After losing our Citabria (see: Citabria N5156X Landing Gear Accident), we set about looking for a new (well a replacement) airplane. The main things we were after in the search were the following:
- 2 seats (more is better, but budget is an issue)
- efficient fuel burn
- inexpensive maintenance
- newer design and materials
The overall cost of ownership was probably the biggest consideration. And the more we talked about it, the more we gravitated toward Light Sport Airplanes. They’re newer, fairly inexpensive to buy, and definitely less expensive than traditionally certified airplanes.
Budget dictated that we find a fairly inexpensive used model, so I did a fair amount of hunting around. In doing so, I learned that most of the cheaper used LSAs are either fairly high-time, used by flight schools, or both. Those that remained were tens of thousands of dollars above what we were able to spend.
So imagine my surprise when, on my second visit to the Flight Design Forum, I discovered that the price had just been reduced on N722VJ: a 2005 Flight Design CTSW.
After a bit of phone and email contact with the owner(s), I arranged a time to visit back in January (after our cruise to Mexico) and see the airplane in person. And, to make a long story short, we took delivery of our new airplane a few weeks ago.
So far I have about 5.5 hours of flying time in it and am really enjoying it. It’s fairly quiet, comfortable, easy to fly, and has great visibility. The most notable difference between the CTSW and other airplanes I’ve flown is the landing technique. I find that treating it like a high performance glider makes the landings a lot easier.