There’s an airplane in my mall, part two

January 8, 2010 by Jill W. Tallman

We saw a mini-wave of light sport aircraft popping up in malls around the country this past holiday season. Chesapeake Sport Pilot in Maryland put a Tecnam in an Annapolis mall; Air Orlando positioned a Remos inside a Florida mall, and US Aviation in Texas put their Remos at a Lewisville mall  for an entire month. It’s a savvy marketing technique that capitalizes on the smaller size of the LSAs. While all of the flight schools said the response was good, US Aviation came back with numbers: They sold 170 introductory flights and gots dozens of sales and partnership contacts.

It’s a variation on the theme of “If Mohammed won’t come to the mountain…” That is, if we can’t get folks to our airports, then we need to look for opportunities to bring our airplanes to them. And it shows no signs of stopping.

LSA North, a flight school near Minneapolis, said this week it will position a Flight Design CT at Mall of America on Sunday, Jan. 10. They’re there to support the Boy Scouts of America, who are hosting an “Extreme Day” at the Mall. The event is to raise funds for Project Extreme, a nonprofit that provides innovative services and programming for teens at risk and their families.

“Airplanes have a high profile and bringing one inside the shopping mall can spark discussions and offer a path to flying that should appeal to youth,” said LSA North’s Scott Caverly.

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