Organizers Call First Midwest LSA Expo a Success
Not all Light Sport Aircraft are airplanes! The Magni Gyroplane attracted lots of attention and flew several demo flights.
A brisk but beautiful fall day combined with a wide selection of popular S-LSAs at the Midwest LSA Expo in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, last week.
Approximately thirty vendors presented over forty aircraft, including most all of the best selling models of S-LSAs.
October 8, 2009 — Editor’s Note: We received the following dispatch from Ed Leinewebe, Associate Editor, Midwest Flyer Magazine about last week’s first ever Midwest LSA Expo in Mt. Vernon, Illinois.
The “first annual” Midwest LSA Expo took place October 1-3 at in Mt. Vernon Outland Airport (MVN), Illinois, and although the weather could have been better, the organization of the event, and the positive response of the many exhibitors and prospective purchasers made the event an overall success.
Attendance was light, estimated by one observer to be about 1,000 people, but that many interested and motivated prospects can certainly result in aircraft sales. Exhibitors reported substantial interest in the 43 different special light-sport aircraft (S-LSA) on the ramp, and at least two reported what they feel will result in multiple orders. One exhibitor remarked, “I think I have two orders from this show, and that has not happened at any show over the past 18 months.”
MVN spearheaded the organization, but the community as a whole pulled together in a coordinated effort to please both exhibitors and attendees. Chris Collins, the airport manager, along with the volunteer expo board and the airport tenants were extremely attentive to everyone’s needs.
In addition to the S-LSA, representing nearly every major player in the category, an indoor exhibit hall featured booths for supporting businesses, including parts suppliers, engine manufacturers, insurance companies, lenders, and others.
Forums were also presented on relevant topics, including engines common to S-LSA, flight training for the sport pilot certificate, and flight planning for S-LSA operations.
The basic concept of S-LSA-specific shows was proven again, as it has been in January at Sebring, Florida: smaller, regional shows dedicated to this category of aircraft provide highly motivated prospective S-LSA buyers an opportunity to meet with vendors in unhurried, un-crowded venues, where the aircraft can be leisurely inspected, discussed and flown.
The Midwest LSA Expo was described as a “third-year effort at a first-year show,” meaning the degree of organization and planning was remarkable for organizers who had never before attempted such an event. It’s no surprise, therefore, that the Mt. Vernon community plans to hold the Midwest LSA Expo again in 2010.