Unsure about the certification used for LSA? Don’t know about premium-priced LSA from distant countries? Struggling to accept Rotax power? If you ask yourself these questions as some GA pilots are doing at AOPA’s Hartford Expo, then you might want to consider The Champ for under $90,000 or $100K nicely equipped. Here’s a familiar aircraft certified under a traditional system, Continental O-200 powered, made in USA. For some, this is enough to suggest purchase. One shortcoming is that The Champ has limited useful load — given an empty weight of 920 pounds (an allowed figure for this Part 23 certified aircraft eligible though not for a LSA) — leaving 292 pounds of payload assuming a full 18 gallons of fuel. *** My first 35 hours were in a Champion Citabria and I hold a sweet spot for the design. I look forward to doing a flight review. Until then my LSA expert friend Jim Sweeney has many hours in The Champ and assures me she’s a sweetheart.
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