Dan Johnson, president of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association, is an expert on Light Sport Aircraft.
In my rounds with videographer Dave Loveman at last month’s U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Fla., to shoot more LSA videos, we uncovered two new Special LSA models that were not previously on the semi-official SLSA List. I rushed to add them as I recently found out another FAA branch regularly uses our SLSA list — I was informed Aircraft Registration in Oklahoma uses this resource before issuing at least some new registrations so it’s in a seller’s best interest to be sure their models are on the list.
Welcome to SLSA #113, the Cricket Aviation Storch. With fabrication in Colombia and final assembly and fitting in Deland, Fla., here’s a fascinating LSA replica of the famous original Storch that rescued Italian scoundrel Mussolini from a steep hillside during World War II. Several other efforts have brought this unique machine to U.S. shores before, but none prior succeeded in winning approval under ASTM standards. Standing on its long legs and with numerous pieces of windscreen providing a marvelous view, the Storch is a unique animal in the LSA fleet. She may not be fast, but can deliver a kind of bush capability unlike anything we’ve seen.
A new model you once had to go to Europe to see is the Viper SD-4 from Slovenia. It is now logged in the SLSA List as #114. The all-metal low wing has a broad cockpit well suited to Americans with conventional lines and construction materials. Viper’s back swinging canopy affords huge visibility and, from my few minutes in the cockpit, the model appears to be focused on comfortable cross country flying.
For more on Sport Pilot and LSAs: ByDanJohnson.com