LSAs for empty nester pilots: The Jabiru 230

On Thursday, we noted an article by Meg Godlewski for General Aviation News about LSAs for empty nester pilots (e.g. pilots whose kids have grown up and do not need a large aircraft) where the Czech made TL3000 Sirius was profiled. Meg has since written a follow-up article profiling another potential aircraft for empty nester pilots – the Jabiru 230 built by Jabiru USA Sport Aircraft of Shelbyville, Tennessee.

The Jabiru is a high-wing composite aircraft that has some pilots questioning whether its actually a light sport design because it appears to be big and roomy. In fact and according to the company, the Jabiru 230 has similar flying characteristics to a Skyhawk and numerous customers have transitioned into it from Cessna 180s, 182s and Cardinals. Moreover, the company says that the aircraft can out-cruise and out-climb a Skyhawk and plus out-climb a 150 and 152.

However, the company also adds that the main challenge for pilots will be the fact that they have to use their opposite hands to fly due to the V-shaped stick in the center of the cockpit. Specifically, the throttle is on the far left side of the panel and on the far right side. Hence, this can be a challenge for pilots who have been flying Cessnas.

On the other hand, pilots who have a significant amount of taildragger experience will have a much easier transition because the  Jabiru 230 is a “rudder-happy airplane.”

Meg ended her article by noting that the Jabiru 230’s price ranges from about US$125,000 up to US$151,000 – not a particularly small amount of money for an aircraft but potential buyers should also factor in the operating costs of flying a smaller aircraft.

Either way, if you are an empty nester pilot looking for another potential aircraft, Meg’s entire article about the Jabiru 230 and her previous article about the TL3000 Sirius are both well worth reading.

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