Flying for Fun: Light Sport Aircraft

By Robert Mark on December 24th, 2006

OK, so maybe I am too curmudgeonly at times. I’ve decided it’s time to remember that flying is still fun, so right after New Years I’m headed to Sebring Regional Airport in Florida for the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo, the new annual trek for the Light Sport Aircraft set.  The action begins on January 11th. 

After I was invited, I realized I knew very little about LSAs other than oggling Cessna’s prototype from behind the ropes at this year’s AirVenture in Oshkosh. Essentially, the rules say an LSA can weigh no more than 1,320 lbs, must use only a single engine with fixed landing gear and fly no faster flat out than 138 mph or roughly 120 knots.

The show focuses not simply on traditional LSAs, but on ultralights and powered parachutes as well … whatever they are!

If you’ve flown any of these machines, tell me what to expect.

Are these more than simply snow-blower motors attached to small airplanes or what? I must admit that once I heard I could wave my arms in the wind while airborne the entire trip began to sound pretty awesome to me. 

I’ll report from the Expo when I arrive.  

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