First Bahamas LSA Fly-In a Success
December 23, 2010 — Eighteen airplanes – 17 of them light-sport aircraft flown by sport pilots – flew the 85-nautical-mile route from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Freeport, Bahamas, where the island nation hosted its first LSA fly-in December 10-12. The event was the first-ever international fly-in for light-sport aircraft, made possible when the Bahamas announced at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2010 that it would accept the American sport pilot certificate and allow sport pilots to fly in the country.
Staff from the gateway FBO Banyan Air Service in Fort Lauderdale helped smooth the paperwork process for pilots, and also provided fuel discounts. Earlier, when questions arose about acceptance of sport pilot’s medical certification, EAA’s government relations department worked with the Bahamas Tourism office to ensure the sport pilot certificate and a driver’s license medical were accepted at all airports throughout the islands.
“My overall experience suggests that LSA can easily negotiate and navigate flights from mainland USA, and our modest fuel usage was remarkable news to others,” said Dan Johnson, EAA 368861, who attended the fly-in in a Rotax 912s-powered Breezer LSA. Johnson reported an economical 20 mpg at 120 mph – equating to 6 gallons over the Atlantic en route to Freeport, and 6 gallons from Freeport to Nassau.
The first Bahamas LSA Fly-In was a successful event, and aviators can look for more of them in the future.