only those with foreign made engines like the Rotax and Jabiru will be practical for use by two adult Americans. There are many manufacturers offering many choices of useful LSA airplanes and only a few using the older and heavier Continental and Lycoming engines. We just have to learn to consider foreign products in order to be happy with the new requirements.

Camas, Wash.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *