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I don't think it's a good sign either. LSA will become cheap imports and pilot training requirements for sport pilots is so low that it may be dangerous.
so this means what
so this means what
I have followed the evolution of the LSA class and have found it is as safe as general aviation can be. I think a big plus in LSA is the VFR and daylight limitation. It keeps inexperience pilots from flying when they should not. I think the lower cost will also keep pilots more active. Those that fly 3 hours in 3 months are not the safest ones no matter what pilot rating you have. Also think about the older, experienced pilots that will be able to keep flying!
Personaly as a real world pilot. I like the idea of new technology being introduced. The venerable 172 and other similar types are moslty 1950's designs with little real change from the prototypes from which they derived. The designs are mostly outdated and really out of sync with modern aviation. We need lower cost aircraft if the troubled general avitaion industry is to revive. After all if flying was affordable would any of us be here??? With the cost to rent my Citabria over $200.00 an hour all up and with no where to fly to due to closures of smaller financialy troubled airports and FBO's. Not to mention to simple economics and justification of staying current becomes more and more of a challenge when you figure in the time, cost of licencing, medicals, etc. It costs me over $3000.00 annually just to stay marginally proficient.
I like the aspect that Private pilots that have a medical condition can continue to fly with the Sport pilot certificate. I don't think a new LSA will be cheaper than present used aircraft to rent or buy so I fail to see how they will encourage more flying, average price is about $90,000. The certificate may be cheaper to get and that's my worry. Since all new Private pilots are restricted to VFR, the only real restrictions are night and how many people you can fly. Regardless of the horsepower or weight of the aircraft, it can still destroy my house if they come down on it. The min. required 40 hours for the private is too low and was established in the 1940's, the average needed is approximately 60-65 hours. The 20 hour min. for the Sport pilot is also too low and will turn into one week Sport pilot programs.
I merely wanted to state that anything promoting general aviation is a positive thing. As to the Sport pilot rating? I'd surmise it is similar to our Recreational Pilots Licence. I would agree it seems to encourage lower levels of training, and the skills required are well below those minimums for a private pilot. Given the low annual flight hours recorded for private pilots, I'd be very wary of the currency and safety of recreational pilots. I'd like to see the PRivate endorsement as the minimum, even for ultra light pilots. Add to this a minimum amount of flight hours annually and it would make me feel a lot safer around the airstrip. Flying is expensive, and not everyone can afford to do it. This is a sad hard fact of aviation and life. I was faced with a similat conundrum when at 36 I had to made the decision just short of a commercial flight test if I realistically had the oportunity to pursue a commercial career that late in life. The facts supported my feelings it would not be. Given the years of required low end flying jobs in remote areas for starvation wages, I knew I would be up for mandatory retirement long before I ever got my butt in the left seat of a 737.
I agree with you 7ECA-Captain, I think overall it's positive. I hope LSA aircraft revitalize the aviation industry, we'll see.
Indeed... You are a wise man CRJ. I salute you!!!
The C-162 is Cessna's effort to get into the LSA market, but at $112,000 it's trading on Cessna brand reqcogniton, in my opinion (IMO). Pricey for a redesigned C-140 when a New legend Cub costs $97,000 and I can kit build it for $38,000.
And it's built nearby in Texas!
Ya, I like the LSA Lic, just stay away from the busy FBOs. Something I've noticed within the last 3-4 years is that the small airports, mostly mun'is are revitalizing. New terminals, better service, even additional runways, catering to more LSA and ultralight customers.
There are many great alternatives to Cessna's overpriced toys. Many of the older light aircraft such as the Cub can be deregistered in Canada to ultralight classification. Or if it were me I'd invest in a nice used Citabria at far less than the Cessna and a whole heck of a lot more fun to fly. Of course you would need to learn what the rudders actually do. What we really need is less expensive aircraft and maintain the standards of a private licence and a given required amount of flight time each year as a minimum for qualifications. Personally I'd make flying tax deductable!