The first annual DeLand Sport Aviation Showcase will be “open for business” in a little more than two months, with the inaugural event slated for Nov. 3-5 at Florida’s DeLand Municipal Airport (KDED). [Read more…]
A dozen years ago, at the beginning of September 2004, FAA’s newest regulation became “effective” as the agency terms it. That regulation gave birth to Sport Pilot and Light-Sport Aircraft. The former is a new pilot certificate and the latter is a fresh breed of aircraft that gained acceptance in a completely new way.
How is it going on the 12th birthday of the new category? [Read more…]
Although I’m a longtime regular at Oshkosh, this year I did something I’ve never done. I flew out of KOSH and then returned.
If you’ve never flown into Oshkosh during AirVenture, you may not know what an experience such an arrival can be. This is the world’s busiest airport for one week. Airplanes arrive every few minutes and all of them do so in a unique, follow-the-plane-in-front-of-you method where no pilot uses the radio.
Departing was fairly simple. Arriving is always an eye-opening experience.
In my many years in aviation, I’ve learned this about light aviation pilots: If 80-horsepower is good, then 100-horsepower is better, and even more is best of all.
It explains why interest was so high when Rotax announced its new 915iS that will provide 135 horsepower. It also illustrates why the 180 horses of the Titan X-340 is succeeding in the Light-Sport industry. [Read more…]
Are U.S. sales or registrations of Light-Sport Aircraft near where they were expected to be by now? The short answer is, no, but more finesse is needed to obtain a complete answer.
While the numbers entering the U.S. fleet are well below forecasts from 2004, a couple obvious reasons help explain the shortfall. [Read more…]
EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wisconsin — New from the Experimental Aircraft Association is the Sport Pilot Academy.
The new three-week academy, slated for Aug. 27 through Sept. 17, eliminates one of the top barriers for the more than 60 percent of those who begin flight training and drop out — schedule conflicts that reduce motivation and enthusiasm, EAA officials note. [Read more…]
My associate in Europe, Jan Fridrich of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association (LAMA) Europe, has been the source for a database search for many years as I seek to report light-sport aircraft (LSA) market share statistics in the USA.
He scours the FAA registration information and laboriously assembles the numbers. As he and I work to produce accurate info, Jan often makes contact with selected companies when questions arise, as they often do.
I also reach out to producers in our effort to make the best possible use of the registration data to create our rankings.
Jan has been one of his country’s representatives in the Czech Republic’s official work with the Chinese to help that nation build its lighter aviation infrastructure. He’s made many trips to China in the last two years.
Along with frequent travel in his job for LAMA, time is short for him to find the hours it takes to review the FAA’s data. For 2015 data, he completed the effort as I headed to SUN ‘n FUN and then to AERO in Germany, so finally, here is our report with hearty thanks to Jan for doing this tedious work. [Read more…]
Last fall, I wrote about four Light-Sport Aircraft (LSA) you could buy for under $96,000. For many pilots, this price point seemed to strike a melodious chord. Unless you are flying for work purposes, you may prefer to spend only a modest amount to enjoy the view from on high.
In this column, I’ll show you a few examples of how you can take the cost of ownership way down … well below $50,000, even below $20,000. Yes, this is for brand-new, fully built aircraft, though kit versions are available to address an interest in greater personalization. [Read more…]
CHUGIAK, Alaska — Airframes Alaska reports the approval and first production run of the first Ultralight Alaskan Bushwheel. The Alaska-based company worked in collaboration with French wheel-and-brake manufacturer Beringer Aero to develop the new lightweight backcountry airplane tire specifically for European light-sport aircraft (LSA). [Read more…]