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Don't run, take the time and learn to walk first

Roger Lee

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This is a cut and paste from another site, but backs up what many have said all along. It isn't the students that have issues in LSA aircraft, it's non transitioned CFI's and high time GA pilots coming to the LSA light aircraft world that have had all the problems. It's CFI's teaching people like an LSA is a GA aircraft.

Things are much better and continue to improve, it just takes time.

Insurance rates have decreased for 13 LSA Mfg's over the last year due to better training and required transition time.





January 21, 2009


LSA Accident Rate Improving — And Needs It


By Russ Niles, Editor-in-Chief






avemco-logo.gifThe accident rate in Light Sport Aircraft is "horrid" but it's getting better according to an insurance industry executive. Mike Adams, vice president of underwriting for Avemco Insurance told AVweb in a podcast interview that experienced pilots continue to underestimate the challenges of putting lightweight, draggy and low-powered airplanes on the pavement and the majority of claims continue to result from these factors. Adams will be giving a seminar on Saturday at the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Fla. on insurance trends for LSA. The trend is headed in the right direction, he said, but it has a ways to go.




Last year, Avemco added a clause to LSA policies requiring a minimum of five hours of dual with a properly rated instructor for any pilot, regardless of experience, before first solo. He said experienced pilots need the transition time to get used to flying something tiny again and the experience of the past year clearly shows that the instructor time is paying off. He also said Avemco is revising its business model for the LSA sector and hopes to break even in two years.


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Couldn't agree more!


When I got my CTLS. the insurance company insisted on the equivalent of a type conversion, even though here in the UK there is absolutely no legal requirement to do so for a Group A pilot.


At first I felt a bit outraged - after all I had 800 hours on Cherokee6 (so quite happy with VP prop etc), Cessnas in variety etc etc, my co group member over 1,000 hours so who were they to tell us what to do?


BUT the CTLS is different, the Rotax engine is different so I am truly glad that I did those hours with an instructor.


What is clear over this side of the pond, in the UK at least is that our beloved CAA don't really have any handle on the LSA category - not a microlight, not a full Group A - neither fish nor fowl !!


But what a super aircraft to fly




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The CT is far from "draggy". It requires more precise energy management than a 172 by far. 5 extra knots of speed could mean 1000 ft of extra runway. Yes, good transition training is essential. I believe the insurance companies figured out a couple of years ago that pilots that learned in an LSA had far fewer claims than pilots transitioning.


In the beginning the insurance was high, then it went down a lot, now it's back up again. I don't read about that many incidents, but insurance can kill the S-LSA sector if they wanted to.

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  • 3 months later...

Yes i have to agree on this one. It does take more training to transition to this type of aircraft from the Cessna and Piper.

I thought since i could fly a high performane retract there would be no challenge to fly this. Wrong! I took about 6 hours before settling down and realizing this airplane deserves more respect than meets the eye.

The landings are still a challenge, but not near as much as earlier on. You do have to pay attention to the wind much more, but it is worth it.

I really love this plane and can`t wait to go fly again.

It is the only one like it here in South Texas and my friends are amazed at how great it looks and the love the glass panel as well.


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  • 5 weeks later...

I just asked for a quote from Avemco for 2012. The web form didn't have SLSA as a choice, I submitted as Standard with a note about SLSA.

I got a response back that we don't cover you type of aircraft. I called and spoke with a rep, its not just Flight Design. Avemco is not insuring

SLSA any more! They do cover ELSA. As Roger noted at the beginning of this thread, transitioning GA pilots are breaking aircraft on

landing. So we all better be careful out there!


I'm sorry to admit that I bent the wheel attachment to the gear on my CTSW early on. I did note, upon replacement, they had a new

stronger part. I wasn't the only one. Now, 440hrs in type, no more bending allowed.


I use the Falcon ins agency from

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Apparently another Skycatcher (N5216J) bit the dust a couple weeks ago in New Jersey. The pilot ran it off the runway following a hard landing. He was a certificated sport pilot with not many hours. Last summer a couple guys returning to the west coast from Oshkosh turned Skycatcher N7024V upside down trying to take off at a Wyoming airport with density altitude of 9000' (yikes!). Considering that plane probably had an empty weight of 850# or more and a pilot and passenger, it was probably at MTOW when the accident occurred. MTOW and 9000' density altitude. Double Yikes! Fortunately, everybody survived these accidents -- the guy in NJ was, it seems, treated for back pain and released.


What's the point? A couple weeks after the Wyoming crash there were some internet ads trying to sell the remains of N7024V for salvage. I can't recall if it was associated with Avemco or not. Pilots of other GA aircraft do similar things (run them out of gas, bounce them off the runways, push them beyond there performance limits, etc) but if the insurers are raising rates on the class, or refusing to insure the class, then the losses incurred must be above that normally experienced in the GA insurance business. And, as these two accidents indicate, it's not only a problem with transitioning GA pilots.


What's particularly troubling to me about this stuff is that the real liability doesn't rest with paying for a couple $120,000 to $150,000 airplanes. The real liability is in the personal injuries and fatalities.

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Can't comment on Avemco but I had two different underwriters bidding for my LSA business for more than 20% less than last years premium. YMMV.


As a data point...


$50k of coverage on my Sky Arrow dropped from $1,127 last year to $949 this year. No claims and through EAA/Falcon.

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