Price matters. While pilots enjoy a huge range in aircraft types, capabilities, descriptions, and price points, the fact remains that some aircraft will always be too expensive for some buyers. A smaller number tilt the other way, thinking a too-cheap aircraft might be, well… cheap, as in cheaply built. Airplane buying is as subjective as any other purchase. It has to work for you! If, for purchase consideration, you examine any of the LSA industry’s leaders, odds are the price of a new aircraft may require partners, financing, or a thicker wallet. However, one other factor enters into the decision: warranty. Really? Have you considered this when seeking a new airplane? Perhaps not, at least not the same way you consider a new auto warranty. The latter usually have a longer timeframe (especially in the last couple decades) yet warranty can be significant if a major problem arises. Now Read This… We have an “Unbeatable Warranty,” declared Scott Severen, the representative for Jabiru in the USA under the business name US Sport Planes!
Jabiru Australia J230-D
Phone: (931) 680-2800BUNDABERG WEST, QLD, -- 4670 - Australia
U.S. Distributor is Jabiru USA (North America)
Phone: (800) 522-4781Shelbyville, TN 37160 - USA
2018 Results Keep Adding UpYesterday's Day One post related several conpanies giving satisfactory results for their sales this year. Perhaps encouraged by a buoyant economy, pilots are choosing new LSA but in parallel more importers and manufacturers are helping to move used LSA. The fleet has grown enough to generate a good supply of low-time, desirable Light-Sport Aircraft. Any representing looking to sell new machines can boost their enterprise by also facilitating the sale of used aircraft. In either new or used transactions, pilots win as they can acquire aircraft that interest them. It's all good and 2018 is proving to be a respectable year. Seamax is another company pleased with their U.S. developments. We interviewed lead designer and business owner Miguel Rosario to find his lightest-of-the-LSA-seaplane-fleet Seamax is developing their business on the campus of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. With care and long experience, Miguel has built an active enterprise that has supplied more than 150 aircraft around the globe with about 10% flying in the USA. That number is sure to grow with the Brazilian company's American operation, an excellent price point among LSA seaplanes, and sprightly performance SuperPetrel reports delivery of eight units in the last year after establishing their U.S. base. Global sales over many years are now approaching serial number 400 according to representatives from the Ormond Beach, Florida enterprise of Brazilian investors associated with Scoda Aeronautica. This seaplane maker is also growing its installed base in America for this long-established design that was thoroughly updated when Scoda (formerly Edra) Aeronautica took over Super Petrel. An FAA audit proved the quality of their work as they earned SLSA credentials. Inside the tent, we did an interview with Sensenich president Don Rowell. The very popular maker of wood, metal, and composite props reported strong business that is challenging the company to keep propellers in stock. To address the demand, Sensenich is expanding and bringing new CNC equipment. We will be visiting the factory just before Sun 'n Fun 2019 to give viewers a tour of their new facility and equipment. As with yesterday's report, this is not an exhaustive review of each exhibiting company. Yet the sum of reports from company after company reinforces the view that 2018 qualifyies as a solid year. I see the happy smiles of new pilot owners on the field.
At a reception ending Day Two, DeLand Showcase Director Jana Filip reported that front gate receipts were greater on Thursday than either Thursday of the two prior years of the Showcase. Then she announced Friday’s gate was greater than the two previous Fridays. DeLand Showcase 2018 is the third running of the event. Showers rolled in threatening Showcase’s perfect weather record although the rain didn’t start until exhibitors and sponsors had gathered in the main show center tent. Under shelter, live music was presented by the Flying Musicians Association, lead by professional music man, Gary Filip. A catered dinner fed the group and as the evening concluded, the rain died off as if on cue. A couple tents were damaged by strong winds including one in the Dreams Come True booth of Steve and Debbie Minnich and an EAA Chapter food tent. No airplane damage was reported.
Dogs in the Cockpit? A few years ago, various stories began to pop in mainstream media discussing the car industry’s newest focus …no, not only on how many cup holders they could install in your new ride — but instead on accommodations for pets, mainly dogs. Why? Easy. Some high percentage of all auto trips include bringing the family pet along for the ride. Design to that and you sell more cars. Does this apply to airplanes? Think what you will of this, it’s a fact of modern life in America. Surveys reveal that 44% of American household have a dog, some 78 million critters. More than half of all dog-owning households take their pets when they travel by car. That’s a big market. Cars that can readily allow the family pup to come along — preferably not riding in the driver’s lap with its nose out the window — will find many interested buyers.
Why Buy LSA?You have many opportunities for flying these days and the different methods to become airborne — to move through the sky — are increasing even as you are reading this. Experience shows two reasons to fly: (1) for transportation, where the flying device is a tool and, (2) as a recreational pursuit. Often, the two are blended as the complexity, discipline and logistics of the ownership, and operation of a magic carpet can be half the fun. The successful mastery of the systems integration into the airspace system, yielding quick trips across the land can be very satisfying. For many, just getting from point A to point B in the quickest fashion is the objective. For others, the ability to acquire an aerial perspective is the objective …flying 1,500 feet over fields and rivers, catching the smell of a planted crop in the air, or freshly plowed ground, the salt air near the ocean… As the owner of an LSA MRO (Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul) operation, I interact with many Light-Sport users. One of my customers was eloquent, saying, “There is a profound simplicity to Sport Plane ownership. There is really no need for often complex and expensive maintenance programs as maintenance is straight-forward due to fewer and less complex systems — and I can do much of the maintenance myself, if I choose! Insurance policies are simple and [can be] inexpensive. The planes don’t take up much room in a hangar, and many don’t need a tug to move them around on the ground as they are easily maneuvered by hand. Recurrent simulator training that can take a week of your time each year? Not applicable to LSA. With 2,000 hour TBOs — the standard for LSA — there is a lot of enjoyment to be had before thinking of serious maintenance.” Is it smart to keep current, always learning about your craft and honing flying knowledge and skills? Of course it is! This is just like on the golf course or in any sport. Is maintenance really required? Of course, and the engine and airframe manufacturers have specific maintenance schedules you should follow. A fascinating provision here is that many repair and maintenance items can be performed on their Special LSA by the owner. These vary by manufacturer and are specifically authorized in the aircraft manufacturers’ maintenance manuals. The better — safer — we do something, the more we enjoy it. Added to the simpler maintenance, Light-Sport Aircraft require a Condition Inspection every year instead of an Annual Inspection so that an A&P can perform this task rather than requiring someone with IA, or Inspection Authorization. If you want to be hands-on, you can take a 120-hour course that allows you to perform all of the maintenance and inspections on your LSA, along with other privileges as well. What is one of the simplest things about LSA? If you have a private pilot certificate, you can simply exercise Sport Pilot privileges without doing anything else! What a simple option: just fly! Some may not realize how advanced are the instrument panels on LSA. Full glass panels seamlessly integrate moving maps, GPS, communication, transponder with 2020 compliance and EFB transfer. Everything you can get in a Citation? Practically, yes. How about IFR capability? Yes, the technology allows it, though flying into IMC (Instrument Meteorological Conditions) is not part of the LSA parameters. However, LSA can be an excellent IFR training platform. Is it all needed for this kind of flying? No, but it sure can add to the fun, and, for those complex, twin and/or turbine operators, having a similar environment can make the transition to flying for fun quicker, easier, and safer. From tail dragging cub clones to Italian styling to German engineering …from sleek, racy, arobatic-looking to having enough cargo space for your wife and to bring your pet along, there is truly the ability to achieve whatever kind of recreational flying mission you have. The FAA has taken LSA seriously, auditing the aircraft manufacturers to ensure they correctly implement quality assurance systems through production, and that they utilize continued operational safety programs to ensure reliability and safety in the field. LSA is still the only place to get brand new, factory built aircraft with the most advanced avionics and technology integration for under $200,000. Some are much less, even below $100,000. To reach 120 knots of cruise speed burning only five gallons an hour is marvelous You can do much for so little! Are LSA practical for flying from coast to coast? In terms of reliability, absolutely! Enjoing fun and adventure, of seeing the United Sates from 1,500 or 4,500 feet, or FL10, well… it doesn’t get any better! You can use small municipal airports, or go to big FBOs you may used to, getting the same service and amenities. You may have some landing fees at places like major airline, Class B airports — and you may need additional training to enter Class B airspace — but that is available and only takes a logbook entry, Many pilots prefer to stay clear of Class Bravo airspace, but qualified pilots can use the system just like a Jet A turbine-powered aircraft. If your thoughts include how to enjoy flying even more, expanding your knowledge of flying, and increasing your adventure… Light-Sport may be a great prescription!
— This article will also appear on the LAMA website.
Scott Severen is an old friend and a longtime veteran of the light aircraft business. In addition to a long career with wide experience, Scott is a board member of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association (LAMA). Most recently, as US Sport Planes, he took over American sales of Jabiru LSA when former importer Pete Krotje reached his planned retirement date. Scott is a great choice to represent this popular set of airplanes. As part of his role for LAMA, Scott stepped and wrote an article I think makes several good points. It follows below. —DJ Why Buy LSA? You have many opportunities for flying these days and the different methods to become airborne — to move through the sky — are increasing even as you are reading this. Experience shows two reasons to fly: (1) for transportation, where the flying device is a tool and, (2) as a recreational pursuit.
More About Scott SeverenThe son of a career Air Force fighter pilot, Scott learned early about aviation as a lifestyle. He began building and flying hang gliders in 1973 and joined USHGA, United States Hang Gliding Association. In the early 1980s, he founded and operated Lone Star Airpark to provide facilities, services and flight instruction for ultralights, and eventually became a USUA, United States Ultralight Association AFI, Advanced Flight Instructor, AFI Examiner, and AFI Seminar Presenter. Scott also volunteered as a director and interim president of USUA, United States Ultralight Association. In the early 1990s, he and his family moved to Tennessee where he served as president of TEAM Aircraft. Always willing to help the industry Scott assisted the AOOA, Airpark Owners and Operators Association as its first president. In the mid-nineties he served as president of LAMA, Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association and in 2017 he rejoined LAMA to serve on the board of directors. Scott also participated as a charter member of the Part 103 FAA ARAC, Aviation Rule-making Advisory Committee that eventually created the Light-Sport Aircraft and Sport Pilot regulations.
For many years the brand name Jabiru — both airframes and engines — has been associated with Pete Krotje and his family and other team members, doing business as Jabiru North America. Pete began in the business near Oshkosh, Wisconsin before seeing the appeal of milder weather in Shelbyville, Tennessee. Now, the familiar brand from down-under Australia is headed further south in the USA. The brand with the funny-sounding name will end up being represented by another light aircraft industry veteran, Scott Severen. The official news release on this change declared, “In a move initiated by Jabiru North America, LLC, US Sport Planes of Denton, Texas has been appointed as the North American importer and distributor for Jabiru Light Sport Airplanes for North America.” The two businessmen reported US Sport Planes (USSP) will be the exclusive importer and market the full line of LSA airplanes manufactured by Jabiru Aircraft Pty, Ltd.
Here’s a flight review of the latest version of the J-230, the D model. This aircraft has been around for years but the Australian manufacturer upgrades the machine periodically. In this case the changes had to do with the shape of the tail and other subtleties but minor changes over enough time add up to a much better aircraft. Join Dan Johnson as you get exterior and interior views of the newest J230D at the Midwest LSA Expo in Mt. Vernon, Illinois in fall of 2016. (Run time is 9 minutes.)
For Videoman Dave and I this is a no-brainer. Gotta go! Why? Because events like Sebring just finished or DeLand's end-of-the-season show or the Mid-West LSA Expo early in September in Mt. Vernon Illinois (about an hour's drive east of St. Louis) are perfect for us to collect video footage and flying experiences that we can relate to viewers on Dave's widely-watched YouTube channel (to the tune of a million and a half minutes every month!) or here on our LSA Video page.These smaller-venue shows are more relaxed, have smaller crowds, and access to the runways to go flying are the best of any airshows.
The great news about these shows is... well, a few reasons. Perhaps number one is the possibility for those attending to be able to spend more time with aircraft vendors to ask all the questions you want. At major shows, crowds can be so dense that you must compete with other attendees to get face time with a supplier. No so at Midwest, Sebring, or DeLand.
Visitors can also get demo flights more easily and achieving those flights will consume far less time, meaning you can do more of them if you wish. Perhaps your chosen aircraft representative can fly with you for a longer time because he or she does not have fourteen other people waiting for their turn. Finally, once you and the seller agree, you can hop in the airplane and in literally minutes you are launching into yonder blue skies.
For the many who cannot attend, we bring you videos like the one below about the Jabiru North America J-230, now in the newest "D" model. Frequent feedback tells us that most pilots seem to truly enjoy these videos and we are happy to keep making more.
Thanks very much for visiting this website and for watching the videos Dave and I produce. We plan to keep up the pace well into the future. Enjoy!
Why do we go to all the little airshows? Good question. Everyone knows that a professional journalist or true-blue aircraft enthusiast almost has to trek to the big events like AirVenture or Sun ‘n Fun — with the latter coming up soon April 4-9, 2017. Fine. Yet are the smaller events worth the travel expense and time? For Videoman Dave and I this is a no-brainer. Gotta go! Why? Because events like Sebring just finished or DeLand‘s end-of-the-season show or the Mid-West LSA Expo early in September in Mt. Vernon Illinois (about an hour’s drive east of St. Louis) are perfect for us to collect video footage and flying experiences that we can relate to viewers on Dave’s widely-watched YouTube channel (to the tune of a million and a half minutes every month!) or here on our LSA Video page.