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New light sport aircraft - Brumby

Guest Glenn I

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Guest Glenn I

Some of you may know about a new light sport aircraft called the Brumby. It was showcased recently at Narromine. Below is a newspaper article from our local paper about PG Aviation and the Brumby.




Flying high


Cowra business PG Aviation is set to take off thanks to a boom in the aviation industry. Based at the Cowra airport, the company is riding high on the demand for Light Sport Aircraft, a new category created by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority for small, simple to operate aircraft popular with flying schools and hire businesses.


Called the Brumby, PG Aviation has only had the Light Sport Aircraft model for three months now yet already orders for the product are in excess of one million dollars.


"It's all happened fairly quickly, to sell eight, probably 10 aircraft in that short a time frame is amazing," PG Aviation owner Phil Goard said.


"This category and the resulting products is a new development in the industry, based on an American example.


"Other existing similar category aircraft are now older planes, Cessnas and Pipers, who stopped manufacturing in 1997. Because they are old, the cost of maintaining them is extremely high, as are fuel costs, whereas the Light Sport category planes are much more efficient.


"The bottom line is that flying schools need to keep their costs as low as possible to make a return on their investment. If they have to pass on costs to customers, it makes them less attractive and competitive."


The rapid response has also been because of the initial asking price for the Brumby - under $100,000 compared to its nearest competitors at $140,000.


Being produced in Australia is also a strong selling point, as the machine stays here to be repaired or source parts, rather than the high cost of sending imports back overseas.


Its full metal status means the plane does not have to be hangered - which can be another costs for schools.


The response has been so strong the factory is already at capacity and is looking to rapidly expand just to cope with orders.


"We've actually started to push out of the space now. But in six months time, we have to have half a dozen of these planes ready. We will most likely have to double our space," Mr Goard said.


The company employs five people now, but with the rapid expansion, could be grow to 15 employees.


Due to the relatively simple manufacturing process involved and the short time frame, they are looking at sourcing labour locally.


"Its quite a simple airplane, you don't need to have a degree, you could train anyone to build it."


The Cowra Business Action Group is supporting the company in examining the options available to its expansion hopes.


"This is a great opportunity for a local business," Cowra BAG spokesperson Ray Croker said.


"At this stage, we are helping them with any kind of support or networking we can offer."



TAKING OFF: PG Aviation owners Phil Goard and son Paul, with their light Sport Aircraft, the Brumby. Demand for the plane has set the business for rapid expansion.



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