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Fri, Jan 18, 2013

LSA 'Storm' Building In The U.S.

Light Sport America Purchases Assets Of Italian ATR Storm Aircraft, Will Build Them In Bartow, FL

J. Phil McCoy, president and CEO of Light Sport America, announced Thursday at the Light Sport Expo at Sebring, FL, that his firm has purchased the assets of Italian aircraft manufacturer ATR Storm Aircraft, and he expects complete relocation of the factory and to begin U.S. production of Storm’s complete line of light sport aircraft at the Bartow, Florida, Municipal Airport in March. 

Mr. McCoy is exhibiting at the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo where he is displaying the Storm Rally (pictured) in Light Sport America’s booth.

Light Sport America (LSA) has also purchased the assets of Florida Aircraft Painting, Inc. and Florida Aircraft Supply. The purchases include a 36,000 square foot Aviation Complex on six acres at the Bartow Municipal Airport.  Mr. McCoy said LSA will continue to operate the painting business in a 60 by 60 building and use the 150 by 151 hanger and offices to build aircraft. “The acquisition of Storm Aircraft will enable LSA to offer America’s only full line of U.S. built sport aircraft,” Mr. McCoy said.  “Storm has been in business nearly 30 years and has sold over 3,000 aircraft.”

Light Sport America will offer four Storm models—the all-composite Storm Rally, Rally Amphibious, the all-metal Century with tricycle gear (pictured, below), and the Century conventional (tail wheel).  Both the Rally and Century models are priced from $99,000 to $117,000 depending on options and avionics. 

In addition to the Rally and Century models, LSA will also offer several Storm kits, including the Fury, Fury RG, and 400.

Light Sport America plans to service the law enforcement and border patrol markets with a surveillance-equipped Rally and the Air Patrol 2013 Rotocraft.

Mr. McCoy said he expects his company to hire up to 70 employees during its first year of operation and over the next three years to increase the workforce to up to 125 persons. Giovanni Salsedo, founder of Storm Aircraft, is moving to the U.S. to assist in the transition. He will remain active in Light Sport America as vice president.

The FAA forecasts that 50% of all general aviation aircraft sold in the U.S. between now and 2020 will be light sport aircraft.  This forecast calls for an average 9% annual compounded growth in the U.S. light sport aviation market over the next seven years.  This translates to approximately 6,600 new light sport aviation sales in the U.S.

Mr. McCoy is a veteran general aviation professional with 40 years experience.  He has worked for such notable names as King Radio Corporation, Fairchild-Swearingen Aircraft, and Foster AirData Systems. 

He founded McCoy Avionics Corporation, took the company public, and later sold his interests.  Since 1997 he has worked as a consultant for such well-known aviation companies as Ryan International Corporation, Houston Gulf Avionics, Eastern Avionics International, and Remos Aircraft.

FMI: www.lightsportamerica.com

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