New Zenith Builder Assistance Facility Opens

Bill Carter (center) and crew.

There is a new builder assistance center in Mexico, Missouri, for builders of Zenith Aircraft and other designs. Called American Light Sport Aircrafters, it is the brainchild of Bill Carter. We will let Carter describe it in his own words.

The reason that we chose Mexico, Missouri, for the location of our facility is that it is the home of Zenith Aircraft. Being located near the factory has obvious advantages including significant savings in shipping. To our knowledge ALSA is the only builder-assist facility that is actually located in the same city as the manufacturer.

Our facility is 7200 square feet and includes work areas and storage space. The number of builders at one time will of course depend on the type of projects being built, but we should be able to handle 8 to 10 pretty comfortably.

Most work areas are completely climate controlled year round. Besides work areas, our facility has a builder lounge for lunch and relaxation. There are specific plans areas where builders have plenty of room to spread out their plans without having to use the workbench. There is also a media room that includes equipment to view DVDs, wireless Internet access for research and a computer where builders can maintain their builder’s log daily.

ALSA services include:

1. Builder assistance to whatever degree the owner chooses. For some people that may be help with the entire project. Others would just like to have a clean, comfortable place, to work with all of the necessary tools, in a relaxed atmosphere around like-minded people who are working on their projects themselves.

2. Although we are not affiliated with Zenith Aircraft, we will hold some Zenith builders workshops in conjunction with the Zenith Rudder Workshops so that a person can continue the building process without making another trip. For example, we recently held a CH 750 Tail Section Workshop, which began when the Zenith Rudder Workshop ended at around noon on a Friday. The ALSA Workshop began at 1:00 p.m. on that Friday and continued through the following Monday, allowing participants to build a major portion, if not all, of the horizontal stabilizer and elevator. The Tail Section Workshop cost is $300. Participants must be pre-registered and have completed the aircraft rudder.

3. We will also be offering complete quickbuild kits, including assembly of all component parts separately while leaving them open enough that the project may be completed by the owner and maintain the integrity of the 51% rule.

4. Component quickbuild kits are essentially the same thing except that the customer may choose to only have us complete a certain component up to a quickbuild point instead of having us assemble a complete quickbuild kit.

5. Custom services are those not specifically covered that a customer may request. We are available to help with some engine and panel installations, and we offer powder-coat and paint through other local businesses. The build times vary by model, with the CH 750 being the fastest. With assistance, the typical builder can expect to complete one component section per week, making it a great vacation project. Quickbuild kits greatly speed up the time necessary to complete the project because all of the major components are mostly complete.

No specialized equipment is needed to assemble a Zenith kit. We provide all of the necessary hand tools to complete them; however, customers are welcome to bring their favorite tools if they prefer.

Although we specialize in assembly assistance with Zenith Aircraft, we welcome others who would like a climate-controlled place to build. For those working with composites or other substances requiring ventilation, we have an area for that as well. Plans builders or those with partially completed projects are all welcome. The work area spaces are let by the week or the month, while actual hands-on assistance is by the hour.

For more information, call 573/721-4400, or visit www.LightSportAircrafters.com.

KITPLANES Editor Mary Bernard began her career in aviation journalism in 1998 and has worked in publishing for more than 15 years.

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