The LSA Movement Hangs On... Despite Economic "Distractions"
No one has to tell you that the economy is tanking and that money is tight... especially if you happen to be trying to sell LSAs in today's market. With that in mind, ANN wondered how well this year's Sebring Sport Aviation Expo might fare...
Well, we're pleased to say that the interest in the LSA market remains high and that there does seem to be some buying activity, restricted as it is, by the times we live in. To many, the LSA movement means an affordable opportunity to do SOME flying and get a leg up on aircraft ownership at prices far less than the average GA single... and despite the few limitations placed on this market segment, that seems to be just fine with a number of would-be pilots and aircraft owners.
Of course, it helped that this year's volunteer-staffed event boasted spectacular weather and the kind of positive vibe that is missing from most other fly-ins these days... While some events are obviously on the decline, the newer and more progressive offerings of the LSA business do seem to be able to attract interest where the "same old thing" plainly does not have the drawing power it used to.
Sebring's boosters describe the event in this way: "The US Sport Aviation Expo is a new and unique event. It is totally focused on Light Sport Aircraft and the Sport Pilot certificate. It is a business-type event, set up to enable people who are interested in this new category of planes to conduct business. That is, they can buy and sell planes, set up business relationships and seek a location at which they want to do business. We totally depend on volunteers to enable us to conduct the event. At this event a person can learn about LSA, compare about everything available in the LSA market, select a plane, get a demonstration ride, find financing, arrange insurance, get transition training and fly his/her new plane home. Over the past 5 years, literally hundreds of planes have been sold at the event."
Over these past five years, we have found the event well-run, apolitical, very well staffed and featuring solid amenities and support facilities for an event of this scope. Much of the success of the event is credited by any number of Sebring staffers to its "Boss," Bob Wood. Kinda quiet and fairly thoughtful in manner, Wood has presided over one of the Sport Aviation's few solidly successful events in recent memory. ANN spent a little time with Wood at the start of the 2009 event in order to find out why Sebring seems to be working -- as well as his thoughts on the future of the LSA industry.
Overall; it was a positive and uplifting event, marred only the tragic fatal Remos accident early on the last day of the fly-in and some profane/outrageous public behavior on the part of one of the vendors (more on that another time). Still; Sebring deserves to call this event a success, and for any aspect of aviation to have a "win" in this economy, especially in the sport aviation sector, that's a grand thing, indeed.
Come Enjoy The Uplifting Events of Sebring's 2009 Sport Aviation Expo, With Aero-TV!
FMI: www.sport-aviation-expo****, www.aero-tv****, www.youtube****/aerotvnetwork, *******twitter****/AeroNews
Copyright 2009, Aero-News Network, Inc., ALL Rights Reserved.