Sun ‘n Fun’s annual “Spring Break for Pilots” is over and it was indeed a break. Most visitors find the spring show a good way to kick off a new season of recreational aircraft flying and the Lakeland, Florida, event did not disappoint. Generally, pilots were plentiful and most appeared to have a bounce in their steps following the dismal 2009 economic malaise.
But the break was also felt by the Light-Sport Aircraft industry as an estimated 20 to 30 LSAs were sold at the show — with a “sale” measured by a substantial deposit taken by the seller. A log of aircraft sales in this range is a very good performance for transactions right at the show. If such activity happens during the few days of an event, most vendors say they expect a similar number in the month or so following, as some potential buyers go home, check their finances (which can mean “get my spouse’s permission”), and subsequently make a purchase.
The biggest success story focused on Piper Aircraft, which reported the sale of seven PiperSports and made its first such customer delivery (exactly as forecast at Sebring three months earlier). In addition, Arion sold six Lightning LS-1 aircraft, four as ready-to-fly SLSA and two as kits. The Tennessee company and its all-American design has been in the kit market for a few years, with 80 sold and 40 flying, so it can now deliver a fully built or a kit, depending on customer wishes. Other companies logging solid sales include Flight Design, Remos Aircraft, Gobosh Aviation, Paradise Aircraft, FPNA, and Sea-Rey.