Go (mid)West, young man

Summer is about to flow into fall, which is often a beautiful time of year to aviate for recreation. Temperatures moderate from summer’s heat, yet winter’s icing and other hazards are still well off in the distance. That big celebration of flight, AirVenture, is history and now Light-Sport enthusiasts turn their attention to the Midwest LSA Expo. This Illinois entry approaches only year number two, but it appears to be in a building phase.

While the economy struggles on, Sport Pilots anticipate this new gathering with excitement. Though the big shows, such as Sun ‘n Fun and AirVenture, represent essential marketing costs for most LSA producers, the so-called small-venue shows have continued to increase in importance to vendors and customers alike. The Sebring U.S. Sport Aviation Expo is the granddaddy of these “category events” and I was gratified at AirVenture to see Bob Woods, who chairs the Sebring event, advising and counseling Chris Collins, the young airport manager assembling the Midwest LSA Expo. Such cooperation seems sure to help lift the new aviation sector.

Scheduled a few days earlier this year — Thursday to Saturday, Sept. 23-25 — the event takes place at Mt. Vernon Outland Airport (MVN) in southern Illinois. (Visit MidwestLSAShow.com to see what aircraft are expected.) Collins and his team of volunteers make the event easy and enjoyable for those exhibiting aircraft, as well as visitors. According to Collins, the exhibitor count is up for the second running and the location benefits by being a hour or two flight from such major metros as St. Louis, Chicago, and Indianapolis. If you want to have the time to really talk airplanes and flying, the Midwest LSA Expo is an excellent chance without the huge crowds of the giant air shows. Come on down to southern Illinois and have some fun with the rest of us!

For more on Sport Pilot and LSAs: ByDanJohnson.com

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