Sun (and Fun) shine

Dan Johnson, president of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association, is an expert on Light Sport Aircraft.

In the world of recreational flying — that portion of aviation that does NOT deal with transportation as a core activity — the Sun ’n Fun air show signals the beginning of the flying season.

While aviators in the southern states may have been active in January and February, much of the country has been coping with the extreme cold and an unusual amount of snowfall in 2011. Many aviators sincerely welcome Sun ’n Fun…both the literal sunshine and the aviation fun it permits.

Of course, Light-Sport enthusiasts have the Sebring show even earlier and while that show starts off the aviation year, Sun ’n Fun is beautifully timed for that part of the year when recreational aviators are itching to rev up their engines and bore a few holes in sky.

While new product introductions always occur at the Sebring U.S. Sport Aviation Expo, Sun ’n Fun’s much larger audience brings out the latest and greatest in many segments of aviation. Additionally, the Florida show draws key aviation leaders who can meet face to face even during these times of tight budgets and restricted travel.

This year Sun ’n Fun occurs a bit earlier in the spirit of cooperation with an important European show, Aero 2011. Staged in the far south of Germany, Aero has arguably become the most important aviation event in Europe. Many LSA companies feel compelled to exhibit at both Sun ’n Fun and Aero, so all deeply appreciate that organizers of the two events communicated about dates and made it possible to participate in each. What better way to kick off a new season of aviation enjoyment than shows in the two largest sport plane markets in the world?

This year’s Sun ’n Fun in Lakeland, Fla., is scheduled for March 29-April 3, followed by Aero in Friedrichshafen, Germany, April 13-16.

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