...Defining The Market...

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Dick Koenigsberg, of SkyRanger Aircraft, said that in the first day of Air Venture he talked to more non-pilots than he's seen at previous shows. That tells him the new rule is generating interest in people who perhaps haven't considered aviation as a recreational pastime because of the expense and all the licensing requirements. Koenigsberg said that while it's important to get the regulatory framework up and running, it's equally important to market Light Sport to the masses of people who have money to spend on spare time pursuits. At about $24,000, the British-built SkyRanger is about the cost of a few snowmobiles, personal watercraft or ATVs. We wonder if proud owners will want to fight for hangar space for their aircraft (many of the designs have "fabric" wings) ... or if they'll care to endure the associated costs. Koenigsberg is betting a lot of his time, money and effort in the past three years that what Light Sport Aircraft and the Sport Pilot license will mean to people is pleasant way to pass a few hours on their days off. "What I think the masses want is to go out to the airport, shine and polish their airplane, dump five gallons of car gas in it, go out in the circuit for a while and then shine and polish it again and put it back in the hangar," he said.