Piper's Sebring Attendance 'Part Of Transition'

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Piper Aircraft isn't looking for an immediate replacement for the PiperSport but the company is also not completely ruling out a return to the light sport aircraft sector. A week before the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo began in Sebring, Fla., Piper announced it was dropping the PiperSport arrangement with the manufacturer Czech Sport Aircraft. Then, the distributors of the aircraft got together to continue selling and supporting it in cooperation with U.S. Sport Aircraft, which is the sole importer for the design. Meanwhile, Piper showed up in force at Sebring with aircraft painted in PiperSport livery along with promotion material and even show tents emblazoned with the Piper brand. Piper spokeswoman Jacquie Carlon told AVweb Piper had made a commitment to attend and support the show but the decision to drop the PiperSport remains firm.

Carlon said Piper remains supportive of the LSA sector and is interested in it as a source of new pilots. In addition to the contractual and transitional obligations the company had in attending Sebring, Carlon said it was also a chance to speak directly with customers about the decision to split from CSA. "I don't think anyone should read anything into it ...," she said. She said the current focus is on wrapping up the PiperSport business but she refused to rule out a future return the LSA market. "I'm not saying we're out of the LSA market," she said. "Right now we're working through this transition."