Affordable is a word I often hear as I explore the ever-expanding world of light aircraft. From Part 103 ultralights to kit-built aircraft you can fly with a Sport Pilot license (“Sport Pilot kit”) to fully-built, FAA-accepted Special Light-Sport Aircraft… the number of choices you have is dazzling.
UPDATE 4/3/21: A new video featuring an interview with Aero Adventure’s Alex Rolinski now appears at the bottom of this article. —DJ
Some of these numerous choices may run way past your budget, although a growing number of pilots are learning they can share ownership in one of various ways. Doing so can help you afford what you want yet many pilots enjoy the idea of owning their very own, highly-personal flying machine.
Those who want sole ownership of a seaplane will have to dig deeper into their pocket, sometimes much more deeply. Sadly, for many pilots this eliminates a chance to own a LSA seaplane all by yourself.
One company has been challenging that unaffordable view for many years. In 2021, Aero Adventure has upped the ante even further. Now, this DeLand airport-based company offers a Part 103 ultralight seaplane, a variety of Aventura kit-built aircraft, and (trumpets blare!) now a Special LSA seaplane.
Special Light-Sport Aircraft
You can find more articles about all Aero Adventure‘s Aventura models and even the versions that preceded today’s lineup by checking this link. In a series of articles and videos I have described these airplanes and given info on how they fly, how they are built, and how affordable they are.
Consider this. Even today, in 2021, you can buy a complete Aventura kit for something north of $50,000. While that will be a basic machine and while you’ll spend hours building it — an activity many find highly satisfying — you must put that pricing in perspective.
Go online and look for a seaplane, any seaplane you can find. First, you won’t find many as demand for amphibian versatility has remained strong for decades. Second, even a worn-out legacy GA airplane with an engine approaching overhaul mounted on rather banged-up floats will cost dramatically more than the same airplane on wheels. Really! Go look for yourself; I’ll wait.
Indeed, the most basic kit Aventura can cost little more than fifty grand — for the whole aircraft, engine, boat hull, everything — where floats alone for a Cessna 172, for example, may cost the same.
Of course, a fully-built Light-Sport Aircraft meeting all FAA acceptance requirements will cost more. Aero Adventure — as with every other company selling a Special LSA — must …provide full part tracking in perpetuity …keep all customer records and be prepared to contact them if any safety actions are required …keep many parts separated from components for non-FAA-accepted aircraft (kits), keep up with ASTM standards and assure continuous operational safety monitoring …maintain factory “best practices” involving such detail as a written log of torque-wrench calibrations …and take many other actions intended to ensure these “sanctioned” aircraft remain airworthy machines for their owners. If you think all this is easy, you don’t understand the task.
All that monitoring and mandatory activity costs money and will be reflected in Aventura SLSA’s selling price. However, I’m willing to bet you lunch at my favorite restaurant that this will still be the most reasonably priced aircraft among seaplanes. Care to take the bet?
Aventura SLSA will be offered for sale for the first time at the upcoming Sun ‘n Fun 2021 airshow. I hope you’re planning to attend and if so, I hope you’ll swing by the Aero Adventure display or come to the LSA Mall where a sweet kit-built Aventura will be positioned.
C E L E B R A T E
SLSA Number 155!
Please join me in congratulating Alex Rolinski and his DeLand, Florida team for achieving FAA acceptance of their Aventura two seater. The newest Special LSA now tops our popular SLSA List.
The truth is — as an earlier video identified — the work to win FAA acceptance was done more than a year ago. Then… covid.
When FAA was locked down, personnel were not allowed to drive less than one hour to Aero Adventure and this restriction went on for month after month. How exasperating that must have been after working hard to accomplish the many line-item demands of ASTM standards.
Then, exactly as I guessed on the video from a year ago, when FAA arrived, Aero Adventure passed on the first and only visit from auditors. Alex had contracted with SilverLight Aviation to assist with engineering preparations and that obviously went swimmingly.
So, at Sun ‘n Fun 2021, you can see the final edition and you can order one. Not only will you save money over all other SLSA seaplanes but you might get it sooner… though that could change when other pilots become aware of its availability.
Lou Mancuso, famous for selling a gorgeous LSA under the name Bristell USA (among other aviation enterprises he runs), will be the national distributor for Aventura SLSA. He’s been working with the company since the powerful S17 Aventura was announced and he is all-in to continue.
So, in Lakeland, you can look at these aircraft at Aero Adventure, Bristell USA, plus see one in the LSA Mall. This may be reason alone for you to attend Sun ‘n Fun …yeah, as if you needed another reason to finally go to an airshow!
Want to know how Aventura II flies? In this pilot report, I go into some detail. Now, this was from many years ago. The airplane has significantly changed — for the better — since that report. However, lots of the information is still valid and interested buyers may enjoy hearing some of the history of this long-running aircraft.
Want to know more about the Aventura kit? Here’s a report from four years ago. The same caveat applies, that this aircraft has changed a lot since this article was written in 2017.