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LSA Display , Sebring Style

Fifth U.S. Sport Aviation Expo Under Way


January 22, 2009 — While chilly temperatures sent Floridians to their closets for heavy coats, bright sunshine cheered northerners attending the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo, which opened for its fifth run Thursday morning at the Sebring Regional Airport, Florida. The forecast for the remainder of the event shows clear skies and daytime highs reaching the low 70s by Saturday, and the event continues through Sunday afternoon, January 25.

Expo Chairman Bob Wood is happy with exhibitor attendance, reporting that while outdoor exhibitors are down by approximately 20 exhibits (typically airframe manufacturers), demand for indoor exhibit space increased. By 9 a.m., when the gates officially opened, many exhibitors were quickly met with customers ready to do business. “We had customers around the airplanes before we even had a chance to finish setting up our display,” said Lynne Birmingham of Tecnam USA, which is displaying its Bravo, Eaglet, and Sierra light-sport aircraft (LSA) models. Attendance by mid-day was brisk.

Travis Clements, EAA 605738, of Rocksboro, North Carolina, was checking out the UrbanAir Samba when we photographed him. A regular Sun ’n Fun attendee, Travis said he was told, “You have to come to Sebring for light-sport aircraft.” He currently flies a Kitfox with a tail wheel, and says he’s probably in the market for another conventional gear airplane with a stick rather than yoke. “My wife doesn’t like to fly in the Kitfox, so I’m looking for something she’ll feel more comfortable in,” he said. Clements has a couple of demo flights lined up in the next couple of days...something that’s easily accomplished at the Expo. Speaking of taildraggers. Rollison Light Sport Aircraft’s taildragger will make its Sebring debut on Friday.

Also Friday, Remos Aircraft will officially debut its GX 2009 model. Meanwhile, two companies based at Sebring Airport will also introduce new models at the show. Float Planes and Amphibs has modified its Valor aircraft to optimize it to the LSA standards. When paired with a new line of amphibious (or straight) composite floats from Waterborne, they’re calling it the Capetown package. Paradise Aviation, which introduced its Paradise P-1 at Sebring last year, yesterday delivered its first handicapped-accessible aircraft modified to be flyable by a paraplegic.

Hansen Aero, with offices in Georgia and California, was happy to report that its FA-04 Pererine completed special LSA compliance in late December 2008, and can now be sold as a ready-to-fly S-LSA. Hansen also distributes the Italian-built Sky Arrow.

HKS Aviation, manufacturers of the HKS 700E engine, announced an extension to its time between overhauls (TBO). Beginning with engine serial no. 100600, TBO can now be increased from 800 to 1,000 hours.

A full line of forums continues throughout the weekend, covering topics such as aviation insurance, Rotax engine maintenance, propeller balancing, avionics for LSA, aircraft financing, becoming a sport pilot, and more.

The expo is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m., through Saturday, and to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Visit www.sport-aviation-expo.com for more information.

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