The German LSA manufacturer, Flight Design, has a creative marketing department. They have launched a campaign to attract US buyers. The attraction is that Flight Design has assembled support resources for the new owners to take a European tour in their new LSA and then to fly it Transatlantic home. To assuage fears that this light aircraft may not be capable of flying across the ocean, the company points out that there have been three successful circumnavigations of the globe.
The examples cited may not completely diminish a pilot’s fears – one of the crews was an Indian Air Force crew in a Flight Design CTSW, making it around the world in 80 days. The second flight was accomplished by two Swiss pilots flying two Flight Design CTLS equipped with extra fuel. The third was Slovenian pilot Matevž Lenarčič who circumnavigated in a Pipistrel, crossing nearly 2,000 miles of trackless ocean on the longest leg.
LSA is an innovative concept that is intended to encourage new pilots to enter aviation. There are many challenges yet to be resolved to bring this new, less constrained manufacturing rubric into the more rigorous regulatory regime of the FAA. While the enthusiasm and excitement generated by this program is interesting, encouraging pilots to take their brand new airplane, a light one, for the long demanding Transatlantic flight may not be the wisest strategy to build the class of aircraft’s reputation.Share this article: