By TED LUEBBERS
The third annual DeLand Sport Aviation Showcase, held at the DeLand Municipal Airport in Florida Nov.1-3, 2018, saw bigger crowds than the first two showcases.
This is a great show if you have any interest in Light-Sport Aircraft (LSA), whether it be a kit or one that is ready to fly. There also were ultralights, gyroplanes, powered parachutes, and weight shift control trikes to look at, take demonstration rides, or watch them fly overhead.
You could also learn how to build your own Zenith LSA by getting hands on instructions building the rudder for the Zenith STOL CH-750.
According to company officials, their hope is that if you grasped how easy it was to build the aluminum rudder for this plane, when you took it home to hang on your wall how long would you be able to just look at it before you bit the bullet and ordered the rest of the kit?
Zenith Aircraft had a couple of completed CH-750 on display and it was possible to take a demonstration ride.
In fact, if the weather and wind conditions were cooperative, you could get a demonstration ride in just about any of the planes that were on display. The ultralights, trikes, and powered parachutes went up early or late in the day when the wind was best for them and the LSAs went up any time of the day.
Overall the weather was not too bad for the show, with the exception of Friday when the wind picked up prior to a strong cold front pushing through late in the afternoon.
The showcases also boasted 37 indoor displays of aircraft parts, avionics, and services with people available to give you technical information about their products.
Out on the ramp there were many aircraft on display by companies including Bush Cat, CubCrafters, Just Aircraft, Magnus, Zenith, and Stemme, just to name a few.
There were several amphibious aircraft at different price levels to pick from starting at the high point with the ICON A-5 then moving to the Seamax, Petrel, and at the low end the Aero Adventure.
In the tent at “show center” there were keynote speakers or presenters each day, including General Aviation News Politics for Pilots columnist Jamie Beckett, Melissa Burns, an aerobatic pilot and display skydiver, and Gary Reeves of Pilot Safety.org. At various times during the day the Flying Musicians Association entertained in the big tent.
There were two forum tents set up for 22 formal educational sessions, which were all WINGS/AMT accredited.
There was plenty of food available on the ramp for breakfast or lunch led off by the Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 635. They lost their tent in the heavy winds that blew through on Friday night, but on Saturday morning they were hard at work serving hot breakfasts and coffee.
You could buy aviation related clothing at Spencer Aircraft or Chart It All. To keep other buyers happy Rachel St. Louis had her Rachel’s Jewelry trailer out on the ramp selling aviation designer jewelry to fund the building of her light-sport Bush Cat kit aircraft project. By the way, the plane is now completed, but it needs a Rotax 912 ULS engine and avionics. That’s a lot of earrings!
If you missed the DeLand Sport Aviation Showcase this year you missed a good time. You will get another chance next year Nov. 7-9, 2019.