I enjoyed your coverage of the new training airplanes' safety features ("Building A Safer Trainer," August 2006), but I am afraid the future for all three of these choices is very limited. It seems likely they will be replaced with the much less expensive S-LSA airplanes now coming onto the market.
It is not clear to me which of the S-LSA aircraft will prove to be best for primary training. Whichever ones come out best, the lower purchase price and operating costs for these planes are certain to make them the popular choice over any airplanes certified under Part 23.
The market for light sport aircraft (LSAs) is just beginning to blossom. And, if Cessna's announcement during the recently concluded EAA AirVenture Oshkosh extravaganza is any indication, the segment is here to stay.
That said, you're probably right in thinking that LSAs will gradually supplant Diamonds, Libertys and Symphonys on the flight training ramp. The good thing about all this is that students and flight schools will have more choices. One of the bad things could be that LSAs won't be as safe, although many of them are equipped with airframe parachutes.
We'll be keeping a close watch on this segment and likely will update our article when some LSAs emerge at the head of the flight training market.