Thursday, May 12, 2011

LSA in the News

In this post there's both good news and bad news.

First up: blog reader Pete Zaitcev commented on my blog yesterday that the Front Range Airport (FTG) visit, on May 14, by the LSA Tour #3 will coincide with the Rocky Mountain LSA Expo.
FTG is about 25 miles east of Denver at Watkins, CO.  The event is sponsored by the Colorado Pilots Assoc.
Looks like a fun time and a smart call for the Tour to plan a stop there.  Thanks Pete!

Cessna is on track to ship 150 Skycatchers this year
More good news:  Cessna Aircraft delivered 106 aircraft in the first quarter, up from 80 a year ago, and much of the increase comes from deliveries of the 19 Skycatchers.  Cessna's Bob Stangarone has told me the company expects to have delivered 150 by year's end.
The unhappy news concerns two LSA crashes.
A PiperSport crash cost a young CFI his life in Florida.  Various news reports citing eyewitnesses indicated a possible in-flight fire, flat spin, loss of a wing in flight and the crash, with subsequent fire and secondary explosion.
The pilot's body was found 3/4 miles from the crash.  That and personal effects strewn between the crash site and the pilot's body indicate he either bailed out of the airplane without a parachute, or was ejected during flight -- horrific to contemplate either way.  The pilot was reportedly a skydiver.
Since all PiperSports during their brief manufacture under the Piper banner were delivered with airframe parachutes, inflight fire remains a compelling possibility for the crash.

Sad and sobering: condolences to the surviving family of the 24-year-old pilot.

A happier ending to another crash involves a Flight Design CT that struck a telephone guy-wire during an emergency landing on a country road in the South...and lost the entire right wing!

The good news is the pilot survived, as reported by Steven Jones for WSPA-TV (CBS) in northwestern South Carolina, after the plane ended up nosing into a ditch.  The plane is owned by Major Dude's Flying Circus of Wilmington, DE.
Jones writes that no one was injured.  "After the plane," the web story says, "a Flight Design CT model, took off...the pilot called Augusta Control and reported a 'rough running' engine.
Later, the pilot called and said he was experiencing engine failure and going down.
Two people were on board when the plane made it’s crash landing. A wing snapped off on a guy line of a nearby utility pole."
The CT is an all-composite airplane and, clearly, its cabin offers reassuring crash protection.

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