2013 Expo

If you're interested in all things Sport Pilot/Light Sport Aircraft, this is the place to be every January! Mark your calendars. http://www.sport-aviation-expo.com

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newamiga
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Re: 2013 Expo

Postby newamiga » Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:11 pm

Well I was going to leave Colorado today in my Gobosh to fly down to Sebring. It all looked good earlier in the week but this stalled front decided I would not fly my plane down. I am right now on the commercial flight to Orlando. Still very much looking forward to the show and bummed I didn't get in my cross country. Of course to add insult to injury I went out to do an early pre-flight of my plane and found a dead battery. I guess the -10 and colder temps the last couple days just wiped my battery.

Also not sure if you guys saw Vans post on their Facebook page but it sounds like Mitch Lock is also weathered out up in Maryland and they were looking for a local person with a -12 for the Vans booth. Gotta love this weather. Looking forward to a fun end of the week in sunny Florida.

Carl
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Jack Tyler
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Re: 2013 Expo

Postby Jack Tyler » Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:22 am

Paul, it would be quite interesting - and appreciated - if you would provide us with your perspective on the current LSA industry insofar as you gain one while at Sebring. I'm sure the two years since I attended Sebring have brought many changes and it would be informative to read your impressions. (NB: I'm not referring to the 'show' itself, who's owners may be getting better & better at producing their product.)

Hope you're enjoying yourself along with your seminar activities.

Jack
Jack
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deltafox
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Re: 2013 Expo

Postby deltafox » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:56 am

I've never been to LSA Expo, but would also be very interested in your overall impression of the event. Is LSA thriving or dying?
Dave

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drseti
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Re: 2013 Expo

Postby drseti » Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:23 am

Depends on who you ask, Dave. Dan Johnson says lt's thriving.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
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deltafox
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Re: 2013 Expo

Postby deltafox » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:41 pm

...and that's fine. I'll read Dan's opinions and factor in a certain bias. But, as the man on the scene, I would also be VERY interested in what you are seeing.
Dave

newamiga
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Re: 2013 Expo

Postby newamiga » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:32 pm

I will offery observations. This being my third year going to the show it just didn't have the same level of excitement as the past couple. I realize it was Thursday and some vendors had the same issues I did with getting planes down here. The weather today or at this afternoon got pretty windy which had folks scrambling to tie their planes down. I thought it was kind of cool to see a homebuilders RV-12 in the Vans booth since Mitch couldn't make it down with the factory RV-12. The biggest surprise to me was the size of the Bristell tent. It was huge! I like the Bristell but was just a bit taken by that.

Carl
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deltafox
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Re: 2013 Expo

Postby deltafox » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:02 pm

Thanks Carl, please keep your observations coming.
Dave

newamiga
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Re: 2013 Expo

Postby newamiga » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:21 pm

A few other thoughts. The vendor hangar seemed like there were quite a few vendors not there today and set up,or they just put up more 10x10 spaces than there are vendors. another strange site was Viking engines in several different planes on display. I didn't see their RV-12 here today but they did have a Sonex and Waiex with Zenith engines. The Renegade guys had the Lycoming powered aerobatic capable FK-12 Comet biplane LSA. I like this one as it is an orange paint scheme vice the yellow one with the Rotax they had been showing previously. The guys with the big boy Vans they build as LSA's were there with the Vans 6.5.. I guess I never really got this concept. Breezer had a gaggle of planes here. The Zenith guys hadn't made it in by this afternoon. Robert Helms from UL-Power engines was working the Zenith booth. They had a 750 fuselage mock up. I guess the Zenith guys may make it in tomorrow with the 650 and 750. John Monnett was there and Zenith had an indoor space in the vendor hangar but didn't appear to have planes on site. There was a Cessna dealer there but I didn't see Cessna proper. I know with their decision to take the plane into a standard category (LSA legal) plane probably changes their markting focus. It was kind of interesting to see the Czech Sport Cruiser guys in relatively close proximity to the Bristell. For big boys Diamond was there with the DA-20 and DA-40. Not LSA's but cool nonetheless. My last observation was flying by the splash in site off of highway 27 towards Lake Wales. The white caps on the water made it very apparent there would not be any float planes landing there this afternoon.

I guess overall I was just disappointed based on the energy and spirit of the last two I have been at. The volunteers were as always energetic and more than willing to help. This could again be because it is only Thursday. I decided to go ahead and head back to Colorado early.. to get back in my LSA to go do some flying.

Carl
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drseti
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Re: 2013 Expo

Postby drseti » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:29 pm

I attended the LAMA dinner tonight, and got to feel the pulse of the LSA industry just a bit. One of the speakers was Jan Friedrich, head of LAMA Europe. His view was a bit less rosy than Dan Johnson's. Jan says there are 100 S-LSA manufacturers still producing airplanes (25% fewer than the number listed on Johnson's website), so a minor shakeout is already underway. Worldwide S-LSA registrations, which were up something like 18% in 2011, dropped roughly 8% in 2012. Still, according to Randy Babbit (who also spoke), the LSA industry produced more two-place acft in 7 years than Cessna, Piper, Beechcraft, and Grumman did over several decades. So, it's a mixed message.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
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Re: 2013 Expo - SportPilotTalk group dinner?

Postby drseti » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:41 pm

I'm proposing that those of us in Sebring meet for a no-host dinner Saturday night. I suggest the Sebring Diner, just across Route 29 from the La Quinta hotel. Let's all gather at 6 PM (right after the airshow) at the Flying Musicians area inside the Aeroshell Tent, to coordinate.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
facebook.com/SportFlying
SportPilotExaminer.US

newamiga
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Re: 2013 Expo

Postby newamiga » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:57 pm

Paul .. sorry about missing you. When it looked like it was more or less a bust and I had seen what I wanted to see today I changed my return flight to Colorado to go back tomorrow. Hoping the show gets more of its mojo this weekend.

Thanks Carl
Private Pilot and RV-12 Builder

Jack Tyler
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Re: 2013 Expo

Postby Jack Tyler » Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:12 am

Paul, thanks for sharing your comments with the group. Perhaps once the weekend ends and you've had a bit more time to gather info, you could comment on bit of homework I did below.

According to the FAA's directory, as of January 7th 148 S-LSA a/c of all types have been granted air worthiness certificates. (The directory can be found here: http://www.faa.gov/aircraft/gen_av/ligh ... ectory.xls ) The FAA records 42 of these as no longer in production, with a new certification process required if reintroduced. So that alone is almost a 30% 'shakeout' when viewed from the perspective of a business investor who bore the expense of either building or importing for certification and who now no longer exists.

Actual LSA sales activity has always been a slippery subject. The last U.S. sales info on DJ's website is a YTD July 2012 summary that only reflects total sales over the last 7 years. The 2011 summary (found here: http://www.bydanjohnson.com/Sidebar.cfm?Article_ID=1573) may be out of date now, but those numbers offer an interesting glimpse at further evidence of the 'shakeout'. This summary does include specific 2011 sales numbers for the top ten mfgrs. (the majority of them being Skycatcher sales as Cessna finally ramped up deliveries on its backorders). For sales by LSA mfgrs. 1 thru 10, it reports #10 on the list (Rans) having total 2011 sales of 4 LSA's. That's one a/c per quarter. This summary also points out that the balance of LSA mfgrs. (roughly 80 or so) only account for a total of 32 LSA sales between them. Put differently, there are some LSA mfgrs (20? 30? more?) who might want to consider themselves 'in business' but who, in reality, didn't sell a single LSA in 2011. As I mentioned in an earlier post, they might remain in business because their LSA business is a subset of other business operations like running an FBO. It's also possible some of these 'mfgrs.' have arrangements with a small contract manufacturer (job shop) if an order has to be filled. This is not exactly what we imagine when we hear there are 90 or so models being manufactured. So given those LSA mfgrs. who've lost their certification and those who are an LSA mfgr. in name only, it doesn't seem like it's a stretch to estimate that close to 50% of all certified LSA models have fallen out of the market to date.

"...according to Randy Babbit (who also spoke), the LSA industry produced more two-place acft in 7 years than Cessna, Piper, Beechcraft, and Grumman did over several decades."
That strikes me as a bogus comparison. Grumman alone built more AA-1X and AA-5X aircraft than all U.S. LSA sales to date - something like 3,000 a/c - and they didn't operate close to two decades. Or is he limiting production numbers solely to 2-place a/c and over the past several decades, when the 2-place market all but disappeared and when the GA mfgrs. he cites focused mostly on 4-place a/c? As illustrated by the incomplete LSA sales reporting on DJ's website (done by the same Jan Fridrich), it seems as tho' the industry is choosing to be less than transparent in hopes it might appear healthier than it is, but suffers from a lack of credibility in its health as a result.

Hearing of DJ's view on the LSA industry and its success strikes me as the bandleader who's always bragging about his own band. Some would say he's simply promoting the industry while others might just consider him a shill. Either way, I confess I still don't understand where he gets his credibility from.
Jack
Flying in/out KBZN, Bozeman MT in a Grumman Tiger
Do you fly for recreational purposes? Please visit http://www.theraf.org

ct4me
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Re: 2013 Expo

Postby ct4me » Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:42 pm

Jack,
Why all the gloom, doom, and negativity? Every band needs a band leader, and sales don't happen without a salesperson. The fact is that LSA is holding its own at a very bad time for aviation. New models are popping up weekly. Now, I'm not saying some of these people aren't crazy... the chance of survival are slim. But the industry is enthusiastic and vibrant. Yes, sales are down, and could get worse if the 3rd class medical thing goes through.... but, as my brother says...."flat is the new up"...
DJ gets his credibility by having been associated with the industry since before it was hatched. He has worked on every aspect of LSA for years, every day. He's involved with people at every level, from the FAA and industry giants, manufacturers, and avionics vendors, all the way down to his roots... everyday pilots. Dan seems like a very "get involved and get things done" kind of guy. Imagine what he could do for the industry if he had the marketing prowess of the guys at Icon. No... don't imagine that... there's your real shill.
Tim
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drseti
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Re: 2013 Expo - group dinner update

Postby drseti » Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:20 pm

I've just been informed that the Sebring Diner is no longer open for dinner. So, our Saturday night gathering is hereby moved to the Sunset Grille, on Route 27 just about four miles North of Route 98. As you come North on 27, pass the Publix supermarket on your right, and it's just beyond, also on the right. This is on the South shore of Lake Jackson, where the fly-in has its seaplane base, and there is a large blue sign to that effect, clearly visible from the road.

We should still meet at the Flying Musician's stage in the Aeroshell Tent, right after the twilight airshow, Saturday night around 6 PM, and caravan up there together. Hope to see a bunch of you there!
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
facebook.com/SportFlying
SportPilotExaminer.US

Jack Tyler
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Re: 2013 Expo

Postby Jack Tyler » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:10 am

Tim:

"Why all the gloom, doom, and negativity?"
If you found my attempt to assess the current status of the LSA industry gloomy, it's probably because of the numbers I found & posted. There's nothing negative about trying to develop some kind of empirical measure for the industry's health. The numbers (as best they can be found) are what they are. But you want 'positive', so let's look at the flip side of the data for a moment: There's been discussion here (and everywhere!) for several years about the inevitable shakeout and maturing of the LSA marketplace. No rationale view supported the notion that ~100 LSA models could be sustained in the marketplace by only several hundred annual sales. The data I posted just validates this marketplace is doing what it always does, and which ultimately is in the consumer's best interests. It's rationalizing the supply to the demand which exists, with product 'value' improved as a result. Seems to me the LSA industry would be well served if they acknowledged this significant shakeout and used it to substantiate the value of those LSA models which remain. And look at some of the new models introduced in the last two years: far more mature in quality and spanning more breadth in cost vs. performance than we saw in the earlier years. Viewed in that fashion, I'd say the glass could be seen as half full.

Yes, DJ has been 'Mr. LSA Booster' for the whole 9 year span and I agree his seems to revel in this role. So good for him; he turned a weight-shift hobby into a very visible, industry-wide Bandleader role. But my point is that I wouldn't go to a industry marketing guy for an independent analysis of that industry. Somewhat ironically, I think DJ's best single effort to help this industry AND the consumer on which it depends was his effort to create a review & support body that would evaluate and coach LSA mfgrs. on how to improve product quality & safety. That was shunned universally by his own industry.
Jack
Flying in/out KBZN, Bozeman MT in a Grumman Tiger
Do you fly for recreational purposes? Please visit http://www.theraf.org


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