Jamboree highlights light sport industry

July 22, 2009

Pilots saw firsthand what light sport aircraft have to offer and heard from AOPA about the progress of the sector at the Light Sport Jamboree at Essex County Airport in New Jersey July 17 and 18.

AOPA Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs Rob Hackman spoke at the event, which was hosted by the Mid-Atlantic Pilots Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to air safety, aviation education, and flying camaraderie.

“Events like the Mid-Atlantic Pilots Association’s Light Sport Jamboree highlight the continued interest and growth in the sport pilot and light sport aircraft segment of general aviation,” Hackman said. “It’s important that we all work together to continue to grow and promote general aviation.”

Eighteen aircraft were on display, and attendance topped 650 at the event. Hackman spoke about the more than 10 year effort to instate the category of light sport aircraft, the state of the industry today, and the future of LSA manufacturing. More than 2,000 sport pilot certificates have been issued since the category was first created, and many of the 90 new LSA designs offer advanced safety features, including whole-plane emergency parachute systems, airbags, and single-button avionics that can automatically stabilize the aircraft.

As the FAA evaluates the current state of the LSA industry and manufacturers continue to develop new designs for light sport aircraft, pilots can help ensure the future is bright for the industry by flying safely and promoting GA, Hackman said.