Aircraft Review

August 2012 Issue

As Cheap as it Gets: Legacy LSA ÷ 4

It’s fashionable to flee aviation because of cost, but for less than the weekly grocery budget, you can fly your buns off in a legacy LSA.

Even though I parked the Cubbie on a grass field for the beauty shot above, I’m really not much about the romance of flight. While I savor the fragrance of wet turf mixed with avgas exhaust as much as anyone, the thought of a $5500 annual—and I’ve paid them—tends to turn the rose-colored glasses into a darker shade of cynical. Not that I expect to ever pay a $5500 annual for the Cub, which is exactly the best reason for owning a legacy LSA—not the magic of slipping the surly bonds on rag wings, but the smug satisfaction of doing it for the price of a cheap date at Bob’s Big Boy. How to do that? Split the cost of an already cheap airplane two ways, three ways or four ways. If owning your own airplane increasingly sounds unaffordable, it’s much less so in a partnership to the point that the monthly cost can be well under even a modest car payment. There’s no pretending the capabilities are remotely similar, but if you want to fly or even own, there’s an affordable way to get there.

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