New medical law mrans cheap LSA's?

Talk about airplanes! At last count, there are 39 (and growing) FAA certificated S-LSA (special light sport aircraft). These are factory-built ready to fly airplanes. If you can't afford a factory-built LSA, consider buying an E-LSA kit (experimental LSA - up to 99% complete).

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roger lee
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Re: New medical law mrans cheap LSA's?

Postby roger lee » Sun Oct 16, 2016 8:46 am

I just wrote a long paragraph with supporting documentation and lost the darn post. I'm not going to retype it all. The stats and public don't support GA doing better.

So:
Time will tell. Sit back and watch over the next few years.
Roger Lee
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FastEddieB
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Re: New medical law mrans cheap LSA's?

Postby FastEddieB » Sun Oct 16, 2016 11:06 am

I really liked this Aeronca Champ from yesterday, owned by a fellow EAA member:

Image

I could see myself in something like that, or maybe another Citabria with the same DNA. But the fatal flaw is the inability to maintain it oneself - very important in my view, unless you had a compatible A&P partner.
Fast Eddie B.
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Merlinspop
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Re: New medical law mrans cheap LSA's?

Postby Merlinspop » Sun Oct 16, 2016 12:40 pm

I believe that the FAA's new attitude toward allowing devices such as the Dynon and Garmin G5 into older airplanes will help keep them viable for a while longer. I see this as a as a good thing. I'd love to find a nice old Cherokee 180 to take both my boys places, under the right circumstances.
- Bruce

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Re: New medical law mrans cheap LSA's?

Postby Merlinspop » Sun Oct 16, 2016 2:18 pm

Wouldn't be a must have for me, but if I was facing buying a new vacuum pump or artificial horizon, I'd give a G5 a lot of consideration.
- Bruce

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Re: New medical law mrans cheap LSA's?

Postby foresterpoole » Sun Oct 16, 2016 7:55 pm

Generally I'm a technological junkie, the more the better. I work on Garmin units at work and spend 90% of my time looking at two huge wide screen monitors running the best and latest software for my job. All that to say this: they are great until they stop working. Redundancy in my case is the key. Ipads are wonderful, but their GPS receivers can be moody and inaccurate. Garmin units are wonderful, but their lifespan is about 2-7 years in my experience, then they either stop working or are outdated and require major firmware updates to keep current. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'd much rather have a 6-pack and a standalone GPS that a fully glass panel...
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Re: New medical law mrans cheap LSA's?

Postby rcpilot » Mon Oct 17, 2016 7:14 am

I'm curious to see where this medical reform is going to go. From what I've seen I don't think the LSA concept took off the way they thought it would. I say that because here on Long Island which is rich in flight schools/instructors, there's still only 1 school doing LSA and they've gone from 3 LSAs to a single Skycatcher. From what I've seen, it's mostly older private pilots switching to light sport(you can guess why). I chose light sport because at 55 I figured day VFR was just fine and didn't want to spend the extra $$ for private. I suspect once the medical reform kicks in the guys who were thinking about switching to LSAs because of their medical will just keep doing what they've been doing. Whether that will affect the LSA market remains to be seen.

roger lee
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Re: New medical law mrans cheap LSA's?

Postby roger lee » Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:43 am

Stats show LSA climbing at 12% per year while GA declining 8% per year. LSA is big in many areas and smaller in others. I wouldn't think Long Island would be a good market sample. Just for instance there are approx. 365 Flight Design CT's in the US alone. Since I specialize in LSA only I get to see and watch all the new sales and they are still climbing and people are happy with their LSA's and all these people came from the GA side of flying.
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FastEddieB
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Re: New medical law mrans cheap LSA's?

Postby FastEddieB » Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:44 am

rcpilot wrote:From what I've seen I don't think the LSA concept took off the way they thought it would.


My take is part of the original concept was affordability.

If you could get into a basic plane for about the price of a Lexus or Acura - around $60k, let's say - a whole new market could open up.

My Sky Arrow in 2007 got close. At $75.5k it was at the high end of what I wanted to spend for a "fun" airplane. At the time I think CT's were about $110k which I felt was out of range.

But now, the market has spoken. Most of the activity in new LSA's seems to be at the high end, with prices approaching, and even exceeding, $200k - for a Light Sport! I never would have anticipated that. And once prices get that high, only a tiny sliver of the general population can afford one.
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Nomore767
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Re: New medical law mrans cheap LSA's?

Postby Nomore767 » Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:28 am

FastEddieB wrote:
rcpilot wrote:From what I've seen I don't think the LSA concept took off the way they thought it would.


My take is part of the original concept was affordability.

If you could get into a basic plane for about the price of a Lexus or Acura - around $60k, let's say - a whole new market could open up.

My Sky Arrow in 2007 got close. At $75.5k it was at the high end of what I wanted to spend for a "fun" airplane. At the time I think CT's were about $110k which I felt was out of range.

But now, the market has spoken. Most of the activity in new LSA's seems to be at the high end, with prices approaching, and even exceeding, $200k - for a Light Sport! I never would have anticipated that. And once prices get that high, only a tiny sliver of the general population can afford one.


I agree with the concept of 'affordability'.

I just flew and used 12 gallons of 93 E-10 @ $2.39 gallon or $28.68. Using free gas cards from credit card points, and discounted gas cards at the grocery store, its almost free. My kind of price.

I thought about a fuel caddy but I can carry two fuel loads in gas cans in the car and keep it fresher. I can't store it at home or at the airfield so theres no advantage for me personally.

I'm due an oil change in 15 hours (@ 50 hours using togas in the Rotax 912ULS) and will have my mechanic do it rather than take the Rotax courses. He's Lockwood trained as well as being an IA/A&P and so I support him as a resource. Since the annual in July, which costs $300 plus any needed parts and oil change which is a lot less than for many GA planes, I've not spent anything on maintenance.

A 172 owner just moved into the hangar next door. We were chatting and he was very interested in my RV-12 SLSA. He was contemplating a paint job and with that quote and the cost of hiss last annual with took a couple of months and cost a lot, he was interested in reducing his flying costs. He was of the assumption that light sport was the last refuge of those who had medical issues and that they were little planes that couldn't do much.
I told him that the 172 could carry more load and passengers and his response was he flies alone mostly, so I said well then we're the same as I usually fly the RV alone.
When he saw an LSA up close he was pleasantly surprised that its avionics were much more modern and capable, and was astounded that I can fly at 120kts on 4.8-5.0 mph.
Either way he was very surprised at the economics.

I purchased my plane new with every option including paint job and paid $128k, about $95k less than the European LSAs I was looking at. I studied the 912iS engine as an option and decided to pick the ubiquitous 912ULS. Less weight, less cost and only a small disadvantage in fuel burn over somewhat higher maintenance cost. The only issue I've had with this great little engine is the recent problems with carb floats which was fixed once the new style floats became available. The cost of these were refunded by Rotax through Lockwood.

My point is that my 'mission' was reliable, economical, fun flying in an airplane that can fly across the country as well as around my local area. I've flown it from OR to SC and around the East coast and it's faster than a 172 and cheaper, as well as more advanced.

One misconception about LSA flying is that 'it'll do' until PBOR2 came along. I'd argue that sport flying is pretty good as an end in of itself. With some restrictions, I can do as much as I'd want to do had I a current medical based certificate. I don't need to fly at night or in IMC so there's nothing that GA offers me at all right now.

My field is typical of many that I visit. Quiet, with a few old beat up GA planes. There are several wrecks across form me just rotting on the ramp. Apart from a few transiting newer planes theres rarely anything operating here, that catches my interest.

I'm not so sure that there will be a rush to get back into flying older GA planes. Yes, flying is an expensive hobby, always will be. However, it's also expensive to be constantly fixing old planes, upgrading them and searching for parts. I
I'm really happy with the ability to fly my LSA pretty much whenever I want....Honey Do list notwithstanding!

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Re: New medical law mrans cheap LSA's?

Postby Nomore767 » Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:19 am

I know a guy in CA who has exactly the same RV-12 SLSA as myself, even down to the same paint scheme and color. Ho bought his plane a few weeks before I did. His has the vernier throttle option as well as the Dynon 2020 GPS which I'm going to install sometime soon.

With 127 hours on a 2014 RV-12 SLSA with every option he's asking $107k. I'd say thats a pretty good deal considering the thread mentioned "cheap LSAs".
This compares to well in excess of $205K for a new Tecnam Bristell similarly equipped (and heavier I might add).

Owning and operating your own plane has never been an inexpensive option. Some say a boat is a metal hole in the water into which you for money. A lot of retired people and middle-class people buy $100+ RV's.

My point is that LSA is not just the 'medical alternative'. In and of itself its a relatively cost effective and efficient way to do sport/GA type flying in newer planes with newer technology and cost effective operating expenses.

Is it cheap no. Does it compare very favorably to regular GA flying, yes. In my opinion

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Re: New medical law mrans cheap LSA's?

Postby Nomore767 » Mon Oct 17, 2016 3:40 pm

eyeflygps wrote:I still cannot bring myself to spend $55,000 for a toy that only I can enjoy. If my wife flew, it might be different. Or, if I hadn't already spent $100,000 of our mad money drag racing. I still see an RV-12 in my future when the mortgage is paid off, depending on health and desire at the time.


So really your 'mission' right now doesn't include owning an LSA but rather renting one which is fine for you.

The original poster said:

"in a few months when the new medical rules go into effect all these LSA's will be 1/2 price anyway.". His reasoning: "the folks buying them are old pilots forced out of the heavier aircraft by the possibility of loosing their medicals, and once they can get back into their Pipers and Cessna's their going to sell these toys and the market will be flooded".

In my answers above I was saying that firstly I don't think its valid to say that the only folks buying LSAs have been forced to for medical reasons. I believe that sport flying/LSA isa good segment of GA flying in and of itself. Someone wanting to fly for fun, hobby whatever can get most of their flying needs met with LSA. They can always move up to PPL if they want to add ratings or fly at night. There are those who just want to start flying at the LSA level and enjoy the technology and efficiencies.

My experience of local airports is the same as the OP where schools have tired old Cessnas and Pipers for rent at pretty high rates. When compared to some LSAs its night and day. Some sport only schools have fleets of various types of LSA models and seem very popular.

Everyone I talk to who has come over to see my RV and talk about LSA is very interested and amazed at the capabilities and costs although buying a new airplane is always a big move for anyone, but still not as big as buying a new 172.

Quite frankly, I think these days there aren't as many people flying small airplanes, period. Most days my airfield is pretty quiet. Its rare that I'm there and any of the other hangars are open with other owners flying their planes. The rental 172s at the school are usually the only traffic I see with few exceptions. Flying weekends even doesn't seem to have that many people in the air. I fly over a few airports nearby as well as grass strips and other small fields. I rarely, if ever, see an airplane out of the hangar at these fields even on the best flying days you can imagine.

Go figure.
Last edited by Nomore767 on Mon Oct 17, 2016 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: New medical law mrans cheap LSA's?

Postby Nomore767 » Mon Oct 17, 2016 3:59 pm

eyeflygps wrote:Howard, we're not disagreeing here. My point is $128,000 is cost prohibitive for many, if not most, middle income people. They might be able to swing $30,000 for an old Piper.

I'll bet if you took a survey of new LSA owners, a high percentage would be retired airline captains, retired doctors, retired lawyers, retired business owners, etc. I am probably one of the last corporate guys to retire with a pension.


Im not disagreeing with you. I was trying to address the OPs point that LSAs are going to be available at half price as folks drift back to regular GA. I don't see many people flying any type of aircraft right now.
Also...there are those middle-class that can spend $150k on a boat, rv or a plane, or even a cabin in the mountains or by the lake. There are those that can't afford it. I don't think its because of the price of a new LSA.

You can buy a Champ for a lot less than a newer LSA but you still are better with a hangar and many need considerable refurbishment to bring them into flying condition, a process that requires a flow of cash for those unforeseen problems...otherwise its a hangar queen.

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Re: New medical law mrans cheap LSA's?

Postby MackAttack » Mon Oct 17, 2016 4:47 pm

I'm right here with you guys. I am fortunate enough to be able to afford my (nearly) new Tecnam Astore ... and to pay cash for it. Heck, I could have afforded a late model used Cirrus too ... and I can probably get a medical if necessary. But given my mission (under 500 nm, most flights under 200 nm), 90% solo, single with grown kids living far away ... the LSA option seemed perfect for me. And PBOR2 would not have changed that for me personally.

I have two business partners that own Cirrus SR22s; they spent a lot more than I did, and yes while they fly faster only one of them fills the seats ... in short, I don't see a lot of things changing except at the margin.

As other posters have commented, GA flying in newer aircraft is for people with a fair amount of disposable income, which is a relatively small segment of the population. Having said that, a lot more people can afford a late model $150,000 glass panel LSA than can afford a Cirrus SR22 Perspective Gen 5 airplane for $600k plus ... and buying one of those new will set you back north of $800k. Like all hobbies, there are a range of entry points in general aviation and the LSA market covers both lower cost and higher cost entry points, as does certified general aviation aircraft. So I think the two will continue to co-exist much as they have now, with LSA market share continuing to rise relative to certified GA.

But that's just one pilot's opinion ....

Cheers

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Re: New medical law mrans cheap LSA's?

Postby Nomore767 » Mon Oct 17, 2016 5:24 pm

Mack Attack,

I agree with your points and hope you're enjoying your Astore.

Another point...there aren't that many places around that rent LSAs or use them for training. it would be great if there were more schools like the Chesapeake Sport school in MD.
So, if you want to fly LSA, are unable to buy one, and there aren't any LSAs for rental in your area, the LSA option is moot.

For myself, I was training in rental FD CTLS airplanes in SC until the school went under. I tried a school with a Remos and others with SkyCatchers but they were a fair driving distance and somewhat unreliable in my experience.

In the end its made more sense for me personally to buy my own plane and have control over my own light sport flying mission and I'm blessed to have the means to be able to do it. I'm 63 and I didn't want to look back in a few years and regret the chance to do it if I could.

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Re: New medical law mrans cheap LSA's?

Postby FastEddieB » Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:29 pm

eyeflygps wrote:There's always the vintage LSA's. That's better than being grounded.


Like I said, that Champ was a beauty!
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