Sun ‘n Fun 2018 is done. The show actually closed early at about 1 PM due to forecasts of severe weather. Within hours, a bustling event began to look like a ghost town.
Despite the rushed finish, the event appeared to be a huge success. Reports were that it was a all-time record result for Sun ‘n Fun; we’ll wait to see the numbers to know more detail. My conversations with several vendors indicated strong sales interest and orders were taken, so customers and vendors both appear to be satisfied.
I spoke to many fans at the show and our conversations demonstrate to me that light aviation is very alive and well. In fact, I see this as one of the most invigorated periods in recent years. The interest is broad based and includes Part 103 ultralight vehicles, gyroplanes, modestly priced Special LSA, and top-line LSA models. On the kit side, interest also appears strong enough that backlogs are growing. For pilots who can’t wait, a deepening market is developing for used LSA, many with very low time and great equipment installed — with a growing number of businesses serving the second-hand LSA market. It’s a great time to be a buyer and flyer.
I also met dozens of folks who very graciously said they enjoy our output in words and video and I am deeply appreciative of that positive feedback.
While the severe weather never actually transpired in Lakeland, an abundance of caution is warranted with human lives and so much expensive equipment at risk. I applaud Sun ‘n Fun management — led by John “Lites” Leenhouts — for making the right decision. Certainly from a participant standpoint the decisive move was appreciated as it allowed vendors to get back to a normal week of running their enterprise and customers to return home to their jobs and families.
Thanks for Our Best Day Ever
Showing a high level of enthusiasm from readers of this website who could not attend Sun ‘n Fun, we set an all-time record* for website views Sunday, even as things wound down. With more days like today, this website can better reach aviation aviation enthusiasts with the message of Light-Sport Aircraft, light kit-built aircraft, and ultralight aircraft.
I attribute this intensity to daily reporting of interesting aircraft. I will try to continue the pace next week at Aero Friedrichshafen. In addition, you will soon begin to enjoy numerous videos as Videoman Dave can edit them (a large task; please be patient).
We have one day at home to wash clothes, repack, and leave the following day for a flight to Germany yet I would not trade this kind of work for anything. I look forward to seeing many friends and fans in Europe as well as reporting to Americans back home plus many readers all over the planet.
It is amazing to use the technologies of just this last decade or so to provide such coverage. I’m honored to have this opportunity and I so appreciate your loyal readership. Thank you!
* Based on reader views from April 15, 2018, if this rate was sustained, ByDanJohnson.com would generate substantially more than a million views per year. While AOPA’s leading magazine, Pilot, may generate this many views in only a month or two, ByDanJohnson.com enjoys the attention of readers singularly interested in the aircraft we cover. No one is looking for warbirds or spam cans here.