Affordable flying…it’s every pilot’s dream, and affordable aircraft come in many different types. The U.S. Sport Aviation Expo recognizes that and recently expanded the categories of aircraft that it will welcome, with support from AVweb and Triple R Affordable Aircraft.
Starting with the 11th annual Expo, January 14-17, 2015, visitors will be able to review light-sport aircraft, homebuilts, rebuilt certificated aircraft, and ultralights. Expo 2015 also will offer the first-ever aircraft sales lot, managed by Aviators Hot Line, providing an opportunity for individual aircraft owners to display aircraft they are offering for sale.
Jana Filip, director of the Sebring Expo, explained the reason for expanding the Expo’s focus. “The Expo began as a light-sport aircraft event, but we soon came to understand that pilots are interested in a wide variety of aircraft. Last year, we included homebuilts, and this year, we are pleased to welcome AVweb and Triple R displaying rebuilt certificated aircraft. With FAA considering the elimination of the third-class medical, rebuilt aircraft could become a viable option for many pilots who previously were shopping for LSA, so it’s logical to include this category of aircraft at Expo.”
Tom Bliss, publisher of AVweb and founder of Triple R Affordable Aircraft, observed that rebuilt certificated aircraft have never really been discussed as an affordable aircraft option, and he thinks that’s a mistake. “Rebuilt aircraft can be a more affordable way for pilots to get an updated aircraft at half the price of a new aircraft.”
Bliss noted that FAA’s recent announcement that it doesn’t expect to complete the Part 23 rewrite until 2017 “…means there won’t be certificated aircraft with new technology coming down the pipeline anytime soon. That makes light-sport aircraft, homebuilts, and rebuilt aircraft the most affordable way for pilots to get the best aircraft for their mission at this point in time…and for years to come.”
He continued, “The Sebring Expo is the perfect venue for all of these aircraft types to come together. It offers pilots the chance to comparison shop in a small, friendly environment where they easily can take demo flights in a variety of aircraft in a day or two. That’s why AVweb is happy to support Sebring Expo as it expands the event to offer pilots more choices.”
Bliss added, “I think OEM suppliers who support rebuilt aircraft will have an increased presence at this show, and that expansion will make the Expo more attractive to those who are shopping for improved avionics, engines, components, and accessories or who are considering having their airplane rebuilt.”