...The Light Sport Instrument Panels

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An interesting wrinkle in the carefully refined rules that define Light Sport Aircraft is its "conforming standards" provision. What it all means in the practical world of instrumentation, is glass, glass, glass. Of the thirteen aircraft on display in EAA's Sport Pilot Mall at Oshkosh 2005, multiple examples incorporated multifunction wonder-boxes placed prominently (dare we say, proudly) in places far more capable higher performance aircraft could not legally use them -- in their instrument panels. That's right, you too can carry one passenger at 100-or-so knots in VFR glory while referencing a single $3,000 unit for airspeed, turn rate, heading, altitude, VSI, artificial horizon, airspeed (plus true airspeed), ground speed, GPS slaved CDI, Zulu time and moving map. Blue Mountain Avionics offers just that -- for $6,500 you can replace that flat horizon with synthetic vision 3D terrain. Purists may elect a more sporting Dynon Avionics $2,000 EFIS-D10A unit -- you'll have to do your own navigating with one of those (no GPS interface) and look outside to see the mountains.