We went for a decade without a fatal accident in our then largest S-LSA
fleet--something we never talked about publicly, as it was too precious and too fortunate to risk avarice by promoting the fact.
It also doesn't tell us anything about how so-called legacy LSAs fare when compared to S-LSA
or E-LSA types (see the sidebar on the previous page for definitions of these LSA types).
With the help of Ken Krueger, who spent over 16 years on the engineering team at Van's Aircraft (he later became the chief engineer), the Vashon R7 Ranger was born, flew and is now certified as an S-LSA
. The company plans to build at least 20 R7 Rangers this year and a lot more next year.
While maintenance requirements for LSAs vary little, an owner flying an E-LSA enjoys one singular difference from the owner of an S-LSA
: One can assemble an E-LSA from a kit that essentially bolts together.
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 O-200 already powers a number of S-LSA
models, such as the Legend Cub and AMD Zodiac.
But also present was Van's Aircraft, with the RV-12 factory-built S-LSA
, plus Tecnam Aircraft, which offers several LSA models.
The new aircraft category has translated into options and a new airman certification scheme so far posting some formidable numbers: About 60 new S-LSA
types--special light sport aircraft, a factory-built, ready-to-fly machine--have been approved by the FAA under industry-developed consensus standards as of November 2007.
The aircraft, which can be delivered from the factory completely built (S-LSA
) or in kit form (E-LSA), can be trailered because it's designed with removable wings.
It seems likely they will be replaced with the much less expensive S-LSA
airplanes now coming onto the market.
FAA data shows 2070 S-LSA
aircraft and, according to EAA, an additional 700 or so E-LSAs or former S-LSAs
put into experimental status.
We saw a range of $85-$130/hour for an airplane S-LSA
(as opposed to J-3s or air trikes) rentals, with a tight average of $100.