LSA Sector Hangs Tough In Economic Winds

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"Things are slow, no question," Dan Johnson, chairman of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association, told AVweb on Wednesday, "but nobody's bailing out." The current economic slowdown is the first significant downturn since the Light Sport Aircraft sector launched just a few years ago, and so far the industry seems to be coping, Johnson said. "One advantage for many of these companies is that they're small, owner-run companies, and can be more nimble when it comes to responding to changes," he said. He added that the AOPA Expo is coming up in early November, followed by the Sebring show in January and then Sun 'n Fun in April, all of which have had a positive impact on sales in the past. So far the number of LSA exhibitors who plan to show up for those events is equal to or greater than last year, Johnson said.

He recently compiled an update on sales for the LSA manufacturers, and found that while growth rates are down most companies still are logging new deliveries at a steady pace. For the first eight months of 2008, Flight Design, Remos, Tecnam, Jabiru, Czech Aircraft Works and Legend, in order, recorded the most registrations, according to Johnson.