Emphasis On Training, Outreach
So far, many buyers of LSAs are already pilots, but a lot of effort is going into expanding the market by finding and training new pilots as well. Jeff Parnau, who is working with Sportsplanes.com in Wisconsin, said the company recently brought an Ikarus C42 S-LSA to an outdoor-sports show in Milwaukee and hung it from the ceiling. Interest was "phenomenal," he said: "We got hundreds of leads, and signed up 40 new students." CZAW is reaching out to new pilots by offering 20 hours of free flight training with its Sport Cruiser. And EAA's Charlie Becker told AVweb yesterday that 150 new student sport pilot certificates were issued at the show. The certificates are free to EAA members, and also are available at all stops of the Sport Pilot Tour, he said. The process takes some time and effort, reflecting sincere interest on the part of those who apply, Becker said. He also noted that EAA now has kits available for owners of Part 103 or homebuilt aircraft who want to convert to LSA categories. About 1,500 of the 103 kits have been sold, he said, and new homebuilt-conversion kits are also selling well. You can hear more from Becker on our audiocast.