Seaplane LSAs take off

Wave

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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LAMA rallies industry to comment on FAA policy

The Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association is encouraging Light-Sport Aircraft professionals and others in the aviation industry to comment on FAA Draft Policy 8130.2(H).

The FAA is proposing that fully built LSA (SLSA) that are converted to Experimental LSA status (ELSA) be restricted to single-place operation only and not be allowed to fly over densely populated areas or at night or to conduct instrument flight rules (IFR) operations. LAMA officials said they believe no safety argument can be advanced to support such onerous restrictions.

The FAA is further proposing that electric-powered aircraft also have the same restrictions. But the policy goes even further, requiring electric-powered aircraft to conduct all operations within a specified geographical area.

Again, no safety argument has been shown to demand such heavy restriction and the action, if enforced, could sharply curtain development of electric-powered aircraft, LAMA officials noted.

The most promising sector of aviation to be early adopters of electric power includes LSA, light kits, and ultralight aircraft, officials added.

Comments must be received no later than March 30.  They should be addressed to Craig.holmes@faa.gov

You can deliver comments by mail or hand to Federal Aviation Administration, 950 L’Enfant Plaza, SW – Suite 500, Attn: Craig Holmes, Washington, DC 20024

Or Fax comments to 202-385-6475.

How a ghost doomed the Skycatcher

skycatcheracademy1

In a new blog post, Flying magazine’s Robert Goyer says that the Cessna Skycatcher failed because it was overly sensitive to wind, had a “Made in China” label that infuriated the American marketplace, plus a high price tag. Once the price was raised to $150,000, “the price was too high for what you got, and what you got wasn’t what you really wanted to begin with,” he says. Check it out here

RANS S-20LS Raven now available

Rans

The S-20 Raven from RANS debuted at the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo last month. According to company officials, “After many requests for both the kit and our ready-to-fly model of the S-20 – we’ve streamlined the ordering for this up and coming addition to the RANS family.” So, whether you want ready-to-fly or kit, RANS has you covered.