Rotax engines and Light Sport Aircraft will always be linked. Because the aircraft, by regulation, are limited to a gross weight of 1,320 lbs., most aircraft manufacturers opt for the Rotax as it is light engine. When the LSA category was created in 2004, many flight schools, FBOs and even pilots resisted buying the Rotax-equipped airplanes because there was no one in their local areas to perform maintenance on the engine.
Others, such as Jim Scott from Arlington, Wash., saw the creation of the new category as a business opportunity. Scott opened Air Core Aviation at Arlington Municipal Airport (AWO) in 2006 to provide maintenance and other services for Rotax-equipped aircraft.
“We’re doing well,” he said during the recent Northwest Aviation Conference, noting that Arlington Municipal Airport is known for hosting the show, which caters to the experimental and homebuilt airplane crowd, and that many of those aircraft use Rotax.
“We are very, very busy,” he said. “The LSA movement is huge in the Puget Sound area and lots of it in the experimental category. There are hundreds of Rotax engines in the Puget Sound area and more coming in all the time.”
In addition to Rotax, Air Core Aviation also works on Jabiru, Continental and Lycoming powerplants. “The majority of our business, though, comes from Light Sport Aircraft,” he said, noting, “we are certified for Rotax repairs, heavy maintenance, overhauls and repairs on LSAs ranging from airplanes to powered parachutes to gyrocopters. We also do extensive work with experimental LSAs.”
For the E-LSA owner who wants to do his or her own maintenance, Scott’s shop offers a course for them to earn an E-LSA repairman certificate.
The Special LSAs, the ones that can be used for flight instruction, also have a place in the business.
“Approximately 40% of our business comes from the S-LSAs,” said Scott. “We are actually a factory authorized service center for Tecnam aircraft, Flight Design CT aircraft, SportAir Sting aircraft and Evektor aircraft. Our business is growing every day. We just rented more space so we could expand.”
Other services provided by Air Core include a builders assist program for aircraft owners who need that extra push and appreciate the expertise of certified mechanics when building an aircraft you intend to fly in.
For more information: AirCoreAv.com