Most producers in the Light-Sport Aircraft sector welcomed the LSA market entry announced by Cessna and Cirrus at Oshkosh 2007. July of last year looks like the “good old days,” as aviation from LSA to VLJs — essentially all of GA — is roiled by global economic uncertainty. *** Compounding the challenges, Cessna had an “unrecoverable” spin incident with their Skycatcher 162. Even BRS got drawn in with a rocket-deployed parachute that for reasons yet unknown didn’t save the airframe. Both companies are sure to work out these issues; test failures are an accepted part of aircraft development. *** Cirrus stepped down to a 3-day workweek (AvWeb article) to cope with slowing sales. Like Cessna, Cirrus is managing multiple developments. Their jet project consumes plenty of resources so when watching costs, it’s little surprise that the Duluth company might put their SRS Light-Sport project on the back burner. *** LSA producers already active in the field may gain from these development setbacks as they will give the newer, smaller companies more time to build their infrastructure. Meanwhile, marketing efforts continue…AOPA Expo starts in one week with 15 or so LSA expected, and planning is well underway for the year-starting Sebring LSA Expo and the season-launching Sun ‘n Fun LSA Mall.
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