July 29, 2009
By Alton K. Marsh
The Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association (LAMA) has launched a new campaign called “Look for the LAMA label” that recognizes certain light sport aircraft manufactures. Those manufacturers must pass LAMA audits and standards tests to get an endorsement that lets customers know the company is approved by LAMA, said Dan Johnson, LAMA president and chairman of the board.
The Avemco Insurance Company gave its approval to the new program. “We believe that the LAMA approval process will improve the insurability of special light sport aircraft,” said Michael J. Adams, Avemco’s vice president for underwriting. The LAMA approval will address several concerns of interest to Avemco, including parts costs, the availability of repair shops, and adequate and appropriate pilot transition training. In the past there have been a few light sport aircraft that had to be shipped to Europe to be repaired, making the repair too costly for an insurance company.
Johnson said the average purchaser of a light sport aircraft appears to be in his or her late 50s, a pilot who is downsizing or, as Johnson called it, “fun-sizing.” The number of LSA flight schools rose in 2009, he said, with some branding themselves to a particular manufacturer.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
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Standardized training offered by Cirrus is now accepted by OpenAirplane, thanks to an agreement between the companies.
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