The group of folks, mostly volunteers, who have written the ASTM standards used to “certify” Light-Sport Aircraft celebrated their 10th anniversary in Atlanta at the end of October.
Again, I heard a common refrain. This time was at the AOPA Aviation Summit in Palm Springs, California. I was speaking with some GA fellows, the kind — like so many — that know well of Light-Sport Aircraft but have opinions about them based on speculation or heresay. This time it was the familiar, “LSA are nice little airplanes, but they are too lightly built to hold up to the duty of a traditional flight school environment.” I’ve heard this statement so many times I’ve lost count.
Right before the above conversation, I had been visiting with my editor/publisher friend Ben Sclair of General Aviation News fame and Kitfox Aircraft co-owner John McBean. Ben and I were admiring a handsome tundra tire-equipped, taildragging Kitfox that looked immaculate — as John’s airplanes usually do. Truly, it looked almost new. It was not. I told the GA “experts” in the opening conversation that they needed to go look at this particular Kitfox to see how well a LSA can endure flight training. I hope they did so.
After a lengthy delay while various government agencies squabbled about exact plans (gee… sound familiar?), earth is being moved on the grounds of the SUN ’n FUN campus on Lakeland-Linder Regional Airport in Florida, to create an all-new Paradise City.
When talking of success stories in the Light-Sport Aircraft (LSA) world, consider Pipistrel.
“This really important news kind of snuck up on me as a surprise,” observed U.S. representative, Michael Coates, “but I have just noticed that our multi-year cooperation with Pipistrel has resulted in selling our 100th aircraft recently!”
LSA market leader Flight Design is beginning to celebrate 25 years in business. To commemorate the occasion, the German company will build a special Jubilee edition of several models in a very limited series of 25 airplanes, [Read more…]
Things are happening in China. “So, what’s new,” you say? “We’ve been hearing about China for months.”
Things may move slowly in China but recently Airshow China was held in the southern city of Zhuhai and my colleague, Jan Fridrich was present. He reported that some LSA are displayed including Triton’s Mermaid and SC3D (based on the SportCruiser), Flight Design’s CTSW (pictured), Colyaer’s Freedom, and other aircraft. [Read more…]
Even aircraft giants can have problems. Cessna recently issued work orders for more than 200 Skycatchers in an effort that has to cost the big Wichita company well over $300,000*.
One of the most storied companies in the entire light airplane space is Quicksilver. Its iconic models have populated the skies more than any other recreational aircraft brand… yes, more than Van’s (7,000+), Rans (4,500+), and Challenger (2,500+) combined! In fact, in 2002 and 2003, Quicksilver by itself outsold Cessna, Piper, and Beechcraft combined! Now, that’s a performance any aircraft company would love to match. [Read more…]
On Nov. 30, Guy Reynolds will celebrate his 100th birthday by taking a flight in a Light-Sport Aircraft. Putting a finer point on it, he’ll take this flight in his LSA. Are you surprised that a centenarian has an LSA? Admit it…I was. However, Guy is no ordinary guy. He bought his Evektor Sportstar back at the beginning of LSA and he’s been flying it about 100 hours every year. That’s probably more than you fly your LSA. Impressive even for a young 50-year old pilot, this fact is, well… astounding for a 90-something pilot.
A fun thing happened this weekend. Such pleasures occur regularly across the USA where we enjoy so much aviation freedom. This time I got in on part of a weekend fly-out. Plus, I want to celebrate a thriving LSA flight school, another one supported by an arrangement called “leaseback.”