Posts Tagged ‘light sport aircraft’
Continental and Lycoming both offer specially designed engines for the LSA market: the Continental engine is found on the Cub Crafters Sport Cub, the Cessna Skycatcher, and the American Legend Cub.
Companies using the Lycoming LSA engine include American Legend Cub, Brumby Aircraft of Australia 600/610, Bushwhacker Aircraft Cub, Flying Circus Aircraft’s Vegas, Kitfox Super Sport 7, Ran’s Aircraft S-19, Tecnam P92 Eaglet and Tail Dragger (an actual model name), Zenith STOL CH750, Zlin Savage Cub/Bobber, Renegade Light Sport (Falcon and FK12, and the Morgan AeroWorks Cougar.
The FAA found that a few light sport manufacturers are lousy at paperwork. The airplanes are safe, say industry experts, but the light sport industry can’t prove it, retorts the FAA. The agency filed a notice here. Initial media stories interpreted the FAA action as a damning one for the LSA industry–and with good reason. The initial document issued by the FAA looks unnecessarily damning. See a Bloomberg/Business Week story on the subject here. While the FAA originally announced that companies not in compliance with the paperwork will not gain approval for future models, that now looks like only one company is guilty.
There was concern that some of the LSA companies could not contact customers or were out of business. I have no idea if that complaint involves one company or many, but I am betting one to three at the worst. Another issue concerned foreign LSA manufacturers–operating in a country that does not have proper agreements with the FAA–approving their airplanes through a third-party country that has the necessary agreements with the United States. Again, it now appears that is one company.
The FAA did not provide numbers or company names, but other sources provided a broader perspective of the FAA concerns. I know of one company that is rushing to make its paperwork better–and I also know they are pretty good people. They’ll make it right. If there are more, I will happily report the accurate number of companies in trouble. But right now it looks like very few.
When you think of small, two-seat, 1,320-pound light sport aircraft, you think of something best suited for short trips. The owner of Kitfox Aircraft, John McBean, and the owner of an Idaho flight school that trains Kitfox customers, Paul Leadabrand (in the yellow Kitfox with huge tundra tires), might just change your mind. They flew their two Kitfox airplanes first from Idaho to Sebring for the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo, and then on to the Bahamas. The airplane started as a kit with thousands now sold, but is also offered as a factory built light sport aircraft. You’ll see a report on it in “AOPA Pilot” in coming months. (I flew the yellow one seen here.) (Click photos to enlarge.)
Frisch is betting that among the school’s 7,000 non-aeronautical students there are a number of pilot candidates who will jump at the chance for a $5,000 sport pilot certificate. To improve chances for success, he will offer the Remos aircraft to the Melbourne community as well in a flying club. Some of the 41 trainers are ready for retirement. Will serious FIT pilot candidates accept the Remos because of its lower rental cost?
He is starting with two aircraft, but additional Remos aircraft will be purchased if the experiment works. So watch FIT’s flight department at the end of this year. That is when Frisch’s “significant unknown” will be known, and when a new order is, or is not, made.