One of the most enjoyable interactions we at ANN and Aero-TV
undertake at the dozens of events we attend is the chance to talk
NOT with the newsmakers... but to those that the news we report on
affects most... YOU. At the 2011 Sebring Sport Aviation Expo, we
spent extra time asking the attendees a series of five questions...
both to gauge the kind of interest that LSA holds for the aviation
community as well as the strength of that interest.
The home of the US Sport Aviation Expo, Sebring winds up being
the bellwether of the sport aviation business as the first big
flying event of the year -- especially for sport aviation (while
Lakeland fades into the dust and Oshkosh becomes more of a
'Tradeshow' and less of a Fly-in). The slow growing LSA movement
still shows signs that it may mature into a solid industry,
providing a new entry-level option for those who want to become
pilots and aircraft owners -- despite an economy that does little
to promote either aircraft ownership and operation.
Still; a long-postulated shakeout of the industry, where there
are simply still too many manufacturers barely keeping the doors
open, has failed to come to pass (though signs are starting to
indicate that it may finally be in the offing), and the industry
continues to stumble in presenting a professional face to the
public... especially in terms of marketing-- where ANN's simple
research during the event showed the sale-ability of the products
at Sebring to hampered by companies that apparently knew little
about how to sell.
In the meantime, though, Cessna is now shipping SkyCatchers in
appreciable quantities, a number of hearty and respected
manufacturers have fine tuned their designs and some outstanding
products and values ARE to be had in the LSA market... so while
things ARE tough, there is still great hope that LSA might someday
meet its promise.