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I’ll Take the Czech: Sportcruiser Reviewed

In pulling the Czech-made LSA SportCruiser out of the hanger, the first thing I noticed is that the plane is so light that you can practically drag it to the next airport, instead of fly it.  But fly it you should.  The Sportcruiser is spiffy, fun, easy to fly, and quite capable of taking you places.

I have flown several LSAs and the Sportcruiser lives up to everything the category of aircraft should be.  I got checked out at Mid Island Aviation at Islip Airport on Long Island (ISP) and now have half a dozen hours in it.  ISP is a big boy airport, where you que up behind Southwest jets to take off.  So the first thing you'll discover is that, yes, you can fly an LSA out of an airport that sits in Class C airspace.

Taekoff:  The Sportcruiser is off the ground in less than 40 knots.  The standard takeoff technique is to hold the stick back upon moving the throttle full and let the plane fly itself off the ground.  This is a bit disconcerting at first.  You do feel slow, and without much forward energy it's important to correct quickly for the wind.  But the plane quickly accelerates and I noticed a FPM climb rate of close to a 1000 with 2 people in board.  With all light aircraft, the climbout can be a bit bump and it is easy to over-correct on the controls.  But you get the technique after about, well, one takeoff.

Cruise:  The Sportcruiser flies.  At 5800 RPM, you can get the full 120 knots, though 110 seemed to be more consistent when I fly it.  The visibility is outstanding.  And the autopilot (why would you use the autopilot?) works just as well on my Cirrus.  Or so it seems to me.  Even on a day with some decent gusts, I felt quite comfortable inside.  The plane doesn't bob and weave and the 46 inches of cabin space makes the flying roomy.

Landing:  I have put the SC down in some decent crosswinds.  You should probably keep it below a 10 knot crosswind component, or you'll need to crab almost perpinduclar to the runway.  Again, you land slow and without much energy it is easy to be blown from the runway to the taxiway before touching down.  So stay on the center line!

Czech Sport Works, which makes the Sportcruiser, has had a turbulent time in the industry and this may be the biggest drawback of the plane.  The company went bankrupt and recently re-emerged.  So there is a risk that the company could go belly up again.  But that's the case with many of the LSAs.

For now, you'll look great in the Sportcruiser.

4 Responses to “I’ll Take the Czech: Sportcruiser Reviewed”

  1. Hi Finbar, your posts are excellent. I've been meaning to try out the Sierra, because if i was to buy an LSA it would likely come down to the SC, Tecnam, or Gobosh. do you live on Long Island?

  2. Andrew,

    I fly on Long Island. All those aircraft either are, or have been available to rent at Mid Island Air Service at Brookhaven Airport. I believe they also have a Flight Design CT but I haven't flown that one. If you're in New Jersey, there's also an Evektor available for training/rental at Essex County (Caldwell) airport. I believe Mid Island is a Tecnam dealer, and they appear to have a SportCruiser dealership now also.
    What leads you to prefer those particular aircraft?

  3. Finbar, I typically fly out of FRG... but the SC is rented from mid-island.

  4. I have a sport cruiser and would appreciate updates on the fly in at branson

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