Looking ahead to the new year

Preparations are underway for the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo, the eighth running of the focused event. The annual gathering in Sebring, Florida, occurs about the third week of January each year and, as such, kicks off the aviation calendar. (Sun ’n Fun now starts the season of recreational flying.)

Recently we visited the show site to make some final decisions and we found new director Jana Filip has very ably taken the reins from founding director Bob Woods. Jana has been associated with the show since the beginning, so she already knew the flavor of the LSA-focused event. Yet filling the ex-Colonel’s shoes wasn’t easy. Bob Wood left the show in fine shape, but set an aggressive pace for his staff and small army of volunteers. He’ll stay to help the transition and will remain a volunteer, but Sebring is now Jan’s baby.

Sponsorships are up. Exhibitors have filled almost every available spot…and I have no doubt it will be a sellout with a month to go. Forums are plentiful. Meetings are abundant. Activities are up. The mood at Sebring is bright, so bring on the show. For those stuck in the snow up north, Florida is a desirable destination.

The Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association (LAMA) will hold its fifth annual dinner for LSA professionals during the Sebring show. Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) President Rod Hightower will speak to the opening evening assembly in the AeroShell tent. Some 300 LSA businesspeople will be in attendance, the largest such gathering in the world.

Sebring has become the place where LSA companies show their newest aircraft or products for the new year of flying. The show doesn’t announce attendance figures, but reliable estimates are 12000 to 15,000 attendees, making the Sebring U.S. Sport Aviation Expo one of the main events of the year. Get ready for a Happy New Year!

For more information: Sport-Aviation-Expo.com, ByDanJohnson.com


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