Industry News

August 2007 Issue

LSA Report Card: Time to Buy?

A cautious yes, in our view. But thereís still significant risk that many LSA startups wonít survive the first cut, even the current market leaders.

Light Sport Airplanes are here and gaining market share. But there are so many companies out there that itís obvious that all wonít survive. This story provides a current state-of-play analysis of whose selling what airplanes and who might survive. When the FAA enacted the final rule that established the Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) category and the Sport Pilot certificate in April of 2005, the overwhelming question in the mainstream industry was: What now?Depending on who you talked to, Light Sport was: going to rejuvenate general aviation by introducing an affordable, yet regulated way for newcomers to learn how to fly; offer a way for older pilots or those with borderline medical issues a way to extend their years in the left seat; clutter airports with a bunch of poorly-trained weekend warriors flying flimsy, noisy aircraft or it was simply going to die from lack of interest, like the recreational certificate.

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