July 9, 2013
By Alton K. Marsh
An amphibious light sport aircraft in the works for many years is moving into the production engineering stage. Independent Aircraft owner John Brown says his all-composite SeaDragon Gen2 has a training, distribution, and service network when deliveries begin.
The aircraft is not unlike the Icon A5 aircraft, whose developers are seeking a weight exemption from the FAA. Its early designs were cited by Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft as being the first composite amphib designed for the LSA category.
“Many people don’t realize that serviceability can be a problem when trying to upgrade or have your LSA repaired if it is not clearly spelled out by the manufacturer; this is where it can get a little tricky and cost can spiral upwards. Knowing this from the start, Independent Aircraft addressed these issues upfront,” Brown said.
“We have a comprehensive system that accompanies our business philosophy; at the heart of this approach is product over press releases and non-consumer financed R&D. Independent Aircraft is not going to be another Bede, Adams, or Eclipse. We believe that long term success is built by cultivating relationships. Instead of deposits, we have taken letters-of-intent for the first 200 aircraft and established an international dealership network, with dealership opportunities still available," he added.
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.
Light Sport Aircraft,
AOPA expressed concern in a meeting with town officials from East Hampton, New York, that restrictions proposed to curb airport noise “overwhelmingly” generated by transient commercial flights would unfairly burden traditional airport users.
The FAA on Feb. 23 issued a special airworthiness information bulletin recommending preflight inspection of Robinson R44 and R44 II main rotors.
New legislation in both houses of Congress would allow thousands of pilots to fly without a third class medical and offer new protections for GA pilots.
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