Seaplane LSAs take off

Many have now heard that the Light-Sport Aircraft industry achieved an impressive benchmark in its first decade. As the newest aviation segment approaches its 10th birthday in the summer of 2014, airplane designers have created and gained FAA acceptance for 134 models, a pace of more than one new design every month for 10 years running. No one has claimed a more active period in worldwide aviation since 1903 witnessed the Wrights making their first flights.

Yet even within this ocean-swell of engineering, flight testing, manufacturing and marketing, the industry is gearing up for a secondary wave.

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The next wave in LSA

Even as we come to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Sport Pilot/Light-Sport Aircraft rule in 2014, many general aviation pilots have only recently become fully aware of this large and growing fleet of more than 134 designs.

Let me repeat: That is 134 new aircraft models in less than 10 years, a pace of more than one new aircraft model every single month for 10 straight years. I doubt anyone can show an example of more breathtaking development in all of aviation history, worldwide.

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Getting ready for the Sebring LSA Expo

People are arriving in Florida for the kick-off of the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Florida, Jan. 16. As we enter the last-minute rush to head to the 10th Sebring LSA Expo, as it is known, a few news items arrived and I’ll run through them so you have some idea of what will be present at the LSA event.

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Why LSA registrations were down in 2013

A number of people have asked about an updated sales report for 2013. While remembering that we report registrations, not sales, last year was a different sort.

Registrations were down from 2012, with the exception that CubCrafters remains the registration (and presumably sales) leader. American Legend and its Cubs also showed more activity than previous years. Beyond the yellow taildragger squadron, it’s something of a mixed bag.

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What’s ahead for LSA in 2014?

True for most of aviation, the Light-Sport Aircraft sector may not recall 2013 as a banner year.

However, it was a year of movement in the right direction with a few enterprises doing well. [Read more...]

Skycatcher and the future

At the NBAA show this fall, multimillion dollar business jets and working aircraft were the focus. No surprise. After all, the organization is the National Business Aviation Association. While I’ve attended a few times (and am always stunned by the size of the exhibit hall and the opulence of the displays), I was caught off guard when I heard that some reporters asked Cessna’s President and CEO Scott Ernest about the Skycatcher.

One thing that did not surprise me was Ernest’s comment: “No future.”

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Top reasons to buy an LSA

At this year’s Midwest LSA Expo, held Sept. 5-7 at Mt. Vernon Outland Airport (KMVN) in Illinois, I delivered a presentation called “20+ Reasons to Buy an LSA.” However, to handle the subject a little bit differently, I turned it into an audience participation exercise.

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A new approach to LSA certification

“It’s always been done this way” begins a familiar statement for someone defending a long-standing practice. The reference here is to the nearly 10-year-old category of Light-Sport Aircraft and how these airplanes are permitted to fly across the USA. It is no longer being done the old way and the results are good.

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Best AirVenture ever?

Was 2013 the best EAA AirVenture Oshkosh ever? In one way obvious to every attendee, this year’s event was superlative: Wisconsin’s weather was nearly perfect.

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Evektor passes FAA audit

The first Light-Sport Aircraft to win FAA acceptance as an SLSA was Evektor. Now, Midwest U.S. Sportstar and Harmony rep Steve Minnich reports Evektor passed a recent FAA audit.

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