Light Sport-fly12,000 if over 10,000 mountain in area

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VL Roberts
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Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:41 pm
Location: Leesburg Executive Airport

Postby VL Roberts » Fri Aug 31, 2012 3:36 am

I've been trying to conjure up a realistic scenario in which a Sport Pilot is cited for flying too high over mountainous terrain, but come up blank.

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Location: Athens, GA

Re: Light Sport-fly12,000 if over 10,000 mountain in area

Postby MrMorden » Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:23 am

In reality, nobody on the ground has any idea what certificate/endorsements/ratings you have. Even if ATC has you on radar at 12,000ft over sea level terrain, the likelihood of anybody doing anything about it is really pretty remote.

Somebody would have to look at the N-number of your aircraft, realize it's an LSA (or sport pilot-eligible aircraft), look up the owner of the airplane (assuming you're not renting), find your certificate type, and then bust you. Very unlikely, unless they have a tip from somebody.

But of course, we're not talking about the chances of getting caught, we're talking about the consequences if you are caught. And I think you'd get a certificate suspension at best, a revocation at worst. Not worth it. To avoid the problem altogether, I'd probably try to adjust my route to find a way through mountainous terrain that keeps me below 10,000ft with safe terrain clearance. If I can't do that (say, landing at a mountain strip above 10,000), I'd try to manage my approach route to keep the terrain beneath me as low as possible. Depending on the possible approach routes, I'd probably re-think making the flight at all rather than risking an legally questionable route.
Andy Walker
Athens, GA
Sport Pilot ASEL, LSRI
2007 Flight Design CTSW E-LSA

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