LSA Category Gaining Ground

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The fact that owners of standard category aircraft are actively campaigning to have their planes included in the LSA movement is an indication that naysayers who predicted LSA/Sport Pilot would attract the same level of interest as the recreational certificate (virtually nil) may be looking up crow recipes. By all accounts the new category, initially spurred by the introduction of some pretty slick European airplanes, is taking off the way its promoters predicted (and it doesn't hurt having EAA's PR and lobbying machine behind it). While the majority of fixed-wing LSAs certified in the U.S. still arrive from overseas, American companies are catching up. As we've previously reported, Cessna will unveil its concept for an LSA next week at EAA AirVenture and some of the better-known U.S. kit builders are getting into the act. Cubcrafters recently got FAA approval for its Sport Cub and RANS Aviation, which was a pioneer in light aircraft manufacturing in the 1980s, is also reported to be planning an all-metal, factory-built LSA. The country's third-largest fly-in, EAA's Northwest Fly-In in Arlington, Wash., is now raising money to build a permanent Sport Aviation Park at the field. Pilot Journey has added a Sport Pilot section to its Web site, complete with a $99 introductory flight offer.

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