Certified in the S-LSA category, the A5 has a maximum takeoff weight of 1510 pounds--a dispensation from the normal limit of 1430 pounds for seaplanes because, per Icon's application to the FAA, of the weight requirements associated with the spin-resistant wing.
The only way the owner of an S-LSA can avoid the manufacturer's maintenance requirements is to convert the airplane to an experimental--E-LSA.
Instead, the owner or operator of an S-LSA needs either a qualified A&P or the holder of a light sport repairman with a maintenance authorization (LSR-M) before actually performing tasks other than the annual condition inspection and the 100-hour inspections of rental or for-hire LSAs.
That said, an S-LSA owner enjoys one interesting option for getting the privilege of performing the annual condition inspections: fill out and file a form with the FAA that takes the S-LSA to an E-LSA.
Some Rotax engines are experimental, some approved for S-LSA
use, some are FAA-certificated.
Not too shabby, considering the FAA didn't publish the final sport pilot rule until August 2004; it was April 2005 before the first S-LSA
won approval from the FAA.
Most schools were staying in the game, but well past any Pollyanna illusions that S-LSAs
were ideal trainers.
It is not clear to me which of the S-LSA
aircraft will prove to be best for primary training.
Buying a new S-LSA
is more of a crap shoot in that we know some of the companies selling today won't be around 10, or even five, years from now.
Sport has a base price of $80,000 and options that could run it over $115,000.
Here are a handful of avionics retrofits suitable for the average S-LSA