April 2012 Issue
Cessna 152 vs. LSA: Vintage Wins the Day
On the flight training line, ancient 152s can still be more profitable, chiefly because LSAs lack a mature parts chain and repair support infrastructure.
Its fair to say the entire foundation of the GA industry was built on the back of the dowdy Cessna 150 and 152. But even the newest of these airframes date to aviations Jurassic age. Some in the industry thought the light sport wave would fill the need for new airframes as the old 150s and 172s become uneconomical to operate. To a degree, that has happened, but the wave has been more of a ripple than a tsunami. LSA sales have been modest at best and these airplanes have proven more kite-like than even the venerable Piper Cub. Flight schools have found LSA economics less attractive than was originally thought and maintaining an old Cessna is just more profitable.
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